Things to Keep in Mind When You Meet With a Tax Attorney for the First Time

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DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome to the IRS solution attorney show, I am the IRS Tax Attorney. I am joined again today on the show by my lovely and talented co-host Katrina Madewell who actually made here on time today.

KATRINA MADEWELL: That’s me, yes I make a habit of not usually being late you know I’m starting the show by fun but we did okay in a pinch.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah, we’re just talking about the last show that we did miss Katrina was stuck in traffic and you know to her if was more her fault I mean I think there was an overturned car on Howard Franklin, the Gandy was a wreck and the intelligent one of the duo here took the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Anyway I had to get my day exam in once again because you know turn me lose alone on my very own radio show and it’s just a little bit scary for those of us who don’t do radio shows professionally.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I knew I was gonna get a heck out of all this, it’s all good

DARRIN T. MISH: So today we’re gonna talk about what you need to bring when you meet with me or any tax problems resolution attorney, when you come in and decide that you’re finally gonna resolve your tax problem.

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KATRINA MADEWELL: We tried to do this show while back when we end up getting actually a couple calls for this show which was great we always encourage them; 888-404-1010. We are gonna try to get the outline that we put together though because it would be a nice little thing for you to use in your marketing so that people can be fully prepared when they’re, when they meet with you for the first time.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah for sure I mean more importantly in the marketing it’s just to help people understand what I’d like them to do before they come into the office so that we can have a productive meeting and really get to the root of the matter and how they’re gonna solve, and really the biggest problem that they have in their life typically is they owe large amounts of money whatever they consider large amounts of money to the IRS and I’m there to help make sure that that happens one way or the other.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So where does somebody start, like is it a checklist of things they just need to bring whenever they meet with you for the first time? Or like what can someone except?

DARRIN T. MISH: You know as an attorney in law school we’re taught to be really analytical and sort of cold, hard facts kind of guys. Not quite to the extent that number cruncher accountants are but most lawyers are people who just really want to be logical straight to the point and it has a tendency to be dropped. So today what we’re gonna lead with is actually not Hey these are the papers I want you to bring first thing I want to talk about it I mean the right attitude is absolutely critical to a good resolution really for any problem that you have in your life don’t you think?

KATRINA MADEWELL: Absolutely what’s the common denominator that you see? Just out of curiosity

DARRIN T. MISH: There’s two types of people that come into the office well maybe three there’s those who are unbelievably frightened and that I don’t consider bad attitude I mean that’s just…

KATRINA MADEWELL: They just don’t know what to do and they’re afraid they are gonna go to jail.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah that’s a natural emotional reaction and that’s fine I’m really, really compassionate towards those people and really happy to help. The second kind of attitude that comes in is someone who kind of, I hate to say it, but has a chip on their shoulder. Like this isn’t my fault, and I’m the victim here and…

KATRINA MADEWELL: Somebody else did it.


KATRINA MADEWELL: Like I could of end that I should of had many moons ago I could have said oh my business partner left me with all this money I have to pay all the payroll taxes I didn’t incur all this debt they should be helping me pay it something like that.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah and sometimes it is true I mean that they are an innocent victim like let’s say the IRS audited them and it was really unfair and they ended up owing a lot of money, but really what I’m talking about is people they just don’t own the fact that it’s their problem and that it was the result of their decisions that got them to this place that we’re at today. And I don’t say that on a judgmental way at all I can tell you that for many years I went through life and pointing fingers, blaming others, being ungrateful for what I do have in life and I have amazing abundance, honestly, and it wasn’t until that switch I kind of got flipped in my head I was like wait a minute, wait a minute, if my life is not going well it’s because of the decisions I made. Fair or not fair it doesn’t matter, it’s the decisions I made so…

KATRINA MADEWELL: A great book recommendation just on point QBQ, have you ever read that one? So QBQ is a question behind a question by John Miller. And it talks exactly about what you’re describing now, which is hey instead of just pointing the finger and blaming this person that person every person what can I do different to make my desire outcome different? It’s just re framing your thinking.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah because you know blaming someone else in the context of an IRS problem is not going to solve the problem. It just isn’t, so I realized that the bad news was when I was having tough times in my life, the bad news was it was the result of all of my decisions, I can literally standing in the mirror looking at myself going, dude…


DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah. You did this like your life is not going well because of the decisions that you made buddy so listen the good news is if you change your thinking and you change the quality of your decisions you can turn this around really fast and that’s really true, and this is kind of woowoo kind of soft stuff that we’re talking about.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It’s absolutely true.

