Taxes. Audits. Levies. Seizures. Jail!!! What do you think about when the IRS is the topic of conversation? Usually the subject is brought up by tragedy or fear (unless with my nerd herd, then it’s jokes or complaining about telephone hold times) and is often a big source of stress. The fear and anxiety associated with the United States taxing authority is caused by misinformation, lack of information, and those aggressive 1-800 “Call us before you go to jail” commercials.
Scammers have caught on and trying to cash in on fear. Many people have received automated calls claiming to be from the IRS, claiming the person has some type of tax liability and needs to act before they wind up in jail. They even called me! The nerve… Protect yourself; know the facts.
- The IRS won’t call you; they prefer mail. If you have an outstanding balance, a credit on your account, past due returns, or other issues that require attention the IRS with send you a nice letter in the mail. Not sure the IRS has your current mailing address? Use these forms to update it:
- Not sure if you owe the IRS taxes? Checkout your account details online. (See the IRS wants to be helpful.)
- Received a letter from the IRS? Read it!!! Don’t understand it? Get a professional to read it. If you repeatedly ignore a letter from the IRS then yeah… maybe a little discomfort is warranted. The IRS sends “scary” letters for all sorts of non-scary things. Example of letters clients received in the last 2 months:
- Notice that payroll tax deposit was made but payroll tax return wasn’t received.
- Needed proof that college tuition billed was paid.
- Needed more info regarding health insurance through the Marketplace.
- Balance of taxes and interest due on tax return filed.
- Approval of extension for tax-exempt organization. .
Moral of the story: Don’t fear the IRS unless you’re intentionally running from the IRS. Know where you stand with your taxes and read your mail. If you have an issue and are not comfortable dealing with it contact a tax professional, CPA, or tax lawyer familiar with your issue.