The Best Ways to Avoid Problems if You Owe Back Taxes

You can only get away with not paying your taxes for so long before the IRS comes to collect—and chances are, it will do so ruthlessly. With this in mind, if you owe back taxes to the IRS, here are a few things you should remember as you work with a company specializing in IRS relief in Des Moines, IA:

  • Never ignore IRS notices: Just because IRS notices you receive look like they’re computer generated does not mean they’re not important. You should open and respond to any notices you receive immediately. Otherwise, the IRS will quickly become more forceful in its collection efforts.
  • Work with a tax expert: Before you talk to the IRS revenue officer, take some time to sit down with a tax expert, who will prepare you for your collection interview. Some of this preparation includes going over how you should conduct yourself during the meeting and how you can tell if the revenue officer is attempting to take advantage of you. Remember, their job is not to look out for your best interests—it’s to collect money for the government. You’ll need to be your own advocate.
  • Don’t go alone: IRS collection interviews can be quite intense, especially if it’s your first experience in such a setting. Seriously consider hiring an attorney to represent you in the process—there’s a good chance you’ll end up with much better results by doing so.
  • Know your rights: You have due process rights. The IRS cannot legally take over your bank account, seize assets or garnish wages without giving you written notice in advance of doing so, as well as an opportunity to challenge the claims the IRS is making. When you challenge the IRS, all collection activity must then come to a halt until the challenge action concludes. You are also allowed to take the IRS to court yourself, meaning they will not be able to challenge you until the judge releases his or her decision.
  • You won’t go to jail: You won’t go to jail if you can’t pay your taxes—that’s just not something that happens in the United States. You can go to jail if you attempt to cheat on your taxes or trick the tax collector, but you can’t go to jail simply because you owe taxes. You do have options. A hardship suspension will result in the IRS temporarily leaving you alone while you are going through a financial hardship. An Offer in Compromise removes tax liens and gives you a fresh start if you’re able to prove your financial hardships will make it impossible for you to ever pay back your debts. Bankruptcy can discharge some of your taxes (but not all taxes in all cases).

For more information about strategies to help you get IRS relief in Des Moines, IA, we encourage you to contact an expert at Accounting & Tax Professionals, PLC, and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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