DARRIN T. MISH: But I believe it is true from the bottom of my heart. I’ve lived it, I’ve seen it happen to many many people so the first thing is you just have to have an attitude of owning the problem, Hey this is my problem whether or not I’m 100% at fault it’s not even relevant.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Let’s pony up and fix it.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah it’s my problem and I have to have the right attitude and wiliness to deal with the problem  before we can ultimately get the problem solved, And I can tell you that through having representing clients for over 20 years the people who get there what we’re talking about, they get to that problem where they own the problem. Whether there is a criminal problem and a tax problem whatever once they own the problem, they’re gonna get a better result. I don’t know if it’s karma if it’s God if it’s the universe what it is but people who have that attitude of I did this but now I’m going to change and make it better those people get great results right now I’m representing an individual who does not have that attitude at all. I mean he’s I mean I’ve represented this guy off and on for between 7-10 years and he has still very much in the finger pointing stage and he is not getting a good resolution.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You have to read the book QBQ and give him a copy.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah I don’t know how this is going to work out. There are some people that just believe that they are done with learning. I think the average stat on Americans most Americans a vast majority of Americans have not read a book since they got out of school.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Ohh really? That’s scary

DARRIN T. MISH: You know and then, you and I hang around with a lot of the same kind of people you know? Entrepreneurial sort of life learner kind of people and I don’t know about you but I read a couple books a month even though it’s easy to say I don’t have time and you can always do what our mentors call what do they call that the university on wheels or the…


DARRIN T. MISH: The automobile university.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I mean why am I always in the car? So most of my books that I get are on audible they are, I mean I have a pre-release copy of Rachel Cruises new book “Love your life not theirs” And I’m going to have her on the show so I have to read the book but it’s really hard when you spend a lot of time in the car, that’s why I listen to most of my books.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah for sure, so it’s really this attitude it’s just really (inaudible) to getting the problem solved and it may not seem to people who listening that’s it’s all that important but if you have that attitude of gratitude for what you do have and faith and belief that things are bad now but they are not gonna stay bad now. If you look back on your life through the toughest times during the darkness of those times sometimes it feels hopeless and you feel despair, but every single time you went into one of those dark periods, however long they may be, you always came out the other side.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Well the storm always ends it’s not forever.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and, it’s always gonna get better and this is gonna be hard to believe for somebody who is going through that right now, but it makes you a better person, that makes you a stronger person.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It humbles you, and it definitely makes you stronger.

DARRIN T. MISH: I’ve talked on this show before that I’ve had a couple of really bad years and I was really kind of an arrogant cocky kind of guy because I have had many many years of strung together success and I convinced myself that I was actually the smartest person in every room I walked into, much like some of the people that are leading our country right now. But then when I had a downturn it was humbling and my downturn was longer because I didn’t have that attitude that we’re discussing right now, I did not have that gratitude and I was pointing fingers.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Not to get spiritual on you but I really believe that sometimes God has this intention and he knocks you off your high horse so that you can erase that and be that humble person that you need to be.

DARRIN T. MISH: One of the reasons that I enjoy doing this show with you so much is that we’re so aligned on so many levels. You’re absolutely right I mean I am confident that that’s what happened I was not being the best me that I could be and I had to go through…

KATRINA MADEWELL: Wait a minute we’re gonna reset this.

DARRIN T. MISH: I couldn’t go through yeah I wasn’t being the best version of me I wasn’t being my idealized version of me, and I needed to go through some tough times to recalibrate and reset and am grateful some tough economic times honestly.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So that I think is just a huge take away for the person listening that whatever it is whether you’re dealing with a tax problem or something else, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and you always want to hang out with people that are smarter than you, that are more advanced than you, that make more money than you, you know that you can learn from, that’s where the, with technology today and the internet the boundaries are global.

DARRIN T. MISH: I’m in lots of business groups and lots of what we call mastermind groups we’re smart business owners get together and we discuss our different challenges and our goals and things in our businesses, and I do not like it when am the smartest guy in that room.

KATRINA MADEWELL: No because you don’t grow.

DARRIN T. MISH: No because am teaching the whole time and I don’t mind teaching but that’s not what my role is.

KATRINA MADEWELL: But you can’t do that all the time

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah you can’t always teach because if you always teach you end up being the guy that I was where I was convinced I was the smartest guy in every room, and so I like to be in rooms with people that are living a life that I inspired to live in all kinds of ways, where there’s charitable works, financial family whatever it is.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Well you’re listening to the IRS solution attorney show we have to take a quick break on that note we were just talking about on how to prepare for your initial meeting if you have a tax issue and we were right in the middle of talking about some of the people that Darrin actually sees when they come in and so when we come back we will finish that conversation. Stick around we will be back in a minute.


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DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome to the IRS solution attorney show. I am the IRS solution attorney.

