Fighting the IRS Alone? You May Have a Fool For a Client

Nancy Cicero had a fool for a client in her fight with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); she represented herself. Rather than seeking the advice of a tax attorney with the tools and experience needed to successfully fight the IRS; she went it alone, saved a few bucks, and is now a felon awaiting sentencing.

Cicero was found guilty on four counts for illegally claiming more than $3 million in tax refunds on her tax returns for tax years 2005 – 2008. Each count of filing false claims with the IRS carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, while self-represented, Cicero made no real opening statement or closing argument, and asked no questions of witnesses. When the judge would ask her if she wanted to object to the admission of evidence against her, she provided indecisive answers, such as, “I object. It is not my wish. Let the record show it is my wish.”

She should have wished for sound legal advice from her tax attorney. While saving a buck by representing yourself in a fight with the government is a legal right, common sense and Cicero’s predicament is proof positive that not all rights should be exercised. If you find yourself having to fight the IRS, don’t fight them alone, the tax attorneys at Montgomery & Wetenkamp are available to take your call and offer a free consultation.

Don't Tip the Tax Collector

image via

The law is very tough on tax assessors and collectors who extend tax relief in situations where it is not warranted.  It is obviously illegal to bribe a property tax assessor or an IRS agent for reducing a tax bill.  Illegal to accept a bribe and illegal to do the bribing.

L.A. County Tax Assessor, John Noguez, has been charged with accepting huge bribes in exchange for reduced tax assessments.  Other charges include perjury, conspiracy and misappropriation — 24 felony counts in all.  Noguez was arrested and taken into custody last week.  If convicted, he will spend up to 30 years behind bars.

What about the guy who paid him off?  He’ll get his too, if found guilty.  Ramin Salari was charged with 23 felony counts including bribing public officials and conspiracy.  Salari appears to be pleading not guilty.  It is unclear how Noguez will plead.

Remember: bribes are expensive and risky.  Hire a good tax attorney instead.