Are You In A Vicious IRS Circle?
By Steven A Leahy
Here is the problem I see all the time. Someone has an IRS problem. They work to solve the IRS problem themselves. While they work on fixing their problem, instead of going away, the problem grows. It grows because they fail to address their current IRS obligations.
I helped a family who owed the IRS more than $60,000.00. The father ran his own business. He was very good at his profession – but the paperwork got to be a problem. Several years ago, the April 15th deadline to file his tax return was approaching and he needed more time to complete his tax returns. So, he filed IRS Form 4868 – Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. As the name of the form indicates, the extension is automatic. The filing date is then extended to about October 15 of the same year (depending on the Washington DC holiday schedule).
Problem solved, right? Wrong. His first mistake was he failed to estimate his tax liability and send a check with Form 4868. His next mistake was he didn’t file his tax return by the October due date. Once he filed the extension, he forgot about his tax returns. The beginning of the next year, he realized his mistake, he sent a portion of the tax he thought he would owe and promised himself to complete last year’s tax return and that year’s tax return by the April 15th deadline.
Now, completing the previous tax return became a big task. Many of the records were now hard to locate. So, as the April 15th deadline approached – you guessed it – he filed IRS Form 4868 for an automatic extension. This went on for several years. He would send some money to the IRS every so often to pay his back taxes he knew he would owe had he filed his tax return, but those payments left him no extra money to pay his current IRS obligation.
This family was in the Vicious IRS Circle, or a cascading tax problem. Instead of going away, the problem was growing because of the penalties and interest were growing, and becoming a real danger to their financial future. The problem was growing because they didn’t know how the IRS worked, so they couldn’t come up with a strategy to solve it. That’s when they heard me on the radio and decided to visit my office for a free consultation.
I explained to them that the first step to solving any IRS problem is getting into compliance. In this case, compliance meant filing past tax returns and paying current quarterly estimated taxes as they came due. Those with IRS problems need to focus on the future, rather than worrying about the past. If a taxpayer allows their current IRS obligations to be put aside in favor of paying the older taxes, the vicious circle begins and it becomes nearly impossible for taxpayers to solve the problem by themselves.
If you feel trapped by your IRS problem and want to stop the Vicious IRS Circle, you should contact me right away. My name is Attorney Steven A. Leahy and I help people solve their IRS problems Call me at 312-664-6649. Call now!