Tax Controversy

Camphuis Law negotiates with the Irs and ca ftb so you don’t have to.

Camphuis Law negotiates with the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) so you don’t have to. Let’s face it, the tax code is complicated. It’s also important to know the procedures when dealing with the IRS or FTB. It helps if you can be objective and distance yourself emotionally from what is happening and if you know your rights. One of those rights is the right to be represented. Having a licensed tax attorney on your side may make all the difference.

It’s also a lot of work to deal with the IRS or FTB (for example, it takes them forever to answer the phone and sometimes they just hang up on you). You might have to take a half-day off of work just to call them.

Camphuis Law provides the service of negotiating or litigating with the IRS or FTB on your behalf. Since Matthew Camphuis, Esq. is a licensed attorney he can also provide his clients with the attorney client privilege and attorney work-product privilege. This is something that a CPA or EA cannot do. Also, if necessary, Matthew can represent you before the US Tax Court since he is a licensed attorney. This is also something that an EA or CPA cannot do unless they become specially enrolled in the US Tax Court.

Here are some of the ways Camphuis Law services taxpayers:


Before the IRS will even think about making a deal with you, you will have to be compliant. This means that you need to file a tax return on any delinquent tax years. For the years you did not file a return the IRS will typically file a substitute return.

A substitute return is the IRS’ estimate of what your return and deductions should have been — and it’s rarely, if ever, favorable to the taxpayer. Camphuis Law can file an amended return and often reduce your tax liability for that delinquent year and set you up to start negotiating.

penalty abatements

If you don’t pay your taxes or file on time the IRS will penalize you. You may qualify for an abatement to reduce or eliminate those penalties. There are two main categories of penalty abatements you can request: first-time penalty abatements and reasonable cause abatements. Camphuis Law can help you with the process of requesting those abatements if you qualify.


Camphuis Law can represent your IRS tax matter in the IRS Office of Independent Appeals. If you filed an offer in compromise and it was rejected or would like to challenge a final notice of intent to levy or a final notice of a lien recording through a Collection Due Process Appeal Camphuis Law can help. Appeals can be useful if you are having difficulty with a biased Revenue Officer or if you are having trouble communicating with the IRS. Filing a Collection Due Process Appeal timely also suspends all collection activity. There are other types of appeals as well such as CAP appeals, or Equivalency Hearings. Sometimes filing an Appeal can be a backdoor way to get back into US Tax Court.

installment agreements

It’s likely that you won’t be able to pay the full amount past due that the IRS demands, even after filing amended tax returns.

Camphuis Law can negotiate payment plans with the IRS to come to a reasonable payment amount based upon your circumstances.


An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be a legitimate option if you can’t pay your full tax liability, or doing so creates a financial hardship. The IRS generally approves an offer in compromise when the amount offered represents the most the IRS can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time. All other payment options should be considered before submitting an offer in compromise. Camphuis Law can help you submit either a lump-sum offer or a periodic payment offer if you qualify.

US tax court petition and representation

Matthew W. Camphuis, Esq. is a licensed attorney by the CA Supreme Court and the Federal Central District of California. As such, he can represent clients before courts in those jurisdictions. Due to his attorney license, Matthew can also help taxpayers preparer their tax court petitions and represent taxpayers in US Tax Court. If you would like to challenge a tax liability and have received a CP3219N Notice of Deficiency (90 day letter) then a taxpayer can file a petition in tax court within 90 days from the date of the CP3219N Notice. Matthew can help taxpayers prepare this petition and represent them in US Tax Court.


If the IRS determines that you cannot pay any of your tax debt, the IRS may report your account as “currently not collectible” (CNC) and temporarily delay collection until your financial condition improves. Being currently not collectible does not mean the debt goes away, it means the IRS has determined you cannot afford to pay the debt at this time. To do this you must file a Collection Information Statement and prove your financial status.

Unfortunately, interest continues to accrue during the collections delay, but it may provide temporary relief (sometimes up to two years) to get back on your feet.

innocent spouse relief

In some cases, a spouse (or former spouse) will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available to married persons
who filed joint returns are (1) innocent spouse relief; (2) separation of liability relief; and (3) equitable relief.

By requesting innocent spouse relief, you can be relieved of responsibility for paying tax, interest, and penalties if your spouse (or former spouse) improperly reported items or omitted items on your tax return. However, you must meet certain conditions to qualify.

statute of limitations

Generally, the IRS must collect taxes owed within 10 years from when they were assessed. Otherwise, those debts are wiped out. Sometimes, some strategic options can help you wait out the 10 year period. If you take this strategy you should consult with a tax pro to obtain accurate CSED dates or other important information.

IRS Tax DISCHARGE through bankruptcy

In some cases, delinquent taxes can be discharged through a bankruptcy proceeding. The two most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There are very specific and complex rules in regards to discharging delinquent tax debt through bankruptcy.

At a minimum, the following criteria must be met: (a) Tax returns were filed more than two years prior to the bankruptcy filing; (b) The tax liability was assessed more than 240 days prior to filing of the bankruptcy petition. (c) The liability is not due on Trust Fund Tax; (d) The taxpayer did not attempt to evade or defeat the tax, nor was the tax liability due to a fraudulent tax return; (e) The tax was not assessable at the time of the filing of the bankruptcy petition; (f) The tax was unsecured; (g) It has been more than 3 years since the returns were last DUE to be filed (including extensions); (h) The returns were timely filed or it has been at least 2 years since the returns were filed.

Unlike many other tax resolution firms, Camphuis Law can provide a bankruptcy attorney to see if discharging IRS debt (and other debt) is an option for you.

wage garnishment relief

If you leave your tax debt unresolved the IRS will sometimes tax aggressive measures to collect, such as garnishing your income from your employer with a wage levy. The IRS will sometimes take up to 50% of your paycheck. Camphuis Law can help stop wage garnishments by setting you up on a more reasonable payment plan or other resolutions options.

levy release

A levy is a legal seizure of your property (including your car, house, boat, bank accounts, etc.) to satisfy a tax debt. Levies are different from liens. A lien is a legal claim against property to secure payment of the tax debt, while a levy actually takes the property to satisfy the tax debt.

Acting quickly to get your account out of the collections department and into compliance is the best way to prevent levies. However, if you already have a levy then there are some ways we may be able to help you get the levies released, such as by getting you into an installment agreement.

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Don’t be afraid of the IRS. Freedom is still within your reach.

Let’s even the playing field.

DISCLAIMER: Read and understand the entire program before enrollment. The Law Office of Matthew W. Camphuis’ (Camphuis Law) services are available in California only and our fees may vary. Individual results will vary based on your specific circumstance, including your ability to provide Camphuis Law with accurate and timely information. Camphuis Law does not guarantee you will qualify for any of the IRS or FTB programs. Camphuis Law does not guarantee your tax debts will be paid off within a specific period or that your debt will be lowered by a certain amount or percentage. Camphuis Law does not assume any tax debt, nor does Camphuis Law make monthly payments to the IRS or your creditors. Interest and penalties will continue accruing until your tax liability is paid in full to the IRS or FTB. Camphuis Law is a privately-owned solo law firm and is not affiliated with or endorsed by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or any other government agency. Camphuis Law is a California law firm and Matthew W. Camphuis is a licensed attorney by the California Supreme Court and the US Federal Central District Court of California.