If you owe money to the Internal Revenue Service and haven’t taken steps to pay what you owe, you may receive a letter in the mail that indicates that the IRS knows that you owe money or that it would like to have you contact it about an installment plan. In some cases, the IRS may reach out about an audit, too.
Don’t panic if the IRS reaches out to you. Although people tell horror stories about the IRS, the reality is that the agents are usually just looking for more information and may be able to help you set up an installment plan or figure out what is actually owed. If an audit is completed and you owe money, you’re not going to immediately face imprisonment or heavy fines.
It’s not a bad idea to have legal representation during an audit
If you do receive a notice that you’re going to be audited, it’s not a bad idea for you to work with someone who can tell you more about your legal rights and help you navigate the IRS audit process. Remember, you only need to give the IRS the exact information it is asking for. If you say more than you need to, you could trigger a deeper look into your past tax returns, which could be harmful.
What should you do if you owe money to the IRS?
If you failed to file a tax return or did file and didn’t make a payment, you need to start doing so. If you cannot afford to pay what you owe, you may be able to make an offer in compromise, which may allow you to settle for less than you owe.
You have a right to legal support if the IRS contacts you
The complexities of tax law can be intimidating to you, so it’s reasonable to look for help and support as you deal with the tax situation you have to handle. You have a right to legal representation when interacting with the IRS and may benefit from knowing more about tax law and how you can protect your interests.