Taxpayer defense institute
A National Association of Tax Professionals
In Defense of Taxpayers’ Rights
Taxpayers Defense Institute
Daniel J. Pilla
The Taxpayers Defense Conference
The Nation’s Top IRS Conference for Tax Professionals
2022 Taxpayers Defense Conference
Bookmark this page for 2023 Details
TBD – Looking at Thursday & Friday
Nov 2 & 3 or Nov 9 & 10
Tax Resolution – Claims for Refund
Detailed sessions below.
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2022 Two Day Conference was offered onsite or streaming virtual format
Check out Pilla Tax Academy
for self study courses
with educational credits.
Continuing Educational Credits
were available for all Tax Professionals
2022: Up to 12 General and 2 Ethics
Buffet lunch was included both days for onsite attendees
2022 Sessions Detail
Session 1: What to Expect from the Revitalized IRS (1 Hour)
The Inflation Reduction Act guaranteed $80 billion in additional funding to the IRS. The agency has announced that it will dedicate $46 billion to tax law enforcement, with the hiring of nearly 87,000 new employees. Session addresses how this will affect taxpayers generally, and small businesses specifically.
Session 2: Claim for Refund – Law and Procedures (2 Hours)
Dan Pilla presents a detailed discussion on the Refund State Expiration Date (RSED) and the procedures necessary to obtain a refund of taxes paid. This session addresses both the underlying statutory rules governing the refund process, and the actual procedures for pursuing a refund.
Session 3: When the RSED Doesn’t’ Apply (1 hour)
Dan Pilla takes an in depth look at the various court-created exceptions to the RSED. We study the circumstances under which a taxpayer can obtain a refund of money paid, even when the claim for refund is otherwise outside the statute of limitations for making the claim.
Session 4: The 3-year Rule and “Financial Disability” (1 hour)
This session explains the sole statutory exception to the rule requiring that a delinquent return be filed within three years of the due-date in order to obtain a refund for an overpayment as to that year. There is an extremely complicated statutory regimen taxpayers must beet to prevail under this procedure, which is analyzed by Pilla
Session 5: Ethical Duties Relating to IRS Negotiations (1 hour ethics)
Steve Klitzner discusses the ethical considerations arising in direct dealings with IRS personnel as controlled by IRS Circular 230. In particular, we address the taxpayer’s legal obligation regarding IRS requests to extend the Assessment Statute of Limitations, and questions regarding IRS attempts to speak directly with a taxpayer represented by counsel.
Session 6: Moderated Discussion with Q&A (1 hour)
Moderated discussion with Q&A of all the issues and topics discussed during the day, as well as an introduction to the role-playing sessions set for the following morning.
Session 7: Live Role-playing of Refund Scenarios (1 hour)
The attendees are broken into separate groups and each group is presented with a set of facts regarding a hypothetical case involving the topics presented. All the facts are derived from actual cases. The groups must develop/present arguments to defend the taxpayer and assert a potential defense based on the facts and applicable law of the case based on all the teachings of the previous day’s sessions. Each group includes an experienced tax pro playing the part of an IRS officer.
Session 8: Evaluation and Critique of Role-playing Sessions (2 h0urs)
Dan Pilla and other TDI staff review, critique and analyze each of the mock negotiation sessions. We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of the participants, and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances.
Session 9: “Realistic Possibility of Success on the Merits” (1 hour ethics)
Scott MacPherson addresses the ethical standards applicable to return preparers and counsel submitting documents to the IRS on behalf of a client. This session addresses the level of accuracy one’s legal position must reflect in order to avoid preparer-related penalties under IRC § 6694.
Session 10: Highlights of the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act (1 hour)
Robert Cantu presents an update on the two recent Acts of Congress that will change the landscape of tax law compliance.
Session 11: The Employee Retention Credit (1 hour)
Dan Pilla addresses the rules and procedures related to the Employee Retention Credit, including the procedures for obtaining a refund of the credit.
Session 12: Moderated Discussion (1 hour)
Group discussion of problems, questions, and strategies based upon all earlier presentations. We will present and discuss hypothetical cases involving various aspects of IRS problems resolution.
