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How to Handle Tax Debt

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Individuals who get behind on their taxes often panic. They know the Internal Revenue Service can be ruthless when it comes to collecting this debt. They fear losing their home, their car, and more. 

Sadly, taxes continue to go up. In fact, 20 percent of taxpayers report they have received a higher tax bill in the past three years. Tax debt can affect any person, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. What should you do if you have tax debt

Resolve the Matter Independently

Many people find they can resolve this matter on their own. Many tax relief providers require a minimum debt amount before they will work with a taxpayer. The taxpayer will need to learn about available resources and determine if they can be of help. 

For example, the taxpayer may qualify for an offer in compromise or installment agreements. When doing so, they must demonstrate financial hardship. Unfortunately, doing so can be a challenge. 

To determine whether a person qualifies for financial hardship, the IRS looks at their zip code, their assets, income, and monthly allowable expenses. The agency also considered extraneous circumstances to determine if the person should obtain tax relief. 

Professional Tax Help

A person might see ads on TV that claim a professional tax relief company can help them pay pennies on the dollar on this tax debt. However, a person should not believe these ads, as these companies cannot guarantee an outcome. The IRS retains the final say over the resolution of the debt and an acceptable amount. 

Where the tax relief company can be of help is in providing the taxpayer with peace of mind. Working with this company ensures the debt will be handled efficiently and effectively. The company employs attorneys, CPAs, and more to make certain this is the case. 

Any delay in resolving the tax matter means interest fees and penalties are mounting. Having a tax professional resolve the matter quickly keeps these expenses down. However, always consider the cost of the professional, as no person wants to learn any money they saved on their taxes was given to the professional and they did not come out ahead. 

Finding a Tax Relief Provider

When choosing a tax relief provider, a person needs to ask several questions. First, they need to know how many employees work for the company and what roles they take on. The goal is to find a company that has CPAs, enrolled agents, and tax attorneys on staff. 

Next, they need to learn how the company will determine a taxpayer’s eligibility for relief. What tools will be used during this process? 

Discuss how long it may take to resolve the case. Although the company cannot provide a definitive answer, it should be able to provide a ballpark figure. 

Look for a company that specializes in negotiating tax debt and one that seeks to find resolutions that are favorable to both parties. A taxpayer cannot expect the IRS to write off all debt. However, they can work toward a quick resolution that helps to keep the interest and penalty fees at a minimum. 

Every person must determine for themselves whether they should work with a tax relief provider or attempt to handle this matter on their own. If handling it independently isn’t producing results, however, never hesitate to reach out to one of these professionals. They help taxpayers resolve these matters regularly and will provide the expertise needed to handle the problem swiftly. 


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