Here’s How To Find Out If You Owe The IRS
Whether it is due to missed payments, errors on your return or unpaid back taxes, finding out that you owe the IRS can be stressful. However, knowing how to find out if you owe the IRS is the first step in addressing any potential tax issues. This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this typically complicated process and set you on the path to resolving your tax debt.
How Do You Know If You Owe the IRS?
Here are a number of ways to find out if in fact you have tax arrears:
The IRS Has Sent You A Notice
- If the IRS has sent you a notice with an amount due, you most likely owe. IRS notices are time sensitive and therefore it’s important not to ignore them. Ignoring the notice will only make it worse and the IRS can start garnishing your wages and putting a lien on your property to collect the outstanding balance. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, we recommend reaching out to a professional.
Access Your IRS Account Online
- Another way to check for outstanding tax debt is through the IRS’s online portal. To use this method, you will need to create an account on the IRS website. Once your account is set up, you will be able to view your tax account information, including any outstanding balances.
Hire a Tax Professional
- Consider hiring a tax professional, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), tax attorneys and enrolled agents have the expertise needed to understand complex tax situations and can contact the IRS on your behalf.
How to Handle Your Tax Debt
Once you have determined whether you owe the IRS, it is essential to address the issue as soon as possible to avoid further penalties and interest. Here is how to go about it:
Set up a Payment Plan
- If you are unable to pay your tax debt in full, the IRS offers payment plans. These are also known as installment agreements, and they allow you to make monthly payments until your debt is fully paid. A tax relief company can help you negotiate the lowest possible payment.
Offer in Compromise
- An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement between you and the IRS that allows you to settle tax liabilities for an amount lower than what you owe. This option is accessible if you cannot pay your tax debt in full or when doing so creates a financial hardship.
The Importance of Acting Quickly
Ignoring your tax debt will not make it go away. In fact, it could result in the IRS taking more severe action, such as levying your bank account or wages. The sooner you address your tax debt, the more options you will have for resolution.
Knowledge Is Power
It is only natural to feel stressed when dealing with tax debt, but remember, the first step in resolving any problem is understanding it. Knowing how to find out if you owe the IRS is your first move in taking control of your tax situation. Once you are aware of what you owe, you can explore the available payment options and seek professional help if necessary.
In the realm of tax resolution, knowledge truly is power. The sooner you identify and understand your tax debt, the quicker you can implement a strategy to address it, helping you move towards a more secure financial future.