KATRINA MADEWELL: And I am your co-host Katrina Madewell thanks so much for sticking with us through the break. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show today we’re talking a little bit different then some of the stuff we normally do.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah usually we talk about really dry stuff, you know legal stuff and too much legal slips under the conversation but today we’re talking about what do you need to bring with you when you visit an IRS tax attorney?

KATRINA MADEWELL: What should you know, what should you expect?

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah and so am choosing to take a little bit different direction we’re actually at some point in time we got to talk about the physical things that you need to bring with you to that appointment, but we’re gonna get back to what we’re talking about before, we were talking about attitude issues and some spiritual issues honestly. But we’re talking about you need to bring that attitude of gratitude really and that you need to bring in the attitude of that you’re owning the problem. It by hook by crook you had a lot more to do with creating this problem then certainly the tax attorney that you’re going to see, sometimes it’s kind of interesting and it’s a little bit baffling I’ll sit down with somebody, I’ll start talking to them and within 5 minutes I get the impression that somehow they’re blaming me for the problem that they created and it’s always sort of interesting how you deal with that but how would I have anything to do with it.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m just curious how that conversation goes like all these random thoughts in my head.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah, usually I have to circle back and we have to talk about more about how it happened because we just met and we haven’t had any relationship prior to this so certainly wasn’t the tax attorneys fault that you owe the IRS a lot of money so the next thing I would say is you have to have really a burning desire to change. That’s pretty out there right? But you have got to make a commitment in your mind, or at least the people that are going to get the best results, are gonna have to make you’re gonna have to have a burning desire to change your life. Because in very many of my cases I would say the majority of my cases the reason that there’s a tax problem is because of behavior that needs to change. I will give an example, I represent primarily not primarily but I would say majority self-employed people, so they’re a plumber or they’re construction guy or they’re a lawyer frankly I represent a lot of lawyers.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Don’t forget about the realtors.

DARRIN T. MISH: And the realtors are some of the worst.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Not me you know.

DARRIN T. MISH: And so they have to do they have to make what are called estimated tax payments and we talk about this on the show all the time. An estimated tax payment is simply a payment that has to be made quarterly they pay it in to the IRS so that at the end of the year most of the taxes are already paid. And it’s something that even I when I first went into business for myself as a self-employed individual it was explained to me, and I was like 26, and it just didn’t sound fun to me to give them thousands of dollars a month or a quarter to the IRS it sounds.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Wait I worked and I have to give it to them?

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah exactly it was like wait a minute who is this uncle guy and why does he want all my money? So that’s one of the biggest things is you know in order to work out an IRS problem you have to reconsider what’s known as current with the IRS, and current means you’ve got to have no missing tax returns and if you have an obligation that make estimated tax payments, you got to start making estimated tax payments. So let’s real briefly talk about that, in a context of a real estate agent what I usually tell realtors is to take some percentage usually 20-30 percent of every closing out and just go ahead and sent it into the IRS the day of the closing. Isn’t true that at the day of the closing you can’t help it you kind of feel like you’re rich?

KATRINA MADEWELL: I don’t because I’ve been doing it way too long, I keep myself a salary.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah you’re really really A-Typical.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m boring like as far as your typical realtor client.

DARRIN T. MISH: So but most realtors or several played people when they get that big check on that day.

KATRINA MADEWELL: I think there was a time that I can relate to what you’re saying.

DARRIN T. MISH: You’re like am rich, today, am rich so that’s the day to make the estimated tax payments, the day you feel rich.

KATRINA MADEWELL: The funny part people like me that have been doing this for 24 years we look back and go yeah nobody looks at the prior 5 months that we spent to get here you know and most agents don’t make that much.

DARRIN T. MISH: Well think about the lead time on my cases right it’s like usually a minimum of I say 6 months to a maximum of 10 years, so talk about feeling underappreciated at times poor poor me but anyways it’s not about me it’s about the clients and about getting great results for people but yeah I would say a burning desire if you could convert your lukewarm desire to solve your IRS problems.

KATRINA MADEWELL: At least have a desire

DARRIN T. MISH: Into it and if you can convert that into a burning desire for this is the highest priority in your life you almost cannot help but have…

KATRINA MADEWELL: I’m envisioning Darrin like lighting a match under someone’s rear end.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah well I don’t go to that level, but if you can have a burning desire to solve any problem that you have in your life and that you can make it a goal then you almost cannot help but success. The universe will conspire not against you but for you to make your wishes come true.

KATRINA MADEWELL: It all comes together. So who are the other two personality types that come in? Like what other attitudes do you see, the first one that we touch on.

