Tax Planning & Tax Defense


Estate Taxation

Not everybody is fortunate enough to have to worry about the federal estate tax, but nearly everyone can benefit from some form of tax planning.  At Bala Law, we help clients make sense of the tax implications of the various estate planning options they have before them.  Our goal is to help you meet your estate planning needs while making the most of any tax advantages available to you and your beneficiaries.

Estate Tax for Large Estates in Florida

Florida does not have an estate tax, so all you have to worry about is the federal estate tax. While the federal estate tax rate can be quite high (as much as 40% of the taxable estate), the first five million dollars and more of a person’s estate is exempt from the federal estate tax. When you consider that each spouse in a marriage has a greater than $5 million exemption ($5.43 million in 2015), your estate can be valued at nearly $11 million without having to pay a penny in estate tax. For larger estates where estate tax liability could be incurred, there are a number of legal tax shelters and estate planning tools, such as irrevocable trusts, that can be used to minimize or bypass the estate tax.

Tax Planning

There is more to tax planning than worrying about the estate tax. Estate planning may offer numerous income tax planning opportunities for you and your heirs. As part of the estate planning process, we will help you consider how any of the following may apply to you, along with the tax implications depending upon how you shape your estate plan:

  • Capital gains
  • Generation skipping transfers
  • Distribution or inheritance of IRA accounts
  • Social Security income
  • Interest-earning accounts
  • Investment property

Practical Tax Law and Tax Planning Advice

Whether you are planning for retirement or already retired, we can help you create and implement a distribution plan that is sensitive to the tax consequences for you and your family. Call Bala Law at (239) 823-4541 today for a complimentary consultation.

Other Tax Problems We Can Help Solve

When a taxpayer has a tax debt, the IRS or State can take certain measures if the taxpayer does not make arrangements to satisfy their debt. Some tax problems can be handled easily with a simple phone call to the IRS or State, but once a tax debt reaches a certain amount, taxpayers often have difficulty paying and the IRS or State can become very aggressive. For example, in cases of overdue federal taxes, in order to recover the debt, the IRS may use enforced collection actions against a taxpayer, which can be devastating to a taxpayer’s finances. These collection measures include:

  • IRS Tax Liens where the IRS will place a claim against a taxpayer’s property or person as collateral for a tax debt.
  • IRS Tax Levies where the IRS will seize funds from a taxpayer’s bank account(s) or accounts receivable for an IRS tax debt.
  • IRS Wage Garnishments where the IRS will seize a portion of a taxpayer’s wages, paycheck, or salary to satisfy a tax debt.

These collection actions may have significant adverse affects to a taxpayer’s finances and credit, making it difficult to borrow money through loans from the bank or other private lenders, buy or sell a home, or even rent property. The IRS can leave a taxpayer without a sufficient amount of money to live, and even take away their freedom by putting taxpayers in jail.

Professional tax resolution for your debt may involve an Installment Agreement, which enables you to pay what is owed over a period of months or years.  An Installment Agreement with the IRS works much like any other monthly payment arrangement you would have for, say, a loan or line of credit. Rather than being forced to pay back the entire balance at once, an IRS installment plan allows you to pay back your debt over an extended period of time – perhaps as long as several years. You can put in an IRS Installment Agreement request if you lack the ability to cover the full sum of your liability with one payment. Instead of simply giving up on an un-payable balance, your Installment Agreement (pending IRS approval) provides you with a viable option to resolve your tax issue. 

Furthermore, rather than simply doing a Google search for “IRS Installment Agreement,” consider your options for making such a request. After all, you may not want to seek an IRS installment alone. While you might seem well-equipped to argue your case for an IRS Installment Agreement, calculator in hand, there are some subtle nuances to the terms of such an arrangement.You may wish to seek assistance from a professional for your installment payment agreement. A licensed tax professional can determine the best monthly rate for which you may be approved, request the IRS installment agreement online or by phone, and finalize the details of your arrangement. The upside for you is that some IRS installment agreements are built around your particular deficiency amount and your ability to pay; therefore, a professional will know how to get you the best arrangement possible.

What is more, if you do not have the ability to pay even a portion of the debt, you may qualify for Currently Not Collectible status, which prevents any action from being taken against you until you have the ability to pay. There is a chance that you can afford nothing when it comes time to address a tax debt. If this is the case, IRS Currently Not Collectible may be your solution. Currently Not Collectible allows you to avoid collection action from the IRS and prevents you from having to pay anything against your tax liability. This is typically a temporary measure, as your financial situation will be periodically reevaluated by the IRS. Until your finances are back on the upswing, though, this option can be to your advantage.

Finally, depending on your particular situation, you may qualify for an Offer in Compromise, or a settlement agreement with the IRS. This allows you to resolve your tax liability for a reduced amount. Such a proposition can be difficult to execute and, assuming you are eligible, can take anywhere from six months to a year to be approved. There are a number of conditions you must meet in order to explore an Offer in Compromise, and you may wish to consult with a licensed tax professional before making the request.

Tax relief help can mean different things to different people. The most appropriate tax relief program for you will depend on the type of tax problem you’re facing, how much you owe, the age of your liability, and the current level of IRS action. Thus, if you’re dealing with a complicated or advanced-stage collection situation, please give us a call immediately at (239) 823-4541 for a free consultation. 

Tax Relief Assistance

When you’re working on an IRS resolution, you may not want to do it alone. You have the option of choosing a knowledgeable professional to assist you. We can help ensure that you are actually attempting the correct resolution and can execute it on your behalf. Why is this to your advantage?Simply determining the most appropriate tax debt resolution can be tricky, especially if you have little experience with it. The actual preparation of many tax debt solutions can also be complicated, and you must have a clear understanding of what information should or should not be included in correspondence with the IRS. These subtle but important details can make or break your tax resolution. Before making up your mind to enlist a tax pro or fly solo, you may want to schedule a no-cost consultation.