1. When should I reach out to a professional?
Unless you are well versed with tax laws, it would be wise to seek the counsel of someone with experience when you get the first notification from a taxing authority.
2. Why do I need a professional?
You have heard the expression “you get what you pay for”. The advice of your well meaning brother-in-law or your hair dresser may not be current or correct. Ignoring the IRS and hoping they go away is likely to be more costly and create more problems than if the situation is addressed promptly.
3. Why am I being audited?
While there are “compliance” audits, which are random, most returns selected for audit are the result of something called your “Dif” score which is a closely guarded formula that is not publicly disclosed. Think of it in terms of a test paper being graded. If something looks too high or out of range from the expected average, it raises questions. It could also mean that something is missing.
4. Will the IRS treat me fairly, or is it going to be a fight?
If you address the issue promptly and courteously, you are likely to be treated fairly. Remember the Golden Rule! Although there are always exceptions, most of them are just people doing a job. You have rights, if you feel you are being treated unfairly, don’t be afraid to ask to speak to their supervisor.
5. What if I can’t afford to pay my taxes?
There are options available to pay over time and in qualifying situations you may have other solutions. Each situation should be evaluated individually.
6. I did my own taxes and made an honest mistake – how easy is it to fix?
In most cases you can amend your return for up to three years and now amended returns can even be electronically filed. So the process is fairly simple..
7. Will I be penalized for a simple mistake?
If you owe additional tax, then there is likely to be penalty and interest added. If your mistake results in a refund to you, then there is no penalty.
8. What can I do to not be audited in the first place?
Do your best to maintain accurate records. Check your math. If preparing your own return, follow form instructions. Provide sufficient, but not excess detail. Don’t try to lump everything in one category. There are multiple lines on forms for a reason. Be realistic and truthful.
9. Will this stick with me forever so I’ll always have problems with the IRS, or is this a temporary thing?
Hopefully, this will be a temporary thing. It’s sort of like the laws of the highway. If you get a traffic ticket and learn from your mistake so it’s not repeated you should have no further problems. If you keep doing the same thing you may continue to have problems.
10. Will I lose my home?
Usually not, that would be a last resort action.
11. What makes you better than your competitors?
While I have years of knowledge and experience, it’s most likely the fact that I take a special interest in knowing and understanding my clients and their individual situation.
Once I do that, I am better prepared to find the best long solution to the problem. It’s about relationships. I try to relieve the pain and stress and help you get your life back to normal.
12. I’m already having money problems and can’t afford to pay you and the IRS – can I still get help?
While doubling down and paying me and the IRS is never easy. I can assure you that putting your tax problems off, will only add to your stress. You may have to make changes to your lifestyle, sell something, or make a dreaded call to a friend or family member, there are options, some are just not as pleasant as others. Think about what your life will be like when the problem is gone. Help is available!