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Archive for November, 2011

Handling IRS Harassment

November 30th

No one wants to owe the IRS money, but many people are suffering with unbearable tax debt that is consuming their lives. To make matters worse, the IRS is very vigilant about collecting their money. Luckily, taxpayers are protected from unfair or abusive tax debt collections thanks to the Fair Tax Collection Practices (FTCP) Act.

Rule Governed

Although the IRS maintains the right to implement wage garnishment and tax liens, they generally follow the typical collection path first. In a sense, the IRS is no different than any other creditor in the sense that they must adhere to strict rules about how they can collect on a debt. Taxpayers should know their rights and what rules the IRS must follow when attempting to collect on a debt. The FTCP requires that the IRS stick to the following guidelines:

  • Do not call before  normal business hours or after 9:00pm.
  • Do not call a taxpayer at an usual time that is inconvenient, such as at work.
  • Do not attempt to collect the tax debt from anyone other than the taxpayer, unless they are represented by a tax attorney.
  • Do not make threats, use violence or intimidation in efforts to collect on the debt.
  • Do not use obscene or profane language when attempting to collect on the debt.
  • Do not misrepresent yourself or the purpose of the collection call to the taxpayer.
  • Do not repeatedly call with the intent to annoy or harass the taxpayer.

The IRS is bound by these rules during collection attempts. Violations of these rules can result in serious consequences for the IRS representative who engages in such behaviors. Taxpayers are urged to contact the IRS or an attorney if they feel they  have been harassed by the IRS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year End Tax Tips

November 22nd

As the year begins to wrap up, many people have yet to consider their 2011 taxes. The biggest mistake people make in preparing their taxes is waiting until the last minute. In addition to keeping up with receipts and important tax documentation throughout the year, people should also be preparing for the chance that they owe taxes at the end of the year.

Don’t Wait

Staying out of tax debt is as simple as being financially prepared and taking the time to thoroughly review your tax documents. Many people end up owing the IRS at the end of the year and cannot afford to pay their taxes. While most of us can’t forecast how much we will owe, we can prepare by having money saved that can be used to pay tax debts.

One of the biggest contributors to tax debt is failing to claim all eligible exemptions and deductions from your taxes. Many people don’t realize that they did not claim all that they may be qualified to receive in terms of tax deductions. Home renovations, especially that used energy efficient products, qualify for deductions on your overall tax liability. Investment or mutual fund losses may qualify for exemption, as well as retirement contributions.  Charity donations and businesses expenses are also commonly overlooked by many taxpayers.

It is important to remember that the more itemized deductions you claim, the higher risk you are for an IRS audit. Be sure to seek help from a tax attorney or tax professional about any questions you may have about your tax debts or liabilities.

 

Is My Home At Risk From The IRS #3: Closure

November 16th

Being in debt of any kind is a difficult situation. Not only are you dealing with the money you owe and may not have, but it isn’t uncommon to begin to feel bad about yourself. This can be especially true of anyone who has faced an IRS audit, has unpaid taxes or has experienced a tax lien.

Finding Peace With Your Situation

Anyone who has faced negative experiences with the IRS knows the effects of how these situations can impact your emotions. Situations like these can make you question your ability to take care of your family and cause you to feel like an irresponsible taxpayer. One thing you can find peace in is that you are not the only one. Owing back taxes is more common that you would think. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 6 million people owe money to the IRS, some even tens of thousands of dollars.

Not only are you not alone, but you have tools to get yourself out of the situation. The IRS is actually fairly understanding of people’s financial situation. They understand that sometimes bad things happen to good people, which is why they offer a few ways to help taxpayers get caught up on their tax debts. Whether you are facing unpaid tax debts or have recently resolved your tax debts, don’t stress about your situation. Be proud that you are about to or, have successfully resolved your tax debts.

 

Is My Home At Risk From The IRS #2: Cooperation

November 9th

As we have discussed, owing the IRS is not a position anyone wants to be in. Due to the serious nature of IRS collection efforts, it is possible to experience serious consequences if you don’t pay your taxes. The IRS can garnish your wages or place a tax lien on your property in efforts to collect on the debt. However, communication is key and can help protect your home from IRS tax collectors.

Cooperate With Collectors

The second most important aspect to dealing with the IRS is cooperation. Many people assume that the IRS is not willing to negotiate or handle their situation with understanding. In fact, the IRS is fairly flexible and is very willing to assist taxpayers in resolving their tax debts. However, this negotiation is a two way street and requires patience from both parties.

Let’s face it, the IRS will get their money one way or another so cooperating with them to negotiate a payment deal is your best option for avoiding unwanted consequences. Once you have gotten in contact with the IRS make an effort to be pleasant when explaining your financial situation. Offer to arrange for automatic debit of your payments or two send post-dated checks for a few months worth of your payments. This shows good faith on your part and is more likely to result in a fair tax debt payment plan.

 

 

Is My Home At Risk From The IRS #1: Communication

November 2nd

Unpaid taxes are serious business and the IRS does not handle them lightly. Unlike other creditors, the IRS can have access to your assets without much of a court battle. The IRS maintains the right to garnish wages and place tax liens against your personal property much faster than other creditors. This  means that, unfortunately, “Yes” your home could be at risk if you have significantly delinquent taxes. However, this does not  mean that you should give up. There are a few ways to avoid having a tax lien placed on your home.

Communication Is Key

The worst thing to do when you owe the IRS money is to ignore their collection efforts. Although dealing with the IRS can be scary at times, they aren’t in the business to ruin your life. Owing the IRS money is more common than you think and they are willing to work with you to help get the tax debts paid. If you are having trouble meeting your tax debt payments, contact the IRS right away to explain your situation. In many cases, the IRS will allow you to negotiate a payment plan. You may be required to provide proof of your financial hardship and participate in a lengthy negotiation process. If the process becomes overwhelming, a qualified tax attorney can help you resolve your tax debts easily and affordably.

 
 
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