Few people in America would describe the IRS as a popular agency of the government, in fact this agency has some of the lowest ratings of any organization. Why is this though? The IRS has caused many lives to be ruined, and they have devastated households and families across the country.
If a taxpayer owes a tax bill there are a variety of aggressive collection methods and tactics that the IRS can use in order to collect the amount that this agency claims the taxpayer owes. The IRS has a reputation as the most aggressive collection agency. When the IRS decides to target a taxpayer for a tax dispute they will use all of their powers and the full force of this government agency in order to meet this goal, and make your life miserable in the process.
If you are involved in a tax dispute with the IRS you will find that the agency may:
1) Send you letters with threats, or make demanding phone calls. This can be nerve racking for typical taxpayers, and the threatening letters and obnoxious phone calls will not stop until the tax dispute is resolved. This is usually the first step in the IRS collection process, and ignoring these contacts will only escalate matters and cause the IRS to step up the aggression with their collection efforts.
2) Visit you, either at home or at work, to discuss your tax dispute. No one wants an IRS agent to suddenly appear and pay a personal visit to discuss a tax controversy. This agent will explain the tax dispute and the position of the IRS, and they are not usually very friendly or helpful during the process. Often this discussion includes threats of severe financial penalties if you do not comply with the IRS demands.
3) If the first two steps do not resolve your tax dispute and force you to pay what the IRS says that you owe then the agency will start assessing considerable penalties and substantial interest on top of the amount that the IRS claims the taxpayer owes. The longer the situation stays unresolved the higher these financial penalties will be. In many cases the interest and penalties can be just as big as the unpaid taxes that the agency claims you owe.
4) Usually wage garnishment is the next step that the IRS will take in order to collect any unpaid taxes that they believe you owe the government. Unlike most creditors the IRS does not have to take the taxpayer to court or get permission from a judge before garnishing your paycheck, and they do not care about your financial situation or that your pay is what you need to live on and take care of your family.
5) Another way that the IRS can make your life miserable when you are involved in a tax dispute with this agency is to seize your property. The agency can actually seize property that you legally own, and then sell off this property in order to satisfy any tax debt that you owe. This property can include vehicles, boats, and even your home or business at times. Many Americans are surprised to learn that the IRS has the power to seize personal property because this seems to go against everything that the country stands for, but the reality is that the IRS can and will do this is you do not resolve a tax debt.
6) If all other collection methods fail the IRS can file criminal charges against a taxpayer, and this can lead to further fines and possibly even jail or prison in some cases.
These collection methods and actions explain the unpopularity of the IRS, The good news is that an experienced tax attorney can help you resolve a tax dispute before things reach these stages. Sometimes it is even possible to settle a tax dispute with the IRS for less than the full amount owed, but only if you address the issue immediately and do not delay or ignore the problem.