According to a Department of Justice press release, a taxpayer in Florida was convicted in a jury trial on charges relating to the obstruction of the efforts of the IRS to administer the tax laws. This story highlights the importance of consulting with an experienced tax attorney if you are unable to pay the taxes that you owe. In many cases, taking matters into your own hands and going up against the IRS alone will result in a worse outcome than if you had done nothing.
Court documents reveal that Dennis Nagle owed over $400,000 in federal taxes as of 2014. Not unlike any other case of unpaid taxes, the IRS commenced collection efforts, which culminated in the garnishment of Nagle’s wages and the levying of his bank accounts. Nagle took various steps to thwart the IRS collection efforts, including advancing baseless claims that he was not legally subject to such efforts.
Prosecutors alleged, and a jury agreed, that Nagle obstructed the IRS by attempting to pay his IRS debt by sending the IRS checks that were drawn on a bank account that no longer existed. Additionally, Nagle asserted to his employer that his wages should not be garnished because he was not subject to the collection efforts, altogether. Lastly and in what appears to have been a last-ditch effort, Nagle threatened criminal charges against IRS collections officers.
Nagle will be sentenced later this year and faces up to three years in federal prison. Additionally, Nagle will likely be sentenced to serve a period of supervised release upon the completion of his term of imprisonment and will also likely be required to pay restitution to the IRS. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Byron ordered that Nagle remain incarcerated until his sentencing hearing in April.
Although most taxpayers are not as brazen as the defendant in the story above, many taxpayers do have outstanding balances that are due to the IRS. It is not an exaggeration that IRS collection efforts can be scary and if ignored, can result in wage garnishment, bank account levy, or worse. All of that being said, most tax attorneys will agree that getting out in front of an IRS collection effort is the key to controlling the situation.
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The IRS has various programs in place to work with taxpayers who are having a difficult time paying the tax that they owe. Additionally, an experienced tax attorney will work with you to determine whether the amount that the government asserts that you owe is actually due. If your tax attorney determines that the government has made an error and that your tax bill should be reduced or eliminated, they will assist in that process as well.
Going up against the IRS alone is not advised and as we indicated above, many times results in a worse outcome than if the taxpayer had not taken any action at all. An experienced tax defense attorney will work with you to understand your particular situation and help to develop a strategy aimed at achieving the most favorable results for you.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle-market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax examination or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.
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