National Taxpayer Advocate Reveals Serious IRS Issues in Annual Report to Congress

M&M's Tax Resolution and Relief System

What Is M&M’s Tax Resolution System

Each year the National Taxpayer Advocate delivers an annual report to Congress. This year’s report projects quite a few IRS shortcomings that taxpayers should be very concerned about. Here’s a quick look at some of them.

IRS Funding Cuts

• If you’re calling the IRS this year, the Service may not answer. The expectation in 2015 is that the IRS is unlikely to answer even half the phone calls it receives, maybe as low as 43%.

• If the IRS does answer your call, expect a 30+ minute wait time before you get a live person.

• The IRS will only be answering “basic” tax-law questions during the 2015 filing season. No tax law questions will be answered after filing season.

• The IRS has eliminated tax return preparation assistance.

• IRS workload is up and is expected to increase in 2015 with the Affordable Care Act and other new laws affecting the nation’s taxes. However, the IRS’ budget has been reduced and the amount of money spent on training IRS employees has decreased more than 80% since 2010.

So our tax laws keep getting more and more complicated while the agency we rely on to help us interpret and implement those laws is providing us with less and less assistance. And this isn’t all of it by any means. There is a lot more in the report. Read it here.

The point of the Taxpayer Advocates annual report to Congress is to point out areas in which the Internal Revenue Service needs improvement. Hopefully Congress is listening.

Resolve Your Tax Liability, Manage Your Credit Card Debt

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All of M&M’s clients owe the IRS and/or state a back tax debt. Many of them are also in the midst of trying to resolve other debts to many other creditors. One common debt we hear about is to credit cards.

Unlike the IRS, the credit card company must be awarded a judgment by a court of law before they can take money from bank accounts or garnish wages. The IRS does not need a judgment to do this. You can see why it is important to pay the IRS first because of their supreme collection abilities. Please also keep in mind that some credit card companies may be willing to negotiate a settlement of the total to avoid court and collection costs.

The IRS will not allow payments to credit cards and many other unsecured creditors as an allowable expense when calculating your disposable monthly income. Your disposable monthly income is a major component in determining the correct resolution to your tax debt. Since payments to unsecured creditors will not be used in determining your disposable monthly income, it may be difficult to pay your monthly credit card bills once your IRS resolution is in place.

Here are two simple tips for those of you dealing with credit card debt. Continue reading

M&M Financial Tax Resolution and Reduction Common Client Questions

15 Day Guarantee Tax Debt Help Services

15 Day Money Back Guarantee on M&M Tax Debt Resolution Services

At M&M Financial we’ve been helping struggling taxpayers resolve their back tax debts since 2005. Each new client over the past nine years has brought a new set of challenges, which is one of the things we love about our jobs at M&M. As we resolve one client’s tax debt and send them on their way with less stress and a fresh outlook, another client comes to us with a new tax debt and new hurdles.

Although many things change over time, we’ve heard a lot of the same questions from our new clients. A few of the common new client questions we come across are listed below.

Will the IRS make a settlement? Continue reading

Clear Creek Calling?

Are you considering Clear Creek Consulting to fix your back tax problem? Give M&M 10 minutes of your time and compare us to the rest. You’ll be glad you did.

Remember to check the BBB before seriously considering any tax resolution company. Read more about BBB ratings here. M&M Financial has received the BBB Complaint Free Award six times. We’ve been helping struggling taxpayers resolve their tax debts since 2005 and carry an A+ rating with the BBB.

You should also do a detailed Google search on potential tax resolution companies on your list. Even a quick search online will often reveal several negative reviews and truths that may help simplify your decision making process.

“We ran into some trouble with the IRS. I was inundated with phone calls from people saying they could help me out. Most of these solicitors were downright rude and treated me as if I had no clue what I was talking about. [My M&M Tax Team] helped me and my company thru a very hard time. [My Team] was easy to talk to and did not give me false promises. [They] were able to communicate with the representatives at the IRS and helped us reduce our tax amounts due by half, as well as help us come up with a payment arrangement. When we sold our business, we needed immediate help with the IRS liens and [my Team] was able to take care of that as well. I strongly recommend [M&M Financial] if you are wanting to work with someone who is truthful and helpful.”

