5 Tricks for Dealing With the IRS

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While dealing with the IRS strikes fear in many people, you have a variety of strategies available to make the situation easier for everyone. Whether you’re being audited or you need to work out a plan to pay for tax debt, keep these tips in mind to successfully work with the IRS.

Don’t Ignore the Problem

One of the worst things you can do if you receive a notice from the IRS is ignore it. Even if you think the IRS has made an error, you still need to take steps to remedy the issue. The collection system for the IRS is automated, which means each notice that gets sent out is a little more severe. You don’t want to get to the point where the IRS might place a levy on your bank account or wages.

Keep Good Records

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s up to you to prove your deductions if you’re audited. That’s why it’s crucial to keep as much documentation as possible to support your claims. Receipts, payment stubs, canceled checks, and other proof of expenses can all help prove your case if you’re audited. You need to keep these records for three years, which is the amount of time by law the IRS has to audit your return.

Don’t Pay Right Away

While you might feel tempted to arrive at your meeting with the IRS agent with your checkbook open and ready, you don’t want to rush to pay. This is because IRS can make mistakes. For example, the IRS might say you owe back taxes because you failed to report income. However, if you did include this income in your tax return, you simply need to provide the agent with a detailed explanation of where it’s reported, and you won’t have to pay fees and extra money for something you already reported.

Seek Help From an Advocate Service

While you’re certainly allowed to deal with the IRS on your own, you should consider getting a tax advocate service to help you. Taxpayer advocate services are independent organizations that have in-depth expertise in the field of taxation. These professionals deal with tax laws and unique situations every day, so they have the experience and knowledge you need to help you work with the IRS to come to a solution about your own tax issues.

Maintain Emotional Control

Although you might feel stressed or angry about your situation, it’s important to maintain emotional control when you’re working with an IRS agent. Agents go to their superiors to make a recommendation on what they think the final judgment should be against you. This means they can either advocate for you or against you. Remaining calm and treating the agent with respect can help get the agent on your side, which will only help when it’s time to come up with a payment plan or other solution.

While nobody looks forward to dealing with the IRS, you can make the experience better by keeping these helpful tips in mind.

Adam Torkildson