DARRIN T. MISH: We do see the people who come in and these I love these folks I love all the people bu,t I love when people come in and they say look I’ve just had it you know a revenue officer just visited me or they just levied me or they just filed a lien and it’s time to put the big boy pants on and just deal with this problem, I love those people, I just want to reach across the table and hug them it’s like okay right on let’s do this together we’re gonna be an awesome team and we’re gonna get this done. So the next point I wanted to make is the super critical and crucial to really great outcome is you got to be willing to follow directions, right? So if I have a heart problem and god forbid I don’t have a heart problem but if I did I would go and I would talk to a you know what do you call that a cardiologist right? and I would pick the best cardiologist I could and I like bed side manners so I try to pick the guy that I feel like has a personality who kind of understood me and then I would do what the cardiologist told me to do you know if he says well Darrin you got to have a heart surgery to correct a blockage or something and for a week before the surgery.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Stop eating french fries and drinking beer.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah if he said if you got to for a week before I need you to fast or whatever I would do that because this guy went to school for a very long time, presumably am not his first heart surgery and he knows what he is talking about I place my faith in him and I would do what he asked me to do because I don’t want to die on the table and I want to do what he asks me to do.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Your life is in his hands.

DARRIN T. MISH: Exactly and so when clients come to me I take that as a very it’s a very Solomon responsibility is laid back as I seem right now, it’s a very big deal for somebody to place their trust in you and you know I would say on the same side of that coin, you know, if I asked you to take reasonable steps or do reasonable things I need you to do those things. Because the people who get bad results to a person in our firm are the people that will not follow through and am not even asking you to do what the cardiologist would do he’d say Darrin I need you to walk on the treadmill for an hour every day, not drink other beer and not eat another french fry that’s what the cardiologist would do but am not gonna ask you to do anything that painful. I am gonna ask you hey I need you to start making some estimated tax payments let’s talk about some logical ways to get that done am gonna need you

KATRINA MADEWELL: Did you find that the biggest challenge is these people just don’t have a budget maybe their income chain has changed and then there’s just no budget.

DARRIN T. MISH: It’s always shocking to me how much of America is boarder on financially illiterate and I do not say that from an elitist perspective whatsoever. I do not mean it that way.

KATRINA MADEWELL: But it’s the truth, yeah.

DARRIN T. MISH: It’s the truth I mean I will ask people routinely it’s one of the questions so how much money do you make people say I don’t know.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Yeah I don’t know what are your expenses, I don’t know.

DARRIN T. MISH: What do you pay for housing and utilities, I don’t know, or the range is so wide you’re like okay so we clearly don’t know and that’s part of the problem and am not ever am not really a huge budget guy like am not gonna say I want here’s your budget and I want you to live within this budget am not ever going to tell you to do that I would consider that analogist to get on the treadmill for an hour don’t eat french fries and never drink a bottle of beer.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Wow I have to tell you, you know we are on the same station that Dave Ramsey airs on so there’s a lot of people that listen to the show and we myself I personally host FPU in my office and like I could tell you the people that we had come through it it’s life changing and the B word is not a bad word it’s basically a fact of life. You can’t make estimated tax payments Darrin if you don’t know what you’re working with. And it’s just the same thing how do you know what you had to spend if you don’t know what you’re working with, and I council people all the time that’s the A typical American family they have two car payments they have credit cards, they have all this stuff they want to move up in house and they get payment shocked, you know, when we look at a house that maybe double the size of what they had before and they’re like whoa where do I start? It’s like well you have the income you’re not spending your money right.

DARRIN T. MISH: Well truth be told, everybody’s living on a budget, it’s just it’s if the budget is defined or not right? I mean cause everybody has even Donald Trump has a finite amount of money, so everybody’s living on a budget and the dirty little secret is the IRS in many of these cases is gonna put you on a budget of sorts because there’s maximum monthly amounts for all kinds of things like there’s a maximum car payment amount for example if right now the maximum car payment is $471 a month. If you’re car payment is $771 a month which lots of people are paying, the IRS is not necessarily you’re not gonna sell it but the IRS is gonna characterize that $300 extra over above they’re gonna say that that’s allowable or that’s disposable income.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Yes, you’re hearing the music it’s about that time we have to take a break, you’re listening to the IRS solution attorney show am your co-host Katrina Madewell with Mr. Darrin Mish, we’ll be back in just a minute to continue the conversation.


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DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome back to IRS solution attorney show, I am the IRS solution attorney.