J.S.
Small Business Owner
San Jose, CA

Larson Financial Calling?

Are you considering a tax resolution company such as Larson Financial to fix your back tax problem? Read this before you hire anyone to help you fix your tax debt issues.

Before you hire a Tax Debt Resolution Company or practitioner, look at their contract and read the fine print. You may be surprised to find that while the company’s representative you’ve been talking to on the phone is telling you it’s a flat fee, their contract spells out hourly rates. This is an old trick to get new clients in the door and charge them more money down the road.

While you’re searching for the right fit, consider M&M Financial Consulting, Inc. We charge a flat fee for our services and our Agreement for Services states the flat fee clearly, no shady sales tactics. At M&M, we help struggling taxpayers successfully resolve their IRS and state tax debts. Give us 10 minutes of your time. You’ll be glad you did.

“I would like to take the time to acknowledge the great experience in connection with my tax issues with the IRS. The staff at M&M Financial was very professional. The experience was very painful and the staff was always on top of things. The process did not take very long; any questions or concerns were addressed immediately. I felt the results were very reasonable and the payment plan was affordable. I hope I do not have any further issues with the IRS, however if I did, I would definitely call this company again.”

Regina L.
Small Business Owner, Illinois

Ellis Penn Calling?

Have you talked with Mike Ellis from Ellis Penn about resolving your tax debt? Give M&M Financial a call and compare the two companies. Listen closely to each company’s representative and the strategy outlined. We’re confident you will hear a clear difference between M&M Financial and the other guys.

Some tax resolution companies out there may use scare tactics to create a sense of urgency. Here are a few we’ve heard recently from taxpayers around the country.

A taxpayer received a bank levy on a Monday and talked to an M&M competitor a few days later. This particular company (Company X) advised the taxpayer that he had to hire Company X within 2 days otherwise the taxpayer would lose their chance to request a levy release. The truth is that the bank is required to hold the levied funds for 21 days before sending them to the IRS. This gives the taxpayer three weeks to request a release of the tax levy from the IRS.

Another specific competitor of M&M advises taxpayers that submission of a P.A.N. Narrative to the IRS within 10 or 15 days of the tax lien filing date is necessary in order to have a chance of penalty relief. PAN narrative is an acronym used by this particular company (Penalty Abatement Narrative). This is a false statement. Penalty abatement can often be requested up to three years after the total tax debt for a specific period is paid in full.

A similar company tells taxpayers that they have already looked at the taxpayer’s master file from the IRS and has determined that they can help. This M&M competitor does this prior to clients signing an IRS Power of Attorney. This is impossible if the taxpayer has not signed an IRS Power of Attorney or Information Authorization form. The IRS will not share any taxpayer information with anyone other than the taxpayer unless one of these two forms is signed and dated by the taxpayer and on file with the IRS.

“A failed business venture left me owing the IRS huge amounts for the [Trust Fund], with over 5 years of penalties and interest. M&M kept me calm through this very emotional process and negotiated the best deal possible with the IRS. I was kept well informed, options were clearly explained and advice was always honest… they never made false promises about the eventual outcome.

Many tax resolution companies contacted me soliciting my business, but the choice to select M&M was a no-brainer and proved to be the right decision.”

Peter H.
Arkansas

The Only Thing Scarier Than Hannibal Lecter Is The IRS And Tax Debt

“All good things to those who wait.” Potentially dangerous words, don’t you think? There was a time when I thought that quote seemed full of homespun charm and wisdom. A saying parents use to teach children the importance of patience. Then Hannibal Lecter reinvented it with mocking scorn to Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs.” I realized instantly that “all good things…” was little more that a lazy rationalization, an excuse to procrastinate. I guess you could say that Dr. Lecter helped me swear off fava beans, Chianti, and meaningless passages best left as needlepoint affirmations on decorative pillows. Because if you have a problem, the wisest course of action is to begin addressing it immediately, right? And that goes double, triple and beyond if you’re faced with a looming IRS back tax liability. Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best while you wait to see what the IRS does next is madness. Even serial killers know that.

