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We’ve consulted on over $16 billion in tax debt since 2007 - See what real people are saying about how we changed their life

Haven’t filed taxes in a year or two (or four or ten)? You’re not alone. While the majority of people pay their taxes on time, about 7 million taxpayers fail to file their taxes every year. If you’re in that 5% of taxpayers, you might be asking yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen if I haven’t filed my taxes for this past year or previous years?” Well, the consequences for unfiled tax returns aren’t pretty.

We’re not saying that the IRS operates like a scary movie villain, but they do know how to haunt people who don’t follow their rules and file on time. Their tactics range from disappearing tax refunds and credits to a not-so-pleasant surprise filed tax return on your behalf. The kind of haunting that the IRS will do isn’t so easily solved with burning sage or sprinkling some salt. Instead, this IRS haunting might be best solved by tax preparation help.

1. You Could Face Suspenseful Silence from the IRS About Your Unfiled Tax Returns.

Believe it or not, if you don’t file your taxes, it’s possible the IRS may not reach out to you immediately.

You’ve probably heard horror stories about notices piling up in your mailbox and IRS tax collectors knocking down your door. But you rarely hear about the even spookier outcome: that you don’t file, and the IRS seemingly doesn’t do anything in response.

In case the IRS hasn’t contacted you, don’t be quick to assume that this suspenseful silence means they haven’t noticed. It’s possible, especially if you’re self-employed and don’t have any W-2s or Form 1099s that get sent to the IRS.

However, it’s equally possible that the IRS doesn’t have your correct address. They could be mailing you notices left and right. But if they don’t have an updated address for you, you won’t get those notices. And unfortunately, that’s on you. It’s your responsibility to update the IRS on your current address.

2. Tax Refunds and Credits Can Disappear Before Your Eyes.

Say you didn’t file your tax return four years ago. If you had any tax refund due to you from that return, it’s long gone by now. See, if you’re due a refund for withholding or estimated taxes, there’s a statute of limitations that kicks in. If you don’t file your return within 3 years of the due date, you’ll lose that money that was rightfully yours.

Disappearing Tax Returns: Just one way your unfiled taxes can haunt you

The same goes for tax credits like the Earned Income Credit. In fact, the IRS can be even more stingy with tax credits. If tax credits can cause a refund on a previously unfiled tax return, the IRS is unlikely to give them to you in retrospect.

Why let the IRS keep money that is rightfully yours? By leaving your tax returns unfiled, you’re giving them the go-ahead to hold onto your hard-earned money.

3. You Can Struggle to Make Big, Life-Changing Purchases.

Think about those monumental purchases you may make in your life:

  • A brand-new car
  • A mortgage on the perfect house for your family
  • A loan to start your own business
  • Tuition to attend the college of you or your child’s dreams

One of the unexpected ways an unfiled tax return can haunt you is your sudden inability to make these big buys.

When you make purchases this big, you’re typically borrowing money. When you borrow money, financial institutions tend to require income verification to ensure you’ll be able to repay them. If you aren’t a W-2 employee, how will banks verify your income? You guessed it: using your tax returns.

Not having tax returns could indicate to lenders that they cannot trust you’ll be able to repay the loan. This isn’t to say you’ll be unable to buy a home or a car; just keep in mind that these processes will be much more difficult without tax returns.

Also, you’ll need your federal income tax returns to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Without this info to prove your financial need, you’ll be unable to apply for federal financial aid. Whether it’s for you or your child, this means you’ll miss out on helpful federal grants and subsidized student loans. And for similar reasons to those posed above with loans for cars and houses, you may find it difficult to take out private student loans as well.

4. The IRS Can Surprise You with a Twist Ending by Filing for You.

If you don’t submit a complete tax return, the IRS may do themselves a favor by filing a substitute.

Notice that we don’t say they do you a favor by filing your unfiled return. That’s because the substitute return they file on your behalf will not give you any of the credits, deductions, or exemptions you may have qualified for.

When the IRS files for you, it’s because they believe you owe them a tax debt. With a tax bill in play, the IRS has more to gain by filing for you.

