Having Trouble Paying Your Taxes?
To many people, taxes are a terrifying prospect because the consequences can be so severe. Fail to pay taxes on your house, and the government will seize the property. Fail to pay your income tax, and the IRS can freeze your bank account, come after your assets, or even throw you in prison. Everyone has those nightmares. But it's not usually as bad as it sounds. If you're not terribly behind, even the IRS can be pretty forgiving.
If you know you can't pay your taxes, call the tax agency. There are millions of Americans in the same boat, and the government can be very amenable. Before you make the call, figure out what you can afford to pay and be prepared to make an offer. You'll find them to be reasonable and polite in most cases. Tax arrears of just a few thousand, or even a few hundred, can seem insurmountable to average working people, but a few thousands is small potatoes to the government and the likelihood is that they will be willing to work with you.
Another option is reassessment. If you did your own taxes, it might be worth it to have an accountant look them over. You may be able to refile for the last two years and get your tax burden reduced or even get a refund. The cost of hiring a professional often pays for itself and more. You can also have your property reassessed. Considering the current market value of real estate, it's possible to petition get your property taxes lowered. It may not work, but it's certainly worth a shot. The saddest stories are always people who lose paid-for homes over a few thousand in taxes. If you can't pay your taxes, check out the resources below. We'll check with the government agencies and post their policies, along with suggestions and other information. We'd like to invite you to share your experiences with tax agencies as well. Tell us how you worked out your tax issues.