Here at Tax Resolution Help Center, we’re big advocates of the DIY approach. Our hope is that we can empower everyday people through need-to-know tax information. If the average person can understand the rules of the game, then that person can play the game and win. These posts are designed to provide you with quick tips you’ll need to navigate your taxes. Here, we’ll explore the first three steps you’ll need to follow to properly set the tone for your tax resolution.

  1. LET GO OF THE EMOTIONS. You may be feeling anger, shame, embarrassment, or – worst of all – fear when it comes to communicating about your tax debt. Take all the negative emotions and put them in a corner. Leave them there. You’re addressing the problems, not wallowing in what’s happened. Put your best effort forward in permanently ridding yourself of them. Remind yourself of this before you send any letter, make a phone call, or conduct any kind of correspondence for your case. Forgive past mistakes, quiet the doubt, and get down to business.
  2. BE NICE. You catch more flies with honey. Yeah, we know, it’s not what you’d like to hear, but when you’re dealing with IRS and state revenue officers, being nice is a tip that will save you. How do you remember to be nice? Think about the person you’re dealing with—you’re speaking with people who have families and jobs. Try to approach them the way you would like to be considered. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to be naïve and think they don’t have their client’s best interest at heart (i.e. the government’s best interest), but it does require you to empathize with the person on the other end. You’re bringing in a conflict (your best interest). This is bound to create tension between the parties. Your aim is to get this employee to do things in YOUR best interest. And there’s almost no worse way to begin that kind of an exchange than to start off on the wrong foot.
  3. BE CLEAR AND CONCISE. When you’re addressing a person dealing with your tax debt, you must remember how busy this person is. The IRS and other state revenue officers are very busy people. They are not concerned with your irrelevant backstories. Yes, your husband may have lost the paperwork, your wife didn’t report the income, or the auditor was a jerk. These people do not care. Write out what you need to communicate beforehand. Cover the key points only: names, social security numbers, address, the type of tax you’re calling about, and the like. Keep it as short, sweet, and straight to the point as possible. Stick to the script, make the script the relevant information, and you will be appreciated.

So, remember, before you’re ready to confront those tax problems, the first step you need to take is BANISH THOSE BAD FEELINGS—no more guilt. No more shame. Put the embarrassment behind you. Next, BE NICE. Stress isn’t exclusive to you. Extend some kindness, so they can extend some patience with your problems. And never forget to BE CLEAR AND CONCISE. Get to the important points quickly. Sometimes the most difficult part about problem-solving is figuring out where to begin. When your problem is tax debt, it can feel insurmountable at first, but taking it on one step at a time will lead to peace. Resolution begins with a mindset. Set the proper tone, and you set yourself up for success.

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