September 30, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

For people at risk who did not enter the OVDI

For God’s sake go get experienced, competent legal advice.  Now.  Before you take action.  Don’t go to a tax mill (I learned yesterday from a phone call that one of these tax mills that does “Settle with the IRS for pennies on the dollar!” is offering to do this kind of job at a fixed cost of $20,000.  Holy F-ing S—.)

I’m getting a series of phone calls from people who–due to terror–jumped into the tender, loving arms of the IRS after the September 9, 2011 deadline closed for the OVDI.  Actually, I get calls from people who were buffaloed into the OVDI by reason of fear of criminal tax prosecution, who say “what are my options now?”

Yes, there is an urgency and a need to make a decision about what to do.

No, most of you are NOT at risk of getting charged with criminal tax violations.  Most of you have a money problem, not a jail problem.

In many of these cases there are situations where, let’s just say, sub-optimal decisions were made.  And I have to tell people that the door is closed, the cards are dealt, and their options are now fewer than they used to be.

I am being deliberately vague.  The IRS is emphatic in its press releases that if you do not play Burger King (“Do it my way, ” says the IRS) with them, you will die.  Ain’t always the case.  Sometimes it is, but not always.

Here are explicit, step-by-step instructions to you, whoever you are:

  • Go find someone who has a lot of experience in this specific type of case.
  • Spend money.  Tell that person ALL of your story.  If you think you will get the answer for what to do by being vague and cryptic over the phone and expecting something for nothing, you’ll get what you deserve.  Don’t be cute and play the “How long is a piece of string?” game.
  • Get an answer.
  • Get a second opinion if you want.  Pay for it.
  • Take action.
  • Don’t look back.

Once you have raised your hand and said to the IRS “Here I am!” it’s a whole different ballgame.  Better in some ways, worse in other ways.  How it is better/worse for you — you need to know BEFORE you raise your hand.

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