A Kinder, Friendlier IRS This Year
Soon after New Year’s resolutions are being forgotten or abandoned, many of us turn our attention to income taxes. Until we file our returns, the process is likely in the back of our minds. Those of us who pay estimated taxes might even think about income taxes on a more regular basis. The IRS has long sought to soften its perception as an adversary of taxpayers and will be going even further than normal in that effort this year.
Policy changes were chronicled in Stephen Ohlemacher’s article for the Associated Press, IRS agents soften heart for delinquent taxpayers. Citing the struggling economy, the article details how the IRS is more willing than ever to help delinquent taxpayers who make an effort to comply with the law but whose financial hardship prevents them from doing so. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman implores struggling taxpayers to open a discussion with the IRS, over the phone or at one of their branch offices. Ignoring the problem will not only make matters worse, it may also preclude the IRS from using its new policies to help. By going to the IRS and demonstrating your inability to pay, it is in a much stronger position to be able to help.
Those who are able to pay their taxes should not expect the same type of leniency. Ideal candidates are those who have previously been in good standing, but whose finances have deteriorated this year, leaving them less able to pay. Along with waiving late fees, the IRS may be able to delay property seizures or make it easier for people with IRS liens to refinance their properties.
On its website, the IRS recommends that taxpayers file returns by the deadline and pay as much as possible even if they are not able to pay the full amount due. To take advantage of the various payment options and leniency programs available, it’s best to contact the IRS as early as possible.
Will paying your taxes be more difficult this year?
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 6:27 am