“A 61-year-old federal employee went to the office of Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm for tax relief after the May 2011 tornado completely destroyed his home and belongings,” said Travis Watkins of Tulsa’s Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm.
“He withdrew substantial money early from his 401k to re-build his home and sustain the necessities of life," Watkins said. The following year, his brother-in-law prepared his 2011 tax return. However, this relative made a mistake by not including the retirement income withdrawal and penalties. By the time the IRS got around to catching the mistake in 2014, taxes, penalties and interest had ballooned to about $18,000.
So, what happened here?
“This is insult-to-injury. Our client got knocked down by an act of God and had to dip into his hard-earned savings. He found out the hard way that a withdrawal like this is a taxable event and subject to a 10% IRS penalty for early withdrawal. Additionally, in many cases, the money you withdraw to live on bumps you into a higher income tax bracket. So, more tax, penalties and interest may be due,” Watkins said.
"This client was scared the IRS was going to take his car and keep him from work. To make matters worse, he went to a tax attorney in Norman that held his case for 7 or 8 months without doing anything. While there, penalties and interest continued to accrue, and the IRS started levying his wages. This frustration compounded the fear exponentially, as the Defense Department can revoke the security clearance of employees with tax debt. Like many of our clients in this situation, he had trouble going to sleep and staying asleep at night. He could never really rest because he was worried about it all of the time.”
This taxpayer saw Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm on a television commercial and decided to give it a try.
"We were able to diagnose all these problems using the IRS master tax file that it keeps on all taxpayers. With our client’s full participation, we were able to design a customized, actionable plan to help him remove all penalties and related interest, given the unique circumstances at play in his case. All in all, he saved about $10,000, which may not seem like a lot in relative comparison to some of the ads you see on TV, but to this gentleman, it meant the world. He was very excited to put this behind him. With the additional time Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm bought him in the penalty abatement process. The taxpayer was able to fully pay the remaining balance and get on with his life. He was so excited about the result, he delivered two bags of Hershey’s Kisses to his assigned case worker, as a token of appreciation.”
Travis Watkins is a Tulsa tax attorney who limits his practice to helping taxpayers end IRS problems. In 2018, his firm, Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm, was awarded The Oklahoman’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Taxation Firm. Watkins has earned the designation Certified Tax Resolution Specialist from the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping taxpayers solve IRS problems. As a special offer to Tulsa World readers you can get a free copy of Watkins’ book, “The Ultimate Survival Guide to IRS Problems” by calling toll free 866-399-1432 and leaving a message 24/7. Watkins can also be reached immediately at 918-771-0220 or visiting TulsaTaxExperts.com.