If the situation cannot be worsened, you can initially try to negotiate with the IRS yourself – and only bring in professional help if you cannot get the result that you want.
For example, if you owe a small amount to the IRS (less than $10,000) and you have no unfiled tax returns, it probably does not make sense for you to hire representation. The IRS will allow you to establish a monthly installment agreement without you having to provide any financial information. You don’t even need to speak that much to the IRS. You can call them and simply ask what the minimum amount that they will accept per month.
However, the risk increases when the IRS requires financial information and documents from you. You should not go it alone if you are facing any of any of the following circumstances:
- You are being audited.
- You have not filed all of your tax returns.
- Your bank account is being levied or your wages garnished.
- You (or your business) owes unpaid payroll taxes.
- Your case has been assigned to a Revenue Officer.
In the next few blog posts, I will cover the risks of being unrepresented if your situation is one of the above – plus what you can do to minimize any harm.