Facing an audit is worrying, even if you have all your numbers in order. Worse, dealing with an audit can be scary if the payments make it impossible to have enough to live on. The year 2020 has not done anything to improve anyone’s financial security, so if you’re cleaning up an old tax bill or facing a new one, consider the tips below.
When You’re Feeling Harassed
If your stress level is high enough that you can’t respond politely and professionally to an IRS professional, it’s time to get some help. You can get excellent revenue officer representation to protect your wages and your business income before emotion takes over and you say or do something unfortunate.
It’s a very stressful time for a lot of people and a letter from the IRS may be the last straw for you. Whatever you pay a professional representative is well worth it if it protects you from oversharing your information, responding in anger, or making a threat. Looking calm is not the same as being calm, and if you get upset when you’re on the hot seat, hire someone to represent you.
At the beginning of your exchange with the IRS, take care to protect yourself from scammers. For example, if someone comes to your door claiming to be from the IRS, review their HSPD-12 card. Everyone who works for the federal government and associated contractors has one of these cards. You should also be given a phone number to call and check to confirm the person on your door is an IRS agent.
When Your Requests Are Not Honored
If you’ve repeatedly responded to requests for information and are not getting a confirmation or get the same request again, it’s time to get some help. Everyone is overloaded and busy right now, and that can include the IRS.
A professional accountant or tax attorney, particularly one that is set up to work directly with the IRS, has the structure in place to respond to requests for information via
- certified mail
- portal upload
or in whatever format is required. This professional should be able to digitize all of your data, share your information with notes added, and clear up the confusion. They can also better explain what is needed. Be aware that you will need to sign releases to get your information from you the IRS through their office. Hopefully, this release will take the communication burden off of you and your company.
When You Can’t Get Through on the Phone
Part of dealing with the IRS is waiting on hold, sometimes for a very long time. Even if you do get through, you may find that you’re in a tight time window to then send out a fax or an email, which may not be possible while you’re on the phone. If this doesn’t work with your working or professional life, hire some help.
You can be given an orderly series of requests, data that you have to send, and queries that you need to respond to once you turn over your issue and your data to your tax accountant or accounting professional. They have the support staff to help them monitor long hold times, transmit additional data via whatever method is required, and get your problem addressed.
When the Payments are Causing Hardship
If the challenge of 2020 has damaged your ability to pay an old tax debt, seek professional help before you’re at risk of default. Your peace of mind is worth a great deal, and the stress of crushing debt is too much to bear.
If the levy against you does need to be released, you will still have the debt. You just have some breathing room to better manage the challenge you face. A new payment plan will be created to make it possible for you to continue to address the debt on a different payment plan with longer terms and lower payment amounts.
No matter how worried you are, the IRS is not your enemy. If your books are not in good order, this will not be an easy process. However, unless you have knowingly committed fraud, the audit process doesn’t have to be painful or contentious. Hire a representative to manage the process so you can get back to your life.