Business I doer profile
The Tax Man
Lawrence Levy works both sides of the fence for his accounting clients.
usiness is booming for a
Lathrup Village accounting firm,
so much so that owner Lawrence
Levy has added three people to his staff
since the first of the year and is expand-
ing a national network to help people with
their taxes or their businesses.
The two-sided firm — it has a conven-
tional practice and a "controversy" practice
— has grown to 16 employees, including
three certified public accountants and two
former Internal Revenue Service revenue
officers. And a telephone, or his Bluetooth,
is never far from Levy's ear.
The conventional side of the business
includes accounting and bookkeeping
services, payroll and tax preparation for
individuals, businesses and corporations.
To stand out from the crowd, Levy says,
his company stresses customer service.
"People complain about the lack of
Name: Lawrence Levy.
Residence: Commerce Township.
Family: Wife Michelle is an attorney;
sons, Maverick, 9, and Jett, 1.
Synagogue: Temple Israel, West
Affiliations: Friends of IDF sponsor,
Tam O'Shanter Country Club, Grosse
Pointe Yacht Club.
service from their CPAs or the national
[tax preparation] chains. We try to make
our rates competitive and give quick turn-
arounr He says every tax return com-
pleted by one of his associates is reviewed
by one of the company's CPAs.
The controversy practice helps dis-
tressed clients reach settlements with the
IRS or state taxing authorities when the
clients are in serious financial difficulty.
In one case last month, Levy's firm negoti-
ated a $1,200 settlement with the IRS over
an $800,000 tax debt. "If you fit certain
IRS criteria;' Levy says, "like having no
equity in assets and no disposable income,
you may be granted relief. But it's not a
slam-dunk; it's a lengthy process and it's
He says the IRS is very aggressive these
days, but the majority of its revenue offi-
cers are "reasonable to work with. And the
taxpayer has to be responsive and get into
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Wealth Plann no • Investment Advisory • Asset Management
B4 February 14 • 2008