Now is the time of year when taxpayers begin getting those dreaded letters from the IRS saying that they didn’t pay the taxes that they owed. In some cases, people might be expecting the letters, knowing that they didn’t pay their taxes in full.
But in other cases, people might believe that the letter was sent in error. In this case, the good news is that there are steps that can be taken in order to figure out if the IRS has made a mistake. Believe it or not, the IRS has been known to get it wrong from time to time.
Here is what you should do if you think that the IRS is after you for money you don’t owe:
1. Consult the Taxpayer Bill Of Rights. The IRS has created a bill of rights especially for taxpayers that you should be aware of, including the right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax and the right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard.
2. Call the IRS’s toll-free help line. You can reach the help line at 800-829-4933. However, be prepared to sit on hold for a long time.
3. Visit the IRS’s taxpayer assistance center in person. You can find the center closest to youhere. But, again, the wait could be several hours, depending on the line.
4. Get an advocate on your side. If you still haven’t resolved the matter, it’s time to get an experienced tax lawyer on your side.
Your tax lawyer can walk you through the next steps, which could involve speaking with an IRS agent, filing an appeal or taking the issue to court.
And remember, as this Bloomberg article points out, don’t fall for the advertisements you see for companies that promise to settle your dispute with the IRS. The Federal Trade Commission has said that these companies charge fraudulent fees and use tactics that often don’t work.
Instead, stick with professionals that you can trust.