Burton J. Haynes

PRO

Former IRS Special Agent, having worked in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division's office in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1980, he was named as Criminal Investigator of the Year by the Association of Federal Investigators. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration, an M.B.A., and a law degree, all from the University of Maryland. In addition to the University of Maryland, Mr. Haynes has attended MacMurray College, the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University and Georgetown University Law...

Voluntary disclosure of offshore accounts

Things are getting ever more uncomfortable for U.S. taxpayers holding undisclosed offshore bank and investment accounts. And in the wake of the very public fight between the Internal Revenue Service and Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), it is quite possible that one of your clients will reveal to you ...

Offers in compromise after TIPRA

After the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act you thought it couldn’t get any worse for your tax delinquent clients? Wrong again. The latest Congressional gift to the IRS Collection Division is Section 509 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA). One must at least ...

“Part Pay” Installment Agreements

The continuing hostility of the IRS bureaucracy toward offers in compromise, and the recent decision of the Congress to severely restrict the avail­ability and usefulness of bankruptcy, may combine to place more emphasis on installment agreements. But some taxpayers, particu­larly those with large tax debts involving multiple tax years, may ...

Discharging taxes in bankruptcy – Now or never

Regular readers of this irregular series on dealing with the IRS Collection Division will know that bankruptcy can be very useful in resolving overwhelming tax debts. However, this window of opportunity is closing, and it will slam violently shut on October 17, 2005, about four months from the scheduled ...

Negotiating Installment Agreements

Mary Lou Gervie, CPA

A task frequently faced in representing clients before the IRS Collection Division is negotiating an “installment agreement” — an arrangement under which monthly payments are made, free of the threat of levies and seizures. Despite the IRS’s imposition of a system of miserly national and local ...

Negotiating offers in compromise

The last article in this series on dealing with the Collection Division addressed Installment Agreements — arrangements through which tax debts can be resolved by means of monthly payments. Some folks, however, owe so much that an installment agreement is not a practical solution. Interest and penalties can accrue so ...

Discharging Tax Liabilities in Bankruptcy

This is the fourth in a series of articles about dealing with the IRS Collection Division. In previous articles we discussed innocent spouse relief, installment agreements, and offers in compromise. All of these are useful techniques for dealing with tax liabilities which should not be collected from your client, or ...

Tara revisited – The new “innocent spouse” rules

Scarlett: But Rhett darling, our Separation Agreement requires you to pay any taxes resulting from the IRS audit that was going on during our divorce. Now Revenue Officer Sherman has levied my wages and seized my horse and my last mint julep!

Rhett: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a ...

The new “innocent spouse” rules: an update on “equitable” relief

When we left our friends, Rhett and Scarlett (in the article which appeared in the previous issue of The Free State Accountant), they were contemplating the relief Scarlett could obtain under the new innocent spouse rules enacted by the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. In the months since ...

Federal Tax Liens – Part II

This is the second part of a two-part article about the federal tax lien. The last article covered the nature of the lien, focusing primarily on its broad reach, attaching as it does to “all property and rights to property” of the taxpayer wherever situated. In the paragraphs below, we ...

Federal Tax Liens – Part I

The federal tax lien is at the heart of all enforced collection action taken by the IRS Collection Division. Accordingly, representing clients requires an understanding of how the lien arises, the kinds of property to which it attaches, the consequences of such attachment, the duration of the lien, the priority ...

The Statute of Limitations on collection

For those beleaguered souls for whom nothing else works, the only hope of relief from unmanageable federal tax debts may be the statute of limitations on collection. In theory, the IRS has only 10 years from the date of assessment to collect. However, this 10-year limitation is shot through with ...

Healing self-inflicted wounds – Representing nonfilers

Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow . . .

All of us procrastinate. But some take things to dangerous extremes — putting off the filing of tax returns for a few years, or even many years. The IRS estimates that each year some ten million people fail ...

The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

The road to Hell, so we’re told, is paved with good intentions. And on the road to Hell, failure to pay employment taxes is definitely the fast lane. The resulting “trust fund recovery penalty” can spell disaster for the hard-pressed entrepreneur, corporate manager, director, officer, or employee who falls victim ...

Enhanced opportunities to appeal collection actions

As all of us who represent taxpayers before the IRS Collection Division know only too well, the Revenue Officer handling a particular client’s case may not agree with our ever so reasonable suggestions about what should be done. In these situations, thanks to the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of ...

The expanding reach of the federal tax collector – The craft and drye decisions

Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes, and never more so than now. The reason is that two recent Supreme Court decisions expand the reach of the federal tax collector, and some assets which were previously safe are now in jeopardy. This article will discuss several ...

Tax collection problems of military personnel

Many people with tax collection problems feel like they’re in a combat zone, besieged by battalions of battle-hardened IRS Revenue Officers. But many tax practitioners, particularly those of us here in the Washington metropolitan area, will encounter clients who are or have recently been in real combat zones — places ...

Treatment of pension benefits and retirement assets

Knowing how the IRS Collection Division treats pension benefits and retirement savings is an important part of understanding a client’s situation and helping the client plan a course of action to resolve his or her unpaid tax liabilities. Pension benefits and retirement savings often constitute a client’s most valuable assets, ...

Letter regarding the IRS announcing a 3-week extension of the offshore account voluntary disclosure program

The IRS today announced a very brief extension of the current initiative aimed at facilitating the disclosure of previously hidden offshore accounts. The settlement program was due to expire on September 23rd, but it has now been extended to October 15th, giving taxpayers another three weeks to come forward with ...

Dealing with tax debts in bankruptcy after the BAPCPA

The intended beneficiaries of the humorously titled “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005” (BAPCPA) were the big banks and credit card companies — lobbying pays. The new law also helps those with alimony and child support awards. But a third winner was your friendly, neighborhood tax collector. ...

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