Developing Expert Tax Resolution with Ben Golden

Developing Expert Tax Resolution with Ben Golden

Ben Golden is the CEO and Founding Member of the IRS Trouble Solvers LLC, which is an organization that’s focused on helping individuals and businesses with wages, garnishments, tax liens, delinquent tax returns, advisory, bankers services, and more. He takes a very different approach to each unique case and develops a thorough plan that’ll help us resolve tax problems effectively and efficiently.

Ben Golden has two offices, one in Alabama, one in Chicago. Their focus is on helping people with IRS problems through different processes. Be able to deal with strategies and using these strategies in order to reduce the total amount that they have to pay the IRS when they find themselves in a difficult situation with the IRS. 

 

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Developing Expert Tax Resolution with Ben Golden

 

Brett:

I’m excited about our next guest. He is the CEO and Founding Member of the IRS Trouble Solvers LLC, which is an organization that’s focused on helping individuals and businesses with wages, garnishments, tax liens, delinquent tax returns, advisory, bankers services, and more. He takes a very different approach to each unique case and develops a thorough plan that’ll help us resolve tax problems effectively and efficiently. Please welcome the show with me Ben Gold. Hey, Ben, how are you doing?

Ben:

I’m doing great. How are you today?

Brett:

I’m fine. You okay if I’m standing today? It is like the fourth interview. So I’m gonna be standing here, I might sit halfway through. Is that cool with you?

Ben:

No problems here. Just be comfortable.

Brett:

All right. Sounds good. So far, our listeners get to know you for the first time. Would you give us a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Ben:

Yeah, definitely. So we have two offices, one in Alabama, one in Chicago. Our focus is on helping people with IRS problems. And helping them through different processes, be able to deal with strategies and using strategies in order to reduce the total amount that they have to pay the IRS when they find themselves in a difficult situation with the IRS. A lot of our clients are great people that essentially just find themselves in a difficult situation. So normally, we’re able to help them by using proper techniques and strategies to reduce their total tax debt. So the IRS doesn’t come and try to take what they have or to try to garnish their wage or put levies on their bank accounts. And the levy is when they just go in and take the money out. What a lot of people don’t understand is a lien on the property, a lien is eminent and that means that it’s going to happen no matter what if you owe more than get this only $10,000 to the IRS. So if you owe more than $10,000 to the IRS, they will lien your property or they may lien your property. Depending on certain circumstances, more times than not here lately, they’ve been slower at leaning property strictly because of the COVID-related issues. So if you own more than the $10,000, you probably have a lien, there are certain techniques that we can use if you owe less than $25,000 in total, to get those liens off faster. Now, in dealing with real estate and real property, those liens, create big problems if you go to sell those liens, and try to take that equity out of that property. So the goal is definitely for us to use those strategies and come to us before you you know, the IRS starts sending you those really nasty letters or somebody shows up on your doorstep.

Brett:

Got it. Great summary and I can’t wait to dive into some of the tactical things that people can do right now if they’re facing some of these challenges. Before we go through, Ben, I want to take one step back, I want you to picture, the college days, maybe the high school days. I believe we’ve all been given certain gifts in this life and these gifts have been given to us to be a blessing of help to others. Some people call it a strength, some people call it superpowers. I believe that being their God-given gifts. So I’m curious, what are those one or two gifts that you believe you were given and how does that help how you help and bless people today.

Ben:

I’m a very diligent person, meaning I’m a hard worker. You know, in high school, I was a two-time state wrestling champion. In college, I was a two-time all-American flag football referee. And I did that through diligence and hard work. And I believe that through diligence, hard work usually beats talent. And so you know, I think that certainly God-given gifts that I’ve been given is to just sort of grab on to the situation and hold on, regardless of what the outcome looks like, and sort of being the Bulldog sort of latches on to the problem. And the key is to not give up on dealing with the IRS and what I do you have to have sometimes a long-term approach and how we deal with it. So I think those talents that I’ve been given are essentially the fact that you work harder than everybody else. That way you can have the experience like none other. And that experience is one of the things that get you through to the next type of issue that you’re dealing with. 

