Guiding You Through The Legal Process

Your rights when dealing with overdue taxes

Tax season is nigh, and like many, you may be procrastinating completing your tax returns, especially if you already owe the IRS or suspect you will on this year’s taxes. Taxes are a fact of life in the U.S. The IRS may have re-branded its reputation as a kinder, gentler institution, but the government still gets its money one way or the other. 

If you owe money to the IRS, you are likely getting envelopes in the mail that you assume contain reminders, notices and warnings about your debt. You may be tempted to drop them in a drawer or trash can and ignore them. However, this is not the best idea. Instead, you will want to learn about your options and deal with the tax debt head on. 

The IRS has unprecedented power 

The IRS is essentially a debt collector for the government. As such, it cannot overstep its boundaries and must grant you due process. This means the IRS must notify you before doing any of the following: 

  • Garnishing your wages 
  • Levying your bank account 
  • Confiscating your automobile 
  • Closing your business 
  • Seizing your home 

These and others are legitimate rights of the IRS, but the agency must follow the correct process before taking these actions. This is why it is important that you accept any certified letters from the IRS and open every envelope you receive so you are fully aware of the IRS’s intentions to collect the debt. 

How can I deal with my tax debt? 

If you are confused about your tax bill or unclear about the laws, your first step may be meeting with a Georgia tax expert who can explain your rights and review your tax information. There is always a chance that the IRS made a mistake, and a professional may spot such errors and show you how best to deal with them. Additionally, you may wish to seek professional help about how to behave during your meeting with the IRS. Many advisors recommend having legal counsel present during your meeting. 

You may learn that you qualify for one of several options the IRS offers for paying overdue taxes, such as installment payments, a hardship suspension or an offer in compromise, which is when the IRS accepts a payment that is less than what you owe. These are not always easy options to negotiate, but you may find they provide you with relief from your tax burdens. 

 

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