Education credit – 12 general and 2 hours of ethics credit available.
What We Do So You’re Always on Top
Taxpayers Defense Conferences
Each year since 1993, Tax Freedom Institute founder and Executive Director, Daniel J. Pilla has presented the nation’s leading seminar for tax professionals, the Taxpayers Defense Conference. Designed specifically for tax pros in the business of helping taxpayers solve IRS audit, appeal and collection problems, Dan reveals the latest on exactly what to expect from the IRS and exactly how you can best help your clients weather the latest storm. To serve your clients in the best possible way, you need to know how to protect and defend your clients. That’s where the Taxpayers Defense Conference comes in.
Each year, Dan Pilla personally prepares the presentation topics for the Defense Conference. His topics always include the latest trends in IRS enforcement actions, court decisions, tax legislation and clients’ needs.
See below for prior topics and available self study options.
Coming soon: Prior Video/audio sections with educational credits available for purchase. Make sure you are on our email list to be notified when these become available. Join our email list for Tax Professionals.
Here is just a small sampling of some of our prior topics:
- Dealing with IRS Correspondence
- Audit-proofing and Penalty-proofing Strategies
- Canceling Penalties and Interest
- Handling Correspondence Audits and Face-to-face Meetings with Revenue Agents
- Audit Appeal Procedures
- Petitioning the Tax Court in Audit Cases
- Negotiating with the Appeals Office and IRS Counsel
- Understanding and Minimizing Liens, Levies and Seizures
- Negotiating with Revenue Officers
- Utilizing the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate
- Negotiating Installment Agreements, Offers in Compromise, Uncollectible Status
- Negotiating Innocent Spouse Claims
- Collection Due Process Appeals
- Tax Court Collection Due Process Cases
- Understanding the Collection Statute Expiration Date
- Claims for Refund
- Professional Responsibility
- Recovering Professional Fees and Costs.
Networking with Some of the Nation’s Most Experienced Attorneys and Accountants
Taxpayers Defense Conference Special Features
In addition to the cutting-edge topics that place and keep you ahead of the curve when it comes to defending your clients before the IRS, the Taxpayers Defense Conference also features:
- Live interactive brain storming sessions with some of the nation’s most experienced Attorneys, CPAs and Enrolled Agents. Bring your problem cases to the Defense Conference and return to work with renewed ideas and energy.
- Up to 50 pages of written outline material that includes tax code sections, regulation, Internal Revenue Manual references, court decisions and other legal authority. This material is unique in its organization and invaluable as future reference material. You will not want to throw it away. In addition, you get our Master Index of all prior Defense Conference topics. All of our prior seminars are available for purchase on CDs.
- Continuing education credits for every conference, often including ethics credits, on topics that are important to your practice and your clients. You’ll waste no time at the Taxpayers Defense Conference.
- Networking with Tax Freedom Institute members from around the nation, and personal interaction with Dan Pilla at the conference.
The Taxpayers Defense Conference is so unique and powerful in its ability to help you help your clients, it’s no wonder that more than 97% of the tax pros who’ve attended our seminar in the past say they would come back again. In fact, many tax pros have attended this conference for more than 20 years in a row. How many seminars can you say that about?
For over two decades, Tax Freedom Institute – now known as Taxpayers Defense Institute- and Daniel J. Pilla present the nation’s leading seminar for tax professionals, the Taxpayers Defense Conference. This conference is designed specifically for tax professionals in the business of helping taxpayers solve IRS audit, appeal and collection problems. During each conference, Dan reveals the latest on what to expect from the IRS and how tax professionals can best help their clients weather the latest storm.
Prior Conferences and Sessions
2021 Business Tax Audits
The Attack on Businesses
This session addressed the current primary compliance initiative recently announced by the IRS, which is the substantial ramp-up of business tax audits. Focus was on how the IRS selects returns for audit and the various types of business audits that are conducted.
