Dealing with the IRS if you owe money

CBS47 Investigates

April 15th is right around the corner, have you done your taxes yet?

If not, you’re not alone. As of last week, more than 70 million American households had still not filed their 2018 federal income tax returns.

So CBS 47 spoke with a former IRS agent on the best ways to deal with the Internal Revenue Service.

Former IRS agent Michael Sullivan said, “I have a long history of seizures, many cars, many homes, many boats. I also got many RV’s, plus an airplane and a bakery. I’ve probably seized everything under the sun you can imagine.”

Sullivan said he knows the biggest fear people have is losing their home. 

It’s true the IRS can seize your home.

But that is rare, the IRS gets more than $150-million tax returns every year.

Yet it’s currently auctioning off just 14 homes nationally.

If you’ve yet to file, because you owe money.

Sullivan said do file! 

He adds agents understand hardships.

“With the economy up and down and layoffs, these people understand what is going on in your life,” said Sullivan.  

Taxpayers who owe large amounts can request a payment plan, known as an installment agreement.

You can also negotiate a payment with the IRS.

There is an official form to offer a compromise.

Former agents says it works.

He adds the most important thing is not to ignore any letter from the IRS.

He said ignoring the letter triggers penalties and interest and eventually a knock at the front door.

Sullivan said, “You can either send the IRS a check on a monthly installment, but the best way to do that is direct debt with your checking account. This way you know your payment got there and there’s no confusion with the IRS.”

Bottom line you can either do a settlement, a payment agreement, or have your case placed in hardship.

By the way the IRS likes to do business only by paper, so those phone calls are a scam.

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