If you're in Johnson County, Kansas, or Jackson County, Missouri, and need help with a tax problem, reach out today for personalized guidance.
IRS Debt Settlements Helpful Hints
We have compiled this information to make you aware of the common mistakes that we have seen taxpayers make when dealing with the IRS. Unfortunately, we have seen taxpayers make these mistakes again and again. It is critically important that you avoid these mistakes if you want to maximize your chances of successfully resolving your IRS debt problem.
Open all mail from the IRS.
This may seem obvious, but many people do not do it. The IRS is not going to go away just because you don´t open your mail. Ignoring your IRS problems is not the answer. It is crucially important to open all your mail from the IRS (especially the certified letters). While it may be unpleasant to open, the mail from the IRS provides you notice of your legal rights (yes, you do have legal rights even when dealing with the IRS). By ignoring your legal rights, you are making it more difficult – and perhaps even more expensive – to solve your tax problems. So if you do nothing else, open all your mail from the IRS. When you begin to get certified letters from the IRS, you need to take action — either on your own or by hiring experienced professionals like the Tax Solutions Law Firm, LLC.
So many of our clients tell us they did not open any mail from the IRS . . . until it was too late. Among the other recommendations we have for you on this website, we strongly recommend that you open all of your mail from the IRS. It is absolutely critical that you obtain and open all certified letters from the IRS. (In case you do not know, the post office must get your signature before they can give you a certified letter. In many cases, if you are not home during the day when the postman delivers your mail, you must go to the post office to get your certified letter.) The letters from the IRS, especially the certified letters, contain important legal rights that you have (even if you owe the taxes and cannot afford to pay them). However, you must assert your legal rights within a 30-day deadline (in most cases) from date of the letter (regardless of whether or not you actually open the letter).
If you think you can just ignore your tax problems and they will go away, we encourage you to think again. While this may have been true in the past, the IRS has thousands of revenue officers to collect delinquent taxes (our government needs all the tax revenue it can find). Many taxpayers who have slipped through the cracks in the past, are no longer doing so. By dealing with your tax problems and enforcing your legal rights, you can avoid the aggressive collection action the IRS is authorized to take such as bank levies, wage garnishments, and property seizures. If you cannot deal with your tax problem yourself, we strongly encourage you to hire a local tax attorney who is experienced with IRS collection matters to assist you.
Don't fall further behind.
Many people think that if they are already behind in their taxes, they should simply not bother to pay their current taxes. This is not true. One of the best actions you can take to start solving your tax problems is to become a good taxpaying citizen again. The IRS is easier to deal with when you are meeting your current tax obligations. Everyone falls into a rough patch in life now and again. A temporary failure to pay your taxes is much easier to explain to the IRS than continued failure to pay taxes (unless there’s a good reason).
File your taxes even if you cannot pay them.
Many people also believe that if you cannot afford to pay your taxes, you should not file tax returns. Again, this is not true. There are penalties for failing to file your taxes. There are penalties for failing to pay your taxes. By filing your taxes even if you are unable to pay, you can avoid the failure to file penalties. Also, as a general rule, the IRS is more aggressive in dealing with taxpayers who fail to file their tax returns than simply failing to pay their taxes.
A FEW GOOD REASONS TO FILE A TAX RETURN-EVEN IF YOU CAN’T PAY
After weeks of procrastination, you finally prepared your tax return-only to discover you owe more in tax than you can afford to pay. What do you do about the situation? We see many taxpayers who, upon completion of their tax return with the balance due, simply decide not to file the tax return and hope the IRS will not catch up with them. This is not a good strategy. For the reasons summarized below, it is our recommendation to file your tax return when you are legally required to do so-even if you have a balance due. This is especially true if you receive W-2 or 1099 income (because these sources of income are reported to the IRS by the payor).
Even if you cannot pay the balance indicated on your tax return, you should file the return for several reasons.
First, if the IRS is aware of your income sources (specifically 1099 income or W-2 income), the IRS will prepare a tax return for you if they believe a balance is due. After the IRS prepares a tax return for you, known as a substitute for return, the IRS can begin collection activity on the balance owed on that return.
Second, when you timely file a tax return, the penalties are reduced. The IRS charges both a failure to pay penalty of 1% of the unpaid taxes for each month taxes are unpaid and a failure to file penalty of 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month a tax return is not filed. If you file your tax return even with the balance due, you will avoid the 5% per month failure to file penalty.
Third, under some circumstances, your unpaid income taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy. However, one of several requirements to have your taxes discharged in bankruptcy is the filing of a tax return by the taxpayer. If you do not file a tax return and the IRS files one for you, that tax year can NEVER be discharged in bankruptcy under current IRS policy.
Fourth, believe it or not, the IRS does have limitations on its authority. Filing a tax return starts the statute of limitations for additional assessments of tax and the ten (10) year statute of limitations on collection of the tax. If you never file a tax return, the ten year collection period for the IRS never starts.
At the Tax Solutions Law Firm, we can help you file your current year tax return or even previous year tax returns. If you are like many of our clients, this is the first step to solving your tax problem once and for all. Call us Today. We can help you solve your tax problems.