The Attack on Income
This session presented a broad discussion of exactly how the IRS examines the “income” side of the business bookkeeping ledger. We examined how the IRS looks at a business’s books and bank records with an eye toward ascertaining whether the business has under-reported its income.
The Burden of Proof on Income
This session took a very careful look at the law establishing who has the burden of proof on the question of underreported income. The IRS believes the taxpayer always has the burden of proof. As a result of this stance, it misstates the settled law on this point 100% of the time. We showed how to keep the burden of proof on the IRS when the agency alleges that a taxpayer underreported income.
The Attack on Expenses
This session exposed exactly how the IRS examines the “expense” side of the business bookkeeping ledger. We discused a number of the key expenses claimed by the typical business (mileage, home office, travel, etc.) that are generally problematical. We explaiedn exactly what the IRS looks at when challenging such expenses.
The Burden of Proof on Expenses
In this session we explained the six methods approved by the U.S. Tax Court for satisfactorily proving the legitimacy of a claimed business deduction. A key element of this session focused on “reconstructing” expenses under the Cohan doctrine.
Evaluation and Critique of Role-playing Sessions
Dan Pilla and other TFI/TDI staff review, critique and analyze each of prior mock negotiation sessions. They analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluated the performance of the participants, and discussed potential alternative approaches under the circumstances.
The CP2000 and ASFR
As part of its initiative to increase audits generally, and business audits in particular, we addressed the IRS’s increased use of computerized audits. Such audits lead to the issuance of Notice CP2000, and Substitutes for Return (SFRs). We examined the procedures available to challenge the issuance of these notices.
“Competency” of Counsel (Ethics)
IRS Circular 230 requires that counsel practicing before the IRS must be “competent.” We addressed the legal standard for competency in the context of practice before the IRS. We also addressed procedures for addressing cases in which current clients were victimized by prior incompetent counsel.
Ethical Billing Considerations (Ethics)
This session addressed the ethical considerations encompassed in the professional responsibilities regarding fees for service. We addressed alternative billing strategies, including the ethics of contingency fees under IRS Circular 230.
Moderated Discussion (not recorded)
A favorite of attendees. Group discussion of problems, questions and strategies based upon all earlier presentations. We presented and discussed both actual and hypothetical cases involving various aspects of IRS problems resolution.
Live attendees received educational credit hours for 14 credits, included 2 ethics.
2020 Roadmap to Tax Resolution
The Broken IRS
This session addressed the current condition of the IRS in light of COVID-19 shutdowns and force reduction. Focus was on work-arounds when dealing with the Collection and Appeals functions.
The CDP Judical Appeal
This session presented a broad, holistic “systems engineering” approach to tax resolution. Using checklists and flowcharts, we analyzed all the essential “issue spotting” considerations to review when a new client comes in.
Emergency Measures to Stop Collection
This session identified and explained the three emergency measures to stop enforced collection. This session included an analysis of the statutory levy exemptions and how to assert them. This session also included a discussion of claiming a refund for wrongfully levied property.
Understanding the Tax Court
This session reviewed the fundamentals of the U.S. Tax Court. Special emphasis is on Tax Court jurisdiction so practitioners fully understand the scope of cases subject to review by the U.S. Tax Court. This session is essential even for non-attorneys, since non-attorney practitioners regularly encounter situations in which Tax Court is a resolution option that must be recognized. In that case, non-attorneys must be prepared to bring in counsel admitted to practice in the Tax Court.
Appealing a Notice of Deficiency
This session addresses the specific procedures for challenging a Notice of Deficiency, which is the IRS’s final administrative determination that a citizen owes additional taxes. The session addresses the two specific options for judicial review of the Notice of Deficiency and built on issues presented in the session Understanding the Tax Court.
The CDP Judicial Appeal
This session addressed the statutory procedures for challenging a Notice of Determination, which is the final determination that is issued by the IRS’s Office of Appeals in a Collection Due Process Appeal. It outlined the procedures for judicial review of a Notice of Determination and this session built on issues presented in the sessions Understanding the Tax Court and Appealing a Notice of Deficiency.
