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Frequently Asked Questions

He brings the same high level of competency to guest speaking and participating in community activities.

1. When do I need a tax lawyer?

You should consult with a tax lawyer any time that you have questions regarding tax issues or if a major tax problem comes up. A tax lawyer can help you guide you throughcomplex procedures and transactions that may involve a large tax amount, such as buying or selling a business or negotiating to pay off a large tax debt. You should contact a tax lawyer immediately if you:
• Are accused of tax evasion or tax fraud
• Received notice of a tax audit by the IRS or another tax authority
• You’re facing a collection of over $10,000
• Any time you are contacted by the IRS you can contact attorney Michael Ablan to establish a flat fee one hour consult to determine if you need an attorney.
• If you haven’t filed in several years and wish to do so in a safe environment

2. The IRS agent seemed nice. Why should I just deal with her instead of paying for a tax lawyer?

Internal Revenue Service agents are expected to carry out their duties politely and respectfully. However, do not mistake this professionalism for friendship. The agent’s interests are inherently contradictory to your own. The agent wants to collect as much taxes, penalties, and interests as possible, while you want to minimize these amounts. A tax lawyer will represent your interests and establish a cordial buffer between you and the IRS agent.

3. Will the IRS agent be angry if I hire a tax lawyer?

While you may be concerned that hiring a tax lawyer will make you look suspicious, almost without exception IRS agents welcome the involvement of a knowledgeable tax lawyer because they do not have to spend as much time explaining the basics and they are trained to organize your file and responses. Many agents expect a tax lawyer’s involvement if the case is complicated or involves a lot of money. Tax law requires an agent to stop an interview if you say you want to consult with a tax lawyer.

4. Why should I hire a tax lawyer?

Tax lawyers have specified knowledge about the Internal Revenue Code. Tax procedures are often very complicated and warrant the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced tax attorney who can help you understand your rights and fight for a fair outcome. A skilled tax lawyer like Michael Ablan who has practiced since 1974 can be of vital assistance to you before or after you receive an adverse determination during an audit. By involving a tax lawyer early in the process, you typically mitigate your exposure because you speak with one voice before the IRS. Contradictions raise suspicion. Having one knowledgeable voice usually helps to prevent a much larger tax controversy from developing. In other words, talking directly to the agent without knowing exactly the most accurate answer can be risky because it doesn’t allow time for you to look up documents and be properly prepared.

5. What is field audit?

A field audit is a tax audit that the Internal Revenue Service conducts at a taxpayer’s home, office, or place of business. The purpose of the audit is to look through your financial records to check for any errors and to confirm that you have filed your tax return correctly. The agent assigned to your audit will complete a thorough accounting after examination of your documents. He or she will also conduct an in-person interview. An office audit is not conducted in person.

6. What things can spur an audit?

While the IRS may conduct an audit from a sample of taxpayers at random, some audits are spurred when there is a red flag associated with your filing. Common things that may spur an audit include:
• Data entry errors, such as not typing or writing in your Social Security Number correctly or making a math error
• Unreported income that does not match with other tax records that have been prepared by your employer, clients or others
• Claiming too many deductions that you are not eligible for
• Using the wrong filing status
• Claiming non-existent dependents
• Having self-employment income, especially when you do not report a profit for at least three out of the last five years
• 1099 income doesn’t match what’s on your tax return.
• Lack of proper documentation if your business could also be treated as a hobby.

7. Who should be present at an audit?

At the outset only the lawyer should be present to sort out the issues that the agent wants to discuss, to find proper documentation and to prepare your for your answers. and then at some point you should be present at an audit, along with anyone who helped prepare your tax filings. You should also have a tax lawyer on your side who can help answer questions for you.

8. When should an audit take place?

Absent a pandemic or other reasons for IRS furlough, Mail-in audits are usually commenced within seven months of the filing of the tax document. They often take 3-6 months to complete. Field audits are usually commenced within a year after you file a return and are usually completed within 3-6 months. Typically, the IRS only has three years from the date you filed the return or that it was due (whichever is later) to complete the audit.

9. When should I appeal the determination made during an audit?

If you disagree with the information described in your Notice of Determination, assessment or other conclusion by the IRS believe that your tax debt was not calculated correctly, or you believe that the finding was unfair or illegal, you may wish to appeal the decision. This appeal must be filed within 30 days.

10. What is the United States Tax Court?

“You have the right to petition, within 90 days, the United States Tax Court if you receive a formal “Notice of Deficiency”. This notice is jurisdictional, in other words you cannot petition the Tax Court without it. The United States Tax Court is an independent court that was created by Congress to allow taxpayers to dispute adverse IRS determinations. It is not part of the Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Court is independent of it. There are courts of this nature in 60 U.S. cities. Michael Ablan has been admitted to practice law before all of the United States Tax Court’s since 1980.

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