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How to Discuss Tax Debt with the IRS

June 5th

Just because tax season is over, it doesn’t mean that everyone’s tax problems are over. Each year, it’s estimated that a little over 1.1 percent of individual returns are audited by the IRS. Whether you’re facing an audit, want to discuss your situation, or are trying to pay back your tax debt, chances are you’re going to speak with an IRS agent at one point or another. Whether an IRS agent contacts you or you are somehow able to get through to the agency, here are some tips to consider when discussing your tax debt with the IRS.

Tips for Communicating with the IRS

If you’re working with a tax debt lawyer to settle your back taxes, then chances are that the process will move along smoothly. However, sometimes the IRS does contact individuals directly, especially when they’re performing an audit. Communicating effectively with the IRS is crucial to help solve your tax debt problems and prevent future complications. Basic etiquette for speaking with an IRS agent includes:

· Stop talking. Remember, you don’t have to tell the IRS agent everything. Yes, you want to be honest, but that doesn’t mean you have to go into detail. For instance, instead of defending your situation for 10 minutes, perhaps a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer would have sufficed. The more you say, the more issues you give to the IRS to pursue for review. Instead, discuss specifics with your tax debt lawyer and focus on taking notes when speaking with an IRS agent.
· Stay calm and be humble. Owing tax debt to the IRS can be strenuous and hurt your ego, but don’t let it show. Be humble and calm when dealing with an IRS agent on the phone. Remember, you want them on your side. If you end up making them mad, you could inadvertently make your tax debt situation harder to deal with.
· Don’t pay immediately. Sometimes the IRS makes mistakes as well when it comes to tax debt. Working with a tax debt lawyer can help you ensure that everything is accurate. Many times, taxpayers don’t actually owe anything. When speaking with an IRS agent, work to clarify the situation surrounding your tax debt.


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