Settle Your IRS debt

IRS debtIn the past several months three of my clients were able to settle their IRS debt through the Offer in Compromise program.  If you owe back taxes this is a good time to explore this option.

What is an Offer in Compromise?

An Offer in Compromise can allow a taxpayer with IRS debt to offer to pay what you can afford. Corporations, LLCs, and other entities can also take advantage of Offers in Compromise. If the IRS believes the Offer amount is equal to or more than what the Service could otherwise collect from the Taxpayer it will accept the offered amount to compromise the remaining tax liability. Last year we got an Offer through for a client who did not have any equity in his assets and did not have any income over and above his monthly necessary living expenses.  The IRS accepted a onetime payment of $300.00 to compromise over $80,000 in tax liabilities.  Tax liabilities that can be compromised include income taxes (1040), payroll taxes (941), trust fund recovery penalties, and more.

$281,000 IRS debt settle for $19,000.

Another example, one recent case involved a client who owned a business and had equity in his home.  He was able to demonstrate and the IRS agreed that his monthly necessary living expenses equaled or exceeded his monthly income.  In that case, the amount that the IRS determined was collectible was just over $19,000. The IRS accepted the client’s offer of $19,040.00 to compromise over $281,000 in taxes.

I have been doing Offers in Compromises for more than 24 years, essentially since the program first began. Without a doubt, this is one of the most favorable times to get an offer accepted that I have experienced. If you want to explore this option, give me a call.

by Norm Short, J.D., LL.M. Taxation

Newlywed Tax Tips

newlywed taxNewly married this summer?

by Norman Short, business and tax lawyer, GSJones Law Group, P.S.

You’re probably worn out from dealing with the myriad of details your wedding demanded.  The last thing you want is some more tasks. If, however, you take a little time now, you will save a lot of time in a few months when you file your first taxes together (or not).

Newlywed Tax Tip #1: Make official name and address changes

Yes, you’ve spent hours changing your relationship status and perhaps your name on social media. You’ve also spent hours making sure even great aunt Penelope that you haven’t seen since you were 11 knows about your marriage. Now it’s time to let your employer, the IRS, and Social Security know about changes in your name or address.

IRS: File their change of address form if one or both of you have moved.

Your employers: Tell your employers about any changes in name or address. Even if you are not changing the name you use at work, if you have a new legal name, the personnel department needs to know.

Social Security Administration: If one or both of your are changing your name, you will need a new Social Security card.

Newlywed Tax Tip #2: Decide on how to handle your finances

Whether or not to combine bank accounts and other finances is a very personal choice. If, however, you plan to file your taxes separately, it is much better to keep your finances separate. In most cases, it is better to file jointly and how you handle your finances will not make a difference. Other than only having to file one return (a major plus), when you file jointly you qualify for a higher standard deduction and more tax credits.

In general, filing separately only makes sense when there is a significant difference in income level between you. If you are in doubt, a quick consultation with your accountant or a tax attorney will resolve the matter.

Newlywed Tax Tip #3: Estimate your new taxes

If you plan to file jointly, it’s important to avoid an ugly surprise at tax time. Use a simple tax calculator, such as the one at There are a variety of steps you can take before January 1 to lessen the tax time ouch. Others, such as contributions to IRAs, can be started at the time you file your taxes. Make plans now, however.

Newlywed Tax Tip #4: Adjust your W-4

Whether you have found that you will owe IRS more or your tax calculation reveals yet another benefit of marriage, adjust your W-4. Increasing your withholding will take some of the bite out of tax filing. If on the other hand, you project a refund, take it now. IRS will not pay you interest on the extra money it is taking now. Invest your refund now by decreasing your withholding now. You may want to invest in mutual funds for the future. Or you may want to invest in your new home or memorable experiences with your new spouse. It’s up to you.

Business owners

Of course, if one of you is self-employed or a partner in a business you will need to consult your accountant or an attorney about what changes need to be made.


Business law and business formation

Business law

Good business law advice supports your success

Partnering with a business law attorney increases your chances of success. That is true whether you are a new entrepreneur or an established business, a sole proprietor or a corporation,

GSJones Law Group partner, Norman Short, stands ready to put his 25+ years of experience in Washington State business law to work for your business.  Due to his lengthy experience in the formation of business entities Norm offers seasoned advice to businesses. He advises businesses every step of the way through business formation, starting with drafting the first documents and preparing and reviewing business contracts.

