How to get rid of back taxes, according to experts

There are simple and effective ways to get rid of back taxes, according to the experts we spoke to.

Fotostorm Studio/Getty Images

It’s tax season once again, and the deadline to file your federal tax returns is quickly approaching. 

That also means paying your tax bill — and potentially taxes you owe from past years, too. Also called back taxes, these are something that a whopping 9.3 million Americans dealt with in 2022 alone, according to the IRS. Fortunately, if you’re in this boat, there are ways out. Below, we’ll detail the ways experts say you can tackle those tax debts and come out on top.

Start by reviewing your tax relief options online today.

How to get rid of back taxes, according to experts

Here are some of the best ways to get rid of back taxes, according to the experts we spoke to.

Seek tax relief

Tax relief companies offer a number of services that may be able to help. They’ll work directly with the IRS and can help you settle your debt, get on a payment plan, stop collections and wage garnishments, and sometimes get late fees and penalties waived, too. 

These services do come with fees, though. But, “depending on the amount of the liability, it may be worth it,” says Paul T. Joseph, a certified public accountant and founder of Joseph & Joseph Tax & Payroll in Williamston, Michigan. 

Just make sure you shop around for the company you choose to work with, and be wary of any service that requires upfront payment. You should pay only if they’re successful in resolving your tax issues.

Learn more about your tax relief options online today.

Work with the IRS directly

The IRS has a lot of options if your tax burden gets to be too much. You can request an installment plan, for one. This lets you spread the costs of your tax liability out over time. 

You can also make an offer in compromise, which is essentially a negotiation with the IRS. It lets you settle your debt for a one-time lump sum payment (for less than you currently owe, too). This is an option if paying your full tax bill would “create financial hardship,” according to the IRS.

The IRS has a full list of options if you can’t pay your tax bill, as well as the forms you’ll need to pursue them.

Call in a tax professional

Calling in a tax professional like a CPA or tax preparer is another option. Not only can they can advise on how to address your tax debts, but they can help you file this years returns as well. They can also help you navigate some of the IRS’s more complicated processes — like offers in compromise, for instance. 

“The tax world is complicated and there are programs out there which will help the taxpayer in need, but they are not always easy to navigate,” says Morris Armstrong, an IRS-enrolled agent and founder of Morris Armstrong EA. “A professional can help.”

Request “Currently Not Collectible (CNC)” status

A last option is to request that your tax debts be put labeled Currently Not Collectible (CNC) by the IRS. This doesn’t wipe the debt clean, but it does mean the IRS won’t collect on it anytime soon — at least until your financial circumstances improve. 

To do this, you’ll need to provide proof of your financial status, including information about your assets, income and expenses.

Just keep in mind that even if you are granted CNC status, your debts will continue accruing both penalties and interest. This will only increase the taxes you owe in the long run.

Make your move

Whatever method you choose, taking some action toward addressing your tax debts is critical. 

“If you don’t work with the IRS they may take legal action to collect the taxes,” says Moira Corcoran, a CPA at Corcoran Business Advisors. “They will file a federal tax lien in the public record to notify creditors — a legal claim to your property. It may also affect your ability to obtain credit, and the IRS may levy assets such as your wages, bank accounts, Social Security benefits, and property.”

In short, Joseph says, “the IRS is typically relentless on pursuing an individual to pay their tax liability.”

If you’re not sure how to proceed in handling your tax debts, get in touch with a tax professional or tax relief company soon. They can help you determine the best path forward.

Read More: How to get rid of back taxes, according to experts

2024-04-02 15:10:22

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments