Lawyer Robert Schaller
Attorney Robert Schaller and the Schaller Law Firm
Attorney Robert Schaller provides IRS tax relief to consumers struggling with IRS back-taxes. Schaller helps clients obtain a fresh start in life free of IRS back-taxes. Schaller has earned the OIC Scholar certificate from National Offer in Compromise Academy. Robert Schaller focuses on providing relief through the IRS' programs: Innocent Spouse Tax Relief and Offer in Compromise.
Innocent Spouse Tax Relief
Attorney Robert Schaller notes that Innocent Spouse Tax Relief provides the ex-wife (or soon-to-be ex-wife) full or partial relief from an “understated” tax deficiency attributable to the ex-husband’s (or soon-to-be ex-husband’s) erroneous items on a jointly filed tax return. 26 U.S.C. § 6015(b). The Tax Code defines “understatement” as “the excess of (i) the amount of the tax required to be shown on the return for the taxable year, over (ii) the amount of the tax imposed which is shown on the return, reduced by any rebate.” 26 U.S.C. § 6662(d)(2)(A).
The ex-wife (or soon-to-be ex-wife) may be eligible for Innocent Spouse Relief if the ex-husband (or soon-to-be ex-husband) failed to report income, reported income improperly, or claimed improper deductions or credits. 26 U.S.C. § 6015(b). Through the “Innocent Spouse Relief” program, the ex-wife (or soon-to-be ex-wife) can be relieved of responsibility for paying any additions to tax, interest, and penalties if the ex-husband (or soon-to-be ex-husband) improperly reported items or omitted items on the joint tax return. The IRS does not offer Innocent Spouse Relief from unpaid taxes shown on IRS Form 1040, only the portion of tax that was understated.
Offer in Compromise
Attorney Schaller believes taxpayers should consider offer in compromise when appropriate. The Offer in Compromise program should be explored by taxpayers who are unable to pay the full tax liability. This program is frequently advertised on TV and radio as the “Fresh Start Initiative.” As explained in detail in this website, an Offer in Compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that resolves a taxpayer’s tax liability by payment of an agreed upon reduced amount. The total payment amount is NOT a percentage of the total tax liability; instead, it is calculated by an IRS formula based on a taxpayer’s current equity in assets plus future net income. Thus, the total payment amount varies with each taxpayer since each taxpayer’s financial wherewithal is unique. Before an offer can be considered, a taxpayer must have filed all tax returns, made all required estimated tax payments for the current year, and made all required federal tax deposits for the current quarter if the taxpayer is a business owner with employees. Taxpayers in an open bankruptcy proceeding are not eligible.