3 Steps To Take After Receiving A Past Due Tax Notice

Did you recently receive a letter that you owe back taxes to the IRS? Mail from the IRS can be scary, especially if you have little experience dealing with tax issues. The IRS can take serious steps to enforce the payment. They can garnish your wages, put a lien on your assets, and even take the money directly from your bank account. Dealing with the IRS can be stressful.

There are a few different ways you can respond after receiving a past-due notice. The worst response is to simply ignore it, as the problem will not go away on its own. In fact, without any contact from you, the IRS will keep escalating the issue until they take extreme collection actions. The situation may be scary, but you can't ignore it. Below are a few steps to take after receiving the notice:

Stay calm.

The most important thing to do after receiving a notice is to stay calm. The notice is simply a letter stating that the IRS believes you owed more money than you paid in a given year. It is not a final bill, and while you have the option to pay the amount due, you do not have to do so immediately. The past-due process is a long one, so there is no need to panic and take action immediately. Take a deep breath, read what the notice says, and compare it to your tax return for that year to determine if the notice is correct. 

Contact the IRS.

The notice will have a phone number you can call to speak with an agent. You may have to wait on hold for a long time, but it is worth it to at least make contact. In the conversation, stay neutral about whether or not you believe you owe money. Don't state agreement with the notice or concede that you owe a past due amount. Instead, ask what your time frame is for paying, what payment options may be available, and what is the minimum amount the IRS will accept to resolve the debt. This information serves as a good starting point for managing the process.

Work with a tax relief attorney.

Once you have a better understanding of your options and the timeframe, reach out to a tax relief attorney. An experienced tax relief attorney can work with the IRS on your behalf. They may be able to have the back due amount waived or reduced if the IRS made an error in the calculation. They may be able to negotiate a reduced amount because of financial hardship. They can even establish a payment plan that fits within your budget. A relief attorney can help you avoid the most serious outcomes.

Facing IRS issues? Contact a tax relief attorney today to resolve the issue.