Live Role-playing of Appeal Scenarios
During this session the attendees were broken into separate groups and each group was presented with a set of facts regarding a hypothetical case involving the topics presented. All the facts are derived from actual cases. The groups must develop/present arguments to defend the taxpayer and assert a potential defense based on the facts and applicable law of the case based on all the teachings of the previous day’s sessions. Each group included an experienced tax pro playing the part of an IRS officer.
Evaluation and Critique of Role-playing Sessions
Dan Pilla and other TFI staff reviewed, critiqued and analyzed each of the mock negotiation sessions. They analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluated the performance of the participants, and discussed potential alternative approaches under the circumstances.
Tax Court Practice Basics
This session presented the basics of Tax Court practice and procedure, including motions practice, discovery procedures, summary judgment and remand, stipulations and agreed settlement procedures.
Understanding and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
This session addressed essential considerations for avoiding conflicts of interest. Special emphasis was placed on potential and actual husband/wife conflicts and conflicts arising from corporation tax issues, including especially the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty. Also addressed was the Tax Court Rules of Practice regarding the process of avoiding conflicts of interest.
Ascertaining “Reasonable Fees”
This session addressed the ethical considerations encompassed in the professional responsibility to charge fees for services that are “reasonable.” Specifically, we addressed IRS Circular 230 governing the practice before the IRS of attorneys, CPAs and Enrolled Agents as it relates to the charging fees.
Group discussion of problems, questions and strategies based upon all earlier presentations. We presented and discussed hypothetical cases involving various aspects of IRS problems resolution.
2019 Employment Tax Compliance
Small businesses make up the fastest going segment of federal income tax return filers. The number grows by millions every year as more people look for ways to supplement their incomes and gain financial independence. The problem is most people who set out in business have no idea how to meet the dozens of compliance burdens the tax code heaps on business owners. The GAO once counted more than 200 distinct obligations placed on the shoulders of businesses. Can you name all 200? Can you name even 20? Most people can’t. That’s why so many end up in trouble with the IRS. What starts as a dream to gain financial independence often ends as a nightmare when the IRS imposes tens of thousands in unexpected taxes and penalties.
To address this, the 2019 Taxpayers Defense Conference focused on business tax liabilities.
The Taxpayer First Act
Dan Pilla addresses the Taxpayer First Act, enacted July 1, 2019. In particular, we analyze the legislative changes to the IRS’s Office of Appeals and procedures related to identity theft cases. These procedures are reviewed from the standpoint of both the IRS and the ID theft victim.
The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
Dan Pilla analyzes new code §6672, which creates personal liability for corporate officers and employees responsible for not paying employment taxes. We analyze the legal basis for liability, the circumstances under which a person may be found liable, defenses to the penalty, how to present defenses, and appeal procedures specific to the penalty.
Employment Tax Compliance Generally
Dan Pilla explains the general requirements employers must meet to be in compliance with employment tax law, including Form 941 compliance, periodic deposit requirements, reasonable compensation rules for employees performing services for a corporation, and rules related to Forms W-2 and W-9.
The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program
Scott MacPherson addresses the IRS’s program that allows employers to seek a determination on the status of workers they designated as independent contractors. Employers entering the program can obtain a definitive ruling on the employment tax status of their workers and thus avoid retroactive penalties for misclassifying workers.
Alter Ego/Nominee Rules
Dan Pilla addresses the legal doctrines of alter ego/nominee in the context of employment tax penalties and the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty. Emphasis is placed on the circumstances under which the IRS will pursue collection of an employment tax assessment owed by one corporation against a successor corporation.
Live Role-playing of Employment Tax Scenarios
The attendees are broken into eight separate groups and each group is presented with a set of facts regarding a hypothetical case involving the topics presented. All the facts are derived from actual cases. The groups must present arguments to defend the taxpayer and assert a potential defense based on the facts and applicable law of the case based on all the teachings of the previous day’s sessions. Each group features an experienced tax pro playing the part of an IRS officer. (Group discussion not recorded)
Session 7: Role-playing Sessions
Pilla, MacPherson and other TFI staff review, critique and analyze each of the mock negotiation sessions. We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of each participant, and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances.
