When you owe the IRS, or are behind in filing your tax returns; there are three things you can do.
The first is to do nothing and let the IRS enforce collections and take care of your problem for you. This is never a good idea. Although the IRS can prepare and file a return for you, known as a substitute for return or SFR, they will prepare it in the best interest of the treasury. Meaning, they will not take into account any deductions you may be able to take advantage of, and then they will assess a tax liability against you. This will put you into the collections process; mandating that you take action or have the full collection forces of the IRS come after you.
The second thing you can do is handle it yourself. This is also not a good idea. Unless you know how the IRS works and what options are available for you, you will never know if you have gotten the best deal that is available for you. It is not the IRS’s job to get you into your best possible result, it is their job to collect from you. AND it is never a good idea to prepare your own tax return. Always have a professional do it for you so that you can be sure to take advantage of all possible deductions you may have and to avoid costly mistakes and errors that can cause you many many headaches.
The Third and best way to handle your situation is to hire a reputable tax resolution firm. They will know how the IRS works, what options are available to you and get you the best result possible. You wouldn't go to court without a lawyer would you? So why would you want to face the largest bill collector on your own. A reputable firm will have your best interest in mind. Have great communication with clients, have great customer satisfaction scores and deliver what they promise.
You always want to be proactive with the IRS and deal with them on your own terms.
Coming soon: How to know your tax resolution firm is reputable.