Brett:

I love the perseverance. I love the hard work. And I love just not giving up. And that’s certainly with the IRS, you want to make sure you have someone in your corner like Ben Golden to help you through in the long run, because that’s a scary space to be in if you’re having challenges with the IRS. That being said, let’s dive right into that. You know, there are some misconceptions about taxes that could get in, they can get you into tax problems, or some are things that can come around. So what are some of those top misconceptions Ben, when it comes to tax resolution with the IRS?

Ben:

A lot of people think that they owe too much money and they can’t get any type of resolution. When they don’t think they can get a resolution, they procrastinate, they sort of put their head in the sand a little bit longer and don’t deal with it. One of the biggest no nose that we have is people think that they don’t have to file a tax return look, you should file a tax return, make sure you go to a professional every single year, and see if you should because that’s one of the quickest ways to get in trouble with the IRS is not filing. If you can’t pay, you still need to file you still to meet that need to make sure that you do your due diligence. And like I said, Go to a professional, don’t try to save a whole bunch of money by doing it yourself, especially if you don’t know all the ins and outs. And don’t go to somebody that you know, opens up for a portion of the year and then closes down for a portion of the year or they don’t focus strictly on doing tax preparation or tax work. Not only should you go to a professional and not only should you file every year, but file on time, that’s a big issue. The penalties for late filing are unbelievably huge. So, up to 25%. So I really encourage people to file timely.

Brett:

Got it. So timely, professional, make sure it’s someone who’s year-round, and you’re doing it on time. And even if you’re having challenges with the IRS, make sure that you don’t just stick your head in the sand thing that you don’t have to fight them to pay because they will find you, don’t do that. 

Ben:

So let me ask you a question. 

Brett:

Yeah, sure. 

Ben:

If you stick your head in the sand, what’s in the air?

Brett:

You tell me, man. 

Ben:

Your derriere right? So be careful. Don’t let somebody else come around you unprotect and you be unprotected. You need to take the protection personally and make sure you stay protected.

Brett:

Excellent. So that’s step number one, right, I guess preparation and making sure you’re filing timely every year with professionals. I guess step number two, let’s just say a friend or family member finds himself in it some challenges, right? And they reach out to you, Ben, what’s the next step to help to resolve these challenges?

Ben:

So the IRS does not want to have to deal with somebody that they feel like they are essentially having to chase, make sure you talk to the IRS and correspond with the IRS through a professional. Now, if you owe quite a bit of money to the IRS or you’re under audit, respond timely, if you do not timely respond, it’ll be one of the biggest problems in dealing with the IRS, especially if you have an audit, especially if they’re asking questions and things of that nature. Because if you don’t, they’re going to assume that you’re trying to neglect your responsibilities. 89% of every audit has a change. That means that the IRS may have some type of change. However, 67% of every single audit that the IRS does, is non-responsive. So most of the audits that have changed are because people don’t respond at all.

Brett:

Interesting, so 89% of every audit has a change. And 67% of every audit is non-responsive. And when you’re saying non-responsive means like they’ve done an audit and then the individual just not responding. Is that what you’re referring to?

Ben:

The IRS is asking questions and the and the person just doesn’t respond to the IRS’s letter saying, “Can you explain your charitable contributions?” And if there’s no response, the IRS says, We’re just gonna do away with all of them”. So they just take it completely off and now you owe more money.

Brett:

So let’s assume all of 100% wasn’t given even if it was, you’re off by let’s say you said 10,000 bucks, but he only gave 9000. And they’re like, “Can you explain the 10,000?” and they’re nonresponsive. Then they find then all of its do and we’re assuming that none of us begin. Is that what you’re saying, Ben?

Ben:

Exactly. And to put it in your perspective, if you have a transaction where you say your basis is $150,000, the IRS may question the basis. And if you don’t have the basis, or the expense of the sale or something included in there, then they may say, okay, we’re not going to allow let you have any of the basis. And so you’re going to be taxed on the entire amount. And that could be a change. 

