Taxation

Our accomplished tax team provides the following services:

1. Counsel and advice regarding Federal and New York State Tax Law. In almost every instance, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYS DTF) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) make their first contact with a taxpayer in writing.  Failure to address the correspondence, demands and notices from these agencies can be a critical mistake.  In many instances, simply responding to the correspondence will end any further inquiries.

During the course of your initial consultation, you will be able to present the facts and circumstances regarding your situation to an attorney experienced working with individuals and businesses in all manner of tax compliance, tax planning and tax resolution.  You will be advised in general terms as to your rights and responsibilities when dealing with the taxing authorities.  Further, your attorney will be able to answer general questions regarding your situation.  Finally, your attorney will be able to discuss general solutions available to taxpayers with tax problems.  Obviously, specific solutions to your specific problems cannot be offered without a thorough analysis of your current practices and problem areas.

2. Civil Tax Resolution before the IRS and NYS DTF. There are those instances however, when the taxpayer needs to do more to satisfy the taxing authorities than merely respond to notices.   Offers in Compromise, Installment Agreements, Penalty and Interest Abatements (Eliminate), Innocent Spouse Applications as well as filing delinquent returns are just a few means we can implement on behalf of the taxpayer.

And then there are the instances when filing for Bankruptcy under an applicable Chapter of the US Bankruptcy Code is the most effective means to deal with the taxing authorities.  Based on the type of taxes due and owing and when the associated returns were filed, some taxes are dischargeable in bankruptcy.  In instances where taxes are non-dischargeable, the taxpayer is essentially dictating the terms of a tax settlement with the assistance of the Bankruptcy Court.

3. Criminal Tax Resolution before the IRS and NYS DTF. Allegations of tax crimes and the associated investigations are serious matters.  In fact, the Criminal Investigative Divisions (CID) of both the IRS and NYS DTF are so different from their corresponding civil divisions, that they do not appear to be part of the same agency.  Typically, criminal investigations begin as the result of a referral from the civil division, targeted industry or activity investigations, informants and referrals from other government agencies.  These investigations are drawn to “badges of fraud” or in other words, records, lack of records, altered records, and statements by the taxpayer, etc, that indicate an intent or willingness to evade taxes.  In those instances where a taxpayer is a target to a criminal tax investigation, legal representation at the earliest possible moment is critical to defend against any such allegations.

4. Individual and Business Tax Planning. Tax planning is an important component that can take place at anytime during a taxpayer’s lifetime.  From choice of business entity and proper employee tax reporting techniques for the start-up entrepreneur to keeping track of capital improvements for the homeowner, it is good practice to know how to maintain records and operate your business before trouble starts.  And for those entities and individuals that find themselves in a distressed situation, it is good practice to get a professional opinion regarding the steps that should be taken to address the situation effectively.

5. Estate Planning. Estate planning does not lend itself to a “one size fits all” approach.  While there are basic documents that should be part of everyone’s estate plan, such as a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Proxy and Living Will, there are a myriad of planning choices and documents to address the most complex situation.

A significant component of complex estate planning is specialized tax planning to develop and draft estate or succession plans for individual and corporate clients.  The stated goal is to minimize income, estate and generation-skipping taxation.  Such specialized planning requires time and a complete understanding of the client’s wishes for his or her heirs.  As such, the client will work closely with an attorney who will understand and implement the wishes of the client.  Only after the client is satisfied with a comprehensive approach will documents be prepared for signature and implementation.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Successful Petition and Hearing for innocent spouse relief before the NYS Division of Tax Appeals, reversing the Tax Division’s initial Notice and Demand for Payment of Tax Due;

Structured District Court settlement with the IRS reducing taxpayer Payroll Tax liabilities as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Western District of New York;

Discharge of taxes in numerous Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.