Twist Ending: The IRS files for you and haunts you with a hefty tax bill

What This Twist Ending Looks Like

You’ll receive a Notice of Deficiency CP3219N, which will walk you through their substitute return. You’ll have 90 days to file the return in question or file a petition in Tax Court. If you don’t do anything in those 90 days, the IRS will go ahead with their return.

Once the IRS has hit you with that twist ending bill (plus any failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties they see fit to charge), you’ll then have to figure out how to pay your balances owed. Otherwise, you risk facing further IRS collection actions like levies and liens. Of course, you always have tax relief help options you can explore like an installment agreement or an IRS debt forgiveness program.

However, it’s still best for you to focus on filing your own tax return to try and take advantage of those deductions and exemptions the IRS may have glossed over in their substitute return. Once they have your filed return, the IRS usually will adjust your account accordingly.

Instead of ignoring unfiled taxes, take control of your life. When unfiled tax returns are haunting you, seek tax preparation experts to help to clear the air. With years of experience under their belt, tax professionals like ours can make sure your unfiled tax returns are filed correctly while maximizing deductions to minimize any potential tax bills.

By now, your taxes have hopefully been filed. You may have come out of 2018 without owing the IRS (or even getting a refund). However, there’s a big chance you instead found yourself with a tax bill you aren’t able to pay. If that’s the case, don’t be too hard on yourself. Many people found themselves in this position due to a withholding mistake (thanks, recent tax reform!) Getting bogged down in frustration and fear of an unmanageable tax bill won’t help now. Instead, read on to determine if tax relief help is your best bet to focus on a brighter tax future.

You don’t have the money to settle your bill and can’t see how you ever will.

You’re feeling hopeless. Maybe your current balance with the IRS is more money than you’ve ever seen in your bank account at any given time. Or perhaps you just mortgaged a house or leased a car, and you’re concerned about what this tax bill could mean for you. Whatever financial pickle you find yourself in, the fact remains: there’s no way you can just make one easy payment to clear up this tax debt.

Tax relief help experts like ours have been around the IRS block and have seen all sorts of financial situations. They’ll take the time to learn everything important about your unique circumstance. Then, they will be able to walk you through your options to find a route out of tax debt that works for you.

You don’t know how to deal with the IRS.

Imagine the headache you’d have if you went to make that dreaded IRS call. You immediately face droning hold music. With every staticky chord, your anticipation gets worse and worse. Even if you get a pleasant IRS rep, you’re still ultimately getting ready to have a conversation with someone whose main goal is to get what you owe the government.

Okay, we’re sorry we asked you to imagine that. Instead, just imagine the headache you wouldn’t have if you had a professional working with the IRS on your behalf.

Experience is key when it comes to IRS dealings and we’ve got plenty of it. Our team has a collective 250 years of experience in tax relief help. We know what questions the IRS will ask before they ask them. And we can help minimize long delays caused by submitting unnecessary information or payment requests that we know they won’t accept. Working with the IRS is our specialty, so it doesn’t have to be yours! 

You want to keep the tax relief damage to a minimum.

The worst part about tax debt isn’t the notices that the IRS will send you nonstop or even the anger you might feel for being in this situation. There are far more serious consequences ahead. From levies against your property or wages to penalties and interest that bury you in even more debt, the IRS can be unrelenting when it comes to trying to recoup what they’re due. And trust us, they can take things up a notch if they feel like you’re not paying attention.

The good news is that the sooner you tackle your tax debt, the better. By seeking tax relief help, you’ll ensure that there is a tax pro with experience and passion dedicated to working with the IRS to get you the best possible outcome.

If any of the above applies to you, tax relief help may be right for you – but be wary.

Tax relief help can really change your life. However, you’ll want to be careful. There are tax relief companies out there that will scam you out of your money and leave you in a worse situation.

Make sure any tax debt relief company you decide to work with is transparent. They should be open about their pricing and what you can expect from them. Most honest tax debt relief companies will offer a free consultation to gain a better understanding of your current situation before discussing what relief options are available to you. They won’t promise you solutions like tax debt forgiveness without knowing the full picture. Feel free to ask about their experience and expertise to ensure you’re getting seasoned professionals on your side.