Brett:

Wow. So the worst thing you can do is to be nonresponsive. So what you’re saying is definitely communicate. And definitely say, here’s what I have. And by the way, if it was your off, it was 150. Instead, it was actually 160 or is 145. Right, okay, then make that right and pay the difference, right? Or you get a refund, I guess, the other way could go, they could say, we were actually wrong. Is that true, Ben? Maybe people don’t realize that and go, “my basis is actually 180”. I forgot about that $30,000 roof that I put on, right? 

Ben:

Right. Or I forgot to include the cost of the real estate professional that sold the property or something like that, because of that your basis or the expense that you paid to sell the asset. You know, you have less of gain. And yes, you definitely can get a refund back. Look, the IRS wants it right. And when they ask questions, and you don’t respond, they just assume the worst.

Brett:

Yeah, that makes sense. I’ve also heard that it’s the one who deals with the IRS. It’s the one part of the law and correct me if I’m wrong, then that basically assumes you’re guilty. Right? Versus innocent until proven guilty. It’s just like, no, you’re guilty, and then either provide a tax return or provide evidence. Otherwise, you’re guilty. Is that a fair summary? Or could you correct me there?

Ben:

So I would just say that the burden of proof is on the taxpayer, it’s not that you’re guilty, is that the IRS looks at the burden of proof for you to be able to prove your position on the return. And if you don’t prove your position on the return, they just take your position away.

Brett:

Got it. So the burden of proof is on the taxpayer. It’s a better way to put it on that you’re guilty. But they’re just going to take that away. And it’s actually even worse than, again, as he said 150,000 was the basis, but really, it could be 200. But you know, if you don’t say anything, now they’re gonna say zero, and it could actually go in your favor. I guess the next part would be, why aren’t 67% of the people responding? What is off, either the email address, the home address, or what are some things that we can do right now? Because I imagine a lot of those people want to respond, maybe you can tell me those stats. But either (a) they’re not getting the notices or (b) what’s going on there? Why aren’t they responding?

 

Developing Expert Tax Resolution with Ben Golden

Developing Expert Tax Resolution: “Make sure you pay your taxes; otherwise you can get in a lot of trouble.”– Richard M. Nixon

 

Ben:

So the truth is that people are afraid to open the letters from the IRS, they see something from the IRS, and they’re like, “I’m fearful”, I don’t know what to do, they think I’m doing something wrong. And so the thing that they do is nothing, instead of opening that mail and trying to respond to it, it could be as simple as you know, them wanting to update the dress or something of that nature, it may not be all bad news. So people wait and don’t respond out of fear. Remember fear is like a mile wide and a mile high, but paper-thin, if you can just push through that little bit of paper-thin, then you can go through it and say, “that wasn’t too bad”. You know, it’s sort of like doing the very first transaction from a capital project. You know, either purchasing that home or trying to go through and do a rehab of that home. It’s the first one that you’re so very afraid of because you have never done it before. You got to push through that fear because you’re never going to get the reward unless you take the risk from a real estate standpoint. However, if you don’t open that letter from the IRS and you’re fearful of that, then bad things will happen.

Brett:

Got it. I think we’ve gone through that, folks, make sure you’re responding often to letters. Don’t make the mistake. So now let’s shift a bit here to maybe some high net worth individuals that don’t necessarily have tax challenges, per se, or, but maybe they could or what are the biggest maybe one or two things? I mean, we can talk about the estate tax. I think that’d be a good one, Ben. Because I think some folks either don’t think about it as much or it’s not on their mind because they go well if I had the stepped-up basis been right and I just hold on to this property, I can walk away capital gains tax-free. But if your state is greater than 22 million, married or 12 million, single as it stands approximately right now, although in 2025, those are set to expire and most I think, would think it’s going to cut back in half, you’re dealing with the state tax, which is 40% of your total estate, regardless of the stepped-up basis. So would you just touch on a state tax ban and some thoughts on that?