Avoiding “Aiding and Assisting” Preparer Penalties
Nathan MacPherson will address both civil and criminal penalties against tax professionals for aiding and assisting a taxpayer in the acts of a) submitting a false claim to the IRS regarding a material matters, and b) evading taxes. Special attention is given to the question of what constitutes “aiding” when it comes to tax evasion. This is particularly relevant to our audience since all attendees are actively involved in representing clients before the IRS who owe substantial unpaid tax debts. We will analyze the various elements of “evasion,” what the IRS must prove to establish an “aiding” case, and how to avoid potentially questionable conduct when it comes to advising clients with tax delinquencies.
2018 Detailed Agenda Innocent Spouse Relief and More
IRS’s Future State
Dan Pilla addresses the current enforcement initiatives announced by the IRS, with particular focus on crypto-currency enforcement. Pilla also analyzes the IRS’s new five-year strategic plan that outlines the agency’s long-term goals regarding enforcement and administration.
Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Dan Pilla analyzes new code §199A, created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This is the section that creates the 20% deduction for small businesses and self-employed persons. It is a complex calculation and the deduction is dependent upon a number of fact considerations. Pilla provides numerous examples to illustrate the calculations and reviews the new proposed regulations issued by the IRS on this matter.
Revocation of Passports
Dan Pilla explains the law allowing the IRS to certify certain taxpayers to the State Department as “seriously delinquent” if they owe more than $50,000. He examines what constitutes being “seriously delinquent,” the required “notice” process, what the exceptions are, and how the available appeal procedures work.
The Innocent Spouse Rules
Dan Pilla provides a full analysis of the provisions of code §6015(b) and (c), the innocent spouse and separate spouse election rules, along with IRS Form 8379. Special emphasis is put on the burden of proof a taxpayer must carry to establish entitlement to innocent spouse relief.
Innocent Spouse Equitable Relief
Scott MacPherson addresses code §6015(f), the so-called “equitable relief” provision under the innocent spouse rules. Separate rules apply under §6015(f) if a taxpayer does not qualify for relief under either §6015(b) or (c). This is an important provision because there is no statute of limitations on a taxpayer’s right to apply for relief under this provision, contrary to both §6015(b) and (c)
Live Role-playing of Innocent Spouse Scenarios
The attendees broke into eight separate groups and each group is presented with a set of facts regarding a hypothetical innocent spouse case. All the facts are derived from actual cases. The groups must present arguments to defend the taxpayer and assert a potential innocent spouse defense based on the facts and applicable law of the case based on all the teachings of the previous day’s sessions. Each group will feature an experienced tax pro playing the part of an IRS officer. (Breakouts not recorded.)
Evaluation and Critique of Role-playing Sessions
Dan Pilla, Scott MacPherson and other TFI staff review, critique and analyze each of the mock negotiation sessions. They analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of each participant, and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances.
Ethical Considerations for Entertainment Expenses
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed considerably the rules for deducting business entertainment expenses for years beginning in 2018. The narrow definition of “entertainment” expenses in §274 and its regulations raise serious ethical considerations for tax pros in the preparation of business tax returns. Pros must be aware of the applicable definitions, they must caution their clients regarding what is an “entertainment” expense (and thus non-deductible) and what is an otherwise allowable business expense (and thus fully deductible). Dan Pilla analyzes the various elements of §274, include the infamous §274(d), which carries very strict record-keeping rules for deducting business meals, travel and entertainment expenses. Tax pros must know these rules and must ensure that their clients know these rules order to, a) avoid claiming expenses that are not deductible, and b) taking the benefit of deductions that are otherwise perfectly legal.
2017 Audit Attacks on Small Businesses
IRS Attacks on Small Business
This session addresses the current audit initiatives announced by the IRS, with particular focus on small businesses. Dan outlines the specific types of businesses targeted and the areas of audit the IRS is expected to focus on.
