When people are faced with a challenge from the Internal Revenue Service or the tax agency in their state often react with fear. If they owe a large amount of money because they were unable to pay their income taxes on a timely basis, they worry and become much stressed.

But there are some simple steps that can help people lower tax debt or even get rid of tax debt altogether. One of the first steps to take is to face the fact that this happens to a lot of people. When you have tax debt you are definitely not alone.

Get Started
When you owe an amount that just seems to be too large to handle, whether it is tax debt or credit-card debt, you might be able to get a reduction in the amount owed. For past tax debts, you may have to pay a one-time amount or set up a specific plan to pay off a lower amount in a shorter time.

Many people choose a payment plan under which they pay the full amount owed but make monthly payments over the course of several years. You may find relief from working with a company that offers management programs. These businesses can often come to an agreement with the tax agency that will allow you to pay a reduced amount. In some cases you pay the debt-management company and they work with the tax agency or the credit-card company.

Postponing, Reducing Debt
In rare cases, the Internal Revenue Service or state tax agency might agree to stop attempts to collect the debt. This is a temporary solution that can put collection efforts on hold for a year, for example. While bankruptcy might seem to be a great option, this should probably be a last resort. This option can create serious problems when you need credit in the future. *There are a couple of bankruptcy options available.

You might be able to reduce the amount you owe by charging current expenses against taxes owed. This is ideal for those who have large business-related expenses. Deductions are a great way for you to reduce tax debt that might come back to haunt you in the future. If the amount you owe on a current return is just too high to manage, you may want to arrange a monthly payment plan immediately.

If you have experienced this last situation in the last couple of years, you should change the amount that is withheld from your pay. This may prevent future problems. It’s very important not to panic if you find that you are faced with a large tax bill. Many people take a different view of owing money to a government agency than they do when they owe money to a local business. But most of the time you can talk with someone in the IRS or other agency who will work with you according to their guidelines. Make every effort to arrange payment plans or debt reduction before agreeing to pay the full amount immediately.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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