The IRS says I owe money from 2022. What do I do?
It is 2022 right now, so if one owed money to the IRS from 2022 it is within the statute of limitations, which runs something like 3 years from the date you file a return, or when the return is due, whichever is later.If you do owe the money, and you can afford to pay it, do so.If you do not owe the money, examine the records and see whether you, or the IRS, or both, are mistaken or operating on incomplete information. The IRS sometimes fills in missing pieces or resolves errors in the manner most favorable to them. For example, if you buy some shares of stock for $5,000 and sell it for $10,000 after five years, you might owe, say, $1,000 tax on the $5,000 gain. Even if you report it, if the stockbroker reports that you sold the stock for $10,012, the IRS might contact you to tell you that not only do you owe the $1,000, but you owe income tax on the additional $10,012, so you owe another $4,000, plus penalties and interest. These kinds of mix-ups are quite common, and you can usually fix them yourself by filing an amended return, or speaking or writing to the IRS department or agent who is handling it. Your notice of taxes due will come with some phone numbers, deadlines, and procedures. Be sure to follow them, and try not to be late (though there are policies and procedures for being late too).If you are not sure whether you owe the money, I would try to figure it out, and depending on the amount and complexity of the issue, consider hiring a CPA, registered agent, or lawyer to work it through with you, and possibly negotiate, argue with, or settle with the IRS.If you owe the money, or you fail to convince the IRS that you don’t owe it, but you can’t afford to pay right now, you can usually work out a very reasonable payment plan with the IRS. If it’s a lot of money and you cannot afford to pay, then you may be able to submit an offer in compromise, or otherwise reduce penalties or even the principal. Bankruptcy is a last resort, but it can discharge some types of tax debts.Whatever you do, don’t ignore the IRS. They are remarkably patient, but they will get their money sooner or later. That’s why they are so patient, they always win. But if you ignore them you might miss some deadlines, increase the penalties, and they will be convinced you are uncooperative. The best approach you can take with IRS agents, usually, is to be extremely cooperative, proactive, respond if they call you, be respectful.I would also avoid any service that promises to reduce your tax debt or work out an IRS deal for you• the types you see on television or print ads. Most of these services are shady high pressure sales businesses and don’t do anything you can’t do for yourself. If you’re in over your head, don’t hire a TV lawyer, hire a real lawyer, or accountant, or registered agent.This is all just my observation and opinion about how to interact with the IRS, not legal advice and not intended to be specific to any one person’s situation.