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Tax Audits, Collection, and Litigation

Back Taxes

Do you owe back taxes? Taxpayers often think, “I’ll pay my taxes off as soon as I get the money together.” Before you know it you receive a notice from the IRS and those taxes you owed a few months or a year ago have doubled or tripled from the amount you originally could not pay. You have now been assessed with the tax plus interest and penalties and, unfortunately, interest and penalties continue to accrue until the liability is resolved. At Gatherwright Freeman we can help you get through this headache. We can guide you through the different options you have to file your back taxes, if need be, and negotiate your back tax debt. You may be eligible for an offer in compromise to settle for less than you owe, an installment agreement to pay only what you can afford, or a hardship where you pay nothing at all.


Getting audited can be scary. At Gatherwright Freeman, we know your concerns and are here to walk you through the audit process. We understand audits take significant time away from your work and your family, requiring you to gather records and receipts documenting each and every item reported on your tax return. Let our team relieve that burden for you.

Many taxpayers make the costly mistake of handling a tax audit themselves, and discover they may have been “penny wise,” avoiding a representative’s fee, but could have paid substantially less if they had representation.

IRS auditors are trained to interrogate you in a way that causes you to provide more information than you are legally required to. IRS auditors know that the average person is unsure of their rights and are afraid of the consequences of an audit. As a result, they can use that ignorance and fear to their advantage, which causes the taxpayer to volunteer too much information and could cost them hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Rarely do our clients even have to talk with the IRS. We handle it all for you so you incur no lost wages from having to take time off from work.

Wage Garnishments & Bank Account Levies

“URGENT”. “FINAL NOTICE”. Do these look familiar? Once you receive a letter of this nature, the IRS is about to issue a levy against either your bank account or income stream (wages, social security, retirement accounts, 1099 income), and sometimes both. A levy is the IRS’s way of getting your attention when it appears you have been trying to ignore your back taxes. If the IRS sends you a levy notice or has already issued a levy against you we can help. Depending upon your situation, there are numerous methods available to have the levy released and get your money back.

Innocent Spouse

Has your ex-spouse or maybe even your current spouse caused you to owe unpaid taxes? The innocent spouse program may be the solution for you. This type of relief is available for couples who are married or divorced. Innocent spouse relief was established to relieve one spouse of tax debt if he or she is innocent of causing or contributing to the unpaid taxes. You could be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return if you qualify for innocent spouse relief.

Offer in Compromise

The offer in compromise program allows taxpayers to settle their debt for less than they owe based on their reasonable collection potential and the probability the IRS may never collect the full amount owed. This program was created and designed by the IRS to give the taxpayer a fresh start. It is worthwhile to have a knowledgeable tax professional help you through the offer in compromise process. Submitting an offer is not as easy as it seems. There is a science to it. Our firm has 20 years of experience with the offer program and can guide our clients through the process successfully. Due to the IRS’s “fresh start” guidelines, there has never been a better time to file an offer in compromise.

Payroll Taxes

Small business owners often find themselves in the unenviable position of having to choose whether to pay their employees or pay their taxes. It’s easy to fall behind on your payroll tax obligations, and very difficult to get back on track once you’ve fallen behind. Let the team at Gatherwright Freeman get your tax matter straightened out so you can get back to your business.

Hardship Status - Uncollectible

If your financial situation shows that you have very little disposable income and cannot pay your back taxes, the IRS may agree to cease collection. Penalties and interest continue to accrue, but the debt is extinguished after 10 years, subject to certain exceptions. In order to receive hardship status from the IRS, also referred to as uncollectible, you are required to send a detailed financial statement. You may be eligible for uncollectible status even if you have equity in your home or a retirement plan.

Driver’s License and Passport Revocation

Starting in 2018 the IRS and the State Department have been revoking the passports of taxpayers who owe over $50,000. In addition, states such as Kentucky, New York, Louisiana and Maryland are permitted to revoke your driver’s license, motor vehicle registration(s), professional license, liquor license, and mining license when tax debt has not been paid. If you would like to have your passport, driver’s license, or other privileges reinstated, please contact Gatherwright Freeman for assistance.

Installment Agreement

If you are not an offer in compromise candidate, you still have the option to set up a payment plan with the IRS. The IRS has several different payment plan options, and we can help you determine which one is right for you.

Responsible Officer Liabilities

Did you know that you can be held responsible for your business tax obligations? Both the IRS and the states can hold you individually responsible for certain business tax obligations. Don’t talk to the taxing authorities alone- let our team represent you to avoid unnecessary assessments.

Penalty Abatement

IRS penalty charges can be more than half of the unpaid tax amount. The IRS charges penalties for late filing, late payment, failing to make deposits, and many others. Many of these expensive charges can be abated based upon reasonable cause. Our experienced professionals have years of experience in negotiating penalty abatements- let us use our knowledge to save you money.

Tax Court Litigation

If you have received a “Notice of Deficiency” or “Notice of Determination” from the IRS stating changes or amendments to your tax return, you have the right to appeal those changes before the U. S. Tax Court. In many instances this is the taxpayer’s last opportunity to plead their case to the IRS. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in front of the Tax Court and are experienced in navigating the complex rules and procedures that accompany Tax Court proceedings. Once a petition is filed, you are protected against any further IRS actions until you go to court and there will be opportunities for our attorneys to negotiate on your behalf with the IRS. In the event an agreement that is in your best interests cannot be reached with the IRS, we are prepared to go to Tax Court, confident in our ability to obtain a resolution of your case.

Voluntary Disclosures

US citizens and permanent residents are required to report and pay tax on their worldwide income, regardless of their country of residence. In addition to income reporting requirements, citizens and permanent residents must also disclose foreign bank accounts and foreign assets. Failing to disclose these assets may lead to criminal charges. Luckily, there are ways to get back into compliance while avoiding criminal prosecution. Gatherwright Freeman can get you back on the right track.

Tax Liens

When you fail to pay your federal taxes, the IRS may file a public lien against you and any assets you own or may acquire. The tax lien gives the IRS the right to seize your home, car, boat, or anything else you own. The tax lien will also destroy your credit, which prevents you from purchasing a car or home in the future. There are methods for getting tax liens released, discharged, or even withdrawn altogether.


Many taxpayers find themselves unsatisfied with the results of an audit, interest and penalties on taxes, or another IRS decision. Because taxpayers and IRS representatives frequently disagree on tax matters, the IRS has an appeals process. Appeals is separate and independent of the IRS Office that initially conducted your audit or processed your offer in compromise. Utilizing our extensive training and experience, Gatherwright Freeman will ensure your documents are in order, help you identify which statutes and precedents best substantiate your specific disagreements, and use our strategic insight to make sure you are in the best position to prevail at the Appeals stage. When properly handled, many differences can be settled at Appeals without going to Tax Court.

State and Local Taxes

In our current economy, states and local governments are struggling to balance budgets and find funding for government services. These financial difficulties have made the states and localities more creative and aggressive in pursuing tax audits and collections. Unlike the IRS which chooses its criminal cases carefully, local governments, especially cities, are quick to assign criminal liability for simple failure to file or pay a tax and, consequently, quick to place noncompliant taxpayers under arrest or in jail.

If you find yourself face to face with a state auditor or you are receiving collection letters from a state or local taxing agency, our attorneys and tax professionals can help you negotiate and resolve your issues.