I have recently posted blog articles about a client who is trying to protect money from a judgment creditor by overpaying estimated taxes to the IRS, and when a refund is due from the next tax return, asking the IRS to hold his refund to pay future taxes. I had mentioned that an experienced collection attorney I consulted had no idea how he could attack a debtor’s excess tax deposits with the IRS. Another collection attorney in Florida emailed his suggestion that the creditor could seek proceedings supplementary with a Florida court and ask the judge to use the broad equitable powers granted courts by the relevant statute to command the IRS to turn over the debtor’s tax deposits to the court. A bankruptcy professor did not know the answer and suggested speaking with a tax attorney, which I did.
This week I presented to issue to Mr. Robert Kramer who is a very experienced and well known tax attorney in Broward County, Florida, where he heads his own firm, Kramer, Green, Zuckerman et. al. Robert Kramer has been a tax attorney for several decades and has also provided asset protection planning for many physician clients. Robert said that a general judgment creditor cannot garnish the IRS to collect a civil judgment in the absences of specific statutory authority; such authority exists, for example, for collection of state child support awards. Also, Robert stated that a state court judge cannot enforce an order against the IRS for turnover of taxpayer money to collect a civil judgment because the state court judge lacks federal jurisdiction, and there are no federal statutes giving such power to state courts to collect general civil judgments. In other words, the Florida judgment creditor may have no remedy to get money the debtor transfers to the IRS to avoid his creditors.
No doubt, the excessive payment to IRS to avoid paying judgment creditors is a fraudulent transfer or fraudulent conversion. A creditor’s lawsuit to recover a fraudulent transfer would name the debtor and the IRS as defendants. The judgment creditor would have to sue the IRS (probably in federal court), and even if he could prove the debtor’s intent to evade collection, the civil judgment creditor may be without a remedy to get the money. Sometimes the simple asset protection plans that do not work legally are very effective practically.