Ben:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, remember, the exemption is a personal exemption. So if you’re married, it’s not really 22. It’s 22, between the two of you, but it’s a personal exemption. So a lot of the time, we still have to do an A B trust. So the first $11 million is encapsulated. So it’s not taxed for state tax purposes. And then the secondary piece, since it’s personal, is also encapsulated from the first so stepped-up basis, the key there is a lot of people don’t especially if you don’t have the 22 million in the estate, a lot of people do not do a valuation to know what their basis is. And that’s the number one key. If you have an estate that’s like five or $6 million, get everything valued, get everything value, that way you do know you have a step-up basis. And guess what, that goes both ways. So if you sell the property and it’s a loss, you get to deduct the loss, or the loss will offset other income that you have. And the second thing that I will tell you for higher net worth, it’s not real estate-related, it is reviewing the tax returns that you entrust your professionals to do. I’m dealing with high net worth individual right now that’s being audited, and they’re in a well of $9 million are being disallowed. And it has everything to do with well what happened in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and they’re being audited in 2019 taxes right now. So from an estate standpoint, get everything valued from a legal person that that does it for a living, an appraiser doesn’t just say well you know, Uncle Joe said it was worth this it’s that’s not the way that it works. And then above and beyond that, make sure that you review your tax returns properly every year as well.

Brett:

Wow, that is scary.

Ben:

They sold property and had a gain of over a million dollars and the IRS is coming in and saying you’re in oil for $9 million is not going to work right now we’re going to tax you on that million dollars and it’s short term gain. So it’s taxed at ordinary rates. So I mean they have a $500,000 tax plus penalties and interest penalty, the penalties are over $110,000 just in that one year. So you know always and this is a little bit further what your question was, always keep your tax returns, always in forever. The documentation that you have on sales of property always keeps those two. You don’t have to keep all the receipts for tax return except for seven years. You keep them for seven years and then you can do away with them. But if you have something that proves your losses year after year after year, you want to make sure you keep those because those losses could come into question in one day and you want to be able to show that you have the ability to deduct those losses.

Brett:

Got it. So, always keep all your tax returns, never do away with that. Receipts after seven years, you can get rid of that and then keep anything that’s going to prove losses. So, like a real estate sale, like a closing statement. 

Ben:

The purchase and sale of the closing statement. And if you have large improvements, keep those large improvements because normally you have one contractor to do most of it or you have one general contractor they must have the work so keep your receipts for those general contractors especially if you have that additional item for your basis.

Brett:

Got it. So much wisdom and by the way you can find Ben Golden at goldentaxrelief.com. So, we’ve covered quite a bit here. For those who want to connect with you Ben and get help on a certain thing, what’s the best way to connect with you?

Ben:

So you can call us at 844-229-8936 and that’s our Alabama office. You can go to our website, goldentaxrelief.com or you can email me, ben@goldentaxrelief.com.

Brett:

Excellent. So we’re gonna dive in now to the second part of our show here, which is focusing on the biggest frustration with capital gains tax options, and it could be tied to the 1031 exchange, it could be titled opportunities, or it could be tied to how do you defer capital gains taxes on the sale of you know, cryptocurrency or primary home? I don’t know what it is, Ben. But given that your energy, your time, and your focus on tax, what’s been the biggest frustration for your clients or yourself when it comes to capital gains tax deferral options or lack thereof?

Ben:

You know, I remember a couple of years ago, well, the TCJA, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the 1031s for them to be specific to real estate-related items back in the old days. I did a 1031 on a shrimp boat one time. A guy was purchasing a shrimp boat sold a shrimp boat, we did a 1031 on it, he saved him hundreds of 1000s of dollars in taxes. Make sure you meet your 1031 requirements. So far as your admin horary, your dates, your dates to receive replace, make sure you make all those dates, the biggest frustration is the fact that people either miss dates or they receive the boot. And if you receive boot in the transaction, that part of the transaction is taxable.