KATRINA MADEWELL: And am your co-host Katrina Madewell. We’ve had a great little fun interesting different show today then what we would normally do.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah, for sure, and you know even the name of the show just describes that I have a little bit of a different philosophical outlook on these issues. Most guys do what I do call themselves an IRS problem resolution attorney or some kind of variation like that where they focus on the negative. But even the bumper in the beginning of the show talks about how we’re choosing not to focus on the negative we’re gonna focus on the positive and that’s really what this show has been about today; is change your outlook, change your outcome. In many peoples cases the problems that their facing when they have a tax problem is the result often times of negative thinking and we’re just pointing out wrong thinking so you got to fix your head a little bit before you come into the office. If we can that’d be great because we don’t have a lot of time in the office to do that but let’s talk about just for a little bit during this segment what are the tangible things that people need to bring into the office when they actually have a tax problem.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Well the earlier part like if you just hopping in the car and catching the show we were talking about what you need to do to be prepared for an appointment with Darrin or another tax preparer so almost the whole first show was about the mental preparations because there is a lot to be said for that.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah we were talking about you have to have the right attitude. You have to have an attitude of gratitude you have to be focusing on the positive you have to have an attitude of hey by hook or by crook, however this happened it was a result of my decision and I own the problem, and the people that have that kind of attitude really do a lot better, the second thing is you have to have a willingness to follow directions, you know you’re going to a professional and if you’re going to a doctor presumably.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Let them help you.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah you would follow their reasonable directions and I can say speak for myself I’m never going to ask somebody to do something that’s unreasonable. I’m not going to do it, because people won’t do unreasonable things that you suggest, so we just try to keep it reasonable and we try to come up with common sense solutions. The third is a burning desire to change your outcome. If this isn’t the biggest problem that you have and if you’re not ready to solve the problem, then you’re not ready to be committed to solving the problem, then don’t come in, don’t even ask for help. Because you’re not going to get the outcome that you’re desiring. You’ve got to have a burning desire to change the outcome, that means you got to do what it takes to change the problem. If you don’t have that, you probably shouldn’t go looking for help cause you’re just not ready, that’s harsh I don’t mean it harsh I say that with love actually.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Well that old saying you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. You can’t help somebody if they won’t help themselves.

DARRIN T. MISH: I can speak for myself, I do zero selling in the initial consultation, I don’t sell you, you’re already sold to come to me or somebody like me and you’ve already sold yourself on this problem and it’s so painful at this point that you’ve got to do what you got to do to solve the problem. If you’re not there, that’s great, we can talk and we can chat, but it’s not gonna be a good fit because you’re not gonna get a great result. So let’s talk about what I’d like them to bring in terms of tangible items I’d like them to bring probably the most important thing is, and this makes me laugh, is bring the last correspondence that you got from the IRS, bring some bills you would not believe Katrina how many people come into an office with a stack 6 or 8 inches high of unopened envelopes, now God bless them at least…

KATRINA MADEWELL: I already know what that is am not opening that.

DARRIN T. MISH: God bless them at least they brought the envelopes because sometimes people show up completely empty handed, they go yeah hey Darrin I owe the IRS a lot of money, okay sir great how much is a lot of money? I don’t know, Okay well…

KATRINA MADEWELL: Where are we gonna start?
DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah I mean it just depends on how much you owe and how much you make and what your assets all are as to what the solution is gonna be, so telling me I owe a lot of money with no other frame or references not particularly helpful because I’ve worked with people who think $800 is a lot of money, to people who owe $23 million and that is certainly a lot of money, unless maybe you’re Donald Trump, maybe or Warren Buffett or somebody like that, maybe $23 million is like going down and having a cup of coffee, I don’t know but saying I owe…

KATRINA MADEWELL: For most people it’s the biggest issue, a lot of money for them.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah most people having an IRS problem are liability as the single biggest problem that they have and that’s why we’re in business and that’s why we’re there to help, so bring copies of all of the latest correspondence from the IRS preferably open but if not well I can open an envelope’s no problem I could tell from the front of the envelope…

KATRINA MADEWELL: When you got it.

DARRIN T. MISH: I can tell what’s inside of it, now this kind of lends us to another issue and that is if you get one of those orange slips in the mail from the post office that says they’re holding a piece of certified mail for you down at the post office, many many people…

KATRINA MADEWELL: I just learned they’re green.

DARRIN T. MISH: Are they? Well whatever color, they’re colored pieces of paper from the IRS.

KATRINA MADEWELL: They’re green.

DARRIN T. MISH: And they say you need to come down and pick up a piece of certified mail, many people think well no good news come by a certified mail which is sort of true, and so they won’t go down and pick it up, no no no please help us out, go down there and get it, because I need to see what that letter is, because depending on the letter, we may or may not have appeal rights, if we do have appeal rights if we do it in time we could prevent levy’s and liens and things like that from being filed. So it’s really important to go down there and get your mail from the post office if you can.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So they’re thinking if you don’t get it, it goes away like I don’t know I didn’t get it, not me.