We’ve helped resolve about 17 billion dollars in tax debt in the decade we’ve been in business. Our tax experts have a wide range of professional accreditations and are always ready to provide you with top-rated tax relief help. Contact us for your free initial consultation to take that first step towards freedom from tax debt.

Are the back tax notifications piling up in your mailbox? Or did you end up with an unexpectedly heavy tax bill after filing this year? When faced with loads of tax debt, it can feel like you’ll be enslaved to the government until the day you die. Thankfully, the IRS offers a way to pay them back over time. An IRS installment agreement spreads your debt over a set number of months while protecting you from serious collection tactics like liens, garnishments, and property seizures.

Here are five types of IRS installment agreements to make dealing with back taxes a little less terrible:

1. Guaranteed Installment Agreement

  • Qualification level: Easy.
  • Tax debt amount: $10,000 or less.
  • You must meet the following criteria:
    • Your past tax returns have been filed.
    • The previous five years’ returns have not been filed late or paid late.
    • You haven’t used an Installment Agreement plan in the previous five years.
    • The entire tax debt amount will be paid in three years or less.
  • You don’t need to provide a full financial statement to the IRS.
  • Why apply: It’s called “guaranteed” because the IRS will most likely let you into this agreement if you meet the following criteria, and it’s simple to apply for yourself.

2. Streamlined Installment Agreement

  • Qualification level: Easy.
  • Tax debt amount: up to $50,000.
  • Thanks to the IRS Fresh Start Initiative, this is similar to the Guaranteed Installment Agreement but for those with a greater debt (up to $50,000). The payments can span for up to 72 months.
  • You don’t need to provide a full financial statement to the IRS.
  • Why we love it: Streamlined has the simplicity of Guaranteed but with a higher debt cap and longer time to pay off (and no federal liens).

3. Installment Agreement for Tax Debt of Over $50,000

  • Qualification level: Difficult.
  • Tax debt amount: Over $50,000.
  • The IRS will conduct a thorough review of your financial situation to ensure the earliest payment of tax debt. You must provide a detailed financial statement.
  • Why apply: You can pay your large debt amount over an extended period of time.
  • TIP: Enlist the help of a tax professional to make sure you provide the IRS with all necessary financial information on a Collection Information Statement (Form 433-F or Form 433-A)

4. Partial Payment Installment Agreement

  • Qualification level: Difficult.
  • Tax debt amount: Varies; unaffordable to you.
  • Why apply: If you can’t afford the minimum payment for guaranteed or streamlined installment agreements, a partial payment allows for a longer repayment term. The IRS will reevaluate your financial position (including equity in assets) every two years to see if your fortunes have changed.
  • The IRS will file a federal tax lien to protect its interests in collecting the debt. You may be required to sell property and assets to pay off your tax debt.
  • TIP: Enlist the help of a tax professional to make sure you provide the IRS with all necessary financial information.

5. Settlement Agreement (Offer in Compromise)

  • Qualification level: Extremely difficult.
  • Tax debt amount: Varies; unaffordable to you.
  • Why apply: This agreement allows you to pay less than what you owe to the IRS. It is best if you’re in a destitute situation.
  • TIP: Enlist the help of a tax professional to see if you qualify for Offer in Compromise and to help you start the vigorous application process.

Let’s Make a Deal (with the IRS)

No one said paying back taxes would be easy. Dealing with the IRS isn’t any better.

Taxpayer history is the primary factor in determining what kind of IRS installment agreements you qualify for. If you’ve made a payment plan in the past with the IRS that didn’t work out too well, the IRS may be less likely to give you another chance. Additionally, the installment agreements above are all for personal tax debt. Agreements for business tax debt are a whole new ballgame in comparison.

No matter what your situation is, the best way to find a positive outcome when seeking an IRS installment agreement is to contact a tax professional. Tax experts like ours exist to help taxpayers like you who fall into common, yet unfortunate tax situations get out of the pit. Our tax professionals have consulted on over $16 billion in tax debt since 2007 and help hundreds of taxpayers score IRS installment agreements every day. For a free consultation on IRS agreements, give us a call today.