Brett:

Yeah, absolutely. And by the way, we call that the shotgun wedding, right, the 45-day identification, 180 days to close 1031s. And then yeah, they limited it to basically investment real estate. And so you kind of just like, if you have invested in real estate, and by the way, Biden in whatever you’re thinking about the administration, they’re talking about making it even more limited or even eliminate the stepped-up basis, we do have a solution. By the way, it’s an alternative called the deferred sales trust, you can go to capitalgainstaxsolutions.com, to learn more about how to save a failed 1031 exchange, and how to defer taxes or on just about any type of highly appreciated asset. But I’m curious, Ben on when it comes to Biden talking about potentially taking away the 1031 or eliminating the stepped-up basis? What are you telling your clients and folks that are curious about that right now? What do you say?

Ben:

So before I jump into that, I hope you don’t mind me saying just one thing in regards to 1031, it’s all about planning people, you must plan even the different strategies that you’re talking about right? Now, you must have a plan going in, you cannot or it’s very, very, very difficult to go backward and do what we call retroactive planning. So people you must plan. It’s like Ford said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, right. So the key is planning on that side. Now, Biden, I can only tell you what I’ve heard in regards to the administration and where they’re going, and my understanding is cap gains rates they’re gonna go from 20 to 40%. to essentially take away the investments that you know, additional taxes on high ticket items, doing away with or limiting more of the 1030 ones, and then also doing several other things to limit what I would call or consider a windfall transaction, a windfall transaction is, is when you’re first getting started in investing, a windfall transaction is your very first one, you had a windfall of X number of dollars. And now, because of that, you now have more money to use to invest going forward. So the key is to plan properly in order to reduce those taxes. And that’s really the focus that you should try to worry about. Because regardless of the administration, regardless of who’s in control of Congress, we can only go based on what our tax laws are right now. And more times than not tax laws change right now moving forward, and they’re not retroactive. So the key people are planning exactly where you are.

Brett:

Yep. 100%. Thanks for sharing, Ben. That’s exactly the Deferred Dales Trust, you got to set it up before close of escrow. Even before contingencies have been removed. Or at least in law, as long as all continues to be removed, there’s got to be at least one that is super important. Although if it’s just an exchange company, we can rescue kind of a failed 1031 exchange. But you got to make sure you get this early and we get everything set up and we follow it properly. Otherwise, we’ve been set, it’s too late and we’ll tell you it’s too late and you got to pay the tax. That being said, Ben, are you ready for the lightning round? 

Ben:

I am. 

Brett:

Alright, so knowing what you know now, Ben, if you go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget that you would make sure that you would do?

Ben:

Spend more time with my family.

Brett:

How many kids do you have?

Ben:

I have 2, 18, and 16. I work a lot still and I would probably go back and tell myself, “You can never get that time back. Cherish it.”

Developing Expert Tax Resolution with Ben Golden

Brett:

Got it. Love it. I got five kids and that hits home, we’re gonna be going to Orlando coming up for a big trip to go see that Disney guy over there. Second question, what’s the one book you’ve recommended or gift at the most in the past year?

Ben:

I absolutely loved the book Giftology. It’s a book that it essentially says that you should keep gifts in front of you, for employees, for clients, and for people that are close in near and dear to you. Because believe it or not, people just don’t do that nowadays.

 

 

Brett:

So it’s called Giftology. Is that what you said?

Ben:

That’s right. Sounds cool. 

Brett:

I’ll check that out. Next question. What do you care about right now?

Ben:

You know, I am a nut when it comes to learning and reading about the IRS code. And right now I’m focused on something called TFRP, which is Trust Fund Recovery Penalties and how do we have defense on penalty payroll, penalties and payroll taxes, and things like that for owners? So I’m trying to dive in as much as I learn as much as I can about that right now.

Brett:

Very cool. What’s the one leadership quote or theme that you strive to live by?

