There's something to be said for occasionally reviewing your bills and accounts for discrepancies or issues which you have failed to address. A problem isn't always apparent until you take the time to look over your records in a comprehensive way. One area to be especially thorough in examining is your taxes.
Although there may be no reason to worry about lingering tax concerns, you can't be too careful. It's not uncommon for an IRS issue to sneak up on you when you least expect it. In the interest of circumspection, consider some typical tax scenarios that will trip you up if you don't catch them sooner rather than later.
What does your address have to do with the IRS? Well, if the IRS uncovers a problem, a lot. Currently, all IRS correspondence is handled through the mail. In the event that they need you to clarify a detail on your tax return, or inform you of an outstanding balance, they'll have no way of notifying you without a current address. And while this might sound advantageous as a way to circumvent unwanted notices, any problem will be compounded if you don't respond. Ultimately, they will track you down and may be far less agreeable after months or years of disregard. Make sure your address is updated with both the post office and the IRS to ensure no communication is missed.
Sometimes you have an IRS concern, such as a delinquent balance, but simply aren't aware of it. Whether it's from lost correspondence or time you've spent traveling for work, breakdowns in communication happen all the time. If you do have a sizable tax balance that you haven't addressed, the IRS can ultimately place a lien against you. This essentially informs other creditors that the government is first on line to collect; it can also seriously impair your credit. Tax liens are a matter of public record and, just to be sure you don't have one, you can check your credit report. If the issue remains unresolved, you'll find that getting approved for even a new credit card will be improbable.
In cases of severe IRS non-compliance, particularly when large sums of money are involved, a Revenue Officer may eventually be assigned to your case. An unfortunate facet of this scenario is that the agent may want to talk to your friends, business associates and even your family to clear up an issue you haven't addressed. In this situation, you typically already know that something you're doing – or haven't done – is going to lead to trouble. Rather than waiting for an embarrassing call from someone you know, resolve the issue proactively.
You may be able to contain an IRS concern on your own with a minimum level of stress. Alternatively, you may feel more comfortable consulting with a professional before taking action. Even if your tax matter isn't on the severe end of the spectrum, you may benefit from talking with someone who handles IRS resolutions on daily basis. A licensed tax professional does just that and can help you remedy any problem that's previously gone by the wayside.