Avoid the April 15 Blues - Take a Step-by-Step Approach to Your Taxes This Year

It is no wonder so many Americans dread the April 15 tax filing deadline. The U.S. tax code already contains more words than the Bible, and hundreds of pages of new rules and regulations are often added.


With so much complexity, it is no wonder so many of us put off filing our taxes until the last possible minute, but taking that approach introduces its own stresses and can potentially land you in hot water with the IRS. What if you do not get it done on time? You can file for an extension, but you are still required to pay the taxes you owe plus penalties and interest. How do you know you didn't make a mistake with your last minute tax filing? Something as simple as a mathematical error could increase the odds of an audit and put you in the crosshairs of the IRS.


We specialize in helping people who owe $10,000 or more to the IRS or have years of unfiled tax returns, so we’ve seen our fair share of mistakes made by innocent taxpayers. If you have any tax trouble or owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today. We help people find tax relief.


That said, we recommend taking a methodical and step-by-step approach to preparing and filing your taxes and avoid burying your head in the sand on April 15th. As with any unpleasant and complicated task, breaking your taxes down into smaller and more manageable chunks can make things easier. This year, vow to take a step-by-step approach to your tax return. If you follow these simple steps, you could be done with your taxes before you know it.


Step 1 - Set Up a Command Center

Chances are you will start receiving tax documents in early January, and you may still be receiving those documents in March. That means you need a convenient place to keep all those documents. Setting up a command center in your home makes it easier to store those documents and keep them at hand.


If you have a home scanner, take a few minutes to image each document as it arrives. Set up a special folder on your computer or cloud storage service to hold all those documents. Those electronic copies can be invaluable if the originals are damaged or destroyed.


Step 2 - Choose A Good Tax Preparation Service (But Use A Tax Resolution Service For More Complicated IRS Issues)

While they cannot make the task totally painless, tax preparation professionals do make the process a great deal easier.


Keep in mind, if you owe multiple years of taxes and have multiple years of unfiled returns, we recommend reaching out to a tax resolution firm that will understand your unique situation and find the tax relief you need. Most tax preparers aren’t trained in complex tax resolution, so find the right firm to help you with your case.


Step 3 - Enter Your Tax Documents As You Get Them

One of the great things about technology is that you organize and file each tax document as you get it, often you can download all your tax documents from various online services. For example, your direct deposit payroll service will give you your W2 and different vendors provide statements and 1099’s online.  If the mailman brings you a 1099-INT or a W-2, you can simply scan things as they come in.


Just open each document, scan it to create an electronic backup and log on to your favorite secure cloud storage to file your documents. Whether you get five tax documents a day or just one, entering the information now can save you time later on.


Step 4 - Review Your Documents and Final Tax Return

After you think you have all your documents organized and your tax return is ready to file, the next step is to review everything and make sure there aren’t any obvious issues. Go through the paper and electronic copies and check each one off on your tax return. If any of those documents are missing or anything is wrong, go back and enter them right away.


Step 5 - Bring It All Together

Now that the final review is complete and all the documents have been entered, it is time to bring it all together and actually file your return. Your tax prep professional should include a series of checks designed to catch common errors and point out audit flags. Be sure to ask questions and correct any problems you might find. Be sure to print off a copy of your tax return and save an electronic version to your computer.


Nothing can make filing taxes fun, and this annual chore will never be a pleasant one. Even so, you can make the task less taxing by breaking tax filing down into its component parts. Following the steps outlined above can help you deal more effectively with your tax bill and all the complexities of the tax code.



Our firm specializes in tax resolution and helping people who owe the IRS or state $10,000 or more. We’ve seen taxpayers get blindsided every year by a huge tax bill and often falling behind on their taxes for years on end. If that’s you, we can help. Contact our firm today to discuss your tax debt settlement options


Tax Relief Options for Small Business Owners

If you are running a small business, you have one unwanted partner that will dig into your pocket every year, it’s the IRS. The IRS wants to know what you are doing, how much you are earning and most importantly how much you are paying in taxes, and the tax agency is becoming increasingly aggressive in this regard. While the audit rate for individual returns has been hovering at far less than 1%, the audit rate for small businesses can be as much as 10 times higher.


It does not matter if you operate as a sole proprietor and use Schedule C to claim your income or if you are set up as a C-corp, S-corp or LLC - the IRS is watching what you do, and if they think you are not paying your fair share they will certainly come calling. When that demand letter from the IRS arrives, knowing what to do next can make all the difference, and the more you educate yourself the easier it will be to deal with, and eliminate, the tax debt.

Note: As a tax resolution firm, we always recommend that you reach out to a professional who knows how to aggressively negotiate and defend you against the IRS on your behalf. If you owe back taxes or are under audit, our firm can help negotiate with the IRS and potentially settle your tax debt. Call us today. Our tax resolution specialists can navigate the IRS maze so that you have nothing to worry about. 


Small business owners are increasingly the target of enforcement efforts by the IRS, but the IRS does have some programs in place to make paying what those business owners owe easier. In some cases those small business tax relief and tax resolution programs let you settle for less than what you owe but qualifying is not as straightforward as you might think.


For businesses that may be eligible, the assistance of a tax resolution specialist is absolutely critical. These experts can help guide you through the process and make sure you qualify, so you can rest a little easier and get back to building your business.


Payment Plans/Installment Agreements

If the amount your small business owes to the IRS is relatively small and you do not want to deal with additional hassles, it may make sense to pay the entire bill in full. If paying in full would be a hardship, the IRS does offer payment plans, and setting one up can make paying back what you owe easier and more financially palatable.


Keep in mind that interest will continue to accrue while the debt remains outstanding, and that is something to think about.


Offer In Compromise

If you’re under a lot of financial hardship, it may make more sense to try for

an offer in compromise (OIC), a special IRS program that could allow you to pay back less than you owe.


The offer in compromise program is a popular one with individual taxpayers and small business owners. If paying the entire amount would create a financial hardship for you, your family or your business, a tax resolution specialist can help you make the case to the IRS that you deserve a break.


What’s the best option?

Each of these options has its pros and cons, and it is important to understand how these programs work and who qualifies to use them. If your small business is in trouble with the IRS, taking the right action right away could reduce the amount you owe, give you some breathing room and allow you to focus on your clients - not on your taxes.


Running a small business has its challenges, but those difficulties are nothing compared to the stress and anxiety small business owners feel when dealing with the IRS. With so many small business owners now in IRS crosshairs, it has never been more important for freelancers, gig workers and the self-employed to have an advocate in their corner.


If you find yourself on the wrong end of an audit, a tax bill or an enforcement action from the IRS, the steps you take next are absolutely critical. Trying to take on the IRS on your own is a dangerous, and potentially expensive, thing to do, and you should always contact a tax resolution firm.


By working with an expert, you can gain access to vital information about small business settlement programs the IRS offers. You can gain access to the expertise you will need to settle your tax bill for less than you owe and get back in the good graces of the IRS. Time is of the essence when the IRS comes calling, and with the interest and penalty clock ticking you do not have one second to waste. So call us, your tax resolution expert, for a case evaluation