Monday, April 18, 2011

How You Should Talk So the IRS will Listen

If you have to deal directly with an IRS agent, either because of an audit or a back tax debt, then here are a few rules to consider (via

    Rule 1: Don't ignore the tax man. The IRS "has an automated collections system," says John Barrie, a tax lawyer and partner at Bryan Cave LLP. "They will start issuing notices. Each notice gets a little more harsh." Soon enough, the IRS may place a levy on your wages or bank account.

    Rule 2: You need to communicate with the IRS, but that doesn't mean telling them everything. Taxpayers often get defensive -- and chatty.

    Rule 3: Treat the agent as an equal and maintain emotional control. You want this person to be on your side.

    Rule 4: Don't arrive ready to write a check. And don't respond to an IRS letter by dropping a check in the mail. The IRS may be wrong. But once you agree on a payment plan, stick to it.

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