At M&M, however, we prefer Abraham Lincoln’s version of “All Good Things,” in that they “come to those who wait, but only those things left by those who hustle.” What Honest Abe may be suggesting is that waiting for the IRS to make the first move when you have a growing tax liability is like squandering your last roll of quarters at the casino: It’s a fool-hearty plan that could leave you penniless.

The bottom line is that when you have a tax debt, you must be proactive. Hiring M&M is the first step in resolving your tax debt. We know the steps you need to take to resolve your tax liabilities for good. We’ve guided hundreds of delinquent taxpayers down the path to resolution. Call us at (866) 487-5624 to receive a no obligation consultation.
Waiting isn’t the only mistake delinquent taxpayers make, there are plenty of them. Once a taxpayer falls behind in paying his tax, the mistakes keep on coming. Here are just a few.

Unfiled Tax Returns. Holding on to a tax return and not filing because you don’t have the money to pay the tax is a big mistake. The IRS and State taxing authorities not only assess penalties for non-payment, but big penalties for failure to file. Always file your tax returns timely, even if you don’t have the money to pay the tax due.

Payment Toward Back Tax Instead of Current Tax. As a general rule, you have to be current and compliant before the IRS or State taxing authority will allow you to resolve your back tax debt with anything other than a lump sum full payment. You’ve got to prove that you can meet your current tax obligations before securing a formal resolution to the back tax.

Not Cooperating with IRS or State. When you owe back taxes, you’re basically guilty until proven innocent. If you miss a deadline with the IRS or State, something bad is likely to happen, including levies and seizures. Whatever it is, you’re probably not going to like it. Communication is key.

Hiring the Wrong Professional. Hiring a professional to do what they do best and help you with something you know nothing about is almost always recommended. But hiring the right professional is crucial. Hiring a handy man to fix your plumbing isn’t recommended, unless you don’t mind your basement full of water. Hiring the plumber with a rotten reputation is an equally bad idea. The same is true of Tax Resolution Firms. Hiring the right company during a vulnerable time can make or break your livelihood. Remember M&M’s October 26, 2012 blog All That Glitters Is Not A Gold Medal – CPAs And Tax Debt Resolution.

Representing Yourself Before the IRS or State. We’ve heard it all before. • “What can you do that I can’t do on my own?” Too much to list here! Keep reading our blogs and call us to find out. You’ll be glad you did. • “My IRS Revenue Officer says I don’t need outside help!” Really? The person the IRS has hired to collect the tax from you is now your adviser?  I see a conflict of interest here. Of course the bill collector doesn’t want the debtor to know as much as they do. That would mean not getting their way and more work. We all know government employees don’t want more work! • “My accountant’s handling it!” See above, Not Hiring a Professional.

Too Much Trust in Your Employees. Most businesses need employees to be successful. And as a business owner, you need to have a certain amount of trust in your employees. But our suggestion is to place most of your trust in the system that your employees are trained to execute. Employees making decisions can be catastrophic, especially when you’re dealing with employment tax. You also need to have checks in place to make sure your employees are performing within your system as they should. Remember, embezzlement is usually carried out by the person or employee you trust most. Read more in M&M’s September 25, 2012 blog No Grey Area: The Fifty Shades (and Counting) of Successful Business Systems.

Don’t make the first mistake and wait to resolve your IRS and/or State tax debt. Contact M&M today by completing our contact form at mmfinancial.org, email us at info@mmfinancial.org, or call us at (866) 487-5624. We’ll help you avoid making further mistakes and resolve your tax debt for good. We have an A+ rating with the BBB. We’ve been helping taxpayers in trouble since 2005. We have licensed and experienced tax professionals. And we’ve perfected a unique tax resolution system that allows us to work within the strict guidelines set by the IRS and State taxing authorities, ensuring the best possible results for our clients.

