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Author Topic: Any one of you had IRS troubles? Do they take your condition into account  (Read 3303 times)

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Offline JamesJakes

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Long story short, I have been positive for 11 years, didnt file taxes some years because I didnt think I was going to make it, and didnt care, and now the IRS has reached out to me, and turns out I owe them about $50,000. 

Has anyone been down this road? the stress isnt really helping my condition.

Offline BT65

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James, first of all, welcome to the forums.

I really can't give your question a definite answer.  I would call the IRS and talk to someone in the accounting department, explain your situation etc. and see what they recommend. 

Edited to add:  Don't put it off; they can garnish disability checks.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Condom and Lube Info http://www.aidsmap.com/Condoms/page/1044833/
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Offline JamesJakes

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  • Posts: 2
I called them already
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 11:50:17 AM »
I was looking for a perspective from someone who has gone through it. The IRS is not helpful. Most legal counsel will tellyou they are NOT there to make the process easier. they just want what is owed.

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,398
Hey JJ

BT was trying to be helpful. You're probably not going to find a lot of folks who have this experience. I googled and found the following article. Note what I bolded. IF I WERE YOU, I would call this woman and find out if her philanthropic sweetness still doth flow. And, pronto. Since you also know that your penalties and interest are racking up as I write and you read.

A Taxing Season-- Attorney Helps Those Who Dread the IRS

Los Angeles Times (LT) - THURSDAY April 12, 1990 Edition: Home Edition Section: Westside Page: 1 Pt. J Col. 3 Word Count: 893
Patricia Ward Biederman; Times Staff Writer

Few look forward to April 15, but Joyce Rebhun's clients dread it.
Rebhun, who calls herself a tax therapist, is a Westside tax attorney, CPA and historian of taxation whose specialty is nonfilers. With extensions or without, the majority of us manage to get our tax returns in, even if it means racing to the post office as midnight approaches. But the tormented, tax-wise, who seek out Rebhun have let the deadline pass once, twice, even 20 or 30 times.

Many of the more than 7,000 clients Rebhun has counseled in four years of tax therapy are all but phobic about the IRS, she says. And the longer they wait to straighten out their tax problem, the more fearful they become.

"They miss one year for a legitimate reason, say, they have a divorce, and they're afraid they're going to jail," she says. Some, including a stockbroker she worked with, compound the problem by refusing to open any mail they receive from the IRS. A few hard cases go underground to avoid discovery by the IRS, giving up a permanent address to move in with friends or family, quitting employers who report their earnings to the IRS to take jobs that pay them under the table in cash, living little better than fugitives.

"They are lost causes," she says, "unless someone brings them back."

Rebhun, 46, won't accept clients she suspects of trying to defraud the IRS. "No one comes here who is a tax evader or a cheat," she says.

Her clients, who owe an average of $100,000 to the federal government, are typically people with personal problems that have left them too paralyzed or preoccupied to deal with their tax obligation. According to Rebhun, more than 10% have been referred by a psychiatrist or other therapist. On a bad week, half a dozen clients tell her that they want to kill themselves.

Their tax mess is often the least of their problems. "Often we don't realize the terrific crosses people are living under," Rebhun observes. Her files, which include client's sworn statements to the IRS explaining why they didn't file in a timely fashion, are filled with anguish as well as tax forms.

Flowers come to her Ladera Heights office every week from a gay man who stopped filing returns after he discovered he was HIV-positive and was dumped by his lover. Rebhun says she was so moved she now volunteers her services to AIDS patients, many of whom can't get medical benefits until they straighten out their tax problems.
Almost a third of her clients are recovering from alcohol or drug abuse. They often send Rebhun the pins they receive in Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs to mark 90 days of sobriety. Other clients let tax deadlines slip by while suffering from depression, cancer or some other serious illness, the delayed impact of child abuse, the aftermath of a divorce or a bankruptcy, the death of a child.

