Chief Tax Information Officer
Published on: August 19, 2019
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There are four ways to know if you owe the IRS money.
If you owe back taxes, ignoring letters doesn't make the IRS, or your tax debt go away. In fact, it can make things worse. Just like any other collections agency, expect letters and additional fees until the issue is resolved. As a government entity, the IRS can also garnish wages, put a lien on your property, and keep future refunds.
Don't expect to wait them out: The IRS rarely forgives debts and has 10 years to collect them before they are written off. This is known as a Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED). Usually, once that date is passed, the IRS has no choice but to forgo your debt. But beware, there are exceptions: The CSED can be extended through various means, such as entering into an installment agreement, having property seized, or entering a period of non-collectability.
Nearing your CSED date? You may qualify for a partial reduction of your debt by either submitting partial payment installment agreement or an offer in compromise.
Five simple steps you can take now to get your tax debt under control:
If you received a letter from the IRS, it is usually to notify you of a:
The IRS may also simply need additional information or to verify your identity or return information.
This can vary from making at least a partial payment now to up to 72 months to pay off your taxes in installments. To better understand your options and the implications, there are ways to take action.
While you may owe the IRS, you also owe it to yourself to know your options for settling your tax debt. There are many ways to help reduce, and in some cases eliminate, tax arrears--from payment plans to compromises.
About the Author
Mark Steber is Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Information Officer for Jackson Hewitt. With over 30 years of experience, he oversees tax service delivery, quality assurance and tax law adherence. Mark is Jackson Hewitt’s national spokesperson and liaison to the Internal Revenue Service and other government authorities. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holds registrations in Alabama and Georgia, and is an expert on consumer income taxes including electronic tax and tax data protection.
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