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From Boom To Bust: A Bakken Oil Worker's Story (Part 3)


To get caught up on Joe's story, read Part One and Part Two of our "From Boom to Bust" series.


For Joe, things really went downhill after he lost his job in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. Unable to find more work, he quickly uses up his savings and is now hearing rumors about the IRS going after oil workers for unpaid taxes.

Advice From A Friend

Worried he will be unable to pay his tax debt and needing to take his mind off his current situation for just a little while, Joe tags along for an afternoon with his friend Mike while he goes to his job inspecting equipment in the oil field. At one point, Joe asks Mike what he thinks he should do. Right away, Mike tells Joe he should consider talking to a tax attorney, but Joe isn't so sure, especially since he thinks he can't afford a lawyer because he is still out of work.

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Mike quickly responds, "You should be more worried about the IRS than anything else, and the best person to help you fight the IRS is a lawyer." Joe has to admit, he can't argue with that logic, so he and Mike begin searching the internet for a tax attorney with experience in these types of situations.

Almost immediately, Joe comes across the website for Silver Tax Group. This law firm seems perfect - its attorneys have more than 40 years of combined legal experience and the website discusses many of the specific tax issues facing laid-off oil workers, which is something many other law firm websites simply don't address.

Even though it is 11 pm, Joe picks up the phone and calls the toll free number listed for Silver Tax Group - and someone actually answers. He schedules his free consultation for the next day.

Joe Finds Answers To His Important Questions

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During his initial legal consultation with an attorney from Silver Tax Group, Joe is finally able to get answers to his many questions. Mr. Silver also reassures Joe that these questions are quite common in the difficult economy that North Dakota is now facing due to the downturn of oil prices. Some of the main questions that Joe, and many other laid off workers have include:


Will the IRS be able to take my money, house or vehicles now that I am unemployed?

"This question has started to arise all too often in the wake of the downturn in fracking at the Bakken formation. Those who moved to North Dakota and were able to make a good living while the wells were flowing now find themselves unemployed and wondering if the IRS can come after assets purchased during better times.

If you do not take care of the situation, the IRS may be able to:

  • Seize any money in your bank accounts
  • Put liens against all of your assets
  • Order a Sheriff to conduct a fire sale of your home and vehicles

How do you resolve the situation, especially if you are out or work? You get help from a tax attorney. Tax lawyers work with people just like you who have faced the same problems and are in the same situation. They know how to help you fight during this difficult time, work with the IRS on finding an acceptable solution and protect your hard-earned assets.

Good, hard-working people end up in tough tax situation through no fault of their own. With the help of the right lawyer, you can make the IRS understand this and adjust their expectations accordingly."


What happens if my hours are drastically cut and I'm on a payment plan with the IRS?

"We may be able to negotiate a hardship/Currently Not Collectible status for you and stop the IRS in their tracks. This hardship can provide breathing room while you save up some money so you can actually live. Alternatively, it might be a good time to have us negotiate a low monthly installment plan.

Locking in a low monthly payment plan while your income is lower will protect you in the event your income increases. In fact, your payment will likely stay the same even if you start to make more money. However, if you owe the IRS money in the future, or miss a payment, the agreement will break and the IRS will start collecting against you all over again."


I'm currently sleeping in my truck - how can I get IRS correspondence?

"Once our power of attorney is filed with the IRS, we will be your point of contact for the IRS - meaning we will start to get notices on your behalf. You do not need to have a residence to deal with the IRS."


Will I go to jail?

"I have not had anyone go to jail yet because they owed taxes. Good defense work keeps people out of jail who have tax problems."


Be Like Joe: Get The Answers And Help You Deserve

In the end, Joe's tax issues were resolved as quickly and conveniently as possible. The fees that he paid his tax attorney were far lower than the massive tax debt he faced and the penalties the IRS would have imposed had he not taken action. Best of all, Joe regained peace of mind and was able to fully focus on finding his next job.

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The challenges Joe faced are all too similar for many North Dakota oil workers. So, if you have questions about your tax obligations or if the IRS is already coming after you, call us today at 800-778-2741 and speak with one of our experienced tax attorneys. You can also reach us online.


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