Tax Day 2019 has come and gone. The deadline for filing your taxes was this past Monday, April 15 (unless you are a resident of Maine or Massachusetts, in which case your deadline was this past Wednesday, April 17). If you forgot to file or request an extension in time, you’re now officially late in filing your 2018 taxes. But what does that even mean? What happens if you forgot to file taxes on time? We’ll walk you through the consequences of not filing on time and what you can do about it.

If you forgot to file, you could face the pesky failure-to-file penalty.

The IRS may assess the failure-to-file penalty to any taxpayer who does not file by the deadline and who has an outstanding tax balance. The failure-to-file penalty is 5 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month your tax return is late (up to 25 percent). You’ll also get plenty of reminders from the IRS to file your taxes.

Think you can avoid this penalty by filing today? Unfortunately, it starts accruing the day after the deadline.

If you owe taxes, the IRS could hit you with extra penalties, interest, and worse.

Forgot to file taxes and have an outstanding tax bill? If you didn’t pay the IRS the full amount of taxes owed, you could be facing a failure-to-pay penalty. If you’ve got the failure-to-file and the failure-to-pay penalties running at the same time, they’ll cap at 5 percent of your unpaid taxes per month.

As far as penalties go though, this year you could be in luck. More people than ever are expected to have underpaid the IRS, thanks to the reform affecting 2018 taxes. To help combat this issue, the IRS has expanded their relief from their underpayment penalties.

If this isn’t your first year forgetting to file your taxes, your consequences could be a lot more severe. In addition to even more penalties, you could face wage garnishment and other levies. The IRS could even take you to court. Now luckily, the IRS won’t take those drastic actions without warning, but it’s still important to remember how serious the IRS can be.

Owe more than you can pay? There are always options like a payment plan or an offer in compromise that you could qualify for.

Say goodbye to your refund until you file.

Got money waiting for you in the form of a tax refund? The good news is that you won’t face the failure-to-file penalty.

The bad news: Unless you file your taxes within three years of the corresponding tax filing deadline, you can kiss that cash good-bye. In 2013, taxpayers who didn’t file left $1 billion in unclaimed federal income tax refunds on the table. And that’s generally cash that people worked hard for but ended up overpaying the government with.

If your choice is filing ASAP or losing money, you’ll want to choose filing every time.

The IRS will consider reasonable causes for not filing by the deadline.

If you’ve got a good reason for not filing your taxes on time, the IRS might hear you out. They must determine whether your reason for not filing on time is sound and established (with proper documentation) before waiving or reducing any penalties. These reasons include:

  • Death, serious illness, incapacitation or other absence of the taxpayer or an immediate family member.
  • Fire, natural disasters, casualty, or other similar disturbances.
  • Inability to get important tax records.
  • Other reason that shows you genuinely attempted to meet your tax obligations but could not.

Reasonable causes if you forgot to file taxes

Note that not having enough money to pay isn’t a listed reason for not filing or paying on time. The only exception here is if the reason you don’t have the money to pay is similar to the ones above.

Even if you have a good reason, the IRS typically doesn’t waive any accrued interest on your balance. If the IRS charged interest on a penalty that they are reducing or removing due to reasonable cause, they can reduce or remove that specific interest.

So, what should you do if you forgot to file taxes?

Easy – you should file those taxes ASAP. The sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund. And if you owe the IRS money, the sooner you file, the lower your tax bill.

When paying right away isn’t an option, tax pros can help negotiate with the IRS on your behalf. Our tax professionals are always available to ensure your unfiled taxes are handled quickly and accurately. Tax Defense Network by MoneySolver has been helping individuals and businesses deal with tax issues with the IRS for over a decade, and there’s little we haven’t been able to help with. If your situation is fixable without our services, we’ll let you know that up front, too. Start with a free consultation today. 

