IRS Pursuit of Additional Taxes After Bankruptcy

One of the benefits of bankruptcy is that it provides some certainty as to what is owed. If successful, the bankruptcy process can provide debtors with a fresh start. But things get complicated when taxes are involved. The recent Breland v. Commissioner, 152 T.C. 9 (2019), case provides an example whereby the IRS was allowed…

IRS Can Use Probate Process to Extend Collection Period

When a loved one dies, the person who serves as the personal representative is tasked with wrapping up the decedent’s affairs and paying known creditors.  But what if one of the creditors is the IRS?  Can the probate process extinguish unpaid IRS taxes?  The recent United States v. Chicorel, No. 17-2321 (6th Cir. 2018) provides an…

IRS Installment Agreement Calculation Counts Spendthrift Trust Distributions

The IRS generally cannot reach funds in a spendthrift trust to satisfy the trust beneficiary’s unpaid tax debts.  But can the IRS factor in trust distributions in calculating the how much the taxpayer can pay under an installment agreement?  The recent Melasky v. Commissioner, 151 TC 9 (2018), suggests that the IRS can do this…

IRS Can Collect from Property Purchased in Corporation

Can a taxpayer put property beyond the IRS’s reach by purchasing the property in the name of a corporation or a third party?  The answer is typically “no.”  The recent Arlin Geophysical Co. v. United States, No. 2:08-cv-00414-DN-EJF (C.D. Utah 2018) provides an example. Facts & Procedural History The court case involves an individual who…

Family Member’s Mortgage Filing May Trump IRS Lien

If a child owes unpaid taxes to the IRS, can the parent file a lien against the child’s property to prevent the IRS from levying on the property?  The court considered this in United States v. Allahyari, No. C17-668 TSZ (W.D. Wash. 2018). The Facts & Procedural History Upon graduating from law school in the early…

IRS Audits for Car & Truck Expenses, What You Need to Know

There are a number of issues that the IRS frequently examines on audit.  Car and truck expenses are high on that list.  The applicable rules and court cases must be reviewed before presenting records to the IRS to substantiate car and truck expenses.  This article examines several of these rules and court cases. Deductible Car &…

Conversations Between Spouses Not Evidence of Tax Crimes

Can the IRS record conversations between a husband and wife and use the recordings as evidence for tax crimes?  The court addressed this in United States v. Fomichev, No. 16-50227 (9th Cir. 2018) holding that marital communications are privileged even in the case of a sham marriage. Facts & Procedural History Fomichev was born in Russia…

Discharging Unpaid Taxes in Bankruptcy

There are circumstances when unpaid taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy.  There are a number of rules involved.  They all hinge on whether a tax return was filed.  The recent United States v. Mayer, No. 16-626-RGA (D. Del. 2018), case provides an opportunity to consider these bankruptcy-tax rules. Facts & Procedural History The case involved the taxpayer’s…

Agreeing to an IRS Real Estate Foreclosure Sale

Can you ask the IRS to take real estate to satisfy your unpaid tax liability?  The answer is “yes,” but it usually not the best option.  The recent order in United States v. Leroy, No. 2:18-cv-01777-MCE-DB (E.D. Cali. 2018) provides an example of this. The Facts & Procedural History Ms. Leroy owed $177,653.70 in unpaid taxes…

Dormant IRS Levy Precludes Wrongful Levy Suit, IRS Wins

What happens if the IRS issues a levy to someone who does not owe taxes to the IRS, but the IRS does not receive anything from the levy.  The levy sits dormant for several years.  Everything is good, right?  But then the third party pays the IRS.  Can the person’s right to challenge the levy…