BBBe Careful When Hiring a Tax Resolution Firm

Remember “The Godfather?” Now that’s True Art. I’m sure you recall the famous opening sequence takes place at Connie Corleone’s wedding where a young Michael Corleone, home from the war, introduces his very Italian family to Kay, his decidedly non-Italian girlfriend. The message Michael is sending to the rest of his powerful, violent and corrupt family, is that he wants to be legit and rejects what his family stands for. But temptation is a funny thing. And money can be a dark master. When you marry the two, you can sway the most moral of characters. In my decade spent in the tax resolution industry, I’ve seen it happen. Example on the way.

XYZ, Inc. hired a young, good looking Michael Corleone-type to assist it with a major IRS back tax debt. The business owner hired Michael because he was charming, articulate and spun an amazingly good game. He promised an Appeal out of the gate, guaranteed reduction of the tax and a quick, easy resolution with almost no effort. Who XYZ, Inc. actually gave its money to wasn’t Good Son Michael, but Public Enemy #1 himself, Vito Corleone, The Godfather. You see, Michael was trained well by Vito (and by Francis Ford Coppola, who co-wrote his smooth, Oscar-winning dialogue) to say whatever it took, to promise a-n-y-thing to get XYZ, Inc. “in the door.” (And like an aging Michael will painfully concede in “The Godfather Part III,” “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.”) Because once XYZ, Inc. is “in the door,” odds are (and this is what the Corleone tax resolution firms have made a fortune on) they’ll be convinced to keep right on paying fee after undisclosed fee, even if those payments are more like cement shoes to their financial future. And like the mob, tax resolution firms use scare tactics to make sure prospective clients sign on and current clients stay put.

Like the Corleone’s, tax resolution companies use different methods to gain prospective client’s trust, testimonials, high dollar marketing presentation, online presence, references, and of course the Better Business Bureau. And it’s hard to tell the difference between the gangsters of the tax resolution industry and the honest, up-front tax experts. The BBB is heavily relied upon by just about every tax resolution company out there. M&M has an exceptional BBB rating and we boast about it often. But you’ve really got to look at a company’s BBB report before you make your final decision. An A+ BBB rating can become a BBB record with twenty-two complaints quickly, if you just check it. And when I say check it, I mean check with the BBB, not the salesman working for the Corleone company.

Here’s why. BBB ratings can be deceiving. The size of a business relative to its number of complaints matters to the Better Business Bureau. What this means is that a company can have several complaints and still carry an A+ rating with the BBB if they are a large enough. Say you’re looking at a smaller company with two complaints over the last three years and a larger company with twenty-two complaints over the same timeframe; it’s possible that both could have A+ ratings. You won’t know the difference unless you go to the BBB website and check the complaint records yourself. I don’t know about you, but to me twenty-two complaints means that twenty-two people aren’t happy about hiring that larger company with the sales pitch that’s almost too good to be true.

A scheme practiced by one of our competitors to get a better BBB rating is getting a PO Box in a different city and sign up for the BBB there to avoid detection and complaints. Another M&M competitor flat out lied to the BBB about their length of time in business to get a higher rating. And some of those that jumped into tax resolution from other industries, like mortgage services, just use their original start-up date to help paint the image of an experienced firm. To avoid getting caught by this trick, you can always check the Secretary of State’s website to confirm the length of time in business and any name changes or Assumed/Trade Names.

The Better Business Bureau admits they’re not perfect. You may have heard that the BBB once gave Hamas (the organization commonly viewed as TERRORISTS by most of the western world) an A- rating. It really does pay to do a little bit of checking before you trust a company with your tax debt and livelihood. We recommend hiring a company that has been in business, practicing tax resolution for at least five years and a maximum of six complaints (that’s an average of two per year). M&M has been helping delinquent taxpayers since 2005, we have an A+ BBB rating with just two complaints in our entire history, and we employ experienced, licensed tax debt resolution experts.

