So you owe the IRS money, no big deal right? Wrong. Owing back taxes to the IRS can be serious business that can land you in some steep consequences if the debts go unpaid for too long. However, just because you are dealing with the IRS does not mean the experience has to be scary. There is a right and a wrong way to approach any creditor you intend to negotiate with and knowing how to handle things right can be your biggest asset.
Know Your Stuff
One mistake people often make when negotiating with any creditor is failing to plan or review their options before making contact. In order to put your best foot forward in a debt negotiation, educate yourself about potential options for resolving your debts. The IRS offers several ways to help you repay your tax liabilities in a way that suits your budget. An IRS installment plan can allow you to repay your debts in several monthly payments over a few years. An Offer In Compromise can settle your debts for less than is owed, but is typically reserved for those experiencing severe financial hardships.
While you may have heard that “playing hardball” is a good negotiation technique, it is never a good idea to start off on this foot. Remember that the IRS is doing you a favor by helping you resolve your tax debts and does maintain the right to pursue other options. It is important that you stay in direct contact with someone at the IRS and be open about your financial situation. IRS agents are people too and they do understand that there are situations that can hinder your ability to repay your debts. Never use abusive or threatening language when attempting to negotiate and be willing to be flexible in negotiations.