Branford, CT asked in Tax Law, Collections and Municipal Law for Connecticut

Q: I just received a letter from a collection agency for a tax bill from 2009/2010, that I have never been notified of

I had an accountant that was in charge of things, who is now in federal prison and has cost me 22,000 over this time and now I’m looking at another 9,300. Can I do anything? I live in this town and am in there to pay ALL of my taxes a couple of times a year. Not once was I ever told about this

2 Lawyer Answers
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL

A: OK, well, either you owe the tax bill because the accountant didn't pay it, or he paid it and the government is wrong. The one thing that is clear is that you cannot rely on "my accountant handled it" to avoid paying a valid tax bill. I think the best course of action is to retain an accountant to sort this out for you.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Firstly, it's important to verify the legitimacy of the collection notice by contacting the tax authority directly, rather than relying on the collection agency's word alone. If the debt is legitimate, request a detailed statement and check it against your own records. You have rights under tax law, including the right to dispute errors and seek clarification.

If discrepancies arise or if you were genuinely unaware of this debt due to the actions of your former accountant, consider consulting with a tax professional or attorney who has experience with tax disputes. They can guide you through the process of contesting the bill and provide representation if necessary. Documentation of your financial interactions, especially those related to taxes, will be crucial in proving your case.

Lastly, address the situation promptly to avoid additional penalties or interest. Communicate openly with the tax authorities and your legal advisor to explore all possible solutions, including payment plans or compromises if the debt is valid. While this situation is undoubtedly stressful, taking proactive steps can help resolve the issue more smoothly and potentially mitigate the financial impact.

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