It’s not just you; it really does feel like the first few months of 2019 have flown by. We’re finding it hard to believe the federal tax deadline is next week! If you’re in the same boat and don’t know how you’re going to get your taxes filed in time, there’s no need to stress. A simple tax extension can give you the time you need. And rest assured, lots of people will need one this year. In fact, a record 14.6 million requests for filing extensions are expected this tax season. So, if you’re not sure how to file a tax extension, here’s our guide to getting that extension submitted on time.

When Is the Tax Deadline Again?

Unless you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 15, 2019, to file your federal tax returns. If you are a resident of Maine or Massachusetts, you’ve got until April 17 to file thanks to two legal holidays.

The 2019 Tax Deadline is April 15 for most taxpayers. Wondering, "How do I file a tax extension?" We can help.

What Happens If I Don’t File a Tax Extension?

If you don’t file your tax return by the due date (or by the extended due date if you had an approved extension), you face the wrath of the IRS in the form of the failure-to-file penalty. This is a five percent per month penalty on any unpaid tax balance you have. This penalty is charged each month (or even part of a month) that the return is late, for up to five months. Even if you file your return less than 30 days late, the failure-to-file penalty will apply for the whole month.

Didn’t file your extension on time and owe taxes? You can also receive a failure-to-pay penalty along with your failure-to-file penalty. If you have both these penalties running simultaneously, the IRS limits their combination to 5 percent overall. But let’s be honest: no one wants two IRS penalties at the same time.  

Some people are afraid to file an extension because they think it could trigger an audit. However, the IRS encourages taxpayers to file for an extension if needed to help reduce tax-filing errors.

OK, but How Do I File a Tax Extension?

You can file for a six-month tax extension using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The IRS will review and hopefully approve your extension. Once you’ve gotten that approval, you’ll have until Oct. 15, 2019, to file your federal tax return.

You can either fill this form out and mail it to the IRS or you can submit it using a Free File software company. Some of these companies will also help you estimate what you’ll owe the IRS, so you can pay on time.

Whichever way you choose to submit Form 4868, make sure you do so by the due date of your return.

Remember: An extension to file is not an extension to pay.

Just because you have an extension on filing your taxes doesn’t mean you’ll have an extension on paying any taxes you owe this year.

What does this mean for you? If you don’t pay the taxes you owe by the April deadline, you stand to face the interest charged on any unpaid tax balance. The IRS might also hit you with an underpayment penalty or a failure-to-pay penalty on any overdue taxes. However, some taxpayers may have a break from these penalties because of the recent tax reform. The Treasury Department has stated that they will allow taxpayers who paid at least 80 percent of their tax bill during the year to avoid paying penalties. 

Also, if you’ve gotten an extension and you pay at least 80 percent of your actual tax liability by the actual April tax deadline, you can avoid a failure-to-pay penalty. How? You’ll need to make sure you pay the remaining balance by your extended due date of Oct. 15.

Even if you do owe, filing your extension will at least help you dodge a failure-to-file penalty. And since the failure-to-file penalty is usually higher than the failure-to-pay penalty, you’ll be dodging a much more financially-burdening bullet.

Will I Still Get My Tax Refund?

Unfortunately, no tax return = no refund. You won’t get your refund until you file your return. The IRS must process your return before determining if you’re due a refund.

Don’t let the confusing tax law changes cause you to incur a failure-to-file penalty. Especially if you’re a business owner, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the time to make the most of your taxes. The best way to get some extra time is by filing an extension today.

Need help filing your return and maximizing your deductions? Our tax professionals are ready to help.

Back taxes are a slippery slope. They can come about when you don’t pay enough on your taxes, when you fail to report all your income, or when you don’t file a tax return at all. No matter how unintentional, that first step down that back taxes path can seriously cost you. And it can be frightening to try and figure out how deep you’ve gotten once you’ve fallen. So how do you know when you need to reach out for back taxes help? What red flags indicate that you’ve hit the point where expert help in filing your back taxes is your best option?

If any of the following signs ring true for you, you may need professional back taxes help.

1. IRS notices have piled up in your mailbox.

If you have a stack of notices from the IRS about your back taxes, chances are it is time to do something about it. Instead of throwing the next CP14 notice on top of the rest (or worse, tossing it in the trash), reach out for help to put a stop to the endless stream of IRS letters.

