Tax and Financial Problems

Tax Problems

Virtually all business transactions and operations involve a federal or state tax of some kind.  Even attentive business owners can find themselves dealing with a notice from the Internal Revenue Service or the State of Colorado regarding unpaid taxes and penalties.  Unless the notice is dealt with successfully, the business eventually will have to deal with the personalized attention of a Revenue Officer from the Internal Revenue Service or a Colorado state agency. We can help if you are in need of a payroll tax lawyer or are experiencing IRS tax problems or financial issues.

     Payroll taxes

Neither the Internal Revenue Service nor the state of Colorado will allow a company that owes back payroll taxes to remain open for business unless it has a plan to resolve the unpaid taxes.  After notices and phone calls are ignored, the government will file a federal tax lien and levy the company’s bank accounts until the business can’t write a check with confidence that the money to cover the check is still in its account.  In some cases, the government even levies the taxpayer’s customers.

Joanne Underhill & Associates, P.C. assists business owners in resolving federal, state, and local tax disputes.  The firm’s attorneys know the tax collection process and can find a solution that makes sense and is affordable.  It is possible to gain time to stabilize the situation.  The firm’s attorneys can and do negotiate with the IRS or the Colorado state agency on a client’s behalf. 

It is the firm’s practice to work with the company’s owners to resolve a tax problem on the most favorable terms possible.  This is because at some point in time some unpaid business taxes (most notably, unpaid federal and state payroll taxes) can become a personal tax liability of the owners themselves. 

  • IRS tax problems such as bank levies, tax liens and garnishments
  • Colorado State Government garnishments
  • Installment payment plans
  • Offers in compromise
  • Appeals
  • Releasing a federal tax lien to facilitate a sale of equipment or a home
  • Resolving unpaid income taxes through bankruptcy
  • Trust fund civil penalty assessments

     Audits

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and Pinnacol Assurance annually audit a percentage of Colorado businesses who use independent contractors to determine whether the workers paid on a 1099 actually are employees for whom payroll taxes should be collected and paid and for whom workers compensation insurance should be acquired.  Fairly or unfairly, in both types of audits the burden of proof is on the business, which must establish that its independent contractors are not employees to the satisfaction of the auditors.  The standards employed by CDLE auditors have changed over the years and currently are quite demanding.

Joanne Underhill & Associates, P.C. has represented businesses who have been audited by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and by Pinnacol Assurance.  The firm can evaluate a company’s contracting policies and procedures and advise on changes that can be made to minimize the likelihood that a CDLE audit will result in a retroactive tax bill.

  • IRS audits
  • Colorado Department of Labor and Employment audits
  • Workers compensation insurance audits (Pinnacol Assurance)
  • “Misclassification” of employees as independent contractors

Financial Problems

A business that isn’t paying its taxes on time either didn’t understand what was required to be in business, or it has too much overhead, not enough revenue, or deeper financial problems.

While a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a solution, there may be less costly ways to deal with creditors and to restructure a financially distressed business.  Joanne Underhill & Associates, P.C. assists business owners in evaluating their options and in addressing deeper financial problems.