Very few experiences are as harrowing and stressful as having a tax debt that won't go away. Threatening letters, phone calls, and unannounced visits from collection personnel can cause many a sleepless night and a dramatic decrease in productivity. Often there is an IRS tax lien or imminent tax levy involved. Needless to say these can be very damaging on a credit report, as can also be the case with filing bankruptcy as a possible alternative, although in some cases, this may very well be appropriate.
The concept of tax amnesty involves alternatives for removing the bonds and shackles of collection activity to allow one to once again be a free functioning member of society. The path to tax amnesty is knowing one's taxpayer rights and the importance of proper timing.
There are various tax amnesty programs available to delinquent taxpayers. One of these is an Offer in Compromise in which a debtor can possibly reduce his tax liabilities (including penalties and interest) to pennies on the dollar. I have worked many successful offers that have put clients back on their feet.
I have also worked with clients to successfully negotiate tax payment (installment) plans for tax debts on terms that were far more suitable and convenient than those proposed by the taxing authorities.
Another way I have assisted clients is through obtaining relief from tax liability through the innocent spouse or equitable relief provisions of the tax laws. I have had clients relieved from paying the tax of their spouses if either they did not know about errors on the return and did not benefit from them or by showing it was inequitable to hold them liable for the unpaid taxes.