505 LaGuardia Place Apt. 30C
New York, NY 10012
Specialized in tax return preparation, tax audits, back taxes & IRS problems in the NYC area since 1973.
UPSTATE NY OFFICE:
540 Miller Road - Box 244
New Kingston, NY 12459
What I do:
- Income Tax Returns. Preparation of income tax returns for individuals has been my specialty and main source of revenue for over 40 years.
- IRS & NYS Income Tax Audits. Nowadays, most tax audits are conducted by "correspondence" (meaning by mail). The IRS computers spot something unusual on your tax return, so you get a letter asking for an explanation or proof.
My primary job is to help you avoid an audit by preparing a complete and accurate income tax return. This is particularly important with regard to the reporting of your income because the majority of "audits" or IRS inquiries are initiated when the income reported on your tax returns does not match the income reported to IRS on 1099 and W-2 forms. Thus, the best way to avoid a tax audit is to make sure you report all your income.
Fortunately, less than 2% of taxpayers get audited. If you should be one of the unlucky winners of the audit lottery I may be able to help you..
- Tax Appeals. Almost everything IRS does can be appealed. The key is to exercise your rights in a timely manner. Many appeals must be filed within 30 days.
- Back Taxes. I have been working with delinquent taxpayers for over 40 years. I suppose part of that is due to the rebellious spirit among many of my neighbors here in Greenwich Village, NY. As a result, it is unlikely that I will be surprised by your situation. I have the skills, experience, tax software, and tax libraries to resolve back taxes no matter how many years are in question.
- Amended Tax Returns. Sometimes, I recommend filing amended tax returns for past years in order to save tax benefits for future tax years. Sometimes, a court decision changes the tax law retroactively, as was the case when IRS was forced to recognize same sex marriages. And sometimes, people and/or their tax return preparers make mistakes in the preparation of their tax returns. Whatever the case, filing amended tax returns is not as complicated as it sounds. Most times, it is easier to amend a tax return than it is to prepare an original tax return.
- Tax Return Extensions. For whatever reason (including simple procrastination), you may need more time to file your income tax returns. If so, keep in mind the fact that a tax return extension gives you more time to get your paperwork together, but it does not extend your payment due date. If you don’t pay enough tax by April 15 (or April 18 as the case may be depending on DC and other local holidays) your tax return extension may be considered invalid and substantial penalties may be imposed.
The penalties start at an astounding 5% of the unpaid tax per month for the first 5 months. Interest is also added. Clearly, it is best not to owe IRS money under these usurious rates. You would pay a lot less and would probably be better off by borrowing from a high interest credit card to pay IRS.
If you are getting a refund there is no problem and filing for extensions is a relatively simple matter.
I like to have as much information as possible as early as possible in order to compute where you stand on April 15. Sometimes, even a guess as to how much you owe might save a substantial amount of tax penalties.
In my experience, filing for an extension does not increase your chances of being audited.
- Tax Court Petitions. Due to the hazards and expenses involved in any type of litigation, it is best to avoid the Tax Court. The Tax Court Judges are sharp. So are the IRS attorneys, so don't play around with them. I have also found them to be very fair.
Just like the rest of the system, the IRS attorneys are severely overburdened. And the Tax Court calender is extremely congested and backlogged. This often works to the taxpayer's advantage since everyone is eager to settle cases to reduce their workload.
Due to the cost involved, I will try to settle your case with IRS before filing a petition in Tax Court. Litigation of any kind should only be used as a last resort.
If you have a Tax Court case pending, I will be glad to review your file to render a second opinion and/or to make recommendations as needed.
- Estate & Gift Taxes. While very wealthy taxpayers have armies of lawyers and accountants to plan for the protection and preservation of their estate assets, the rest of the population is often poorly advised, or not advised at all. In my practice, I have seen countless schemes, outdated plans, incomplete trusts, and sheer nonsense under the guise of “Estate Planning.” Nobody knows your needs better than your trusted CPA. So let me take a look at those expensive documents before you sign on the dotted line.
Most of the time, I frown upon extensive estate plans for the moderately wealthy person. There are too many potential pitfalls. Aside from technical mistakes there are sometimes unintended consequences. One of the most common errors is failure to periodically update the plan to comply with or take advantage of the ever changing tax laws. Some of these recent tax changes may require the complete overhaul of your estate plan.
You probably need my services if you haven’t reviewed your estate or retirement plans in the last two years. I can also advise you with regard to gift taxes and gift tax returns.
Keep in mind that taxes are not the only aspect of estate planning! Even if you will not be subject to any estate taxes you should still consider planning, not only for your survivors, but also for yourself. What if you become disabled? What if you die prematurely? What if you live “too long?” What about your survivors or the organizations you want your property to pass to? Do you have minor children?
I have been helping clients deal with these matters for many years. You can plan for the inevitable now, or you can leave these decisions up to state law.
What I don't do:
- False Promises. I am very wary of the salespersons you see on tv who promise to magically wipe out your tax debt. Let's get real! Why would IRS settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar if they thought they could collect more?
I have no magic wand to make your tax debts disappear. I will not make such false and empty promises. My promise is to get you a fair hearing before IRS or in Tax Court. Instead of pie in the sky, I will give you an honest evaluation of your case and what you can do about it.
- Offer in Compromise. One of the main reasons I rarely prepare these tax compromises is because of all the fine print IRS requires in the compromise agreement. Among other obligations, you have to agree to keep your current and future taxes up to date or IRS can rescind the entire agreement. In my experience, most people find it extremely difficult to pay their current taxes when they already owe a large amount of back taxes. This is a promise many clients will not be able to keep.
If you owe IRS a lot of money, odds are you also owe NY State and City. Maybe you also owe sales tax and/or other debts? In these situations there is little margin for budgetary error. And often times, something goes wrong (like the discovery of an unanticipated state tax, imposition of a tax penalty, or additional tax resulting from a tax audit). It might be unrealistic to agree to pay all current and future taxes in this scenario.
Furthermore, IRS only accepts a small number of the offers it receives. There is about a 4 out of 5 chance you can go through the lengthy and tedious process only to have your offer rejected by IRS. It may take the understaffed IRS 3 months before they read your offer. By that time your financial information will be out of date, so you will have to redo much of the original work all over again. And if you don't redo your financial statements quickly enough IRS can use that as an excuse to reject your offer.
The Offer in Compromise program is not all it is cracked up to be. I use it only in rare and extreme cases.
- Financial Statement Audits. I no longer prepare, compile, or audit financial statements. This is mainly due to size and scale.
- Write up and bookkeeping services. I prefer to do as little of this work as possible. It is generally more economical for you to do your own bookkeeping chores, or for you to hire a bookkeeper.
- Investment or Insurance Sales. I do not sell anything except my time and knowledge. I am not affiliated with any other firm or company. I do not accept referral fees or commissions of any kind. Our confidential relationship will never be used as a means of selling you any product, and your information will never be shared with anyone else (except as required by law).