Southfield attorney helps clients overcome 'taxing' IRS issues


by Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

From $500,000 to $20,000 – what a difference a few zeroes make.

Attorney Alan Shamoun had a client who worked in the auto industry his whole life and whose tax bill had continuously climbed because he had not had the correct deductions taken from paychecks and had not paid the amount due on annual tax returns.

“Before coming to our office he owed nearly half a million dollars,” says Shamoun, an IRS tax lawyer and advocate with Ayar Law Group in Southfield, a firm specializing in tax law. “We did an offer in compromise for him but they still wanted to settle for an amount far more than he was comfortable paying. We went to appeals and negotiated a settlement on his case for $20,000.”

Shamoun is passionate about helping clients resolve their tax mistakes.

“Clients come to us when the IRS or state is threatening to go after their bank accounts or paychecks and we prevent them from taking action,” he explains. “In most instances our clients do owe some money, and the goal is to get that amount as low as possible.

“Dealing with the IRS can be a struggle at times, but since everyone is operating under the same set of rules, a skilled attorney can nearly always find a way to make the rule work in a client’s favor.”

In another case, Shamoun and his colleagues had to file nearly a decade worth of personal and business tax returns for a business owner client who had failed to file them – and who owed the IRS close to $750,000.

“By working with a local revenue officer we recently negotiated a payment plan of only $500 a month,” Shamoun notes.

One business had previously used a different tax firm for over a year, and not reached a resolution with the IRS. Ayar Law Group took less than eight weeks to solve the issue.

“We put them on a payment plan for far less than the IRS was originally asking for after I discovered they were using incorrect dates for their deadlines – something the other firm missed the entire year they were working on the case,” Shamoun says.

Shamoun’s knowledge and understanding of business stem from his teen years, when he helped to run his parent’s restaurant.

“Having grown up working in our family’s restaurant and taking on a lot of responsibility even before I was 18, I learned how to run a business and what matters most – keeping the customers happy,” he says. “I’ve continued this philosophy and make sure I come to a satisfactory result for every one of my clients.”

A graduate of Walled Lake Western High School, Shamoun earned his undergrad degree in finance from Wayne State University. 

“I always favored math in grade school and working with numbers came very naturally to me,” he says. “Finance was a way to combine my understanding of numbers with helping a business run its operations. Most challenging and exciting to me was learning international finance – it’s crazy to think how a rise in the price of steel, oil or another commodity has such a global effect.”

Shamoun earned his J.D., cum laude, from Detroit Mercy School of Law, where he served as executive vice president to the Student Bar Association and was a senior member of the Moot Court Board of Advocates as well as an Associate Board Member, Director of Finance. He also was a contender in the John Marshall Law School International Moot Court Competition in Information and Technology and Privacy Law; and was the recipient of the Voice for Justice Public Interest Fellowship.

“I saw law school as not only an opportunity at a new career but also as an investment in myself,” he says. “I enjoy helping others and everybody, at some point in their lives, will need the assistance of a lawyer. I wanted to be able to help people when they needed it.”

He particularly enjoyed the UDM Immigration Clinic and the opportunity it provided to apply his newly minted legal knowledge on actual cases.

In one case, he helped an Iraqi refugee, who had given up everything and left his family to try and make a better life for himself in the United States. 

“He made the journey across multiple continents and an ocean and found himself at the U.S. border where he requested asylum,” Shamoun says. “After presenting his case before a judge, we were able to obtain the results he was after – and he is on his way to citizenship.”

A native of Southfield who grew up in Farmington Hills, Shamoun now lives in Bloomfield Hills, with his wife, Chantel, and newborn son, Noah.

“We enjoy living in the Detroit area and go to many of the local events and attractions, and spend our weekends with our families,” he says.“I’m happy that Detroit is making a comeback. Having gone through undergrad and law school in the city, I look forward to spending more time there. My wife and I enjoy going to Eastern Market on the weekends, going to Tigers and Red Wings games, and visiting some of our favorite restaurants including Slows Bar B.Q., Green Dot Stables, and Hot Taco.”