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If you filed an extension, remember that the extension was solely for the physical filing of your return.  Any balance of tax due per your return was due to be paid by April 15th.  If you did not make a payment of the expected tax due, I recommend you do it as soon as possible to limit the accrual of interest and failure to pay penalty. Currently, that total averages about 14% a year – not a bargain!

If you did not get an extension, and you have not filed your return, please do it as soon as possible! You will be assessed a late filing penalty of 5% per 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 ASAP to stop further accrual of the late filing penalty!

My experience includes almost 35 years in the IRS in technical and managerial positions, achieving the position of Associate Chief in the Office of IRS Appeals. During that time, I worked on numerous cases involving IRS collections, examinations, and appeals. Now in private practice as a United States Treasury licensed Enrolled Agent (EA) and Federally Authorized Tax Practitioner (FATP), I offer my breadth of knowledge to clients in matters of IRS, FTB and other state agencies representation (audits, collections, and appeals), consultation, personal income tax preparation, and litigation support (expert witness).

My goal is to help you navigate the often-complex world of tax administration and enforcement in order to minimize financial consequence and stress.

This is your one-stop shop for IRS and FTB tax help!! The sooner you get help, the less complex and costly your resolution.

TAX PRACTICE AREAS (Click here for more detailed information)

  • Individual Tax Return Preparation
  • Tax Controversy Resolution (providing irs tax audit help or resolution of an IRS tax audit, collection, or appeal’s matters)
  • Consultation
  • Expert Witness and Litigation Support

Who are Enrolled Agents?
Enrolled Agents are tax professionals who receive their exclusive right to practice before the IRS directly from the United States Government, proving their competence in matters of Federal taxation before the United States Treasury Department.  Many Enrolled Agents focus on tax return preparation with a smaller number providing tax resolution services.

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and attorneys are licensed by individual states and may or may not specialize in taxes.

Owe a Lot of Back Taxes and Want 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. The IRS has been 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). 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!

IRS Scams
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 these fraudsters!! Most of these crooks use scare tactics like claiming a warrant for your arrest or that they are going to levy (attach) your accounts or salary if you do not pay immediately! They often demand payment by a weird method such as by gift cards or a Western Union transfer.

A legitimate method for the IRS making initial contact with you is almost always by letter or notice of a pending audit or non-payment of a liability. If you have never received such a letter or notice, be very careful about unexpected calls 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 and 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 confirm if the call was legitimate.  If you cannot get through to the IRS, you can call me and I will verify the information through my sources.

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 be complicated. To effectively manage it alone, a taxpayer would need to invest substantial time delving into the nuances of the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, case law, rulings, procedures, and the revered Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) that dictates IRS protocols in addition to mastering tax strategies for negotiating favorable resolutions. The financial ramifications of handling a tax controversy independently could far surpass the expenses associated with enlisting the services of a tax resolution specialist such as an enrolled agent or CPA. Note that not all accountants, attorneys, or enrolled agents specialize in tax resolution services.

When to enlist professional help.
While I generally do not recommend any taxpayer take on the IRS or a State tax agency on their own, I am sensitive to clients with financial challenges and may be able to suggest ways to get IRS tax help and guidance while minimizing out-of-pocket costs. If you feel capable and comfortable with communicating directly with an IRS Revenue Officer, IRS Revenue Agent, IRS Tax Compliance Officer (TCO), IRS Appeals Officer, IRS Settlement Officer, or any other employee involved in your IRS or California tax audit or collection controversy, retaining me to explain your options, suggest strategic guidance, and review documents could make the difference between the success or failure of your tax resolution efforts!

Time is of the essence when dealing with tax issues. From my 34+ years of inside-the-IRS experience, I assure you the earlier you seek and receive help for resolving your IRS or state audit, tax collection, or other tax controversy, the faster you can resume a normal life. Tax audit and collection problems are like tooth decay. They will get worse if ignored and likely result in a root canal! You do NOT want the IRS, FTB, or other state tax agency doing a “root canal” on your finances!!

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. The lien is affixed at the time the assessment is made and continues until satisfied or it becomes unenforceable. The lien is not perfected against certain creditors until public notice is given, but timing of the secured interest still arises at assessment. Issues surrounding the priority of liens and competing claims can be complicated, and advice/assistance from an attorney may be needed. The services I provide 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 highly recommend you research any individual or firm BEFORE you commit to having them represent you. You can delegate authority to have someone represent you but ultimately you are solely responsible for your tax liability. The Better Business Bureau and Business Consumer Alliance are two sources worth checking out. You should be aware that many large firms have a high turnover of employees. Being shuffled among employees can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience for the clients and will frustrate the IRS or State employees as well.

Many of my clients are from local communities such as Santa Clarita, Saugus, Newhall, Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, and other cities in Los Angeles County. However, many other clients are located in other states, as well as internationally (I currently have a client in Oman!). With today’s technology, we are able to communicate effectively over the internet – including video conferencing when needed. Of course, local clients have the option of meeting with me in my office. For clients with mobility restrictions, I can even meet with them at their residence. Clients appreciate my accessibility – and the fact that they ALWAYS will have me assisting or representing them in their audit, collection, or appeals case – never a junior employee.

Chris M.

Dick Norton is the absolute best! I’ve had a long running issue with the IRS and the California FTB. Dick has a wealth of tax code knowledge and more importantly, a vast understanding of the web of process between tax agencies. Dick has steered me through every issue with expert advice and genuine concern for his client’s well-being. I can now sleep at night! Thank you Dick!

Dan C.

A good tax person is hard to find! I was lucky enough to come across Dick Norton and while tax season is always stressful, he’s the best (if not the best) I’ve worked with. He understands taxes inside and out but that’s only part of what makes his service great. Communication is A+. He’s very personable, patient, does an excellent job explaining things, and gets my filings done so I can put tax stress behind me. Highly recommended.

Frank Donahue, EA

I have years of experience in dealing with IRS issues but when I was personally faced with a difficult tax issue, I used the services of Mr. Norton to complete the review of my tax situation and to prepare my tax returns for that year. His prior IRS experience, as well as his extensive tax knowledge, were evident as he guided my through this complex return. What better recommendation can one give than to actually be a client??