Getting Over the Fear and Humiliation Caused by Your IRS Tax Debt: A Roadmap

If you’re afraid of your Form 1040 or other tax forms, you’re not alone. Our IRS tax fears–sometimes warranted, sometimes irrational–can wreak havoc and affect all aspects of our lives. Here’s some advice to help you overcome the fear and humiliation you may be feeling:

You’re too embarrassed to ask for help.

No one can argue the difficulty in deciphering the tax code, and tax professionals will be the first to tell you how complex taxes can be. However, don’t be afraid to seek out professionals’ tax advice. Handling the IRS and tax debt is what they are paid to do. It’s literally what they’re there for.

You’re scared you won’t be able to pay your bill.

Do not avoid notices from the IRS. While it’s certainly better to pay your debt on time, the world won’t end if you can’t. Qualified taxpayers may set up a payment plan with the IRS. And if you know that you won’t ever be able to pay it off in full, you could be entitled to request an “Offer in Compromise,” a negotiated settlement that allows you to pay just a portion of your debt.

You’re too scared to open mail from the IRS.

When you get a letter from the agency, don’t ignore it. If you know that you owe the IRS, it might be a simple notice of adjustment in which case you pay the balance or work out an agreement with the agency. Regardless of your situation, keep in mind that most IRS correspondence is time-sensitive: There are deadlines. Ignoring a letter won’t make it go away, and it will usually make your situation worse.

You’re afraid to make a mistake.

Everybody messes up, but there’s no need to panic. Whether you made a mistake on your return, you miscalculated how much you can pay, or you lied about your finances, contact an enrolled agent who can help you right your wrongs. In most situations, the IRS is generally amenable to working something out when mistakes happen, and a tax professional can represent you and help you avoid future errors.

Regardless of your situation, don’t be overcome by your fear and humiliation about your IRS tax debt. Instead, deep breathe, and know that you can overcome these feelings, and call Highland Tax Group at 720-398-6088. True, you shouldn’t ignore the taxman. But fear him? Nah.