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Heed the Soothsayer’s Warning

Feb 25, 2016 | IRS

“Beware the Ides of March.” – from Julius Caesar

IRSOn my community calendar, the March 15th subscript reads: “Ides of March.” That’s not just a prophecy. The soothsayer warned Caesar about this day and we all know how that worked out for him.

It’s been my regular experience that clients are typically referred to my firm when they’ve been naughty or too disorganized. I stress organization all the time.

Not everyone heeds the warning. Then I have to be the guy who has to undo the Gordian knot.  (and untie the knots within several other tax knots).

It’s still possible for you to keep the knot count low before you open your books and before you are referred to my firm. Just knowing some best practices may expedite a long and already-slow process. Because for those of you who haven’t experienced it — and serious kudos to you — the Internal Revenue Service moves at the speed of litigation.

The speed of litigation is just as unbearably slow as it sounds.

Here’s the easiest tip as we approach the due date: Change browsers.

The IRS just changed its forms yet again. Open its site in a different web browser to avoid pulling up cached forms and pages. The Internal Revenue Service tightened up the ability to do an offer in compromise, so be sure you have the most updated information.

Someone was recently referred to my firm after dealings with a local tax preparer who was too conservative with estimates and deductions. Now the client will get hit with a tax bill that is outrageous. We’ve taken him in and got him on a payment plan and put him through an offer in compromise.  That is a key to getting your situations with the IRS resolved: Start a payment plan. Show the Internal Revenue Service you’re willing to play ball. This is accounting 101 and your advisor should be doing this almost on autopilot so that you can cut some sort of a deal.

Business owners have it a little tougher than regular citizens in that they have additional trust fund penalties and sales taxes to deal with. However, as bad your situation, it’ll be a million times worse if you screw around with it.

Be honest with them up front and give them a sign of good faith. The IRS follows due process so if you reach out to them, expect your response in writing six-to-eight weeks later. And that’s the best-case scenario — I’ve dealt with one-to-two years later. It sounds like a prison sentence because it actually feels that way.

Corporate returns are due in less than a month. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar.

Don’t mess around.

Contact us for any tax and accounting questions.


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I formerly worked as a satellite employee from my home state of New Jersey. I ended my employment with my former employer in 2016. In 2018, I was sued by my former employer for $1.1 million in Illinois State Court. I was referred to Brinen & Associates, LLC by a friend who is a client of the firm. Brinen & Associates, LLC came highly recommended. I contacted Joshua Brinen and then had a consultation at his office with his colleague Mark White. Together, Messrs. Brinen and White explained my options...

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