In a recent interview, top New York tax attorney Benjamin Goldburd, partner at Goldburd McCone, debunked the biggest myth about settling with the IRS for less than you owe. —
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When asked to comment, Goldburd said, “Many people who find themselves in tax debt to the IRS qualify for an offer in compromise, which is an agreement with the government so the taxpayer can pay less than what they owe. Because offers in compromise are beneficial to those who cannot afford to pay their tax debt in full, there has been misinformation about it.”
The biggest myth about an offer in compromise is that taxpayers can settle for pennies on the dollar. This, according to Goldburd, is far from reality.
When asked to explain, he said, “With an offer in compromise, the IRS calculates that amount that can be paid by the taxpayer on a case-by-case basis. In other words, the IRS will investigate you thoroughly to determine how much you’ll be able to pay.”
“In other words, stay away from debt relief companies that offer a quick fix for your tax debt, such as a pennies-on-the-dollar solution. The reality of the situation is that settling your tax debt with the IRS through an offer in compromise is much more complicated,” he stated.
Goldburd was quick to add that offers in compromise aren’t available to everyone.
"To qualify for an offer in compromise, you must be able to prove one of the following grounds: You have to effectively contest the validity of the tax liability, cast doubt on your ability to pay it, or prove that it would cause financial hardship if you did pay the tax debt," he commented.
For the most part it seems the IRS will only accept an offer if it is the same or more than the reasonable collection potential, which measures how much of the liability a taxpayer can pay.
"This calculation includes how much the taxpayer could pay once their assets are liquidized, such as retirement accounts, investment funds, bank accounts, and real estate. Any anticipated future income that you'll have is also included in this calculation," he said.
Name: Benjamin Goldburd
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Organization: Goldburd McCone LLP
Address: 42 W 38th St #901, New York, NY 10018, USA
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