Sunday, February 19, 2012

941 Tax Problems in a Nutshell: How They Get Resolved

If your business owes 941 taxes, here are the most important questions you and a tax professional need to discuss to bring your case resolution:

1. Is the IRS actively pursuing you? 

Most 941 tax cases of balances due higher than $25,000 are going to get the attention of an IRS field officer.  You will receive a notice or business card drop-off from an actual person in your area who's job is to pursue you for the tax debt.  That person will either mail you a letter or have an actual visit to your business.  Once you hire a tax professional they will be able to take the Power of Attorney or form 2848 on your behalf --  Link to 2848 form -- and speak to the Revenue Officer going forward..  If you are assigned a Revenue Officer, a couple of options to resolve your case are going to be off the table.   If you are a corporation, you will almost certainly be assessed trust fund taxes against yourself personally.  You will not be able to avoid that assessment in most cases.  And if a Revenue Officer is assigned, you are going to have to come up with a plan to resolve the debt.

2. Do you want to keep your business open ? Is it viable?  

This question might be most important IF THE IRS HASN'T ASSIGNED ANYBODY TO YOUR CASE YET.   If your business has no chance of turning things around, it's time for you to finalize your entity and shut down.  By doing this, you might avoid personal assessment of the taxes against matter what entity your business is set up as: sole proprietorship or corporation.  More on that distinction:  HERE.   Your tax professional should  help you finesse the closure of your business to minimize the damages.

On the other hand, your business might actually be viable, but it might be so buried in debt, that it's time for you to separate your trade and skills by closing the entity, BUT setting up a new entity and starting over (Do also realize that if you do set up a new entity you MUST stay current on payroll taxes.  Otherwise the IRS could pursue you criminally for "pyramiding," i.e., opening and closing businesses with unpaid 941 debts over and over. )

If you truly want to keep your business open and believe in its destiny, then you will need to negotiate either a 1. PAYMENT PLAN 2. UNCOLLECTIBLE STATUS OR 3. OFFER IN COMPROMISE.  More on these options in another post.

If your business is delinquent on 941 taxes, call me at my desk 1-866-525-7324, Marty Griffith, Senior Consultant, Washington Tax Services or email me at

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