There’s only one thing worse than getting a call from a friend or relative you’ve been trying to avoid, and that’s a call from the Internal Revenue Service telling you about the outstanding tax debt you currently owe. Understandably, most people freak out and their whole world feels like it’s collapsing on them. But it is important not to panic and remain calm. To help you navigate the difficult IRS calls, we’ve written up some steps for what to do if this happens to you.
The first and most important thing to do when you receive a call from the IRS is to confirm it is in fact from the IRS. Although technology is responsible for so many incredible advancements, unfortunately one of those advancements is that scammers can disguise themselves well as the IRS with documentation that appears legitimate. Fortunately, there’s many things the scammers say that they will do that the IRS actually has never done and will never do. The list of things the IRS does NOT do that scammers will demand are most commonly as follows: demand immediate payment through a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. The IRS will also not threaten to bring in your local police or any other type of law enforcement to arrest you for not paying. The IRS will also not demand you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
Keep in mind, the IRS rarely calls taxpayers and usually communicates via mail. If the IRS is calling you, they would have already sent you several letters through the mail. So if you haven’t gotten a letter yet, beware this could be a scam. The IRS even states it on their website, “The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.” If you have not received any notice in the mail and you’re confident you have no tax liability, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re talking to a scammer. If this happens to you, be sure to contact TIGTA to report the phone call at 800-366-4484.
If you actually are receiving a phone call from the IRS, it’s because you do have an outstanding tax liability and have not responded to their letters. More than likely, you will now have a Revenue Officer whose job is to collect payment from you as quickly as possible. If this happens, you need to go over your rights as a taxpayer to know what’s within your rights. Whatever you do, do not avoid the Revenue Officer. Whether you handle the case yourself, or hire a tax attorney for representation, it’s vital to take action in order to avoid any levies or garnishments.
If you hire a tax attorney to help you settle your tax debt, they will take over the communications with the IRS. This is for several reasons. First, your tax attorney should know the tax law and be able to apply it to your situation in a way that benefits you. This is also to protect you from saying something the IRS may try to use against you later. Another reason why your tax attorney should take over communications is to help you focus on your daily life without having to worry about the IRS calling you.
If you’ve received an IRS letter or owe taxes, Polston Tax can help. We specialize in helping find affordable tax debt relief solutions for our clients and helping them solve their tax problems. Our team of tax attorneys and case managers can help secure you an affordable resolution that helps ease the burden of taxes off your shoulder. Call us today at 844-841-9857 or click below to schedule yourself a free consultation.