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Collection Defense

If you have been assessed a tax deficiency as a result of a completed audit, you may believe that all is lost. This is actually not true. A variety of techniques exist for potentially reducing, or even eliminating, the assessment imposed against you as a result of your audit. The tax specialists at the Ben-Cohen Law Firm can employ the necessary techniques to help you minimize the financial damage of an unfavorable audit result. At our firm, we utilize the knowledge of both a Los Angeles collection defense attorney, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Taxation Law Specialist, and a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), to achieve the best possible resolution for you.

Audit Reconsideration

A taxpayer has the right to request a reconsideration of his or her audit. Audit reconsiderations are at the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) discretion and generally may be granted if the taxpayer: (1) did not appear for his or her audit, (2) moved and failed to receive correspondence from the IRS as a result, (3) has new information to offer to the IRS that was not provided at the original audit, or (4) disagrees with the IRS’s assessment.

Making sure the IRS’s claim is not time-barred

As a taxpayer, you should make certain that the applicable statute of limitations on assessment was open when the IRS made its underlying assessment, and that the statute of limitations for collection remains open. A collection defense lawyer at our Los Angeles firm can advise you on this issue. The Internal Revenue Code establishes two statutes of limitations for taxes. The IRS generally has three years to audit a taxpayer’s return (this period increases to six years in cases of “substantial understatement of income” and forever in cases of fraud). Additionally, the IRS generally has 10 years to collect the tax after an assessment. The IRS cannot assess or collect tax until all procedural and appeal rights have been used or lapsed, or you agree to assessment.

IRS can grant relief to ‘innocent’ spouses

If you and your spouse filed a joint return, then “innocent spouse relief” may provide another avenue for challenging liability. In general, when a husband and wife file a joint income tax return, each spouse is jointly and severally liable for the amount of tax due. Under Section 6015 of the Internal Revenue Code, a spouse may receive innocent spouse relief if: the understatements relating to the assessed taxes were items of the spouse not seeking relief, the spouse seeking relief did not know and had no reason to know about the understatement, and if the interests of fairness favor granting relief.

A number of other favorable resolutions exist

You may make an offer in compromise, which allows you to settle your tax obligation for less than the full amount owed. Our collection defense attorneys can guide Los Angeles residents and others through this process. The IRS considers several facts in deciding whether to accept such an offer, and typically approves an offer if the agency believes that the offered amount is the most the IRS can expect to collect over a reasonable time period.

The law also permits you to file a collection due process appeal. This due process appeal affords you the chance to receive an “independent review” of the proposed action and, typically, this appeal triggers a suspension of collection actions while it is pending.

For taxpayers who do not wish to contest the validity of the obligation, the IRS offers installment payment agreements. Other taxpayers may seek the protection of bankruptcy, which may eliminate some tax debt obligations.

A taxpayer who has received an unfavorable assessment from the IRS is not bereft of options simply because his or her audit is complete. Our Los Angeles collection defense lawyers know that a variety of techniques exist to mitigate the financial damage of a tax obligation. For advice about your tax obligation and your options, contact the tax attorneys at the Ben-Cohen Law Firm.

Client Reviews
I approached Mr. Ben-Cohen regarding a pending case with the State of California and my small business. During a time that was quite stressful, I found Mr. Ben-Cohen to be the perfect person to represent me and my company. He communicated with me in clear terms so that I understood everything that was taking place in a timely manner. He treated my situation with the type of candor you only find in a consummate professional and successfully negotiated a deal with the State of California that far exceeded my expectations. I found him to be kind, efficient, sensitive and nothing short of brilliant. I consider myself fortunate to have met him and highly recommend his services. I will not hesitate to use his firm in the future should a need arise. Google, We Care Spa
I am an international tax advisor and have worked with Pedram on more than a dozen difficult and challenging cases. Pedram's clients and fellow advisors highly respect him because he has an uncanny ability to quickly identify and work diligently to resolve his clients' issues. Pedram is pragmatic in his approach. He is transparent with his clients and dedicated to getting to a fair and reasonable outcome. I have attended an IRS Appeals conference with Pedram and would want no other attorney on my side. Pedram is extremely passionate in his work and representing his clients. He is also enjoyable to work with and develops very good relationships with his clients and fellow advisors. I highly recommend Pedram for any tax controversy work. Avvo, Curt
Top Drawer Tax Fraud Lawyer. Pedram got me out a CI jam I thought I would not resolve. He is also fair and reasonable with his billing. I interviewed 4 top Tax Fraud Lawyers in LA and went with Pedram...Glad I did! Google, Michael Jeppson
Pedram Ben-Cohen at Ben-Cohen Law Firm, PLC is one of the most incredible, creative, and caring attorneys I have ever dealt with. He gave us hope but also gave us the reality and worst case scenario. He fought for us tooth and nail. The attention and time Pedram put into the case was like no other. He charged us more than fair and was very reasonable in every aspect. He is not the kind of attorney that charges for every minute. I liked him very much not only as an attorney but as a person because he is very honest, is true to his integrity, and is dedicated to his clients. He loves what he does and has the passion to protect and defend his clients, which totally shows in his work and our outcome. We originally hired another attorney from a famous firm who basically did not give us much hope on our case . That is when we came to Pedram who won our case in a short amount of time and got us the outcome we were looking for. Because of Pedram and his creativeness, willingness, and dedication, he got us our favorable outcome. He is our go to attorney for sure, without a doubt. Avvo, Anonymous
A few years ago I had a major tax problem and I was looking for the right professional tax lawyer. I interviewed at least five experts and all of them were very professional. I am very picky. When I met Mr. Pedram Ben-Cohen, it took me no more than five minutes to decide that he was the one, and I was absolutely right with my intuition. He is very professional, knowledgeable, smart, and knows his job perfectly. In addition to all of his professional skills, as a person he is very friendly, pleasant, ready to help, and took care of me like I was his own family. I referred and recommended him to friends and family with tax problems and will continue to do so warmly to anyone. I know that he is able and will do his job the best way for his clients. He is my personal tax lawyer and expert and will remain so. Google, Shlomo Kattan
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