M&M Financial specializes in resolving IRS and State tax liabilities. We have perfected a unique tax resolution system that allows us to work within the strict guidelines set by the IRS and State taxing authorities, ensuring the best possible results for our clients. We can prove it; click here. Call us at 866-487-5624 or complete our contact form at mmfinancial.org to find out how M&M’s Tax Resolution System can help you.

No Grey Area: The Fifty Shades (and counting) of Successful Business Systems

If you’re a woman between the ages of say, 18 and 100, chances are you’ve read about Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. (That is one, um, colorful relationship. I may need to get out more.) And if you’re a business owner, you’ve probably read what seems like every book under the moon on how to operate a successful business. So many hundreds of millions of words have been written on capturing this storied part of the American Dream, that it can be hard to distinguish “How to Operate a Cash Register for Dummies” to “Do This And You’ll Be Rich,” by Wharton Business School’s latest whiz kid. Although most books we read at M&M don’t apply directly to our services, we usually find something in most of them that will help us, making each of them worth the read or at least a quick scan.

Let’s say you’ve read all the books on business and have all that impressive information processed and locked in your steel trap mind. Now that you have all of the knowledge and knowhow to make your business successful, where do you find the time to apply your genius and still have a personal life? It’s tough to be the salesman, bookkeeper, laborer, marketer, purchaser, manager, spouse, parent, and everything else simultaneously. Sure, you can keep the pace up for a little while, but not forever. This seems to be where a lot of small businesses fail before they really get going.

Many of us start businesses because we are great at the service we provide, or because we make a great product, or maybe both. But passing this knowledge and skill on to employees can be difficult and frustrating, for you and them. Once you have an employee who can produce your results, you’ll have time to move on to more important tasks within your business. Trusting your employees to do this can be easier said than done, unless you have the right systems in place. And if you do, everything becomes easier.

If you have an easy-to-follow system in place as to how to perform each task in your operation, your company will flourish. You’ll be happy because of your employees are more productive, which means you might not have to work every weekend…Imagine that! Your employees will also feel stronger senses of autonomy and ownership, as their contributions become more meaningful. Losing an employee will also not be as big of a hit, because training new employees will be an easier process. Quality control and quality assurance will also become more streamlined. When your business is hectic, it will run smoothly. You will have more free time for your personal life. The positives are endless with the right systems in place.

Just as important as the system itself is the way in which you communicate it to your employees. For example, anyone can make a generic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But if you want someone to make a PB&J just the way you like it, you’d better give some very specific directions. The same is true for your business. Give your employees specific directions to your PB&J system and you’ll get the perfect sandwich every time. We all know consistency is a key to business longevity. Without your system in place, you’ll have employees making your PB&J the way they like it. Another essential part of any good system is a Quality Control check. A simple checklist carried out by another employee will work very well in most cases.

Such a system can also be important to staying out of tax troubles. (I’ll also assume that since you’re reading this blog, you probably need help resolving your IRS and/or State back tax debt.) It may even help to prevent embezzlement and other similar issues, which often leads to tax debt. Whether you calculate and pay your taxes in-house or use a payroll company/accounting service to make your tax payments, a system is essential to mistake free tax compliance. Incorporating a system to pay and verify your tax payments is a wise choice. If you are in a formal Installment Agreement to pay your back tax debt to the IRS or State, a system will help limit the chance of default, saving you money, time, frustration and possibly your livelihood. The IRS and State taxing authorities don’t like to give second chances at monthly payment plans. Neither does Christian Grey. At least not until the second book.

M&M has perfected a unique tax resolution system that allows us to work within the strict guidelines set by the IRS and State taxing authorities to resolve our client’s tax liabilities. The pictures above show resolutions to IRS debts our tax teams have recently secured for a Virginia client and an Illinois client, each a small business. Complete our contact form at http://mmfinancial.org/contact.html, or call us at 866-487-5624 to find out how M&M’s Tax Resolution System can help you.