DARRIN T. MISH: It’s like typical ostrich like behavior, they’re going to stick their head in the sand and they’re like I don’t see it, it’s not happening and I’ve done this myself…

KATRINA MADEWELL: I don’t know about you but we have not me, he lives in our house, like who did this? Not me, my husbands like when I find not me…

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah for sure not me like loses everything right.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Yeah Not me did it.

DARRIN T. MISH: So the other thing that I would say is. if you’re going through an audit. so if you got an audit notice, and we’re doing lots of audits right now I don’t know what is up with the IRS but they are auditing lots of people…

KATRINA MADEWELL: They need money.

DARRIN T. MISH: and if you got an audit notice bring copies of the returns that are being audited, that’s really important because I can help you even if I don’t have copies of the returns but I need to see copies of the returns, ultimately so I can see what I’m up against in terms of how to be best prepared for the audit and how to best defend in the audit situation.

KATRINA MADEWELL: What about if you have someone that’s not being audited and they just owe money and they’re trying to figure out where to start and they haven’t filed a tax return in 20 years?

DARRIN T. MISH: That’s a great question, if they have those returns I would rather have them bring them to me before they file them so that we can devise a strategy.

KATRINA MADEWELL: No I’m talking about the returns from 20 years ago.

DARRIN T. MISH: No I don’t need to see the returns from 20 years ago, typically it would be you’d be heart pressed to find anybody who has the returns from 20 years ago except for me probably but anyways so I don’t need to see those ancient returns but um…

KATRINA MADEWELL: So what if they had not filed, just bring income stuff? Like w2’s, paystubs that stuff?

DARRIN T. MISH: If they haven’t filed then it would be good to bring the w2’s and some 1099’s if they have them, because that’s going to help us start on the very first place we’re going to start which is compiling data so that we could prepare the tax return so we can devise a strategy so that we could ultimately resolve…

KATRINA MADEWELL: How far back do they have to go again how many years do you have to file?

DARRIN T. MISH: So you know my favorite story my favorite story is the non-filer who came into the office and he had not filed a tax return since 1960. So in that case we did not have to go back 50 years we had to go back 6 because that’s what the IRS is required to demand from you is 6 years by now the IRS is on this little war path where they’re demanding returns that are older than 6 years and it’s usually kind of fun to just cite the section of the Internal Revenue manual that says that they only have to file the past 6 years and I so far have not had an argument on that cause that is in fact what the Internal Revenue manual says. You have to go back 6 years in the criminal statute of limitations for the crime of failure to file a tax return is 6 years. So a lot of people come in or they don’t come in because they’re afraid of criminal prosecution, we talked to a guest of ours last week about this and he was really afraid of you know being criminally prosecuted, I would say for the vast majority of people that I deal with there’s no real risk of criminal prosecution. The crime for failure to file is actually a federal misdemeanor which is relatively minor it could theoretically result in prison time but you’re talking about right about the 1 year stage.

KATRINA MADEWELL: And by the way you said before that you’ve never had someone that’s went to jail.

DARRIN T. MISH: I’ve never had even anybody even threatened to be criminally prosecuted and I spoke to a former U.S attorney recently he used to prosecute criminal tax crimes, and we talked about it and I asked him why don’t you prosecute more people for failure to file and he said because quite honestly it’s a misdemeanor, and we don’t get excited about misdemeanors it’s just not fun.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Plus it costs them money because now the states are supporting you, there’s just no win in that.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah it costs them money and so what he said is that typically people are only prosecuted for failure to file in conjunction with some other larger conspiracy or criminal offense.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Like if they’re embezzling money.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah if they’re a drug dealer or something like that I have recently met with a former elected official, who I believe was criminally prosecuted for failure to file or filing a false return I can’t remember which but that was also in conjunction with a larger corruption source you know, scheme that he was involved in and so the IRS and the department treasury piled on after the FBI had done the initial investigation, so.

KATRINA MADEWELL: They kind of teamed up and just go for the guy so

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah for sure also make sure that you bring copies of any previous powers of attorney that you might have with the IRS so if you have your taxes prepared by a tax preparer and they have a power of attorney, which is fairly common, then it would be great to bring a copy of that with you.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So it’s like if they have an attorney or someone else that helped them before.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah usually CPA, bring a copy of that if you can because that can be helpful. Because if we need to leave it in place we can actually leave that power of attorney in place so that you don’t create extra work for that person.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So so far they need to bring any letters that they have from the IRS, any type of pay stubs, tax returns, that kind of stuff

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah but we actually didn’t mention pay stubs, pays stubs would be great, I’d say I only probably deal with about 20-30 percent wage earner type folks who get pay stubs

KATRINA MADEWELL: Let’s think about your non-filers.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah for sure, yeah anything that might help us prepare a tax return, would be fantastic.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Do you need any bank statements?