2. The IRS has sent debt collectors after you.

While the IRS will stick to sending you notices in the mail, they can assign your case to a private debt collection agency. They will let you know if they do this. However, once it’s done, collectors will bombard you with phone calls and messages about your outstanding debt with the IRS. And as we all know, collections agents can be relentless.

3. Your passport is in jeopardy.

Believe it or not, delinquent tax debt can cause the IRS to deny, limit, or even revoke your passport. Say sayonara to all your travel plans until you’ve worked out a solution to your back tax issue. Once you’ve paid back your debt or made plans to pay back your debt, the IRS can reinstate your passport but it may not be overnight.

4. You lose your refund, your property, or part of your paycheck.

Refusing to pay your back taxes can result in a tax levy, which means that the government could take your property to satisfy your outstanding debt. They can also take your tax refund and even levy your wages in an attempt to regain what is due to them. While the IRS will send you notices in the mail beforehand, a levy can still shake you to your core. That’s why it might be best to consult a professional to help you fix your back tax issue. Keep your property where it belongs – in your hands.

5. The sum of what you owe (plus any penalties) is much higher than you can afford.

If you’ve got back taxes but you can afford your total balance, your best bet is to bite the bullet and make that tax payment. However, this isn’t often the case. Sometimes your overall balance due to the IRS (including any pesky penalties) is much more than you have available in your bank account. In that case, it’s in your best interest to seek out a tax pro who can help you resolve your back tax issue with a solution like debt forgiveness or a payment plan.

Do You Need Back Taxes Help?

If you recognize any of these signs in your life, it may be time to reach out for back tax help. The longer you wait, the worse it can get. Give our tax experts a call today to take the first step towards freedom from back taxes.

Garnishment. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear that word might be a decorative sprig of parsley next to a fancy plate of porkchop. Or you may imagine a crisp stick of celery in a tasty Bloody Mary. Those types of garnishes are delightful and enhance your meal or drink. So, what is wage garnishment? Is it like adding some cilantro to your paycheck? Unfortunately, the truth is far less pleasant.

What wage garnishment is

Wage garnishment is when your earnings are legally withheld by your employer to pay an outstanding debt. A typical example of wage garnishment would be the IRS levying your wages in an attempt to repay your outstanding tax debt balance with them.

There are different reasons for wage garnishment outside tax debt. These include garnishment for student loan debt, child support, and consumer debt.

Wage garnishment isn’t a rare occurrence. In ADP RI’s 2016 study, one in 14 workers was found to be carrying a wage garnishment.

What is Wage Garnishment: Wage Garnishment in the US

How wage garnishment starts

Wage garnishment starts when a creditor requires your employer to withhold a certain amount of money from your paycheck. Your employer then pays those withheld wages to the person or entity with whom you have a debt.

Some garnishments begin with a court order. But with federal student loans, back taxes, or child support, no court order is needed to begin garnishing your wages.

You should receive notice before the garnishment begins. For instance, the IRS will send you letters notifying you of their impending actions. These notices will often give you time to resolve the issue before the garnishment begins.

While garnishment is usually started once you’ve had an outstanding debt and received notice, there was a recent proposal in the Senate to legalize mandatory wage garnishment for anyone with student loan debt. If that proposal passes, employers would automatically deduct payments from the paychecks of employees who have federal student loans.

The rights you have in the face of wage garnishment

While wage garnishment can leave you feeling helpless, you still have some important rights:

  • You must receive legal notification about the garnishment.
  • There is a limit to how much of your wages can be garnished in a week. This can vary depending on who is garnishing your wages, where you live, how many children you have, and whether you’re head of household. If your wages are being garnished by the IRS, they offer a helpful table for figuring out the amount exempt from their wage levies.
  • You cannot be fired from employment because your wages are being garnished for any one debt. However, there is not necessarily protection from employment termination if your wages are being garnished for more than one debt.
  • You can dispute your garnishment if you believe you don’t owe the debt. This may require a lengthy appeals process, especially if your wages are being garnished for tax debt.

