February 27, 2020

Should I Try to Negotiate with the IRS or Georgia DOR?

I feel very strongly that you should not attempt to negotiate directly with the IRS or Georgia Department of Revenue.

Generally you have very little leverage when speaking to tax collection agents.   While their instruction manual encourages them to strike deals with taxpayers, they also know that if you do not agree to terms, they have the ultimate leverage – they can seize your wages, property and bank accounts, and they can even have you put in jail.

Now, imagine yourself in a phone conversation with the IRS or Georgia D.O.R. collection agent.  You are likely to be offended and upset at the agent’s payment offer.  I’m sure you can understand that it is very hard to have a productive conversation with the collection agent when you are the target.

My observation has been that taxpayers who try to negotiate with the IRS either end up in a hostile conversation or they offer to give up far too much. By contrast, a tax attorney representative has no personal stake in the negotiation or conversation. Further, the collection employee can reveal openly his concerns and suspicions. If an impasse is reached, your representative can leave the dialog open for another day.

In addition, as your attorney representative, I have knowledge and experience about legal and procedural options open to you if negotiations fail. Also, I will be in a better position to gauge the reasonableness of the offer.  Most importantly, however, as your attorney representative, I will not be emotionally involved in the negotiations.  I will not be personally offended by any offer – instead I view the negotiations as a joint effort to solve a problem.

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Jonathan Ginsberg

Attorney at Ginsberg Law Offices
Attorney Jonathan Ginsberg helps taxpayers work out negotiated settlements of tax debt with the IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue.

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