IRS Attack on Business Owners: The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty [2019 Edition]


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

Sales are down, expenses are up, and operations are running at a loss. It is a struggle to make payroll, much less pay employee withholding taxes to the IRS. A dangerous decision is made: hold on paying the IRS, and use those funds to pay bills and keep the lights on. The IRS takes this diversion of other peoples’ money seriously, causing them to launch a trust fund recovery penalty investigation. The goal of this open-net investigation is to locate and investigate the business owners who were responsible for the nonpayment, and to collect the payroll taxes from them personally.

Learn the standard of proof required for the IRS to tag the business owners with the taxes, how the IRS conducts their trust fund penalty investigation, and defenses to prevent the spread of the liability within the company.

This course is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   What the IRS will be looking for and how they conduct their trust fund investigation
•   The elements of proof required for IRS to collect the taxes from business owner
•   How the IRS conducts their investigation, and common pratfalls they may make
•   Defenses and solutions to close the investigation and limit tax liability

Date / Time: August 2, 2019

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

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•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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Original Broadcast Date: June 21, 2019

Howard Levy, Esq. is a former IRS trial attorney with over 25 years of experience representing individuals and companies facing tax controversies. Howard’s expertise centers on IRS collection and examination problems, tax court litigation, IRS trust fund investigations, IRS referrals to the Department of Justice, and the use of bankruptcy as a method of resolving IRS problems.

Howard is an active contributor to the National Association of Enrolled Agents, writing articles for the EA Journal and teaching courses at the National Tax Practice Institute (NTPI). Howard has been interviewed and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today and NPR radio about the IRS and tax problems.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Howard is a partner in law firm of Voorhees & Levy, LLC. Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from The Ohio State University, law degree from Northern Kentucky University and Masters in Tax Law (LL.M) from Boston University. You can stay continually updated about the IRS from Howard’s blog.

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Section I. Statutory Authority for the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

Section II. Elements IRS Must Prove: Responsibility and Willfulness

Section III. Defenses: Ministerial Acts, Signature Authority

Section IV. What to Expect: The 10 Steps to an IRS Trust Fund Investigation

Section V. Solutions to Stop the Investigation Before it Takes Flight

Section VI. Appeal Rights to Dispute an IRS Proposal of Owner Liability

Section VII. Collection of Trust Fund Recovery Penalty