Understanding Real Estate Professional Rules
This session explains and analyzes of the rules governing real estate professionals under code §469; what constitutes a real estate professional, and the requirements for “material participation” under the statute. We also look at consequences of not meeting the rules for material participation.
Reasonable Compensation for Corporate Officers
This session explains the law regarding corporate statutory employees, the applicable employment tax rules when corporate officers and shareholders provide substantial services to their corporations, and the law regarding reasonable compensation for both regular corporation executives and sub chapter S corporation executives.
Hobby Loss and Home Office Rules
This Session provides a full analysis of the provisions of code §183, regarding the necessity of a profit motive to allow business expense deductions, and code §280A, regarding the business use of a home. We address the statutory standards for the deductions and the peculiar record keeping requirements to prove entitlement to the deductions.
Employees vs. Independent Contractors
This session addresses the IRS’s “20 common law standards” for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. We address the burden of proof necessary to establish contractor status, and analyzes the relief available under §§530 and 3509 when workers are erroneously misclassified.
Live Roll-playing of Audit and Appeal Scenarios
The attendees are broken into eight separate groups and each group is presented with a set of facts regarding a hypothetical business audit case. All the facts are derived from actual cases. The groups must present argument to defend the taxpayer and negotiate a settlement based on the facts and applicable law of the case based on all the teachings of the previous day’s sessions. Each group will feature an experienced tax pro playing the part of an IRS officer. (Note: Roll playing is not recorded.)
Evaluation and Critique of Role-playing Sessions
Dan Pilla and a panel will review, critique and analyze each of the mock negotiation sessions. We analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of each participant, and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances.
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
This session discusses the many conflict of interest considerations in audit situations, particularly where joint tax returns involve the business of just one taxpayer, and where corporate audits implicate the officers and shareholders of the corporation itself. We address the requirements in IRS Circular 230 to inform taxpayers of actual or potential conflicts of interest, and the requirement of written acknowledgements and waivers by clients in the case of potential conflicts.
2016 Installment Agreement Negotiations
The IRS in Crisis
Dan Pilla addresses the current problems with IRS administrative issues due to budget and staffing cuts. We discuss computer security problems, correspondence processing, and appeals case backlog. We address ways to navigate around these obstacles.
Understanding IRS Transcripts
Explanation and analysis of the various computer transcripts and codes the IRS uses in the processing of all cases. Understanding these transcripts is an essential element of determining the posture of a given case and the procedures necessary to work to a resolution.
How to Stabilize Collection
Dan Pilla explains exactly how the IRS begins enforced collection action in a given delinquency case, and exactly how to keep a case from progressing from the initial notice stage to the levy stage. Dan will explain the IRS’s Automated Collection Service procedures and how to deal with a revenue officer assigned to collect a tax. Focus will be on IRS code sections 6159 and 6343, regarding installment agreements and the prevention of levy and seizure actions.
How to Establish an Installment Payment
Dan Pilla provides a full analysis of the IRS’s installment agreement rules, including analysis of relevant code sections and the Internal Revenue Manual. There will be heavy emphasis on determining what constitutes allowable living expenses for the purposes of determining the installment agreement amount.
The Partial Pay Installment Agreement
Steve Klitzner, Attorney, analyzes the tax code and provisions of the Internal Revenue Manual that allow the IRS to enter into a two-year installment agreement that only partially pays the tax, which is the so-called Partial Pay Installment Agreement. We discuss the requirements that must be met for inclusion in the program, the forms and procedures needed to get a client approved, and the IRS’s requirement for ongoing financial analysis once the client is included in the program.
Live Roll-playing of Installment Agreement Negotiations (not recorded)
The attendees will be broken into eight separate groups and each group will be presented with a set of facts regarding a hypothetical delinquent taxpayer. All the facts are derived from actual cases. The group will determine the best course of action for attempting to negotiate a collection hold and establish an installment agreement, based on all the teachings of the previous day’s sessions. Each group will feature an experienced tax pro playing the part of an IRS officer.
