Protecting your rights when you owe the IRS

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2018 | Firm News

Tax debt is unlike any other. Owing money to the federal government can be an overwhelming burden that follows you wherever you go. It may keep you awake at night, damage your relationships and interfere with your enjoyment of life.

Falling behind on your taxes is different from other forms of debt because the IRS has privileges for collecting debt that other entities, like your credit card company or mortgage holder, do not have. For example, most collectors must obtain a court order to garnish your wages or levy your bank account, but the IRS only has to send you a letter. If you are dealing with unpaid tax debt, there are some things you should know to avoid complicating your situation.

Dealing with the IRS

While it is not wise to ignore any overdue bill, ignoring notices from the IRS is especially imprudent. Ignoring an IRS notice means you agree with its contents, and the details in the envelope may not always be accurate. IRS agents and employees are human, and data entry workers can easily make mistakes. Accepting certified letters and reading the information carefully will provide you with information you need to proceed with seeking relief.

As you begin the process of facing your federal tax debt, there are some factors to remember, such as these:

  • There are legal steps you can take to bring garnishment or collection procedures to a stop, and they are not always complicated steps.
  • Before you meet with an IRS agent, seek legal advice from a Connecticut professional who has experience in tax issues.
  • You have every right to have legal representation during your meeting with the IRS, and such advocacy often brings more positive results.
  • You do not have to endure any hostility, rudeness or unprofessional treatment at your IRS interview.
  • You have options for repaying your debt to the IRS.

The government has numerous programs in place for assisting taxpayers when they fall behind. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for one of these programs. For example, one program meets the needs of those who are having temporary income hardships, another provides installment options and a third allows you to negotiate for a reduction in what you owe.

It is also possible that the IRS is pursuing you for a debt you do not owe. If this is true, having legal assistance will prove invaluable as you seek fair treatment. In many cases, a prompt response to the IRS contact and open communication can bring about a satisfying resolution to your tax issues.