Do It Yourself: IRS Tax Relief Tips

By: Richard Close Tax Planning 1 Follower

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The IRS has sent you a letter telling you that you owe them money.  However you’re convinced that you can handle the IRS on your own.  And why not, you’re smarter than the IRS…right?  The IRS is a labyrinthine bureaucracy that is difficult for even the savviest individual to pierce.  Remember there are attorneys that specialize in tax law.  Trying to take on the IRS by yourself and, “beat the system” has a slimmer chance than getting attacked by a shark when you live in Kansas. 

            Surprisingly enough you can simply write or call the IRS and tell them you can’t pay right now.  You can get up to a 45 day temporary reprieve from the collection machine.  It really is as simple as it sounds.  This may be enough time to borrow or get a loan to pay your IRS debt in full.  However don’t view this as a chance to not have to deal with your debt.  All you’ve really done is bought yourself a “stay of execution”.  That debt is still there… waiting for you.  You want to get on the ball during this relief period and if you can’t get the money, you need to find some kind of solution.        

If you’re still insistent on taking on the IRS by yourself the IRS does allow many people to enter into a monthly payment plan.  If you owe less than $10,000 this would probably be a good bet.  Of course, there is a catch.  For one interest and late penalties accrue on the debt, and the “best part” is your payments go toward the interest and penalties before they’re applied to the principle of the debt.  Second the IRS bases the amount of the payments off of whatever income you have left after basic expenses like rent and utilities.  The IRS’s definition of basic expenses may not be the same as yours, and you may get stuck with payments that are difficult to afford.  A third catch is if you miss a payment the IRS can declare that you’ve defaulted on your agreement and go strait to seizing your assets. 

            If you can’t afford an IRS payment plan, or you’ve put off dealing with the IRS and now they’re going after your stuff it’s too late to “do it yourself”.  If you’re at this point you’re best hope is to seek out professional tax help. 



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