How to stop garnishment – and get your life back on track

Now that you know what wage garnishment is and how it starts, you’re one step closer to putting a stop to it.

Wage garnishment typically does not stop until you pay the entire debt balance in full. For IRS back tax issues, this balance can include any interest, penalties, and collection fees accrued over the course of your debt.

If you do not have enough money to pay the debt in full, you can always talk to a professional about the other resolution options that exist for you. With IRS wage garnishment, a tax expert can help you figure out a solution like a payment plan that works for both you and the IRS. This sort of resolution will result in the IRS releasing your paycheck garnishment. No wage garnishment means you getting back to living your life more comfortably.

It’s happened. You open your mailbox and there it is – the dreaded letter from the IRS stating that they’ve selected your tax return for “examination.” The IRS letter contains detailed instructions, but it doesn’t come with a translator. Before you get too worried about your tax audit fate, take a few deep breaths. We’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about audits and how tax audit help could help you through this distressing experience.

What does an audit include?

When the IRS audits you, they’re saying that they want to examine your return more closely. They’re looking to ensure all the information you provided is correct. There are three different audit types to look out for:

  • Correspondence audits: Audits conducted mainly by mail.
  • Office/desk audits: In-person audits at an IRS office.
  • Field audits: In-person audits that are either at your home or business.

The majority of IRS audits for fiscal year 2017 were correspondence audits at 70.8 percent of all audits.

IRS audit types

What triggers an audit?

Audits are typically triggered when something on your return is abnormal or “off” to the IRS. This can be as simple as making a typo or error, earning more money than you have in previous years, or forgetting to report cryptocurrency. But the cause can also be more complicated, like a self-employment tax issue.

Other audit causes include:

  • Failing to report taxable income
  • Having three consecutive years of business losses if you’re self-employed
    • This isn’t likely for corporations, but it’s still possible.
  • Using round numbers on your return
  • Deducting 100 percent of a business car

The most interesting audit cause? The IRS selects a very small amount of returns for audit at random as part of the National Research Program they conduct. That’s why most tax preparers cannot offer you an entirely “audit-free” return. Even with a completely clean return, there’s always a possibility that you could face an audit.

What can come from an audit?

There are three ways to conclude an audit:

  1. Accepted – the IRS proposes changes that you understand and accept.
  2. Disagreed – the IRS proposes changes that you understand but don’t agree with completely.
  3. No change – no changes come from your audit.

Sometimes the changes that the IRS proposes will include an increase in your tax bill. However, it’s not always the case that you’ll owe money after an audit brings about changes. In almost 34,000 instances out of the total 1.1 million tax returns audited in 2016, taxpayers received additional refunds totaling more than $60 billion.

No matter what conclusion comes from your audit, the biggest key is to watch out for deadlines. The IRS gives you a specific amount of time to respond and if you don’t respond, they will still post the changes.

Why turn to professional tax audit help?

There’s nothing that says you can’t take on an audit on your own, especially if it’s a correspondence audit. With these types of audits, you can usually complete them by sending the IRS whatever they’ve asked for. But if they aren’t satisfied with what you’ve sent or if you don’t have what they want, it could benefit you to seek out professional tax audit help.

You have certain taxpayer rights, which extend to the right to retain representation. This means that you have the right to have an authorized representative of your choosing to represent you with the IRS. Dealing with the IRS is far from your favorite activity. Luckily, tax audit reps like ours have experience in dealing with the IRS. Experienced pros know the right questions to ask. They can even translate confusing IRS terminology into phrases normal people can understand. With tax audit help and representation, you will rarely have to talk to the IRS. We’ll handle all the legwork for you and spare you the droning IRS on-hold music.

Is tax audit help expensive?

You may think you’re saving money by skimping on tax audit representation. But it can be even more financially damaging to receive a hefty IRS bill for tax deficiencies and penalties you may not fully understand. A representative who is well versed in tax code should be able to keep you from paying more than is necessary.

So give us a call today. You’ll have a free consultation with one of our experienced tax audit pros to get to the root of your audit issue. We’re always transparent about what to expect when it comes to our process and pricing.

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