March 8th, 2006 21:19 EST
Are you among millions of Americans that have been waiting until the last minute to file taxes? Are you unsure of what to do, or do not know what forms to fill out? Do not worry, help is available. Federal government`s licensed tax professionals -Enrolled Agents- are available to represent taxpayers. The EA`s can assist with the preparation of tax returns and tax planning. If you have not filed your taxes in while, an EA can also recommend effective ways to bring your taxes current with little or no stress.
For instance, if you owe money to the IRS, the Enrolled Agent may work out a plan that allows you to pay your debt in installments, in case you owe less than $ 25,000 and can pay off the debt within 5 years. Now, if you owe a lot of money to the IRS and do not believe you will ever be able to pay off the tax liability, your EA can possibly work out an Offer -in-Compromise (OIC). With an OIC, the IRS would accept less than what you actually owe. Although an OIC might be a viable option to address your entire tax liability you should be careful when working out this type of agreement and understand that OIC does not work as a pardon program. Here are a few helpful tips for this tax season:
* If you believe IRS owes you a refund, three years is the limitation on IRS refunds. So do not wait to long to claim a past refund. * If you do not fill out your return by April 17th, the IRS may prepare a substitute return based on the copies of the information they have about your earnings. You will get a letter in the mail before this occurs, and you need to respond preferably before the tax is determined.
* If you have a good reason to justify not filing a tax return, contact the IRS to find out about the options available. Professional assistance is highly recommended when communicating with the IRS, and in this case, you may even qualify for a reduction of penalties.
Do not wait too long to get the help you need to solve your tax problems. Contacting the IRS before they contact you is a wise choice. By contacting an EA in your area you might be able to not only file this year`s tax return with ease but also settle any past issues and get the most out of your tax planning with licensed professionals. The Enrolled Agent referral number is 800-424-4339.
Source: California Society of Enrolled Agents
Note: The author of this article is no longer affiliated with theSOP