23837 Sarda Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Call: (818) 842-5927
Fax: (818) 845-6031
Dick Norton, EA, FATP
Tax Resolution Specialist
 National Association of Enrolled Agents California Society of Enrolled Agents

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Dick Norton, EAWelcome to my website.   I recently launched a new, more user friendly (and more modern) website: 

www.dicknortontaxes.com

If you are viewing this website on a mobile device, you definitely want to visit my new site for easier navigating.  The rest of you may also want to go there as well.  Please update your bookmarks to my new site as this site will be deactivated at some point in the future (the URL will be pointed to the new site).

OK - let's get down to business.  First and foremost, I am a retired IRS Associate Chief of Appeals - offering my assistance to clients in matters of representation (audits, collections and appeals) for IRS, FTB, and other agency tax audit and collection actions, consultation, personal income tax preparation, and litigation support (expert witness).   I spent 34 years in the IRS working in the collection, examination, and appeals functions.  In my experience, only a small percentage of tax professionals possess such comprehensive inside the IRS experience. 

My main office is in Santa Clarita (aka Valencia), CA.  I relocated here in 2022 after residing in Burbank, CA for over 50 years.  I meet with clients from all of the surrounding areas - such as Glendale, Pasadena, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and other cities within commuting distance of Santa Clarita.  However, with today's technology, I am able to assist clients regardless of where they live and work with representation for tax audits, collection and appeals matters - as well as personal income tax return preparation and consultation.  I even have international clients - my furthest today being in Oman. 

There is a lot of information I am sharing here to hopefully answer most of your questions about federal and state tax law and procedural administration and enforcement, and what I can offer you in the way of tax help and guidance to get you through a tax controversy with the least amount of financial consequence and emotional stress!  This is your one-stop for IRS tax help and FTB tax help!!

As a United States Treasury licensed Enrolled Agent (EA) and Federally Authorized Tax Practitioner (FATP), it is my objective to provide you with valuable information about my background, my unique qualifications, and the types of tax resolution assistance and other tax related services I offer.   I have included  some important self-help links as well as technical discussions on important tax issues.  Regardless of your tax controversy, you can have confidence that I have the experience and knowledge to get it resolved.  I have a network of specialists who can assist in bankruptcy (if that is a viable option) or litigation in Tax Court or District Court if that is necessary.  Most importantly, the sooner you get help, the less complex and costly will be the resolution of your controversy. 

Please be responsive if you receive a notice or letter from the IRS, FTB or other state tax agencies.  The IRS sends out two very serious notices - CP504 and Letter 1058 (or its other version - Notice LT11).  These notices have specific time frames within which contact should be made with the issuing IRS office or specific employee to preserve opportunities for appealing the proposed enforcement action.

(This section for my clients contains copies of newsletters, highlights of tax law changes, and other items)

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Dick Norton, E.A.

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Tax Practice Areas

The four broad categories of services that I offer are: 

  • Individual Tax Return Preparation

  • Tax Controversy Resolution (providing irs tax audit representation, or resolution services relating to an IRS tax audit, collection enforcement, or pursuing an appeal of such matters).

  • Tax-matters Consultation

  • Expert Witness and Litigation Support

You can read more about each service I offer by selecting the relevant menu option above.

Who are Enrolled Agents?

Enrolled Agents (referred to as EAs) are the only professionals who receive their right to practice before the IRS directly from the United States Government.  Only Enrolled Agents must prove their competence in matters of federal taxation to the United States Treasury Department.  Individual states license certified public accountants (CPAs) and attorneys and, therefore, their licenses are state specific. Unlike attorneys and certified public accountants, who may or may not choose to focus on taxes, most all EAs focus their practice on tax return preparation, and a smaller number on providing IRS and state agencies tax resolution services. 

The 2023 filing deadline is over. 

If you filed an extension, remember that the extension was solely for the physical filing of your tax return.  Any estimated balance of tax due per your return should have been paid by April 15th.  If you did not make a payment of the estimated tax due, I recommend you do it as soon as possible to minimize the further accrual of interest and the failure to pay penalty.  Currently, that total averages about 14% a year - not a bargain!  If you did not obtain a timely extension, and still you have not filed your return, please do it as soon as possible.  You will be assessed a late filing penalty of 5% a month (or fraction thereof - for a maximum of 25%) until it is filed.   Even if you cannot pay what you owe, at least file the return to stop further accrual of the hefty late filing penalty!

