Filing taxes can be a stressful process for many individuals, especially when the tax deadline is just under 10 weeks away. Taxpayers may face even more stress when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) outside of tax season. Why? Taxpayers may receive various types of notices, undergo an audit, face certain collection actions (e.g., liens or levies), or be the subject of a criminal tax investigation. To make the process smoother, less intimidating, and less stressful, here are three tips to help you when working with the IRS.
1. Know Your Rights.
The first step to successfully dealing with the IRS is understanding your rights as a taxpayer. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights establishes ten basic rights that all taxpayers have, including the right to be informed, the right to quality service, the right to privacy, the right to appeal decisions. Click here for a more detailed understanding of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Knowing (and exercising) these fundamental rights helps ensure that your interaction with the IRS is fair, reasonable, and respectful.
2. Stay Organized.
The second tip for dealing with the IRS is staying organized throughout the process. For example, when filing your taxes and interacting with the IRS, it’s important to keep copies of all documents related to your taxes (e.g., Forms W-2, 1099, etc.) in a structured file. Further, taxpayers should ensure that they maintain a file of any correspondence from the IRS. Many taxpayers prefer to bury their head in the sand and either throw IRS letters/notices in the trash or leave them unopened. Having your paperwork organized and on hand makes it easier for you to pull any necessary documents, answer any questions the IRS may have, and verify information, as necessary.
3. Get Professional Help.
Consider getting professional help from an experienced tax professional, such as an attorney who focuses on federal taxes. Dealing with the IRS can be an overwhelming process, but an experienced professional can properly advise you of your options and, more importantly, advocate on your behalf. That is, a tax professional can review your documents and offer advice on how best to approach any disputes or discrepancies between you and the IRS. They can also prepare any necessary documents and/or file tax returns with the IRS.
Interacting with the IRS doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By understanding your rights as a taxpayer, staying organized, and enlisting professional help, you can alleviate stress and be more equipped to deal with the IRS. While I hope you don’t receive an IRS letter or personal visit, keep these tips in mind in case that day ever comes.
Contact Provident Legal Counsel today to discuss your case and legal options. Schedule a Consultation or call (214) 432-6100.