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IRS and Duress


Posted on July 17, 2014

Have you paid taxes to the IRS or signed an extension of the assessment or collection statute of limitation under severe duress?

If yes, the payment of tax under duress may have been illegal and the waiver of the assessment or collection statute of limitation signed under duress may be void.

Chief Justice John Marshall said that “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

Those who have the power to tax also have the power to misuse it.

Although the IRS must collect revenue, it must be careful about how it treats the public.  Sometimes, Congress believes that the IRS is not collecting enough taxes and encourages the IRS to be more aggressive.  Sometimes, Congress believes that the IRS is too aggressive and enacts laws that tell the IRS to pull back on its collection efforts.

For example, in 1979 the IRS created the Office of the Taxpayer Ombudsman.  In 1998, Congress codified the Ombudsman position as the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate and also created a Taxpayer Bill of Rights which gave more protections to taxpayers as a result of IRS abuse.

Because our taxing system is voluntary, and because the IRS has generally been aggressive in its enforcement tactics, most taxpayers have some fear of the IRS.  Unfortunately, some IRS representatives use that fear to collect taxes from taxpayers under duress.

Worse yet, some IRS representatives also use duress to force taxpayers to waive the assessment or collection statutes of limitation.

Have you paid a tax under duress or signed a waiver of the assessment or collection statute of limitation under duress?

Call us, we can help.


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