There’s no getting around it: taxes can be complicated. Even when you don’t have a special situation, it’s not unusual to run into a problem that’s tough to solve on your own. The IRS can be difficult to satisfy and exacting in the information they demand. In most cases, when the world’s largest collection agency comes knocking, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But how do you know if you need professional help? How do you know if it’s time to look into IRS tax relief programs?
5 Signs You Should Invest in IRS Tax Relief Programs
You Haven’t Filed Your Taxes in Years
If you have been filing your taxes for a few years, your tax situation might get extremely complicated, extremely quickly. Once you do start filing again, any taxes you failed to pay in years past have become a tax debt.
The IRS is very serious about pursuing tax debt, and while they do not have to pay you any interest when they refund you, they do demand lots of interest from you if you have money that belongs to them. In addition to the interest payments, you’ll also be facing penalties. These can add up, and the longer you let things go, the more serious the situation becomes.
How to Resolve It
With some IRS tax relief programs, and with the right advice and tax help, it can sometimes be possible to mitigate these penalties and fees. In some cases, you may even be able to get them removed entirely. If you find yourself in this situation, contact a tax professional who can help you understand how to get caught up without completely destroying your finances.
The IRS Is Garnishing Your Bank Account or Wages
The IRS usually does not start garnishing bank accounts or paychecks until they’ve made many attempts to contact you and have gotten no response (or an inadequate response). If you’ve been ignoring the mail from the IRS, now is the time to get on it. Open that mail, contact the IRS agent assigned to your case, and contact a tax professional immediately so you can fully understand your situation and where to go from here.
What If It’s Their Fault?
In some cases, the IRS can’t reach you simply because they have the wrong contact information. If you’ve moved recently, be sure you set up a way for mail to reach you no matter where you’ve gone. Unfortunately, the fact that the IRS has been sending mail to the wrong address does not prevent them from starting a collection action.
Once you get a notice that your paycheck or your bank account is being levied by the IRS, you usually have 21 days to resolve it. As soon as you get this notice, it’s time to start looking at the IRS tax relief programs. Don’t wait to contact a tax professional and get the situation handled.
You Can’t Afford to Pay Your Debt
If you have done your calculations, talked with the IRS agent assigned to your case, and made a budget so you fully understand your financial situation, and you still find that you can’t possibly pay the debt the IRS is demanding, it might be time for relief.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t throw your hands up in the air and simply ignore it. The IRS will keep coming, and ultimately they are the final arbiters of what you can and cannot afford to pay.
Currently Not Collectible
If you find yourself in the situation, you may be eligible for an IRS tax relief program. In fact, if the IRS can see that you genuinely can’t pay anything, they will stop taking action against you. You may also be eligible for a status known as Currently Not Collectible (CNC). The IRS will not set up collection efforts against people who qualify for this status.
Be aware that CNC status is only temporary, however, and the IRS will regularly revisit your financial situation to find out when you can start paying. However, CNC status does give you a chance to get your financial house in order and get some relief from collections, threatening mail, or even wage garnishments and bank account levies. If you think you might qualify for CNC status, contact a licensed tax professional immediately to understand your position.
You’ve Gotten a Notice of Assessment
There’s no denying that the United States tax code is one of the most complicated in the world. Even if you call the IRS and speak to three different tax agents, it’s possible you might get three different answers about your specific tax question.
Filing taxes can be overwhelming, and even if you spend an enormous amount of time preparing your tax return, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s, the IRS might still find a mistake and send you a notice of assessment. The IRS is not infallible either, and it is always possible that the mistake is on their end rather than yours. However, the onus will always be on you to get the mistakes fixed.
What’s a Notice of Assessment?
A notice of assessment is what the IRS sends when they have decided you have not paid enough tax. The notice will state precisely how much tax they believe you owe them. If you get a notice of assessment, it’s important to act quickly.
If you feel a mistake has been made, be sure to call and talk it out immediately. You may need to present proof to show that the mistake is not on your end, and if the mistake is your fault, you may need to talk to a professional to find out what your options are and whether you might be eligible for a tax relief program.
The IRS Filed an SRF for You
An SRF is a Substitute for Return. This is not something you want. The IRS sometimes files these when you’re missing your tax return, and only very rarely do these work out to your advantage. The IRS is working from guesses based on previous returns, and it’s highly likely they will have missed deductions that you are eligible for. In almost all cases, and SRF estimates more tax liability than you actually owe.
How to Correct It
It can be hard to get an SRF corrected, especially if you failed to file a tax return on time. If you find yourself in this situation, your first step should be to contact a tax resolution professional who can help you file a perfectly crafted return that addresses everything the IRS wants to know and includes every deduction you are eligible for.
A tax resolution professional will also be able to correct any mistakes in the SRF that might be costing you more than you should pay. If the SRF is largely correct and your tax burden is more than you can afford to pay, it may be time to consider an IRS tax relief program.
Get the Tax Resolution You Need Now
The IRS is relentless: but so are we. At Geaux Tax Resolution, we have 35 years of first-hand experience dealing with the IRS. We’ve seen it all, and we know how to get you the tax resolution you need. If you’re ready for relief, contact Geaux Tax Resolution today and let us help you plan your next move.