Like other tax experts, Rebhun advises her clients on tax law and leads them through the maze of IRS paper work. But unlike most other tax preparers, she also offers them emotional support. Rebhun says that it wasn't until she developed and overcame her own drinking problem that she realized the fragility--and heroism--of people dealing with addiction and other personal crises.

"The normal CPA, the normal attorney will not nurture you," she says. "Often people in trouble need to be nurtured, at least to get the process started." She is constantly reminding her clients "they don't have to be paranoid. There is hope."

At times, she says, she thinks of herself, not as a tax therapist, but as a tax minister. "It's almost become a mission," she says of her practice. "It's Lourdes West. You're here for a miracle."

The miracle is often worked in mundane ways. Her clients' lives may be in disarray, but they typically have kept the documentation they need to file complete returns for past years. As she reminds, these are people who, whatever their problems, want to do the right thing.

Rebhun often sits down with the client over a cup of coffee as the client details the reasons for not filing. She doesn't probe, but she helps them word their explanatory affidavits as persuasively as possible, trying to read them over from an IRS point of view and recommending changes. She makes sure that death certificates and other documents that support a client's often woeful account are attached.

Rebhun charges $400 for an initial consultation, which is often enough to solve the client's problem, she says.

Formerly an attorney with the IRS in her native Pittsburgh, Pa., Rebhun does not believe the IRS is a huge, uncaring monolith. "I realize their kindness, their compassion," she says. Rebhun claims that 90% of her clients are relieved of the penalty part of their tax bill, which can amount to 40% of the total.

Even for those whose lives are tranquil, the tax process is complicated, the tax therapist acknowledges. Rebhun has personally heard the interior siren that whispers "Why bother?" at tax time.

Resist it, she advises.

"We think if we hide in the closet, it will go away," she says. "It doesn't. In the words of my mother, 'The jails aren't big enough for people who don't pay their taxes.' You just have to file."

CAPTION: Photo: Joyce Rebhun advises clients that the IRS is not uncaring. KAREN RACINA / Los Angeles Times Photo: 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Photo: TAX THERAPY: The tormented, tax-wise, who seek out attorney Joyce Rebhun have let the April 15 deadline pass once, twice, even 20 or 30 times.

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Hey James,

Welcome to the forums.  I once owed the IRS, $186,000.00.  The IRS and the State Franchise Tax Board used assumed numbers to calculate the amount.  I was going to apply for a Small Business start up loan and a release was required.  I refiled every year in question to show each year had a refund owed by the IRS.  I saved all receipts.  The tax lein was dropped after 1 month of paperwork, I got the loan.  For the most recent two years, I got a refund check.  I had AIDS at the time and had to do everything any other tax payer would have done.   If you are wanting to speak with an Attorney www.findlaw.com   ;D  Have the best day

The IRS has no sense of humor that they are aware of

Offline dixieman

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  • Posts: 889
Sonomabeach is right! you need a lawyer... legal council... You know even the DEAD have to pay their taxes...

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,498
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Hello James,

Just wanted to say hello and welcome you. I can't help you out. I've never had to deal with the IRS in that way. But I hope, that the information you receive will help you get this sorted out. I would think a lawyer, is probably the way to go. None of us need stress--that's for sure. 

Take care of yourself----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg






Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/16/16,  t-cells are at 501,   Viral load remains <40

Current % is at 12%

 65 years young.

Offline sharkdiver

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,352
You can also fill out Form 656  Which is an Offer in Compromise  which you can pay %20 of what you owe if they approve.

But get advice from a tax attorney. Contact the IRS ASAP and tell someone you are working on this. Otherwise it will only get worse.
Do something soon before the penalties add up even more.

Offline Longislander

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,489
Hi James,

Sonomabeach is right, if they used assumed numbers, you need to file returns for those years if you haven't already. You may owe less than 50K.

Once that's done, and you get to the offer in compromise part, they'll look at your worth, do you own a home, $$ in the bank, etc, to decide if you qualify for the offer of less debt to IRS. But you've got to get going on it.

