As the old saying goes, there are just two certainties in life: death and taxes. Your taxes can cause a lot of frustration in life, though, especially when you encounter an issue with your taxes and the IRS. If you have tax issues such as a larger than expected bill, owing back taxes or an audit, you can take steps to ease your frustration and resolve the issue sooner rather than later.
Don’t ignore the problem. Ignoring communication from the IRS and hoping the agency forgets about you and your problems will only make matters worse. If you receive communication from the IRS, you should read it carefully and follow any instructions it provides.
Do make contact with the IRS. The sooner you open the lines of communication with the IRS, the better. Call the number provided by the IRS and talk with a customer service representative. You can also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which is an organization within the IRS dedicated to helping tax payers resolve their issues.
Don’t fall for scams. Many unscrupulous businesses will advertise that they can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf — for just a small fee upfront. Often, these companies take the fee and then run, leaving you holding the tax bill.
Any company offering to reduce your tax liability by a guaranteed percentage should raise a red flag. Every situation is different and only the IRS can guarantee a reduced payment.
Do talk with an accredited professional. For every shady company, there exists an upstanding and responsible professional that actually can help you work through a tax issue. Reputable tax attorneys, certified public accountants and agents can help you negotiate with the IRS. Do your due diligence and research a company’s credentials first.
Don’t sweat the entire bill. The total figure you owe to the IRS may cause you heartburn, but the IRS has several payment options including installment plans and reducing the total owed based on income.
Do explore your options. You have choices so educate yourself, talk with the IRS and take steps toward resolving your tax issues.