Tax Trouble with Karen Tenenbaum, Episode #78

Today’s guest is Karen Tenenbaum founder of Tenenbaum Law, P.C. Karen has been an attorney for over 35 years and her firm helps individuals and businesses facing IRS and New York State tax problems. Karen and her team have successfully represented clients in matters, including federal and state audits, New York State residency audits, and New York State sales tax audits.

Karen is a frequent speaker on IRS and New York State tax issues for numerous professional groups. She can also be found speaking at some of the top conferences and symposiums in the industry. Karen’s knowledge and leadership have established her as a preeminent tax attorney in the New York area. Listen in for some great takeaways regarding taxes and what to do when you might have an issue.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Karen’s path to founding Tenenbaum Law, P.C. [3:17]
  • What led to bringing tax and legal together? [4:50]
  • What does a tax attorney do? [7:27]
  • What areas does Karen help clients and how [10:29]
  • How telecommuting has created potential legal tax issues for people [12:42]
  • What to know if you are telecommuting [18:24]
  • Problems that people run into when making residency changes from NY [27:46]
  • Advice for taxpayers who have vacillating income [34:50]
  • What to do if you realize that you haven’t withheld [37:40]
  • 3 things to stay out of trouble and not need to contact a tax attorney [39:21]
  • What Karen did today that put her in the right mindset for success? [41:10]

Niching down

Karen comes from an entrepreneurial family. Her parents had their own business where her brothers are involved. She tells about how they would sit around the kitchen table on a regular basis and talk about all sorts of business issues.

As a tax attorney and CPA, she started out at large accounting firms like Deloitte. For a while, she was all things to all people, doing corporate deals, real estate deals, tax consequences, and even handling tax controversy matters. Karen realized after a while that you can’t be all things, to all people, at all times. She enjoyed negotiating with the government and helping the taxpayers so when she started her firm Karen narrowed her niche.

Now Karen has her own firm Tenenbaum Law in Melville and she’s proud to say that they just celebrated 25 years and she has an amazing team. Tenenbaum Law is one of the New York Law Journals’ largest women-owned law firms.

The burden of proof when cutting tax ties with New York State

One of the things that have been a great area of growth since the pandemic is telecommuting. People are working from home a lot more. In certain instances, they may have even moved to a completely different state. Some companies are allowing people to continue working from home and some have said that they’re never coming back to the office. How has this changed what Karen does; how has it changed for the people working?

Karen says they get calls on this every. single. day. because it raises so many different issues. If you were a New York state resident you’re going to be taxed on all of your income, no matter where it was earned, no matter where you’re physically working, you’re taxed in New York. If you were a New York state resident, and you lived in another state but worked in New York, you’re going to still pay New York taxes, but only on the wages you earned in New York. So this gets a little confusing, right? Karen provides so much value on this that you’ll need to check out the episode to hear it all!

3 things you can do to stay out of trouble

What are three things that individuals, business owners, or entrepreneurs can do to make sure they stay out of trouble and do not need to contact a tax attorney? Karen says the first would be to keep complete and accurate records to justify any information that’s on that tax return. Certainly, that’s going to help if you get audited. Second, even if you can’t pay, file the return on time and then talk to a professional about your payment options. Sometimes you can just do a payment agreement online. Lastly, act on any notices, don’t ignore them. Otherwise, you’re going to start having collection actions taken against you. Once they start notifying you deal with it.

Connect with Karen Tenenbaum


An attorney for over 35 years, Karen founded Tenenbaum Law, P.C., which helps individuals and businesses facing IRS and New York State tax problems. Karen and her team have successfully represented clients in matters including:

  • Federal & State Audits
  • IRS Appeals & NY State Conciliation Conferences
  • Federal & NYS Collection Issues, including Liens, Levies, Warrants & Seizures
  • Offers in Compromise and Installment Agreements
  • Responsible Officer Assessments
  • NYS Residency Audits
  • NYS Sales Tax Audits
  • NYS Voluntary Disclosure

Karen is a frequent speaker on IRS and NYS tax issues for numerous professional groups on topics such as New York State residency, IRS and NYS collections, and more. She speaks at the NYU Tax Controversy Forum, NCCPAP Accounting and Tax Symposium, LIU Post Civil and Criminal Tax Controversy, and NYSSCPA, Nassau, and Suffolk All Day Tax Conferences. Karen’s knowledge and leadership have established her as a leading tax attorney in the NY area. Karen was selected as a New York Super Lawyer as a practitioner in Tax Law. Karen has been quoted in numerous articles in Bloomberg Business News, Money Magazine, Long Island Business News, The Daily News, and more on the topics of NYS Residency and NYS Tax Collection issues.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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