Welcome to Aidsmeds, and good luck with this.

infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline 100proofBrandy

  • Member
  • Posts: 71
have you ever noticed that when you put together the letters the irs it spells theirs, and
why is it a significant tax break saves you 20 dollars and a slight tax increase costs you 300 dollars
The person you educate today maybe the one you save tomorrow :)

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
have you ever noticed that when you put together the letters the irs it spells theirs, and
why is it a significant tax break saves you 20 dollars and a slight tax increase costs you 300 dollars

The IRS has no sense of humor that they are aware of  ;D  Have the best day

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,398
have you ever noticed that when you put together the letters the irs it spells theirs,

Brandy - Clever. I've never seen that one before.

James - are you out there? have you read any of these posts? or are you busy securing counsel?

Offline tooltimer

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
I used to be an IRS agent 33 years ago. I only stayed with the job for one year and hated it.  It's no fun going to work everyday when all your clients despise you.  So, I left the IRS and chose the private accounting sector. But I learned a lot 33 years ago.  I have helped several friends get themselves out of trouble with the IRS. Every time, honesty was the best solution.  IRS agents can be understanding if they know the facts. But, the biggest mistake you can make is to ignore them and think they will go away. Now days I think the IRS can take a percent of your disability income, before you ever get your hands on it. They can also take funds out of your checking account, put a lien on your house, etc.  I had a friend years ago that was about to lose everything. When I went to his rescue, he had about 15 unopened registered letters laying inside his front door.  He knew they were bad news and he had no money so he just assumed there was no hope.

I can't tell you how to work with the IRS. I just know that they can be quite difficult if you just ignore them and hang up on the phone when they call or show up at the front door. If you are really having a difficult time with a specific IRS employee, you can probably request to have your case reassigned to a new person. Then, if you are willing to discuss your situation, maybe you can arrange to file the 'compromise form'. But first, if you can find tax records for the years in question, construct tax returns and find out what you actually owe. If the IRS has to guesstamate your taxes, it will be taking into account all the income they can find and tax you on that. It's your responsibility to came back and prove them wrong by having records of all of your deductions.

The people I have helped over the years have been quite fortunate.  After all tax returns were filed, very little was owed. The IRS did waive most penalties and interest. Their job is to collect the tax owed. If they can get that, the penalties and interest can often be a bargaining chip. But, each and every situation is unique.  I did have one person who the IRS determined it was a hardship for the person to repay the tax.  The IRS wrote off the tax as 'uncollectable'. It's not to say that years down the road the IRS could come back and see that the person is now in a better financial situation and perhaps attempt to collect the back tax.

So, the only sound advice I can give you is to work with the IRS.  If you have no money to pay taxes, you may have no money to pay a tax attorney.  Hopefully you can find an attorney that will give you one free consultation and at that time give you some direction. Have all of your paperwork organized.  Find out exactly what the IRS says you owe for each year. Surprisingly, the IRS will be cooperative, even when you have ignored them in the past.  They will mail you information to show each tax year in question, the amount of tax owed, the penalties for faliure to file and failure to pay and then the interest owed.

I guess it's up to you to decide if you need the attorney to do all the talking for you, or if you think you can start the process yourself.

Good luck! 

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
There was a comic strip in the early 70's called Inspector Weatherby of the IRS I can't find a link for it but I remember the story line.   

A prostitute gets lice and those little buggers are jumping out of her panties and everyplace.

She files her tax return and claims 1 million dependents

Inspector Weatherby of the Internal Revenue Service is sent to audit

The prostitute answers the door scratching herself and the lice are jumping out of her panties

Inspector Weatherby of the IRS and the prostitute have sex during the audit- they both have 1 million dependents  ;D  Have the best day
(who insists, the Internal Revenue Service has no sense of humor that they are aware of)

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Hey James: I sent white light to your situation because it sounds like you really need it. I don't know about your area but over here I was able to go physically to the IRS' office and settle something in person. They said I owed them $1461 so I sent them a check which they cashed and while I was sitting there the lady said "Actually Mr. myname, we owe YOU $963." I received a check for that amount about 2 weeks later.


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