DARRIN T. MISH: Not at this stage, not initially. But I can tell that when I got to greet every client when they’re in the lobby and introduce myself and shake their hands and things and am actually happier when I see the box of stuff when them then if they have nothing, we’re probably not going to have quite enough information to know exactly where we’re headed if you have absolutely nothing. But if you do have nothing just because that’s how it worked out we still want you to come in and we can still figure it out it’s just gonna be a little bit harder to do.

KATRINA MADEWELL: So is there anything else that’s imperative or crucial they should bring?


DARRIN T. MISH: If you’re married and your spouse knows, bring your spouse.

KATRINA MADEWELL: What if your spouse doesn’t know?

DARRIN T. MISH: If your spouse doesn’t know, I would encourage you to tell your spouse.

KATRINA MADEWELL: A good time to tell your spouse.

DARRIN T. MISH: Because at least…

KATRINA MADEWELL: I want to introduce you to my friend Mr. Darrin Mish.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah actually I understand having a spouse that doesn’t know because turns out I was a newlywed and I had a tax problem, it wasn’t huge but I married my wife and I didn’t tell her that I had a tax problem because I was afraid honestly that she was gonna bail.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Kick your butt to the moon.

DARRIN T. MISH: I thought she was gonna split, like who’d want to marry a guy this was my self-talk this is inaccurate. this is not what you should be saying to yourself but myself talk was who’d want to marry me when I owed the IRS money so ultimately I had to have that difficult conversation I told her and like the wonderful woman that she is she’s like okay and let’s take care of it.

KATRINA MADEWELL: Woman are good about seeing the future you, cause it takes you boys a little longer to grow up that’s just how it goes.

DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah we’re late bloomers and take a while to develop they say.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You’re listening to the IRS solution attorney show, we have to take a quick break stick around we’ll be back for the final segment of the show, back in a minute.


(commercial break)


DARRIN T. MISH: Welcome back to the IRS solution attorney show I am the IRS solution attorney.
KATRINA MADEWELL: And am your co-host Katrina Madewell, thanks for sticking with us through the break.
DARRIN T. MISH: Absolutely. Today we’re talking about what you need to bring with you when you meet with me or any other kind of tax resolution attorney, people that handle tax problems. And we’re talking about a few things am gonna recap that real quick, you have to bring a great attitude, you have to bring an attitude that ultimately you’re responsible, or your decisions led to the fact that you have an IRS problem and that you now have an attitude of doing what it takes to get the problem solved. The second thing is you have to follow have to have a willingness to follow directions, you’re gonna be consulting with an expert, and you need to have faith and believe in them that they have been through this before you have not and you need to try to follow their directions.
KATRINA MADEWELL: Let them help you.
DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah you have to follow their instructions to the best of your ability, this is not a great time to come up with excuses on why you cannot do the reasonable things that your attorney has asked you to do. Your attorney is not asking you to do those things for fun, it’s because it’s necessary in order to get the best resolution for your case and lastly you have to have a burning desire to change the outcome in your life and in the outcome in your current financial status.
KATRINA MADEWELL: Say I am never going to be here again.
DARRIN T. MISH: Absolutely, you have to have a burning desire, if you have that burning desire, I believe strongly that you’re gonna have a better outcome, then we talked about the physical things the tangible things, that you need to bring with you to the appointment, things like tax returns, last correspondence from the IRS.
KATRINA MADEWELL: If you have any pay stubs bring those.
DARRIN T. MISH: Things like those.
KATRINA MADEWELL: If you’re a wage earner…
DARRIN T. MISH: Pay stubs can be very helpful, because it helps tell us what your income is, I don’t think I’ve ever met somebody including myself, who could answer the question how much money do you make, because in my case it varies, even in salary peoples experience sometimes it’s very different then what they say because of the way it’s actually calculated versus what they think.
KATRINA MADEWELL: Well the old saying what you make is not what you take.
DARRIN T. MISH: Well that’s for sure, well it might be if you’re a non-tax payer, right?
KATRINA MADEWELL: Well a non-tax payer maybe but that’s why you’re visiting Darrin.
DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah exactly, so let’s talk about realistic questions that you should kind of think about beforehand you should bring.
KATRINA MADEWELL: And jot down any questions that you have because every time I mean I know when I go to an appointment I love it when people just have a whole rapid fire list of questions cause I can just boom  boom boom knock them all out.
DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah for sure you know you got to go a little bit prepared if you can, because you’re gonna have a better outcome if you come kind of strategist and think about the questions that you have and the answers that you want then try and write those down because we can be a lot more efficient. Also I think people are nervous when they come and talk to an attorney, I wish they weren’t but it’s not something that you do all the time
KATRINA MADEWELL: And let’s face it, you’re not just an average attorney you’re an IRS attorney it just makes it worst Darrin.
DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah but am so lovable to some folks.

