Every year, around one million new tax collection cases are put in motion by the IRS on people who owe money to the IRS. If you are one of these targets, you should not ignore the letters and attempts to contact by the IRS or any other taxing authority. Most people who go into collection status by the IRS have already ignored previous attempts by them to collect the tax debt they say you owe. On the first letter the IRS sends to a taxpayer, they should either respond to it by phone call or letter themselves immediately, or get professional guidance in doing so. A lot of tax debt problems or other issues can be handled by the taxpayer themselves by simply calling and responding to the IRS in a good faith effort to resolve your
tax issue. This does not mean “rolling over for them.”
In recent years, the IRS.gov website has been improved a great deal in how user-friendly it is to find information about tax laws and help in preparing your taxes. It is also very useful in finding out about your own tax situation. It is a great resource, and is a really good place to start in researching all matters concerning taxes. You can learn what your options are when dealing with the IRS. Last month, I told of the “Tax Payers Bill of Rights.” The website also has a lot of really useful tools like “Get Transcript,” “Where’s my Refund,” “View Your Account,” “Online Payment System,” “Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Tool” and many more. There is also the “Interactive Tax Assistant Tool,” which will help you find answers to your tax law questions. This is a good place to start to get help in dealing with your tax debt problems – if you have one.
In cases where a person’s efforts alone do not resolve the tax debt issue or other problems
with the IRS, or you are just too busy to do so, it would be of great benefit to seek help from a local tax resolution professional to resolve your issue. Even though a person may owe taxes and penalties, they are not required to pay more than they really owe. Sometimes, only a tax resolution professional can figure that out in an accurate way. You can always do what you can, but should be prepared to seek help when necessary. The IRS will not do an amended return for you. Sometimes an accurate amended return is the first step in lowering your tax debt.
Recently, I read about the rapper Earl Simmons, otherwise known as DMK, who was charged last year by federal prosecutors with evading income taxes and trying to obstruct the IRS. He was charged with owing $1.7 million in unpaid taxes and penalties from income he earned between 2002 and 2005. He also failed to file income tax returns for 2010 through 2015 while earning $2.3 million during that time. They charged him with evading taxes by living a “cash lifestyle.”
He used other people’s bank accounts during this time. He also listed his gross income incorrectly during bankruptcy proceedings. In November, he pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud and the judge sentenced him to one year in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $2.29 million in restitution to the government.
The IRS really does wants to get these tax debt issues resolved, and will work with people
to do so, particularly if you are dealing with them in good faith. QCBN
By Ernie Gallardo
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