Does a Company Still Owe Back Taxes If It Goes Out of Business?

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Every business has dreams and aspirations of making it and succeeding. Unfortunately, the other reality of starting your own business is there may come a day where you must shut it down or sell it to a buyer.

Businesses operate on the same lifespan as human beings, where nothing is immortal. What happens to debt when a business closes?

It is a very important question worth considering, as business debt does not magically disappear the moment you decide to cease operations. So, how much do you still owe, and is there financial relief available?

Continue reading the article to learn more about closing a business and what you need to prepare for resolving unpaid debts.

The Process of Closing a Small Business

Small businesses generally have one of two options when it comes time to close. Either the company can try to sell to a new buyer or must file bankruptcy or liquidate. In this article, we will assume that the small business is filing for bankruptcy or undergoing liquidation.

There are a few steps every small business should take when they shut their doors for the final time:

Following these steps is a solid foundation for making sure you remain in compliance and terminate agreements with your business in a civil manner.

What Happens to Debt When a Business Closes?

Whenever a small business takes a forced exit like bankruptcy or liquidation, it has implications for your employees, assets, and tax obligations.

When a small business declares bankruptcy, it may reduce or eliminate debts owed to creditors. However, it does not eliminate back taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS still considers taxes owed even if the company declares bankruptcy. The good news is that there is some relief for you and your business.

Small Business Closure Tax Relief

Though it is not applicable in every situation, some business owners receive tax forgiveness in a few critical areas after declaring bankruptcy:

Filing for bankruptcy is a last resort, yet it often feels like the only viable option for suffering small businesses. The problem is that a tax lien on closed business can put a sizable burden on your hopes of having taxes dismissed.

When the IRS files a tax lien against your business (and before you declare bankruptcy), it has the power to remove or maintain the tax lien. If the IRS refuses to remove the lien, even bankruptcy does not prevent the IRS from seizing business assets to satisfy back taxes.

Considering Filing Bankruptcy

Let’s face it: no one wants to admit they failed. Unfortunately, small businesses have a tremendous number of hurdles to leap over to become successful, and even then, it takes a little luck.

Once you reach a point where you can no longer keep up with your debts, small business owners get faced with the harsh reality of bankruptcy. While it is always considered a last resort option, often, you have little choice if the business is struggling financially.

If the business has struggled to pay taxes for several years, bankruptcy is truly the only way to get out of demanding IRS tax fees and penalties. Furthermore, it may keep the IRS from coming after your assets, at least in the short-term.

However, it is not a hard and fast rule. The IRS still has the power to file a tax lien on closed businesses to recoup the debt. Therefore, you need a skilled tax professional on your side who can help represent you and help you avoid losing property or assets to the IRS.

Tax Relief with a Reputation

Levy & Associates has helped small business owners navigate the trying, frustrating period of liquidating assets or declaring for bankruptcy. While no one wants to see their business come to an end, often, these steps are the only way to get you out of substantial debt.

However, you need to be extra careful about what the IRS can still attempt to do, like file a tax lien on your business property and assets. Speak with a caring, understanding tax professional today at Levy & Associates. We are available by calling 800-TAX-LEVY or visiting www.levytaxhelp.com.

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