Norman Short works with most business structures.

  • Sole proprietors
  • Limited liability companies
  • Cooperatives
  • Corporations
  • S corporations
  • Partnerships

We are flexible to meet your needs. Whether you need a retainer to provide regular advice or contract review on an as-needed basis, we structure our relationship to meet your needs. In addition, Norm often serves as general corporate counsel to local businesses.

Business law experience plus advanced training and experience in tax law

As a tax attorney with an advanced legal degree (LL.M.) in tax law, Norman Short’s business tax knowledge is especially relevant to the needs of most businesses. He also represents clients before the United States Tax Court and the Internal Revenue Service.

Additionally, employment law advice saves your business time, staff and lawsuits

Alongside business legal advice and tax advice, good employee relations is another key to business success. A review of your employee manual, personnel contracts and practices helps you to:

  • retain good employees
  • ensure that you are treating your employees fairly
  • terminate and discipline in a legal manner
  • prevent lawsuits

Labor law attorney, Chalmers Johnson, works with businesses to support good employee relations. And, good employee relations with clear policies contribute much to the success of the business. Put his 20+ years of experience to work for you.

Chalmers Johnson, personal injury attorney, employment lawNorman Short, tax and business law attorneyAttorneys

Chalmers Johnson, employment and labor law

Norman K Short, business law and tax law


Call or message for a business law consultation today!

Tax law, business law and employment law appointments available at both our Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island offices.

Based in Port Orchard, WA with a branch on Bainbridge Island, GSJones Law Group, P.S., represents Kitsap County residents, as well as business clients from throughout surrounding counties and communities. Among the communities are Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Silverdale, Seabeck, Belfair, Banner, Olalla, Poulsbo,  Bethel, Navy Yard City, Fernwood, Purdy. Clients also come from Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island, as well as surrounding areas in Mason County, and Jefferson County.

Norman Short: tax and business law attorney

Norman K Short: Business, Tax & Estate Planning Law

Business law, estate planning law, tax law and IRS representation

Norman K Short (Norm) focuses on tax, estate planning, and business law. If you need tax planning, IRS representation, tax compliance advice, or probate, Norm has the experience you are looking for. While Norm often represents individuals, he also has extensive experience with businesses in many aspects of commercial law. Especially relevant is his experience as a general corporate counsel. Also noteworthy is his experience forming new businesses. He also serves as a general accounting advisor to businesses.

26 years business and tax law experience with an advanced degree in tax law

With this comprehensive set of skills, you can feel confident in consulting Norm about your personal and business finances.

Norm is one of the few attorneys in Kitsap County with wide experience in representing clients before the IRS. He is especially skilled in using the IRS offers in compromise rules to make it possible for taxpayers to pay only what they can afford.

Norman Short: Estate Planning Law for estates that include businesses

Norm’s background and training in business and tax law make him your best choice for estate planning.  This is especially if you have an estate that includes businesses and complex tax situations. Yet, don’t hesitate to consult him for more routine estate matters.

Norm is admitted to practice law in the State of Washington, United States District Court, United States Tax Court, United States Bankruptcy Court, as well as the Internal Revenue Service.

Norm earned his undergraduate degree, Bachelor’s of Science, Business Administration with an accounting major from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho in 1987. He sat for and passed the Certified Public Accounting exam just prior to entering law school. He received his law degree from the University of Idaho, College of Law, in Moscow, Idaho in 1991. From there, Norm attended the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida and obtained his Masters in Laws, Taxation, an internationally recognized postgraduate law degree. 

Norm and his family are proud Kitsap County residents. They live near the Hood Canal where he and his wife joyfully raise their three sons. 

Bar Admissions

Washington, 1993
U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
U.S. Tax Court, 1995


University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida – 1992
LL.M, Taxation
University of Idaho College of Law, Moscow, Idaho
J.D. – 1991
Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
B.S. – 1987
Major: Accounting


Make an appointment with Norman Short for a consultation on any business law, tax law, estate planning or probate matter.

Business law, tax law, estate planning law or probate appointments are available at our Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island offices.