August 7, 2019

What Do You Need to Do When the IRS Contacts You?

Small Business
Ronald B. Allen


If you receive a notice from the IRS, that can be pretty nerve-wracking. If you get a phone call from an IRS agent, that will be even worse. If this happens to you, you need to deal with it as effectively and promptly as possible. Here are five suggestions for dealing with such a situation.

First: Ignoring the IRS does not work! Whatever the issue is, these folks are persistent and you will need to address the issue at hand. And, a communication from the IRS does not necessarily mean you are the subject of an audit. But, if they do say that you owe them money, you need to deal with the issue and it works out best if you start with competent advice from folks like Exigo Business Solutions. The “Feds” can be quite aggressive when they want to collect what they say you owe them.

Second: Immediately contact the IRS. If they gave you a number to call, call it. However, do not start chatting about your tax situation. Tell them specifically that you are currently hiring a professional to represent you and request a thirty-day hold. They are usually agreeable to such a request. But, if they called you or if the agent you are speaking to wants more information, go to step number three.

Third: You are not going to make things better with the IRS by trying to make friends or portray yourself a nice person who could use a favor. Nothing of use will come from such efforts. In fact, you will simply make things worse. An IRS agent is not going to suddenly become your friend or feel sorry for you because of how you talked to them. And, if you tell a little “white lie” to make your case sound better, you will really make things worse. The most important part here is that if the IRS person is a special agent or CID (Criminal Investigation Division) for the IRS, give them your name, address, and social security number if requested. Do not say anything else because these folks are not associated with your typical tax audit. They are involved with more serious problems and anything you might say to them could end up being used as evidence in a criminal matter.

And, do not discuss your IRS issues with family or friends. Nobody you know has anything useful for you in such a situation and may simply mislead you. And, if there is a serious investigation, agents may have already talked to them anyway.

Fourth: Get professional help and don’t go it alone against the IRS. Contact us at Exigo Business Solutions. We can help you deal with the IRS on accounting issues and can suggest legal help if that is necessary. With professional help, you will end up with a better end result than if you try to handle things by yourself. The reasons are as clear as A, B, and C.

A: Dealing with the IRS is very stressful and when you have no experience in this realm you may make bad mistakes. With a professional to give advice and act as an intermediary, you will make better and more successful decisions.

B: When you have a professional acting as an intermediary you are more likely to find out sooner and more clearly the full intent of the IRS. You will have the time you need to sort and find documents and to return organized and intelligent responses.

C: When you hire someone who has dealt with the IRS you will have the help of someone who knows and understands IRS policies and procedures. You will have someone on your side who has experience obtaining better settlements than you might have otherwise thought possible

Fifth: Make it your life to find, keep track of, and safeguard all documents. From your tax returns and all supporting documentation to notices and letters from the IRS, to your responses, keep everything and keep copies of everything. And, when you meet with the professional who will help you, bring all of the copies of everything!

And, you will need to have filed all of your tax returns as well. You do not have to have paid anything and may dispute things, but you need to file. Otherwise, any Offer in Compromise or any Installment Agreement that you make will not be accepted by the IRS. When the IRS requests documents only send the ones that your professional advisor tells you too. The IRS is not allowed to go on “fishing expeditions” in the ocean of documents. And when the IRS does request documents you need to know just what they are looking for and only send what is requested and nothing more.

Last of all, never, never, never, give original documents to the IRS. Only send copies and keep your originals in a safe place.

When the IRS contacts you it can produce a lot of anxiety. But, believe it or not, you will live through it. And, with good help from folks like Exigo Business Solutions, you will come out a lot better than you might have feared.

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