Evaluation and Critique of Role-playing Sessions
Dan Pilla, Donald MacPherson, Attorney, and Paul Tom, Attorney will review, critique and analyze each of the mock negotiation sessions. They analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of each participant and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances. They also address ethical issues, including potential conflicts of interest, given the facts of the case.
Ethical Considerations in Installment Agreement Appeals
Dan Pilla discusses the many ethical considerations in play when contemplating an installment agreement appeal. Most importantly of all the factors, an installment agreement appeal tolls the IRS’s collection statute of limitations, effectively giving the IRS more time to collect. We analyze the statutory tolling provisions (there are five them) which most tax pros are simply unaware of. IRS rules are specific and detailed on ethical issues in such cases, including income and asset disclosures, tax compliance with current and future filing and payment responsibilities, and counsel’s responsibility to provide accurate information. We also address the potential penalty under code section 6702 that applies to any “frivolous submission” to the IRS, which by law includes an Installment Agreement.
2015 Offers in Compromise - Start to Finish
The Offer in Compromise
The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is the IRS’s flagship settlement program. We discuss the four types of offers, the fact scenarios behind each one, the two different administrative procedure tracks for OICs, and we examine the forms and worksheets necessary to present and argue an OIC. We discuss the important strategy of using the Collection Due Process channel as the single best means to present an OIC. This strategy will give you the most leverage in getting your OIC accepted.
Figuring Reasonable Collection Potential
We discuss and explain of the essential element of the OIC, which is the taxpayer’s “reasonable collection potential.” We discuss the IRS’s extensive Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) provisions on this subject, including an analysis of the IRS’s fixed standards for living expenses. Most importantly, we explain how to defeat the arbitrary application of the IRS’s housing and transportation standards, something that bites taxpayers in nearly every OIC.
How to Handle an OIC Hearing and Live Role-playing
Dan Pilla explains exactly how an OIC hearing is conducted from both the perspective of the IRS and the taxpayer. He will address how to set up and present a case and how to present facts and evidence to an OIC examiner. This session includes live, mock OIC hearings in which the participants will function as counsel representing a taxpayer’s case before an OIC examiner. Experienced TFI members will assist with the mock hearings, functioning as OIC examiners. The hearings will be based upon several sets of hypothetical facts common to tax delinquency cases. (Breakouts are not recorded)
Evaluation and Critique of OIC Hearings
Dan and the OIC examiners will review, critique and analyze each of the mock hearings. They analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of each participant and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances. This is a highly educational process, as all participants will provide insight into their experience in the hearing.
Effective Tax Administration and Special Circumstances
Dan addresses the IRS’s so-called “Effective Tax Administration and “Special Circumstances” OICs. These are offer opportunities made available by IRS regulations that allow a person to present an offer in circumstances where he might not otherwise qualify. We examine the IRS’s regulations and the IRM provisions that govern this procedure. Knowledge of procedures is essential as it will give you opportunities to resolve even the most difficult cases.
Dealing with Dissipated Assets
Dan addresses the special rules that apply to citizens with fixed assets when entering into an OIC. Examples include liquid cash, retirement accounts, cash value of insurance policies, etc. IRS administrative procedures and Tax Court case law is specific on how such assets are to be considered and valued in an OIC, and these authorities address the consequences of a taxpayer liquidating such assets for less than fair market value prior to submitting an OIC.
“Not in the Government’s Best Interest”
Dan discusses the many ethical considerations of an OIC. IRS rules are specific and detailed on ethical issues, including income and asset disclosures, tax compliance with current and future filing and payment responsibilities, and counsel’s responsibility to provide accurate information. We address the detailed IRM provisions that allow the IRS to reject an OIC that might otherwise qualify for acceptance if acceptance is “not in the government’s best interest.” We also address the potential penalty under code section 6702 that applies to any “frivolous submission” to the IRS, which includes an Offer in Compromise.
2014 Collection Due Process - “Our Jewel”
The IRS Strategic Plan
Dan will review and explain the IRS’s 2014-2017 strategic plan. This plan lays out the IRS’s strategies regarding audits, collection and tax law enforcement in general. We discuss the IRS’s policy and strategy changes that will affect how the IRS enforces the law in the foreseeable future.
