Why it’s now easier to Solve Georgia Tax Problems than ever Before?
You may have heard rumors about changes made at the Georgia Department of Revenue, and you may be wondering “Why it’s now easier to solve Georgia tax problems than ever before?” I’ll tell you.
Hi, I’m Jeff Fouts, a tax attorney located in metro Atlanta, with a state-wide, and nationwide law practice helping clients who have serious Georgia tax problems.
So, “Why is it now easier to solve Georgia tax problems than ever before?”
The Bad Old Days
In the recent past, if you owed back taxes to the Georgia Department of Revenue, you would have very few options, and those few options that were available were not very good ones.
For example, the only installment agreement available then was to pay 1/3 of the tax debt in a lump sum payment, and then pay the remaining 2/3 of the debt over 12 months. An example of this is if you owed $18,000, this meant that you’d have to pay $6,000 down in a lump sum payment, and then pay $1,000 per month for the next 12 months. This was almost impossible for most people to afford. But Georgia didn’t care. They would simply begin attacking you, looking for wages or bank accounts to garnish or assets to seize. They began shutting down businesses and selling off their assets. It got the Department of Revenue great headlines, and it scared people silly, but it probably didn’t help them collect as much tax revenue as they had hoped.
I was shaking my head and telling my staff, “What do they think they’re doing. They can’t get blood out of a turnip, if Georgia would just offer some realistic ways for these good folks to pay their back taxes, they’d be able to collect a lot more tax money.” Well, I guess someone woke up and saw that all their threats and rough treatment wasn’t really collecting that much in back taxes.
To be honest, I was shocked when they actually changed the way they went about collecting and dealing with delinquent taxpayers. I guess sometimes dreams do come true.
Spurred on by the State’s need to generate cash flow, and a recognition that using really aggressive, hardball tactics wouldn’t achieve that goal, it appears they decided to take the opposite tact and actually offer some great solutions to delinquent Georgia taxpayers.
It’s Different Now – For the Time Being
Nowadays it is indeed almost like a dream come true. The Georgia Department of Revenue actually has, at least for the time being, some really great options that can allow a delinquent taxpayer to deal with their tax problem, stop living in fear, and get on with their lives.
Some of the solutions now available, that weren’t available before, are:
- realistic installment agreements
- a real Offer in Compromise program
- potential for abatement or forgiveness of penalties
- a sort of unofficial Uncollectible Status,
- and other options.
As I look back over the last 20 years that I’ve been helping clients with Georgia tax problems, it is obvious that there is truly NO better time to deal with a Georgia tax problem than now.
A very real concern I have is that when it begins to look as if the recession is getting better that the Georgia Department Revenue will go back to the way they used to do business in the “good old days”, of just a year ago, and once again show no mercy whatsoever.
Now is the Time to Deal with It
If you refuse to take action to deal with your Georgia tax problem at this time, and then this golden opportunity is taken away, it may never come around again in your lifetime, and you’ll have only yourself to blame.
In my opinion, based on my experience, the time to take action is now.
This is for real. But the reality is that you can sit back. You can choose to take no action, but if you do you’ll have to keep looking over your shoulder for the Georgia collection folks. People used to ask me if Georgia offered a “tax amnesty” program. The answer was “No”, but now Georgia has programs that are the closest thing to a real tax amnesty program that they’ve ever seen.
I hope this important video tip has helped you understand the Georgia Department of Revenue a little better and about how tax problems are solved. Chances are you have questions or concerns about your own particular tax problem. What I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and call me. I can answer your questions. Over the past 20 years I’ve represented clients from all across Georgia, and in 50 states and 29 foreign countries, and I welcome your call. You can reach me at 800-995-6785 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m Jeff Fouts and thanks so much for watching. Have a wonderful day.