Ben:

I heard a podcast the other day that talked about trust, and the three different items inside the trust, and being trustful. So what does that look like? That looks like number one, you got to have credibility, you got to have rapport, and you got to have reliability. So I’m really big. And then think about how can I relate it back to my clients and communicate properly and build that trust not only with the IRS but also with the clients and that is important. Making sure that our client expectations are met in everything that we do.

Brett:

The last question, after all of your success and helping many people develop tax resolution plans and communicate well with the IRS and, and get those a lot of that stress and that burden off of their shoulders by making right what needs to be put right? How do you stay centered in your values, Ben? And how do you stay encouraged to reach forward and charge for new goals?

Ben:

I’m a very religious person. So I stretch, I stay true to my faith, I stay true to the morals and ethics that were instilled in me as a very young person as a very young man. And you know, I do everything as if I do it unto you know, my Lord. So I want to make sure that I stay centered in that and as long as I’m centered in that then everything else is gonna come out okay.

Brett:

Beautiful. Amen. Brother. I appreciate that. I appreciate your sharing. I appreciate you being on the show. For our listeners who want to get in touch with you, would you remind them one more time what’s the best place for them to connect with you? 

Ben:

Send me an email at ben@goldentaxrelief.com. You can check me out on my website goldentaxrelief.com or you could just pick up the phone and call me at 844-229-8936.

Brett:

Beautiful. I think you’ve been on the show and sharing a bit about your story, a bit about your expertise and we are better for it. I want to encourage you to keep using your gift of perseverance and being a bulldog for your clients to connect and solve challenges when it comes to IRS tax challenges and I appreciate you being on the show. And I also want to thank our listeners for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions Podcast as always, we believe most high net worth individuals and those who help them they struggled clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options. Not having a clear plan is the enemy and using a proven tax deferral strategy such as the deferred sales trust and or getting with someone like Ben Golden to help you with tax resolution is the best way to create and preserve more wealth if you wanna learn more about the deferred sales trust go to capitalgainstaxsolutions.com or if you’re a business professional and learn how to use the deferred sales trust to grow your business you go to expertcresecrets.com. We appreciate you. Please Rate, Review, and Subscribe. Bye, everybody.

 

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About Ben Golden

Developing Expert Tax Resolution with Ben GoldenDuring his postgraduate years, he prepared income taxes for corporations, trusts, estates, and individuals as a clerk, staff accountant, and eventually a business owner. In 2004, he purchased the family-owned Golden Income Tax & Accounting Inc. based in Thomasville, AL, a firm focused on individual taxes. After moving to Panama City, FL in 2005, he started his second firm, HSG Accounting Inc, with a focus on assisting companies and their owners. In 2014, he sold this firm and purchased a construction company, converting their office operations to an automated system and handling their books. Soon after, he began his newest venture: Golden Tax Relief LLC.

He felt it was important to open Golden Tax Relief LLC because of his own past experiences with the IRS. In 2012, he had his identity stolen, and someone tried to file his taxes without his knowledge. It took four years for him to get it straightened out. After several trips to the sheriff’s department, letters to the IRS, and dealing with the Taxpayer Advocate office, he finally got it straightened out. It was a mess! He knows how the IRS works, and it was extremely frustrating to know what needed to be done, yet be unable to get their help. He can only imagine how someone who doesn’t know or understand the IRS must feel. It messed up his ability to file electronically, and also led to creditor issues.

Dealing with the IRS is terrifying for someone who has never dealt with them. You don’t know what to say to them, and you live in fear and anxiety from the IRS auditors. They are the world’s most notorious collection agency. They have an unbelievable amount of power, and this is where you need protection. He knows and understands what they can do, and he can protect you from letting them take money out of your account and garnishing your personal wages. The techniques that they use at Golden Tax Relief also help put an end to future collection issues and threatening letters in the mail. Their tax resolution services will help you fix your credit, lift the burden of tax problems, and finally buy that car or home.

His goal is to help his clients feel at peace by representing them knowledgeably, protecting them by working within the confines of their rights and letting them know that their posterity will be secure in the years to come.

 

 

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