The Collection Due Process Appeal–Generally
The right to a Collection Due Process (CDP) appeal is among the most important and powerful rights enjoyed by taxpayers. The more you understand about these rights, the more leverage you have to prevent harmful collection action (such as levies and seizures) and the better chance you’ll have of negotiating a reasonable settlement. Dan explains the CDP lien and levy appeal rights under code sections 6320 and 6330. We address the timely filing of CDP appeals, issues that can and cannot be addressed in CDP appeals, and the burden of proof in CDP cases.
How to Handle a CDP Hearing and Live Role-playing
Dan explains exactly how a CDP hearing is conducted from both the perspective of the IRS and the taxpayer. He will address how to set up and present a case and how to obtain discovery from the IRS prior to the CDP hearing. This session will include live, mock CDP hearings in which the participants will function as counsel representing a taxpayer before an IRS hearing officer. Certain participants will play the roles of IRS settlement officers. The hearings will be based upon several sets of hypothetical facts common to tax delinquency cases. (Not recorded)
Evaluation and Critique of CDP Hearings
Dan and those performing as settlement officers will review, critique and analyze each of the mock hearings. We will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each presentation, evaluate the performance of each participant and discuss potential alternative approaches under the circumstances. We will also address ethical issues, including potential conflicts of interest, given the facts of the case. This session will be a tremendous opportunity to prepare for and participate in a CDP hearing under the tutelage of highly skilled and experienced tax pros.
Proving Abuse of Discretion in CDP Appeals
In this session, Dan addresses recent case law issued by the United States Tax Court on the question of the taxpayer’s burden of proof in CDP appeals. We evaluate both winning and losing cases and discuss the body of evidence needed to prevail in the case.
The CDP Judicial Appeal
Adverse CDP decisions are appealable to the United States Tax Court. This is a key reason why a properly prepared tax pro has great leverage in CDP cases. In this session, Dan addresses the specific procedures for a judicial appeal of an adverse CDP decision. He explains the Tax Court’s jurisdiction and lays out the essential elements of a Tax Court Petition for review of a CDP determination. He also explains the manner in which CDP cases are resolved by the Tax Court, including remands, summary judgment and court trials.
CDP Employment Tax Appeals
Here Dan discusses the special rules that apply to CDP appeals involving delinquent employment taxes, including the collection stay provisions of code section 6330, the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty and other related issues.
What Others Say About These Conferences
“The Taxpayer Defense Conference is what I wait for all year. If you’ve been to one, you know what I’m talking about—THE BEST TAXPAYER DEFENSE CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD! I know that most of you have attended many hours of continuing professional education in your career. And I would bet the word that best describes the majority of CPE you’ve attended is . . . BORING. The TFI Defense Conference is definitely NOT boring. It’s not a bunch of stuffy egghead law professors and sleepy accountants droning on about esoteric crap that might affect less than 1% of your clients. The Taxpayers’ Conference is a hands on participation event that teaches you the best and most effective methods for solving IRS issues we deal with every day. ” Paul R. Tom – Attorney
“The Taxpayers Defense Conference exceeded my expectations as far as useful and informative information and outlines. The information will substantially assist me in my dealings with the IRS on behalf of my clients.” Jim C. – Attorney
“If you’ve not attended, you’re missing the best opportunity you have to network with the best in the country. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a must. Leo S. – CPA
“Bring your toughest IRS problem cases to the Taxpayer Defense Conference to discuss with Dan Pilla and the attendees. You will have all of your questions answered.” Steve Klitzner – Attorney
“Dan Pilla was the presenter for a webinar I signed up for. He was by far one of the most informative and influential speakers I have ever heard from all the webinars I have taken. Not only did he give us quality advice on ways to execute tax resolutions, but he also had great insight on the tax laws and changes and how they could affect clients. He is a highly knowledgeable man and a great teacher! ” Lubna J. Channo _CPA, CTS, CTP, CTC, CTRS, Macc_