KATRINA MADEWELL: You are but they don’t know you.
DARRIN T. MISH: You’re right that’s true, and so when I go to the doctors fairly rare, but when I go to the doctor and they take my blood pressure, it’s always elevated it’s not elevated because I have high blood pressure it’s elevated because am a little scared when I go to the doctor and I think it’s natural to be a little scared when you go see an attorney. So write those questions down so that your mind just doesn’t go blank like it happens sometimes to people write them down, but here are some suggestions real quick about some questions you might ask, how many cases has a lawyer handled like yours?
KATRINA MADEWELL: Especially if you’re meeting with someone else other than Darrin.
DARRIN T. MISH: Yeah they can tell stories about cases that were similar to you I think that’s a really good sign, especially if those stories end with a good outcome, if they end with a bad outcome uh oh I mean you might want to think about that, how many cases or how long have they been doing this type of work? I can tell you for one thing I would not hire what I call a dabbler, I would not hire somebody who dabbles in IRS in a problem situation resolution because it’s not it is not brain surgery but it’s not something a dabbler could usually typically do successfully.
KATRINA MADEWELL: You see it in real estate all the time especially in this market.
DARRIN T. MISH: You got to handle lots of cases so you have lots of experience. I have more failures than other people have even tried so think about that you know when you’ve been doing something for over 20 years you’re gonna have some failures it is the case. But you learn from every single one of those failures so you don’t make that same mistake again so I would just say you know those are the things come up with a good list of questions and write them down and talk to the attorney about his experience and what not.
KATRINA MADEWELL: And then what else? Like is there any other questions?
DARRIN T. MISH: You know how long is it gonna take, how much is it gonna cost, is this a flat rate billing or is this hourly billing, you know that kind of things, those are all good questions to ask.
KATRINA MADEWELL: Alright it’s about that time, the IRS train wreck of the week.
DARRIN T. MISH: This is the segment of the show where we talk about the IRS train wreck of the week where somebody came in and they had a big IRS problem and I tell the story and there’s just always a happy ending cause I actually have control over the stories that I tell here on the show.
KATRINA MADEWELL: That’s how we like it That’s how we like it.
DARRIN T. MISH: And so this case is really cool, this was a gentleman who is a former lawyer and he actually lives in San Francisco, California, and so we were talking about the fact that he owed about $142,978 to the IRS. And he’s not working as a lawyer out there in California but he had pretty high income I mean it would be a rapid income here in the Tampa bay area, but I have lived in San Francisco in the past and I knew it is a very expensive place to live. And so what we did, we did something a little bit unusual with him we actually went through his finances and great to deal on the phone in an initial consolation and we came to the conclusion that we thought we could get an offer in compromise (OIC) done for him, an offer in compromise is where you make a deal with the IRS to settle for less and is based upon a relatively simple math equation that takes into account your assets and your monthly disposable income. And so in this case what we did is we did a little bit of planning to which will reduce his monthly disposable income in an ethical and reasonable way, and we filed the offering compromise. I can’t remember exactly how much we offered it was probably in the 1500 dollar range something along those lines. Like what happens in lots of cases what happened is the IRS took a long time to get back with us so we filed the offer and the great thing about filing an offer is the offer actually stops all adverse collection and action from happening while the offer is pending so there’s no levies or anything like that. We were really worried he was gonna have a wage garnishment in this case. We were worried he works for the city county of San Francisco we were worried they were gonna take his paycheck. We got the offer prepared, we filed it we ended up waiting about 6 or 8 months and finally I got the call from the IRS and the gentleman had a long list of questions because in this case we hadlike a trust involved and some other kind of more complex things and long story short like what happens in many cases the IRS came back to us and they said well we can’t take your offer $1500 but we would be willing to recommend an offer of $11,500 or so in exchange for eliminating this $143,000 liability. Client was thrilled with that outcome he’s over the moon he actually was able to convince his father to loan him that money and for the first time in probably over a decade he is gonna be able to say he does not owe the IRS any money, makes my heart just sing I love cases like that and it’s just so great to help people like that, it’s just really nice to have a great attitude.
KATRINA MADEWELL: Well you’re listening to the IRS solution attorney if you want to reach Darrin you can get him at 888-GETMISH.
DARRIN T. MISH: Or my website at or 888-438-6474.
KATRINA MADEWELL: This week we’re out.

DARRIN T. MISH: We’re out.

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