When you do have tax problems and are seeking a tax resolution, your odds of success will be heavily influenced by how well you communicate with the IRS and its employees or agents.
There are a number of things you can do to help things go smoothly when dealing with IRS representatives:
- Remain friendly. Being confrontational will make the IRS agent less likely to work with you on a tax resolution or be helpful. Remember that the IRS holds all of the power in this situation; you cannot scare or coerce them into taking your side
- Be patient. The IRS can be very repetitive and detail-oriented which can become tiresome and frustrating to many people. But, it is a necessary part of the tax resolution process; complaining will not help your case
- If you have moved, notify the IRS by filling out their change-of-address form (IRS Form 8822). This will ensure that you get important notices on time and help keep you from missing deadlines.
- Always respond to notices or letters from the IRS. Respond promptly but only after you are certain you understand what the letter means and what is being asked for
- Ask for the name and ID number of any IRS employee who calls you. To be safe it is best to check and make sure that you are actually dealing with a real IRS employee and not give any detailed information until you confirm that the call is legitimate
- Stay calm. It is understandable that you might be fearful or nervous when facing the IRS even if you have done nothing wrong. However, such nervousness may give the impression that you actually do have something to hide. Proper guidance through the tax resolution process is essential
Of course, considering the stakes involved, this is much easier said than done. No matter what you do you will always be at a disadvantage when dealing with the IRS. Most taxpayers have little or no experience in handling tax problems, tax resolution, and the IRS collection process. However, the IRS agents you will be facing are the absolute experts when it comes to dealing with taxpayers like yourself. It is their job. It is what they do every single day of their working lives. And, while most people know very little about the myriad of details and nuances of the tax code the IRS knows every rule and every tool they can use against you. The IRS literally knows every trick in the book because it is their book, they wrote it.