It has often been said that in life there are only two certainties — death and taxes.
Both are inevitable They can also feel about the same for a citizen that has somehow worked their way into a position of owing back takes to the federal government. Or failed to file their taxes for many years.
The IRS is ruthless. Simply stated, if you owe them enough back taxes eventually they are going to come after you. The average citizen doesn’t stand much of a chance in a routine audit, much less a full-blown scenario when a tax relief program may be needed.
Ken Mullinax, who owns and operates Elite Tax Relief in Fort Smith, has been on both sides of the equation. He has been a Revenue Officer banging on the doors but in 2014 he left the IRS after becoming a licensed CPA and he feels his experiences as a street level revenue collector gives him a perspective on the angst IRS problems cause and how to alleviate those problems.
“My company started in February of 2014 when I left my employment at the IRS,” said Mullinax. “During my IRS career, I finished college and became a licensed CPA. The IRS has thousands of CPA’s working for them, but most are working in Exam, doing audits.”
“I worked in Collection as a Revenue Officer” said Mullinax.” My job was basically a street level collection officer. RO’s knock on the door and demand payment or unfiled returns, in person.”
Mullinax says the IRS agents are well trained and have many tools at their disposal to collect from taxpayers. They have the power of the levy, which is taking property from taxpayers, such as bank accounts and wage garnishments. They are the only IRS personnel that have the power to seize property such as homes, vehicles and business assets.
“In my career, I made many seizures,” said Mullinax. “Two airplanes, several homes, three entire businesses and all business assets, several vehicles, cash registers and their contents…pretty much everything was fair game. ”
“As an RO, I often had to work with taxpayer representatives, and many used their local CPA or EA to represent them,” said Mullinax.” Others would call one of the national companies they hear on the radio. Few received good representation. I believe this is because the local CPA’s, while eligible to represent their clients before the IRS, are just not trained to do it.”
“They are good at what they do, but terrible at representation,” said Mullinax. “The national companies are hit and miss. Some do a good job, but most just take their client’s money do very little or nothing at all.”
Because he worked in collection and was a licensed CPA, Mullinax thought for a long time that he would make a good representative and he eventually left the IRS to open his firm.
“When I was an RO, there were only four or five CPA’s that were also RO’s in the entire country. That gives me a unique skill set that most CPA’s will never have,” said Mullinax. “Now I vehemently represent my clients against the IRS. My experience taught me what stops collection and what doesn’t. It taught me what the IRS can demand and what they cannot.”
“Working on this side of the table, I have found repeatedly that the Service asks for much more than they have need for and since I know what they actually have teeth to demand, I often tell them no,” said Mullinax. ” An unrepresented taxpayer is scared, and will give them everything they request, not knowing they are giving too much and it can only hurt them.”
Mullinax says his firm works to get clients the best possible outcome to their IRS problems. Sometimes it is a payment plan they can afford. Sometimes it is a settlement for less than they owe (called an
Offer-in- Compromise). “And sometimes we get them in to a status where they pay nothing at all. This is more common than average taxpayers think,” said Mullinax.
“As of this writing, I have never had an Offer in compromise rejected. They have all been accepted or are still in process. In just the last few months we had an offer accepted for $25 for a taxpayer that came into our office owing over $800,000. That client has a full-time job and lost no assets. Another owed $216,000 and our offer was accepted for a onetime payment of $867. This is very common.”
Mullinax is a member of the ASTPS which is the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers and is very committed to one of their programs which offers free representation services for returning combat veterans with tax problems. “We love our veterans and do this as a service to them to thank them for the service they did to protect us,” said Mullinax.
Mullinax encourages everyone with a tax problem to call for a free consultation.
“Do not call the national companies that are on the radio. You never know what you are going to get,” said Mullinax. “In fact, most those ads are not even from tax representation companies. They are marketing firms fishing for tax problem clients which they then sell to the highest bidder.”
“We advertise on the radio too, but at least we are local. You can come in and meet me in person and shake my hand and ask questions before you spend money for our services,” said Mullinax. “Our promise has always been that we will not take your money unless we believe we can help you.”
You can get more information on Mullinax and his tax relief program by clicking on the Elite Tax Relief ad on Inside Fort Smith.