Learning the Facts about IRS Debt Resolution

Here are some facts about resolving your debt with the IRS.  

1. The IRS wants to work with taxpayers.  

The IRS is actually on your side, in a way.  The agency is typically eager and happy to collect old debts. It truly wants to work with taxpayers, but there are many, many rules you need to know about and a process to follow if you want a positive result. 


2. Only 3 types of professionals can represent you in front of the IRS.

While you can represent yourself in front of the IRS. It might not be the best idea, especially if your debt is very high or you’ve ignored the situation for a long time.  

There are only three types of professionals that can represent your case at the IRS:

  1. CPAs, Certified Public Accountants.  But be careful: not all CPAs are experienced in IRS tax resolution  
  2. EAs, Enrolled Agents. Again, make sure the EA has experience with IRS tax representation, representing taxpayers to the IRS.
  3. Attorneys. Same story as above.  Not all attorneys are tax attorneys, and even not all tax attorneys have a bustling tax controversy practice.  

A great question to ask anyone you hire is “What is your offer-in-compromise acceptance rate?”

3. You’ll probably need to get your bookkeeping caught up.

If you’re behind on your taxes, it can often follow that you are behind on your bookkeeping as well.  Anyone you hire is going to need good numbers in order to work with you, so a good first step is to catch up on your bookkeeping.  If you don’t have your records, a professional can help you re-construct them. 

Often, tax resolution professionals provide bookkeeping catch-up services or services to re-construct your records. They’ll do the minimum you need in order to get you or your business in compliance.  

4. You’ll probably need to organize all of your IRS mail.  

Yep, we know you.  It’s sitting in a stack somewhere in your home.  If you haven’t opened the mail, start opening it up.  It’s helpful for tax professionals to know what type of notice you received. In most cases, tax resolution specialists will know the letter by form number, and that will give them an idea of where to start with your case.  

IF you’re too anxious, we totally understand.  For some people, it can simply be too overwhelming to open a letter from the IRS. In that case, when you hire a tax representation professional, you can bring them into the office and that will be the first thing that they can take care of for you.  

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies, and local entities will send a letter if one of the following happens:

  • You miss a payment deadline for payroll taxes due.
  • You miss a deadline for filing payroll tax reports.
  • You miss a deadline for filing your personal or corporate income tax returns.
  • You miss a deadline for paying tax due from your personal or corporate income tax returns.
  • You miss a deadline for filing and/or paying corporate franchise tax due.
  • An amount paid is short or over what the IRS or another tax agency calculates as due.
  • The agency notices a discrepancy on any of your tax returns and needs an explanation.
  • You have been selected for an audit.
  • You fail to respond to previous correspondence.

Please note: The IRS will never send you an email about any of the above situations. They always send physical letters. If you get an email, it’s a scam.