Total Pageviews

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

IRS Form 443 -- Help, I can't pay my taxes!

So what really happens when you are waaayyy behind in your taxes? You see those ads on TV that promise to reduce your debt -- "Call us! We'll handle the IRS for you!" How true are they? What is an offer in compromise, and what it the process for contactin the IRS Field Office? Can you do this without an attorney? Are they unfriendly!? Enter the IRS form 433A.

These are great questions! And, yes, you can do much of this without an attorney. This blog post will talk about what is required to "fix" deliquent taxes. Remember, an attorney (that would be Hanover Law, of course!) can really help sort through the mess and guide you in the process. However, believe it or not (gasp) -- the IRS is rather helpful in providing pointers and tips on how to move forward. The difference with an attorney is that we can often get help faster for you, and usually talk directly to the folks that make decisions on your case. More on that in a moment.

So is there a magic button? NO

If you owe taxes, you have a serious problem that must be resolved. The IRS will not hesitate to garnish your wages or place liens on your propert. However, it is often possible to schedule payment, or even place yourself in non-collectible status, based on your income. This process requires you complete an IRS form 433A.

A 433 form asks for information about assets and income, and is designed to let the IRS know all about your personal situation. If you filed jointly, you must also have your partner sign. There was, for some time, an interesting question as to how married, gay couples, would file 433's or other IRS documents that require married couples to jointly file various documents. However, that issue now seems to have resolved in favor of same-sex couples being treated as married couples as appropriate.

Be truthful! Avoid answering questions on the phone. If you request that an IRS representative contact you, you may be asked to complete the 433 on the phone. DO NOT DO THIS, as you are apt to make errors or mis-state amounts.

Also, it is important to remember that deferred payment plans, or "uncollectable status" does not remove the IRS debt! It is stilled owed, and will still continue to accrue interest. It will, however, stop liens and garnishments.

Need help with a tax matter? Give us a ring! We'll discuss your case for free on the phone. We have several VA, DC, and MD lawyers who have considerable experience in sorting out complex IRS matters.

http://www.hanoverlawpc.com
703-402-2723

Sean R. Hanover, Esq.
Principal Attorney
The Hanover Law Firm is located in Washington, DC and Fairfax, VA. We practice
in both state and federal courts in VA, MD, and DC.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

CBP and LPR -- what happens at a "deferred inspection"

Interesting case recently. A client called us with a not-to-uncommon problem. On the way back from visiting an ailing relative in Costa Rica, the family was stopped at Dulles International Airport (a la Virginia). The dreaded hand gesture was made by an immigration border officer to "go to line B". Deferred inspection is in your future.

When Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) takes your passport and gives you a date to return to talk to them -- that is deferred inspection.

So what happens? You get a deferred inspection when you have criminal incidents in your past that could reasonably lead to inadmissibility into the United States. Eh, you say? What is THAT!?

So first, a discussion on crime and immigration. Remember, no matter how old your criminal convictions they are still eligible for immigration review. There is no "ignore after certain date" -- although, there are crimes that are treated differently if your convictions fall before 1990 (among others). That notwithstanding, remember that CBP can review ANY crime convicted at ANY time. However, the crime MUST have resulted in a conviction.

When speaking of crimes, it is important to remember that any crime that has a detention or deferred sentence (suspended sentence) of 12 months or more is considered an aggravated felony, and constitutes inadmissibility on its face. That's bad.

Certain crimes can be waived under the petty exception for CIMT's. Remember that time when you were busted for shoplifting and served 30 days in the brig? Likely, a single offense can be ignored and you will not be found inadmissible.

When you go for your interview, bring a lawyer, and if you can afford one, bring a book. Whoops -- that was backwards, but I'm biased. You will be waiting for quite some time. While you are obligated to be on time for your 11AM deferred inspection, CBP will often stall and you won't be seen until 2pm! Or later. Can you sense my frustration? Baah.

Why do you need a lawyer? Well, a lawyer cannot change the law. If you have an aggravated felony, or you have been smuggling little children into the country, there is nothing the attorney nor the CBP officer can do -- our hands are tied, and the law says you will be found inadmissible. However, an attorney can make a good argument to NOT HAVE YOU DETAINED. CBP will contact ICE once they determine you are inadmissible. It is up to ICE -- not CBP -- whether you shall be detained (sent to jail while you wait for your immigration trial). NOTE -- that an aggravated felony cannot be bonded out. So, having your attorney get CBP to argue that you should NOT be detained (when speaking to ICE) is worth its weight in gold. CBP can make a good argument to have ICE just ignore you. You do NOT want to be detained. While this does not always work, it can ONLY work when you have an attorney.

When you leave (non-detained), you will have a court date from your Notice to Appear (NTA)and you should meet with your attorney to plan your case (see my posting on what to expect at your first immigration court hearing). If you are detained, you will be taken to an immigration detention center and "booked" directly from the deferred inspection meeting. You will then be given your NTA while detained, and need to get in touch with your attorney, who will need to come and meet you at the detention center. Do you need help with a CBP or deferred inspection? You came to the right place! We have considerable experience helping walk clients through tough situations. We'll walk through each step and help you get the best possible results.

http://www.hanoverlawpc.com
703-402-2723

Sean R. Hanover, Esq.
Principal Attorney
The Hanover Law Firm is located in Washington, DC and Fairfax, VA. We practice
in both state and federal courts in VA, MD, and DC.

