It was in the winter of 2012 when dairy farmers Randy Sowers and Karen Sowers enjoyed a nice profit of $12,000 earned at a weekend farmer’s market. The couple, advised that making deposits of over $10,000 would involve time consuming paperwork at the bank, agreed with the bank teller that they would deposit the money in smaller quantities.
The IRS, however, claimed the proceeds were from criminal activity and in February 2012 seized close to $63,000 worth of cash and assets from the already cash-strapped Maryland dairy farmers. Also, the structuring of deposits in order to avoid the $10,000.00 reporting threshhold is a criminal offense, regardless of whether the source of the proceeds is legitimate or not.
“If I Wanted to Hide It, I Would Have Put It In a Can”
The farmers’ actions came under scrutiny due to federal laws, which were intended to target criminals who deposit large sums of money in smaller cash increments to evade the authorities. But as Randy Sowers stated, he thought that he and his wife’s actions were “very legitimate” and that if they wanted to hide their money they would have “put it in a can.”
“We have trouble paying our bills,” Sowers said. “[We] don’t need the government coming and taking money from us.”
A Settlement Reached – But It Isn’t Enough
The couple settled with the government for fear of losing the full amount seized and possibly more assets. They received approximately $33,500 at the time. But the couple are now fighting back and in a letter recently filed in mid-February 2016 to the Justice Department stated that they want the rest of their money back.
Hire Legal Assistance to Avoid Lengthy Disputes
The Sowers’ may have been able to avoid a lengthy dispute and ensure that they received their funds in a timely manner if they had hired a tax attorney to review the case and defend them. If you are facing a settlement situation or have received any paperwork form the IRS, it is imperative to speak with a tax professional like Scott Scammahorn.
Prior to meeting for a consultation at the Scammahorn Law Firm, gather all correspondence which you have received from the IRS as well as any tax-related documentation. We will analyze the data and advise you of your rights and how to best proceed. Your attorney will handle all correspondence from the IRS from that point onward and will work vigilantly to ensure the best possible outcome.
We invite you to call us at the Scammahorn Law Firm today, to schedule a consultation at (903) 595-1000.