Owe a lot of back taxes and plan to take an international trip?

It's imperative to promptly address and settle your tax obligations if you're considering traveling outside the United States. Why the urgency? Well, the IRS has been actively communicating with the State Department, prompting them to take action such as denying the issuance of new passports or renewals, or even revoking existing passports for taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities exceeding $62,000 in tax, penalties, and interest (as of 2024), among other criteria. Booking a trip abroad only to encounter the unpleasant surprise of being unable to leave the U.S. due to a revoked passport or inability to get a new one is a scenario best avoided at all costs!


Be alert to fraudulent contacts by scammers pretending to be IRS employees!

Thousands of taxpayers suffer financial loss and identity theft monthly when they provide personal and financial information or make payments to fraudsters!!  Most of these crooks use scare tactics (like - there is a warrant for your arrest, or they are going to levy (attach) your accounts or salary) if you do not pay immediately! They often demand payment by an unconventional method - such as by gift cards or a Western Union transfer. 

Almost always, the IRS's first taxpayer contact will by letter or notice of a pending audit or non-payment of a liability.  If you have never received such a letter or notice, then be very skeptical about an unexpected call allegedly from the IRS!

Bottom line - if you are surprised by a call from someone alleging to be from the IRS, get their name, employee number, title of their position, their office address, and their contact phone number - then tell them you will call them back after you have verified their information.  You can then call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 and the employee can confirm whether or not you should have received the call and verify the employee information.  If you cannot get through to the IRS, then you can call me with the information and I will check it out through my sources.

TAX ORGANIZERS

NOTE - You will need the access code to download one of the organizers - contact me if you forgot it!  


There are only left until the 2024 return filing deadline!


Communicating with the IRS or State Tax Agency Employees

Taxpayers need to exercise care in deciding whether or not to personally talk with IRS or state tax agency employees.  In the worst case scenario, making the wrong statement could turn what should have been a civil resolution into potentially a criminal tax matter.  IRS Agents are well trained to look for "badges of fraud" in their audits.  Always be truthful in your statements to IRS or state employees.  An intentional false statement or providing fabricated documents can land you in very hot water! 

Should you handle your own controversy or audit?

 

Navigating the IRS and State tax controversy resolution process can prove challenging. To effectively manage it alone, a taxpayer would need to invest substantial time delving into the nuances of the Internal Revenue Code, IRS Regulations, case law, Rulings, Procedures, and the revered Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) that dictates IRS protocols. Mastery of tax strategies for negotiating a favorable resolution would also be imperative.

Without such dedication, the likelihood of securing a less favorable outcome increases significantly.  In essence, the financial ramifications of handling a tax controversy independently could far surpass the expenses associated with enlisting the services of a tax resolution specialist, typically an enrolled agent or CPA. These professionals possess the expertise to procure more advantageous resolutions. It's essential to note that not all accountants, attorneys, or enrolled agents specialize in tax resolution services. It's a distinct field requiring specialized knowledge. Therefore, if you find yourself embroiled in or potentially facing a tax dispute with the IRS or a state tax agency, seeking the assistance of a tax resolution specialist is paramount.

When Do You Need Professional Help?

While I generally do not recommend any taxpayer take on the IRS or a State tax agency on their own, I am very sensitive to clients with financial challenges and may be able to suggest ways for them to get IRS tax help and guidance while reducing their out-of-pocket costs for tax resolution help.   If you feel capable and comfortable with working over the telephone, fax or mail (or, in rare circumstances -  face-to-face) with an IRS Revenue Officer, IRS Revenue Agent, IRS Tax Compliance Officer (TCO), IRS Appeals Officer or IRS Settlement Officer,  or any other employee involved in your IRS or California tax audit or collection controversy, then retaining me to hold your hand (which means that I will be providing you with an explanation of your options, strategic guidance, review of documents, and specific suggestions) could make the difference between the success or failure of your tax resolution efforts!   

Time if of the essence in dealing with tax issues

An important note about tax liabilities

Tax liabilities are almost always secured debts.  A federal lien arises after demand and non-payment of tax, including interest, additions to tax, and assessable penalties ( 6321 Internal Revenue Code). The lien is affixed at the time the assessment is made and continues until it is satisfied or becomes unenforceable ( 6322). The lien is not perfected against certain creditors until public notice is given ( 6323), but timing of the secured interest still arises at assessment.

