7 Signs You Need to Talk to a Tax Consultant ASAP

April 15, 2021
Whether you own a small business, have recently experienced a big life event, or are simply behind on filing your taxes, it may be time to contact a tax consultant. Many people avoid speaking to a professional if they are already struggling to pay their tax, but this is often counter-productive, as a consultant can help you to save money on your bill, negotiate with the IRS, file your return quickly, and minimize or even eliminate any penalties you currently owe. 

7 Signs You Need to Talk to a Tax Consultant ASAP

1. You Have Any Amount of Tax Debt

Many people with large amounts of tax debt realize that they need help, but even if what you owe is only modest, it is advisable to consult a tax specialist. Tax debt is defined as any tax you owe to the IRS after the filing deadline, so even if you filed your taxes correctly and have already paid a part of them, you will still be penalized for the amount you haven’t paid.

The tricky thing about tax debt is that it increases over time because the IRS charges a steep amount of interest. Every month you don’t pay, you owe 0.5% more, up to a total of 25%. If you’re already struggling to pay your tax bill, the last thing you want is to have a larger amount due. By hiring a consultant ASAP, you can start to sort out your situation efficiently and pay off your debt as quickly as possible to minimize extra fees.

2. You Are Late Filing Your Taxes 

Your situation may be even worse if you haven’t started filing your taxes at all. Not only will you definitely have debt, but the IRS may take action, such as filing your tax for you. A consultant can gather all of the relevant information and fill out your return for you so that you don’t have to worry about trying to understand the complex tax system.

This is especially true if you are self-employed, have never filed your own taxes, or have a much more complicated return than usual. In such cases, you can feel overwhelmed and delay tackling this task, which can not only lead to the above-mentioned penalties, but also costly mistakes once you do get around to it. To make sure your return is completely correct, hire a specialist who has dealt with similar situations in the past.

3. You Are Worried About Paying Your Taxes

Another reason why you may delay filing your taxes is if you are worried you won’t be able to pay them. With many individuals and small businesses struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are more people than ever who are concerned about their tax bills. Although hiring a consultant may seem counter-intuitive because of the cost involved, this can save you thousands on late fees and excess taxes you don’t really need to pay. 
What’s more, there are a number of debt relief programs applicable to taxes, which your consultant can help you to apply to. For example, you may be able to negotiate a long-term payment plan with the IRS, which spreads your bill out over a longer time period. Alternatively, you can offer to pay less if you can prove that paying the full amount would cause you hardship. In any case, don’t delay contacting a specialist and filing your taxes to avoid further issues. 

4. You Are Experiencing a Major Life Event

Often, our taxes become more complex when we are faced with a life event such as a birth, death, marriage, or divorce. These types of changes can alter the amount and way taxes need to be filed so that it’s often best to obtain some help. This is especially true when assets other than cash are involved, for example, if you are left a house, shares that are not protected in a tax wrapper, or a part of a company.

In certain cases, such as divorce, you might lose a lot of your wealth and this could cause you to worry about your tax bill. This, compounded with the changes to your tax situation due to the event, will make tax season very stressful for you. Hiring a consultant can ease the transition to your new life stage and help you to feel confident that you’re on the right track.

5. You Own a Small Business

Even before Coronavirus, owning and operating a small business was a challenge. Not only do you have to perform and manage all of your daily tasks, but you also have to make the financial aspect work. Many people struggle with this aspect of business ownership, especially in more challenging years, and could really benefit from a fresh perspective and expert guidance. 

If you’ve had a tough time due to the pandemic and are not sure you can pay your business’s tax bill or if you’ve neglected to file your return altogether, you should consult a professional. Tax law is complex, and even more so for businesses, and the extra help can save you thousands in the long run.

6. You Are Afraid the IRS Will File Your Taxes for You

Anyone who doesn’t file their taxes runs the risk of the IRS finding out and filing them for you. In such a case, they will send you a letter detailing your substitute tax return and what they think you owe. This is generally more expensive than it should be because they don’t apply any deductions or tax credits, even though you may be entitled to them.

What many people don’t know is that you can still file your own return after this has happened and apply the deductions the IRS has failed to include. Before responding to the letter, you should have your tax consultant do their own calculation, and if you still think you cannot pay the bill, they may be able to help you to apply for a relief program.

7. You Want to Minimize Penalties and Late Fee

In case you’ve had tax debt for a while already and have not reacted, you are likely to owe a much larger amount than the initial tax, due to the penalties and late fees. However, these charges are not final and many people qualify for penalty abatement. Your consultant will know exactly what to check for to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

They will also help you to get your taxes ready to go as soon as possible to avoid accruing more fees. You will work together to file them swiftly and if you’re struggling to pay, create a viable payment plan that helps you to minimize the amount of extra penalties. In essence, your specialist is the middle man between you and the IRS, negotiating the best deal possible and helping you to avoid any further complications or negative consequences.

Hiring a tax consultant could make the difference between drowning in your tax debt and getting rid of it for good. For a modest fee, you will get thousands back by avoiding penalties and late fees or by applying to debt relief programs. To find out how you can get rid of your tax debt, contact Geaux Tax Resolution in Lafayette, LA, today and speak to one of our team. With over 35 years of dealing with the IRS, we have plenty of experience to help you.