Indiana Back Taxes Lawyer

Paying state and federal taxes is required of most citizens and businesses. Sometimes, though, you can make mistakes on your tax returns, miss deadlines, or have life circumstances that preclude you from filing annual tax returns. Then you get a letter from the IRS or Indiana Department of Revenue saying that you owe thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes. When this happens, it’s frightening. It’s also when you need strong legal advice. An Indiana back taxes lawyer can represent you in court, work to negotiate a compromise, and chart a successful path forward.

It’s important not to panic. There is a solution. Attorney Jerry E. Smith has helped countless clients resolve their back taxes issues. With planning and diligence, you can successfully handle these matters and create a workable resolution. Smith Law Firm offers compassion and understanding to all its clients and stays focused on solutions. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free consultation at (317) 917-8680.

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A Back Taxes Lawyer Offers You Confidentiality with Attorney-Client Privilege

Attorney Jerry E. Smith is both a lawyer and a certified public accountant (CPA). This offers you a huge advantage when discussing your back taxes issues. He has the insights of a CPA while offering the protections of a lawyer. Everything you discuss with a tax lawyer is highly confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege. Therefore, you can speak freely with Jerry E. Smith about all of your back taxes issues without concern. We do not judge. We simply work to find solutions.

There is no client-CPA privilege in court. When you work with a CPA, they could potentially testify against you. Whatever you said or discussed with your CPA may be fair game in a courtroom and might be used as evidence against you.

While CPAs rely on books about tax law, tax lawyers use those books and the tax code, regulations, and rules. Jerry E. Smith can read and understand these primary sources as well as court decisions that interpret them. Your situation may not fit neatly into a tax rule, statute, or prior court ruling. Thanks to his education and experience, Jerry E. Smith can analyze your facts and argue how a tax applies in your circumstances.

Tax lawyers are ethically obligated to advocate zealously, professionally, and intelligently for their clients, whether that’s in court or on the telephone negotiating a resolution. We will disagree and argue why the tax agency is wrong and that it should see things your way. Our law firm will always fight hard for the best outcome possible. You can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

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How long are you liable for back taxes?

Indiana state tax debt has a 10-year statute of limitations. Federal tax debt – money owed to the IRS – also has a 10-year statute of limitations (with some notable exceptions). After the 10 years is up, the IRS and Indiana must stop their tax collection efforts.

A “statute of limitations” refers to the amount of time a creditor has to file a lawsuit to collect an unpaid debt. The 10-year limitations period on federal and state tax debt begins to run on the date of the tax assessment.

Keep in mind, however, that the 10-year deadline can end up lasting significantly longer than 10 years in some circumstances because the limitations period can be suspended one or more times for a variety of reasons. The time during which the statute of limitations is suspended does not count toward the 10-year deadline. The statute of limitations is suspended when …

  • you file for bankruptcy and the court issues an automatic stay preventing the IRS from taking collection action. The suspension lasts for the duration of the bankruptcy case plus six months.
  • the IRS considers your request for an installment agreement, for innocent spouse relief, or for an offer in compromise.
  • you live outside the United States continuously for at least six (6) months.
  • you voluntarily agree to extend the statute of limitations beyond 10 years.

Sometimes a person enters into an installment agreement with the IRS allowing for partial payment of the amount due and signs a form waiving the 10-year limitations period. By law, this extension can go on for no longer than six additional years. However, before signing such an agreement, you should talk to a skilled tax lawyer and explore your legal options.

Can you settle back taxes?

A back tax return lawyer may be able to negotiate on your behalf.

It’s possible to settle back taxes with the IRS through what’s known as an Offer In Compromise.

The IRS will consider an offer in compromise in some situations, which allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be a legitimate option if you are unable pay your full tax liability or if doing so creates a financial hardship. The IRS will consider things like your …

  • income,
  • ability to pay,
  • expenses, and
  • asset equity.

The IRS generally approves an offer in compromise when the amount offered is similar to the most it can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time.

Back Taxes FAQs

An attorney for back taxes answers your questions.

There are several frequently asked questions that people have when they owe back taxes and are trying to figure out how to interact with the IRS or state treasurer’s office. Following are answers to some common questions.


It’s possible for an individual to work directly with the IRS or Indiana Department of Revenue to resolve a back taxes issue, but that may not be the most cost-effective option. Depending on the issue, you may spend far more on back taxes, interest, and penalties without an attorney’s help. When a tax attorney handles the situation, you spend your time on other things, like living your life or running your business. A tax attorney may also be able to negotiate a better agreement with tax authorities than you can by yourself.


Failure to file tax returns and pay taxes is a crime. This being said, the IRS does what it can to try to get delinquent filers to come forward voluntarily after not filing tax returns in a timely manner. The IRS makes an effort to work collaboratively with delinquent filers by negotiating payment installments, reducing tax liability for needy individuals, and listening to voluntary disclosures when determining whether to criminally prosecute.


The IRS can garnish wages for back taxes, but they must follow stringent guidelines in doing so. If you owe federal taxes, the IRS also has the authority to seize or levy your property. The State of Indiana can also garnish your wages.


Most tax debts cannot be wiped out through bankruptcy. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Bankruptcy in the U.S. is governed by federal law (rather than state law), and which type of bankruptcy you pursue depends on your unique situation. For introductory information about bankruptcy, see Bankruptcy Basics at USCourts.gov. Generally, individuals pursue either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Only certain people qualify for Chapter 7.

All of the following conditions must be met to wipe out federal tax debt though filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  • The taxes are income taxes. Taxes other than income cannot be eliminated in bankruptcy.
  • The debt is at least 3 years old. The tax return must have been originally due at least 3 years prior to filing bankruptcy.
  • You filed a tax return. At least 2 years before filing bankruptcy, you must have filed a tax return for the debt you desire to discharge.
  • You pass the “240-day rule.” At least 240 days must pass since the IRS assessed the back taxes before you file bankruptcy.
  • You did not commit fraud or willful evasion. If you filed a fraudulent tax return or otherwise attempted to evade paying taxes, bankruptcy cannot eliminate back taxes.

The IRS offers additional guidance on back taxes and filing Chapter 13. Before you consider filing a Chapter 13, the IRS lays out these requirements:

  • You must file all required tax returns for tax periods ending within four years of your bankruptcy filing.
  • During your bankruptcy you must continue to file, or get an extension of time to file, all required returns.
  • During your bankruptcy case you should pay all current taxes as they come due.
  • Failure to file returns and/or pay current taxes during your bankruptcy may result in your case being dismissed.

Information About Tax Collection Processes

Both the federal government and Indiana state government publish information that explains their tax collection processes. While overdue taxes can feel like a scary topic, just remember that information is power. The more you know, the better position you’ll be in to make informed decisions. Here are some links that might prove useful:

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    Contact an Indiana Back Taxes Lawyer Today

    If you owe back taxes and are unsure where to turn, contact attorney Jerry E. Smith and have a confidential conversation. We can find a solution together. Smith Law Firm offers weekend and evening appointments as well as same-day filings if possible. To find out more about how we can help, call for a free initial consultation at (317) 917-8680.