Issues surrounding the priority of liens and competing claims can be complicated, and advice and/or assistance from an attorney may be needed.   

The services I provide concerning the resolution of liabilities relate solely to secured tax debts, and all references on this website related to resolution of Federal or State liabilities relate to secured tax liabilities.   If you have unsecured debts, such as credit cards or personal loans, help is available from numerous attorneys or specialized debt-resolution companies to address those types of liabilities. 

 

Do your homework before selecting a firm to represent you!

I strongly recommend that you check out any individual or firm BEFORE you commit to having them represent you.  Remember that it is your life - and your liability!   You can delegate the authority to have someone represent you.  But, all tax agencies will hold you solely responsible for your tax liability.   Accordingly, you owe it to yourself to do some checking before retaining the services of a tax resolution specialist.   The Better Business Bureau and Business Consumer Alliance are two such references.  Links to my A+ reviews are at the bottom of this page.

What About an Offer In Compromise (Settling your debt for less than the face amount)?

There are a slew of media ads on this topic.  Substantial concessions of tax, penalties, and interest by the IRS and state agencies generally require extenuating circumstances - such as serious medical issues, advanced age, or actual or projected long-term unemployment by unskilled individuals.  I was the approving official at the IRS for offer in compromise (OIC) cases in my jurisdiction for almost two decades, so I have a solid understanding of what is required to have an offer seriously considered and approved.  Your consultation with me concerning your potential qualification for an OIC is free.  See the consultation page for more information.

My Prior IRS Experience

I retired as the Associate Chief of the Los Angeles, California IRS Appeals Office following many years of managerial and technical positions in the IRS Appeals, IRS Examination and IRS Collection functions.  There are a limited number of  other practitioners who possess such experience.   As evidence of my success and recognition while working for the IRS, I was honored to receive the National Appeals Manager of the Year award before retirement.

As you would expect, my extensive knowledge of IRS policies, procedures and practices has proven invaluable in helping me to resolve my clients' tax issues.    In fact, I often provide guidance or services to other tax professionals who are facing challenging technical or procedural issues for their clients.

Tax Topics

Do you want to know more about the new rules for employee unreimbursed business expenses?  Are you interested in finding out if you would qualify for an Offer in Compromise?  Do you believe that you may be an "innocent spouse" and therefore, not liable for a portion of a joint deficiency with your ex-spouse?  What are the rules for paying the "nanny tax?" Do you have some other tax question for which you need further information?  

There is a large section of this web site devoted to addressing these and many other recurring tax issues of interest to most individual taxpayers.   In addition to the above items, topics addressed include Collection Due Process procedures, installment agreements, contributions of property (you most likely have heard all of the radio ads advertising large deductions for donating your car that needs repair and cannot be sold ... be careful on this one!!.) - and the list goes on. 

If you are interested in reviewing the index of topics, click the Tax Topics button on the index bar. 

Client Reviews

Assuming you are not a referral from one of my current or former clients, it can be reassuring to hear from former clients.  Below are several client reviews that are on Yelp and Linkedin that I will share with you.  I encourage you to check out the BBB and other sites which should help you have confidence in my ability to address and resolve your tax related issues.

 


Dick Norton, EA, FATP
Tax Resolution Specialist

Dick Norton, E.A.


 

Dick Norton, E.A.

GENERAL DISCLAIMER

Nothing on this website is intended to be specific tax advice for you, the reader, and cannot be relied upon for the purpose of avoiding any penalty that may be imposed by the IRS or any tax agency.  The material on this and all other pages of this website is provided for informational and educational purposes only I do not guarantee or warrantee in any manner the suitability, usefulness, accuracy, timeliness, or results of any portion of this site, nor the links contained in this site which link to other areas.   At times, information is taken from other sources and is believed to be accurate, but no verification or confirmation is performed.  Tax law is a very complex subject.  Any tax opinion upon which you may rely requires the careful and thorough analysis by a tax professional of the specific facts of your situation and the applicable legal statutes.  If you need specific advice, then you should request formal tax consultation as its purpose is to provide you with guidance for your specific tax issue or question upon which you can rely.


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