Risky Business: Choosing the Right Tax Resolution Firm

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you need help resolving a back tax liability. It’s also safe to assume that you’re feeling the pressure of Uncle Sam breathing down your neck, demanding payment. And you may already be wading through the murky waters of the hundreds of Tax Resolution companies that seem to be everywhere these days. Are you looking for a firm that will solve your tax problems without robbing you blind? Unfortunately, many consumers (some of whom became happy M&M clients after being taken advantage of by some of our less scrupulous competitors) are hoodwinked by unrealistic promises and outright lies, told by skilled salespeople with shortfalls of conscience and decency.

In spite of these bad apples, the Tax Resolution industry has become immensely popular. There has been a stampede of companies into the industry from the debt consolidation industry. Why is that? Because recent Federal Trade Commission rule revisions have finally regulated that decidedly shady industry. We’ve even heard of a lending company that is trying its hand at tax resolution since the housing bubble burst. Further, these companies typically have big marketing budgets and attorneys on staff, making the jump to tax resolution an easy one. I like to call them “instant” tax resolution firms. Just add hot water.

However, this isn’t a recipe for longevity. They’ll simply make a quick buck and move on to the next big thing. Many of these companies spend a fortune getting new clients in the door, and worry about how to actually resolve their tax dilemmas after the fact. Aside from the obvious problems with these chameleon companies, there is another issue that many companies and the attorneys that work for them have either ignored or overlooked.

The American Bar Association (ABA) and many individual state’s bar associations have professional rules of conduct, or ethical guidelines that attorneys must follow. The ABA, in Rule 7.3 Direct Contact With Prospective Clients, section (a), states “a lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain…”

The Colorado Bar Association, Oregon State Bar Association, and Illinois’ Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission have identical language in their Professional Rules of Conduct. The State Bar of California, in Rule 1-400 Advertising and Solicitation section (C), states “a solicitation shall not be made by or on behalf of a member or law firm to a prospective client with whom the member or law firm has no family or prior professional relationship…” It seems to me that many of the attorneys at these shady companies are walking a fine line, and inviting disciplinary action.

The ABA’s rules of professional conduct go on to say, “Every written, recorded or electronic communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall include the words “Advertising Material” on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication…” All of the state bar association rules that we’ve researched have similar wording in their rules of professional conduct.
Many tax resolution firms directly solicit prospective clients. This may include direct mail and phone calls. Obviously, many of these companies shouldn’t be doing it. And not only are they doing it, but many are doing it deceitfully.

Let me explain. The IRS is intimidating to a lot of people. Unscrupulous companies know this and use it to their advantage, preying on people going through a difficult time. A perfect example is the solicitation shown here from just such a company. This letter was sent to an M&M client. It is meant to look very similar to an official IRS notice, which often prompts a delinquent taxpayer to call the number on the solicitation.

This leads to the logical next question for you, the taxpayer looking for help. Who do I want to represent me in this crucial matter in my life? Or, perhaps more importantly, who don’t I want to represent me? It’s logical to believe that an attorney, who breaks the rules of professional conduct of his own profession, would have no problem breaking other ethical rules in regards to tax resolution, client fees and promises of specific outcomes. This type of attorney may even make your situation much worse.

If you have received a direct solicitation from a tax resolution company, find out if it has attorneys on staff. This may be your first clue that you are talking to a dishonest firm, or at the very least one that isn’t familiar with the basic rules its attorneys must follow. Before you hire a tax resolution firm, check into them. Ask the company pointed questions. If what you hear seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check the Better Business Bureau. Call references. Check a company’s length of time in business. Make sure the company you hire is the right size for you. Some people feel more comfortable with a large business, others like the familiarity of a smaller business. But ultimately, of course, the smart money is on hiring M&M. Check us out. We can help. Call us today.

Also, it is important to remember that you don’t need an attorney to represent you when you owe taxes. Remember from our previous post on the History of EAs, an Enrolled Agent from M&M is trained specifically to resolve back tax liabilities and has unlimited practice rights before the IRS, granted by the United States Treasury. Complete our contact form at http://mmfinancial.org/contact.html, or call us at 866-487-5624 to find out how M&M’s Tax Resolution System can help you.