So you're going to immigration court...what should your lawyer do?

Ah...the fun of the court room! Gotta love it!

Think "cattle call" -- do you do state or federal cases? The initial hearing equates roughly to a preliminary hearing in state/federal. The burden of moving forward is with the state, and if the respondent does not admit to the charges of removability, it is the burden of the state to prove them up. Once the state has convinced the judge that the charges are legit, the judge asks what relief the respondent seeks. Note that care must be used is admitting to the state's allegations as to removability...usually it's pretty "cold turkey" gotchas, but occasionally, they'll try to pull a quickie. Keep an eye on the regs, and the charges -- especially when a charge (state or federal criminal charge) can be viewed in different ways depending on the eye of the beholder. You can all sorts of fun stomping your feet and demanding a hearing as to the applicability or legitimacy of a particular allegation. On the same note -- don't be a jerk. If the allegation is valid, don't get a reputation of wasting court time on goofy meaningless foot dragging. This is especially true if your fella (or lass, as the case may be) is detained.

As to relief, that's where you pull out your trusty tool box and ponder the possible options. Generally, you want to do this prior to the hearing -- however, if you had not chance to see the NTA afore the hearing, take a moment to consider. Besides, you look good staring out the window rubbing your chin as you ponder how to save your client. You go, attorney! Typical relief options are Cancellation of Removal (COR 42A or 42B), some assortment of asylums (A-W-C), family adjustment (when appropriate), stalling with a plea for Prosecutorial Discretion (truly a waste), continuance for post-conviction relief (right....usually a stall tactic for some out of court magic date when bubba suddenly becomes eligible for relief), voluntary departure (one of the least understood and quite helpful tools for folks that can later adjust and don't already have EWI's etc.), and the old favorite -- a request for peonage (rarely granted, but often illicits a grin for those that know you have just asked to violate a host of immigration laws and the US constitution...but hey, if you have nothing else...)

When you really have hit the "duh...why am I here?" problem, and this is the first MCH...punt! Ask for a continuance to consider your options. Usually, you get one pass. Use it wisely.

Also, prior to requesting relief, but after a reading of the allegations (and any challenges thereunto), you'll have a chance to plead for bond, if your alleged evil alien monster is not already detained. Now, save yourself some grief, and the expectation crushing blow to your client's dying mother who just happened to attend your first MCH -- if your client has an aggravated felony (affectionately known as AgFel's). Don't know what constitutes an AgFel? Ping the law firm, and I'll send you a nifty cheat sheet (although as I have posted this prior -- I warn you that some of my more learned colleagues challenge some of the agfel definitions included on my sheet of cheating...but I'll leave that for your free time to hunt my alleged errors :). Regardless, with an AgFel, guess what? Your guest alien will not be getting out of the pokie. Don't even ask. Your client has "detained" stamped on his forehead. If you want to see if you can avoid that...TALK TO ICE BEFORE BEFORE BEFORE BEFORE (ahem...did I mention, um, "before"?) the judge has your case. The judge is compelled to keep your client detained if she has an AgFel. However, ICE can do whatever they want before EOIR takes the case. This is really important for CBP (custom and border patrol) ops (that would be LPR's that are snagged at the border for having a nefarious AgFel past that, for some reason, was allowed to be ignored for years and only now makes the evil heathens). If someone contacts you about a CBP "deferred inspection" grab them vigorously, and make SURE he or she takes you to the interview. You can beg and plead with the CBP officer to ask ICE to let your client walk -- even with AgFels. Once your client is non-detained -- judge can't revoke that, so it is possible to have a doomed, er..client out even with an AgFel. So...see if you can cajole ICE to play nice. Good luck with that, by the way :)

Let's see.. oh, and what about other MCH's? Well...they are just status hearings (a federal term for a continued case on the criminal docket). Usually you'll have one more after you plead relief so that you might have a glorious opportunity to, before all the assembled sad faced immigrants who, in court do find themselves, present a completed application of whatever relief thou hast otherwise requested in this, you first MCH.

The real fun is trying to prepare your client for their actual hearing on the merits (called an "individual calendar hearing" in immigration court parlance -- and by the way, if you are a client reading this LEARN AND DO NOT DO THESE THINGS). It is quite common to get hearing dates that are quite literally years out from the MCH (for non-detained). Your honest hard working client(s) will wander away...move to different states...go back to their home country, get DUI's (unbelievably...this is the number one charge for most of the folks that come to our office...an endemic problem in the Hispanic community of Northern VA...is there an ADA claim there somewhere? I'm game if anyone wants to help)...or, their story will change, the facts will be all wrong, and when trial comes, they'll not have provided anything you need. Remember! You are now a stunning paragon of justice and imminent speaker on all matters immigration -- so no worries (laughing)...you will persevere. On at least one in ten. (laughing again).

Court is a lot of fun, and the challenges of immigration court are really the same for all court cases -- facts and foundation. Get'um right and the relief you seek is indeed a pearl of great worth within your grasp.

http://www.hanoverlawpc.com
703-402-2723

Sean R. Hanover, Esq.
Principal Attorney
The Hanover Law Firm is located in Washington, DC and Fairfax, VA. We practice
in both state and federal courts in VA, MD, and DC.