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12A SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2018 THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.

COM

Oklahoman BrandInsight Connecting marketers to The Oklahoman reader.

Oklahoma City man settles $2 million IRS debt for $50 with the
help of Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm
BY EDDIE ROACH taxpayers for gambling
BrandInsight Contributor winnings above $600. If
you fail to file a return,
We recently interviewed or they audit you and
Oklahoma City tax you can’t prove losses
attorney Travis Watkins, up to that amount, they
of Travis W. Watkins Tax take the un-reduced
Resolution & Accounting winnings as taxable
Firm, about a huge victory income and stick you
for an Oklahoma City man with a tax bill. That’s
in tax trouble using the what happened here. He
IRS’ Offer in Compromise lost everything, got no
program. credit for his losses, and
Q: How does someone run got a massive tax bill he
up $2 million in back taxes could never pay.
with the Internal Revenue Q: How did you persuade
Service anyway? the IRS to accept $50 for this
Watkins:  This Oklahoma tax bill?
City taxpayer had filed Watkins:  Sometimes,
some (but not all) his an Oklahoma City tax
returns, but failed lawyer can challenge
to report gambling the big bill by filing
income. He was self- an original return or
employed, and buried showing the actual
his head in the sand losses up to the amount
somewhat. A very of winnings in an audit.
aggressive IRS revenue In this case, however,
officer showed up at the taxpayer had so little
his house and informed because of his gambling
him (to his surprise) issues, Travis W.
that he owed the IRS Watkins Tax Resolution
over $2 million. He was & Accounting Firm
especially fearful, as was able to show the
English was his second IRS that he couldn’t
language. ever pay this massive
Q: So, he must have tax or anything like
had some HUGE gambling it — using the IRS’ Q: Any advice for Oklahoma need an Oklahoma City Attorney who limits solve IRS problems. As a
winnings, right? Offer in Compromise City gamblers in regard to IRS tax resolution firm like his practice to helping special offer to readers,
Watkins:  Actually, no. Program — and the IRS taxes? Travis W. Watkins Tax taxpayers end IRS you can get a free copy
That’s the surprising accepted $50 in full Watkins:  You really Resolution & Accounting problems. Watkins has of Watkins’ book, “The
thing. He lost it ALL at and final settlement need an Oklahoma City Firm to assist you with earned the designation Ultimate Survival Guide
the casinos. of the entire tax debt. tax attorney when you proof of your losses each Certified Tax Resolution to IRS Problems” by
Q: Wait, if he lost it all, how Understandably, he was owe massive amounts year when you go to file Specialist from the calling toll free 800-
did he have such a huge tax incredibly relieved, and and you have aggressive your taxes. An ounce of American Society of 721-7054 and leaving
bill? grateful to have one of collections on you. First prevention is worth a Tax Problem Solvers, a a message anytime.
Watkins:  The IRS will the IRS’ most aggressive and foremost, though, pound of cure, they say. national not-for-profit Watkins can also be
look at W-2G forms revenue officers off his I would say that if you Travis Watkins is organization dedicated reached immediately at
that all casinos file on back. gamble routinely, you an Oklahoma City to helping taxpayers 405-400-8170.

