Important Steps to Take if You are Contacted by the IRS
Probably the last thing that anyone wants to see in the mail is a letter from the IRS, especially following the end of tax season. While the name alone can be enough to give people the chills, it is important to remember that there are quite a few reasons why the IRS may have decided to reach out to you.
If you happen to the Internal Revenue Service listed as the return address for a letter that just arrived, the most important thing to do is NOT PANIC! Every year, the IRS can uncover a countless number of concerns related to income tax returns, and each year there can be millions of notices sent out to individuals and businesses alike.
In most cases, a letter is sent by the IRS to a taxpayer when a potential error is found. The letter will typically provide details on what was found, what actions are needed for correction and any associated payments including penalties and interest that will be expected along with expected response methods and time frames. In most cases, any interactions with the IRS can be handled by mail, and shouldn’t involve a visit to their offices.
Being contacted by the IRS doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience, but it should always be taken seriously. To help residents of the Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX, area feel more confident when forming a plan on how to address any potential contact by the IRS, the team here as Davis, Ermis & Roberts have put together some information a few important steps that should be taken.
Contact a professional tax preparer
If your taxes were already handled by a paid tax preparer, it is important to notify them right away to have them help you resolve your situation as quickly as possible. If you filed your taxes without the help of a professional, then it is a very good idea to gather together all relevant documents, and reach out to a professional preparer like our skilled team at Davis, Ermis, & Roberts.
Having the support of a skilled professional with experience and knowledge in the industry can mean the difference between paying a hefty fine, and settling a smaller payoff amount or even realizing a settlement for no expected amount has been reached.
Pay attention to the source and avoid possible scams
It is becoming increasingly common for individuals and more elaborate organizations to pose as IRS agents when contacting people to try and scam them out of money. Convincing a person to make a false tax payment or pay a made-up fine amount can be extremely profitable for these types of thieves.
In some cases, these types of individuals may be attempting to gain even more detailed information about your identity to drain existing accounts or abuse your existing credit score.
The IRS regularly advises the public that they will never make contact by phone, e-mail or even in-person with prior written notifications sent through U.S. mail services. More importantly, the IRS frequently informs people that they never expect immediate payments from taxpayers without first providing a written bill (also sent via mail).
Start Gathering Paperwork
If you are being legitimately contacted by the IRS, the best action to take right away is to gather all relevant paperwork and documents. Any written notices you are given should contain specific information about what the purpose of the contact was, and which years or tax periods the IRS and interested in.
Gathering together all relevant documents to go over income, deductions, and credits is a good way to get a clear understanding of whether or not any possible mistakes might need to be addressed in greater detail.
Consider a Savings Account For Payments
Even if you are not currently required to make a payment to the IRS, it can be a good idea to start setting money aside in a separate account right away. Adding small amounts to this savings account while discussing your situation with the IRS can be a great move that will be very useful if a decision is made against you.
The sooner you can pay off any amount that is owed, the less likely it is that additional fines and interest payments will be added onto your original amount. Keeping money in a savings account specifically for tax payments can be a great way to reduce the stress of interacting with the IRS.
Stay Calm and Make a Plan
Regardless of the specific reason why you are being contacted by the IRS, it is always important to remain calm and read the information they provide carefully to form an effective plan. If you are not sure how to effectively proceed after being contacted by the IRS, it is a good idea to seek help from a professional.
At Davis, Ermis & Roberts, our team has the skills and experience needed to handle many types of concerns related to unexpected contact by the IRS, and we are always ready to help the residents of the Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX, area with their questions and concerns related to tax payments and IRS inquiries. Contact our office right away if you need help dealing with this type of letter to avoid the stress and pressure that can come with trying to address this type of problem alone.