Tax Help Videos

Tips for Hiring a Tax Resolution Firm

IRS issues can be complicated to solve on your own. Understandably, many people look to find a professional tax firm for help.  But some tax companies are better qualified than others. Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang provide helpful tips on how to find a truly qualified tax firm and some red flags taxpayers should look out for.

Got an IRS Notice? Get a FREE Risk Review with our Optima® TAX APP with Notice Analyzer

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The IRS has Resumed its U.S. Passport Revocation Program

Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang answer questions on how taxpayers can avoid getting their passport seized by the IRS.

As of March 14, 2021, the IRS resumed their Passport Certification program, and in doing so has notified the Department of State about taxpayers that are certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt. The IRS previously suspended certain collection activities, including passport certification, under the People First Initiative, which was created in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Taxpayers who are delinquent with their tax debt should expect to receive a notice informing them of their balance due. It is recommended that individuals pay off their tax liability or enter into a payment agreement with the IRS to avoid any collection action and having their passports revoked. The level of action the IRS takes against an individual is typically based on the amount owed and how long the taxpayer has been delinquent without contacting the IRS to resolve their tax balance.

The IRS is typically required by law to certify individuals to the Department of State when an individual has unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt over the amount of $54,000 (including interest and penalties), of which a federal lien has be filed against and all administrative remedies under Internal Revenue Code Section 6320 have lapsed or been exhausted. The IRS is also required to certify any individuals who have had a levy issued against a tax debt of that size.

If a taxpayer has a large tax debt amount, the State Department typically will not renew or issue out a new, passport after receiving certification from the IRS, and in some extreme cases, they may even revoke someone’s current passport. Taxpayers living and working overseas will have a limited validity passport issued out by the State Department that is only valid for a direct return to the United States. Before a passport renewal or new passport application is denied, the State Department will typically hold a taxpayer’s application for 90 days to allow a taxpayer to:

  • Pay any owed tax debt in full.
  • Enter into a payment arrangement with the IRS.
  • Resolve any erroneous certification issues.

Once a taxpayer has resolved their tax issue, the IRS will generally reverse the certification within 30 days of the date of resolution and provide notification to the State Department.

Resolve your tax situation

The IRS provides a variety of programs that assist taxpayers in resolving their tax obligations including payment agreements and Offers in Compromise. In some cases, if the IRS determines a taxpayer is in a financial hardship and cannot pay any of their tax debt, a temporary delay will be made to the collection process.

Taxpayers who recently filed their tax return for the current year and expect a refund should be aware that their refund amount will be applied to the total debt owed until it has been paid in full. If the refund is enough to satisfy a delinquent tax debt, the IRS will consider the account paid in full. Taxpayers are warned to not solely rely on this option and resolve their tax issues as soon as possible in order to avoid collections with the IRS.

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What happens if I miss the Tax Deadline

Failing to file your tax return before the tax deadline could result in the IRS filing on your behalf, and more often than not, the IRS will file a return that is unfavorable to you. Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang provide helpful tips on what to do if you receive a balance due notice and how to file your own return to replace the one that was filed by the IRS.

Need more time to file your taxes? Download the Optima® TAX APP to file a free tax extension today.

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Can your unemployment benefits affect your 2020 taxes?

More than 40 million Americans received unemployment benefits for the tax year 2020, which means more people may receive a tax bill after filing their taxes. Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang provide helpful tips on what you can do to mitigate your tax situation and how to file a tax extension with the Optima® TAX APP if you need more time to file.

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Are you eligible for the $1,400 stimulus check?

The recently passed American Rescue Plan means that millions of individuals will be receiving a third round of stimulus checks. Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang answer questions about who is and who is not eligible to receive the most recent economic payment, as well as how to file an extension with the Optima Tax App to ensure the IRS has your most recent information.

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The Tax Deadline: filing extensions (for free!) and more

Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang answer questions about the tax deadline. How to file a tax extension for free, which form to use when filing an extension, how to avoid costly penalties and interest, and how the Optima Tax App can help. https://www.optimataxapp.optimataxrelief.com/

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IRS Notices Explained

Receiving a notice from the IRS can be stressful and terrifying, especially if you don’t know what it means. Join Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang as they dive into various IRS tax notices that a typical taxpayer could receive and show you how to look out for some common tax scams.

Confused or scared by an IRS notice? Download the Optima™ TAX APP and easily understand the severity of your tax situation.

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Haven’t received the latest stimulus check? Your questions answered.

Many taxpayers have questions surrounding their Economic Impact Payments (EIP). What to do if they haven’t received their latest stimulus check? Do they qualify to receive the full amount? How can they check the status of their payment? Optima CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Phillip Hwang provide answers to some of the most important questions Americans have regarding Economic Impact Payments.

Confused or scared by an IRS notice? Download the Optima™ TAX APP and easily understand the severity of your tax situation.

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