From a survey of clients in the post COVID environment were in, here are the FIVE top ways the IRS will get your attention:
- Passport Renewal Problems - Renewing your passport? Frequent world traveler? If you owe the IRS or the IRS has filed for you and you owe due to that, the IRS can freeze your passport. Motivating, right? Will the IRS revoke it? Sometimes. If you owe the IRS more than $50,000, what is certain, you won't be able to renew the passport without being in an installment agreement or Offer in Compromise on what you owe - this will require you in most cases to be current on all of your filings (last six years).
- IRS Agent Threatening Levy - Since 2016 when the IRS shifted its resources out of "automated collections," the biggest threat to levy or seizure is having an IRS Revenue Officer (RO) assigned to your case. RO's announce themselves with correspondence, phone calls, and deadlines. If you do not comply, they will levy bank accounts and wages. Very motivating. Usually.
- Buying House - Lender Demands Returns/Payment Plan - Most lenders want to see the last three years filed (doing six will be better).. Taxes not paid? You'll need to show you are in payment agreement.
- Fear/Guilt - "When will IRS Come after me?" - Our most frequent search for website is a variant of "will the IRS put me in jail?" The answer to this is usually NO, if you comply eventually. But the brain is a powerful thing, keeping us up at night...fear of IRS renting space in our head
- Tying the Knot - Fiancee demands it. - Most partners want to make sure their future spouse has their financial s**t together. Filing six years and dealing with the tax debt would be a smart smart move before going to the altar.