The staff of Oceans 2003 speaks with Kathy Hill, the founder of Tax Tiger, a tax resolution agency based in Sacramento, California, to get the inside scoop on how the IRS sends warnings to taxpayers in trouble.
Oceans 2003: Good evening, and thank you for joining us. Although tax season has come and gone for the year, past dues taxes are still a hot topic. Can you tell us how the IRS sends notice to taxpayers who have gotten too far behind?
Kathy Hill, Tax Tiger: First I would like to point out that, although receiving unsolicited communication from the IRS can be nerve-racking, it is best to bite the bullet and respond. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away.
Oceans 2003: What exactly is the IRS collection process?
Tax Tiger: Typically, the IRS first sends a demand for payment notice. If this first correspondence is ignored, they will send notice every five weeks or so.
Oceans 2003: And do all of the notices say the same thing?
Tax Tiger: Well, not exactly. Each successive correspondence becomes more threatening. The end message is the same, however: The IRS wants their money and will take a person’s livelihood to get it.
Oceans 2003: What is the best way to make the notices stop?
Tax Tiger: If you ask the IRS, paying the balance in full without dispute. That’s not always feasible for a taxpayer, however, and so each situation may have different options available. We encourage taking advantage of our free no-obligation consultation to discuss those potential alternatives.
Oceans 2003: We understand that Tax Tiger advises clients not to divulge any personal or non-pertinent information to the IRS. Why is that?
Tax Tiger: There is always a chance that the client might accidentally answer a question incorrectly. This is especially true if the agent does not speak in clear and concise language and utilizes legalese that the taxpayer may not understand.
Oceans 2003: And this can get a taxpayer in trouble?
Tax Tiger: Oh, yes, it definitely can. It may cause a delay in their case, or even prompt the IRS to conduct further investigations.
Oceans 2003: How often can the IRS contact the taxpayer directly once he or she has obtained legal representation?
Tax Tiger: According to their own regulations, once the IRS receives notice that a taxpayer has signed power of attorney to a separate entity, they may no longer contact that individual and must channel all communications through the appointed organization.
Oceans 2003: Why is it important to obtain representation? Isn’t it too late once they have already begun the notification process?
Tax Tiger: It is really never too late to put a kink in the IRS’s plans. Proper representation is important for many reasons. One thing that comes to mind is that the taxpayer usually feels obligated to answer every single question that the IRS representative asks. While this is normally not an issue, sometimes the agent may ask something the IRS does not have the right to question.
Oceans 2003: When should an IRS notice be responded to?
Tax Tiger: Ideally, as soon as it is received. We encourage taxpayers to contact Tax Tiger immediately if they suspect there will be a problem paying their taxes. The hope is that these notices and very real threats of asset seizure can be avoided by keeping an open line of communication and working diligently to resolve their liabilities amiably.
Oceans 2003: We appreciate you speaking with us today, Kathy Hill. Hopefully our readers who may be facing IRS issues can rest a bit easier knowing that help is out there.
Tax Tiger: Thank you.
For more information visit Tax Tiger’s website at www.tax-tiger.com