ized, this is the school, this to assess mental health and EDUCATION NOTES
TRAUMA is DHS, this is (Oklahoma
City police). The problem
substance use patterns.
The data allowed the dis- Grant proposal writing fellowships of up to $5,000 edu/cu_foundation, by
CONTINUED FROM 10A is that we rely on and help trict and other partners to sessions planned for individual teachers and calling 580-581-2999 or at
each other, so I think that develop a comprehensive, up to $10,000 for teams of foundation@cameron.edu.
school officials put the this helps us do our part districtwide mental health Oklahoma pre-K through teachers for self-designed
right supports in place, more effectively while still action plan. 12th-grade teachers professional development SWOSU offers five
Powell said.  maintaining confidenti- The initiative, called seeking customized experiences anywhere study abroad programs
“It heightens our ality that is that family’s Embrace OKC, is the lat- professional development in the world during the
response to that child,” she right.” est collaborative initia- opportunities can attend summer. The grant cycle WEATHERFORD —
said. “It lets us know that Last year, Oklahoma tive of the Oklahoma City information sessions about application process is open Southwestern Oklahoma
child is in a current or City Public Schools started Schools Compact, which grants from the national now through Jan. 31 at State University is offering
recent state of crisis … that focusing on more trauma- is a group of community nonprofit Fund for Teachers. www.fundforteachers.org. five study abroad programs
they need extra support.” informed practices, Bell partners working together Fund for Teachers, the in March and May 2019. The
The Handle with Care said. to support improvements Oklahoma Foundation for Cameron University trips are to London, Italy,
program is another step In September 2017, identified by the school Excellence and the Tulsa launches funding effort Spain and France.
that helps school officials with help from commu- district. Community Foundation will Information about the
be in tune with the fami- nity partners, the district “You can’t educate if offer grant proposal writing LAWTON — The Cameron trips can be obtained from
lies they’re working with, worked with the Okla- you’ve got a student that and information sessions University Foundation has the sponsoring faculty
Powell said.  homa Department of Men- has more basic needs,” Bell at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at The launched Roots of Our member:
“Because of confiden- tal Health and Substance said. “We’ve got to address Oklahoman, 100 W Main Success, a fundraising • London-SWOSU/
tiality, we don’t often Abuse Services to conduct them as a whole child, and St., Ste. 100, Oklahoma campaign to generate Business with Jerry Dunn
know,” she said. “We’ve a survey of students in it’s exciting to me that the City; and at 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at donations to the Aggie jerry.dunn@swosu.edu |
kind of compartmental- grades six, eight, 10 and 12 district is doing that.” Clinton High School, 2130 W Fund for Student Success. March 15-24
Gary Blvd. Donations will be used • London-SWOSU/
Webinar information to provide scholarships, Literature with Amanda
sessions will be available at access to a global Smith-Chesley amanda.
6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 5:30 experiences, innovative smith@swosu.edu | March
p.m. Jan. 9. Registration teaching and more. 15-24
and webinar information The campaign kicked • Italy-SWOSU with Daniel
can be found at www. off with a challenge gift of Farris daniel.farris@swosu.
fundforteachers.org/fft- $5,000 from an anonymous edu | May 7-16
events. To inquire about donor who is challenging • Spain-SWOSU with
hosting an information nine other Cameron Cynthia Pena Cynthia.pena@
session at your school, University supporters to swosu.edu / May 15-29
contact Sara Wilson at match the gift. Gifts of any • France-SWOSU with
swilson@ofe.org or 405-236- amount are welcome. Todd Parker todd.parker@
0006, ext. 12. Information on how swosu.edu | May 20-30
The Fund for Teachers to make a gift can be  
grant program awards found at www.cameron. FROM STAFF REPORTS

The current setup doesn’t Jean Williams, a vol-


CRISIS work well for the patients
who may have long waits,
unteer with the National
Alliance on Mental Ill-
CONTINUED FROM 10A the police officers who ness Oklahoma, also
have to stay with them advised families who
Patients and fami- or the emergency room have a loved one with a
lies seeking help during doctors who already mental health condition
a mental health crisis have plenty of work, he to educate themselves
might have an easier time said. about how the system
if they can go directly to If patients have signs works before they need
a crisis center, though of a physical health to use it.
those aren’t available problem, such as chest Medical privacy laws
in all parts of the state, pain, it’s important to can make the process
Brose said. Even if there take them to an emer- frustrating, because doc-
is a center nearby, police gency room, but it’s not tors may not be able to
still may have to take necessary as a routine report anything to family
the person in crisis to measure, Beaman said. members, Williams said.
an emergency room for Ideally, a nurse or doctor Families still can play an
“medical clearance” at a mental health facility important role, however,
before a mental health would check vital signs by offering context about
facility will agree to treat and order any necessary the person’s condition,
the person, he said. blood work, he said. she said.
Dr. Jason Beaman, If a family does end up “Even though it can
chairman of psychiatry at needing to go to an emer- be frustrating to sit in a
the Oklahoma State Uni- gency room for a crisis, lobby for hours just hop-
versity Center for Health it helps to plan ahead, ing to talk to someone, it
Sciences, says a task Brose said. If possible, is important to show up
force in Tulsa is working make a list of medica- at every step in the pro-
on  reducing those visits. tions and providers.  cess,” she said.