The Tax Collector
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When you owe taxes, the Internal Revenue Service and State Revenue Departments have many tools to collect money from you. Be aware that while Congress passed the Internal Revenue Service Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, the State Revenue Departments are not bound by those rules.
In 2010 the Internal Revenue Service had a little over $114.2 billion in delinquent accounts to collect. To try to collect that they: filed 1.1 million tax liens; served 3.6 million levies; and made 605 seizures of property. (Source: 2011 Internal Revenue Service Data Book)
They also received 57,000 Offer in compromises and accepted 14,000. 25% acceptance. (see our book 'Slash IRS Back Taxes' to find out how you can increase your chance for success.)
You have the right to Representation!
You do not have to deal with the Internal Revenue Service alone, or at all! You can be represented by an Enrolled Agent (EA), CPA or an Attorney.
When you meet with the Internal Revenue Service without a Representative and you feel you need help, you can request to delay the meeting until you can obtain a Representative. Generally they will give you up to 10 days or more.
TIP During any of the collection processes you can request an 'Audit Reconsideration' if the taxes you owe are overstated or incorrect because of a change the Internal Revenue Service made to your taxes, and you now have information to prove it, which was not available at the time the taxes were assessed. An Audit Recon will typically stop the collection process until a determination can be made.
You have the Right to a Hearing Before Levy Actions
A reader thinks "a major reason" the Internal Revenue Service received higher approval ratings in a recent survey is that tax checks are made out to the United States Treasury, instead of the Internal Revenue Service. Now, he said in a recent e-mail, "when I write a check, I picture my tax money being used for the public good, whereas formerly I viewed my money going into a black hole."
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