If you are trying to figure out whether you owe the IRS taxes, it’s probably because you might have not filed your taxes or you got something from the IRS. In either case, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Statistically, over 14 million taxpayers owe the IRS back taxes. Taxes are complicated and confusing, so it’s no wonder that you are wondering. So how do you find out if you owe the IRS taxes?
How do I find out if I owe the IRS taxes?
The first signs that you may owe the IRS taxes are one of the following:
- You received a letter from the IRS stating so
- You didn’t receive your property tax refund
- You received a lien on your property
- Your wages were garnished
If any of those four things happened to you, then it’s a good sign that you owe the IRS back taxes. So how do you find out exactly how much you owe?
1. Check online
The first and easiest way to find out if you owe the IRS taxes is using they’re online tool. This handy tool can help you view how much you owe, the balances you have, any payment history, etc.
This is by far the fastest and easiest way to figure out how much you owe the IRS. You can also make any payments online that you need to make using this portal. Your balance will be updated no more than every 24 hours, so make sure to check regularly if you are unsure.
2. Call the IRS
If using the online portal is not an option, you can always directly call the IRS. By doing it this way, you will speak directly to an IRS representative that can walk you through the process.
If you prefer speaking to an individual, then this might be a great option. Make sure to have your identification information ready such as your tax history or your Social Security number before you call. They operate Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
IRS Phone Number: 800-839-1040
3. Go in person
A third option is to physically go to your nearest IRS office. If you prefer a face-to-face conversation with an IRS representative, then this might be your best option to take.
The IRS has a handy Taxpayer Assistance Center office locator portal. You can use this portal to enter your zip code and figure out where your nearest IRS offices are located.
4. By Mail
If you are a fan of mail and paper, then sending mail to the I r s is an option as well. You most likely have been getting letters from the IRS if you owe them any back taxes. If that’s the case, then this mail would have a return address for further inquiries.
A lot of people receive fake IRS mail! Before responding to any mail or providing any of your personal information, you need to make sure that you call the IRS first. You don’t want to be sending your personal information to a scammer that may perform identity theft! Remember to be cautious!
What do you do after you find out you owe the IRS?
Now that you have figured out whether or not you owe the IRS, it’s important that you get you a tax debt under control and current. You don’t want your wages to be continuously garnished for your assets to be seized.
- Make sure you clearly read and understand notices sent by the IRS. As you receive these, make sure you act accordingly and promptly to whatever their requests are. If you’re not sure how to handle them, make sure to reach out to a tax specialist to help you.
- Make the requested payments to the IRS as quickly as possible. The IRS will not wait around until you are ready to get your balance in order. If you do not respond promptly enough, then the IRS may take action by garnishing your wages or seizing your assets.
- Make sure you keep copies of everything. If you receive any letters, notices or agreements, you need to make sure you have a paper trail to reflect this. Records are super important not only now but in the future. You need to have records of all interactions, especially when it comes to your taxes.
How long do you have to pay back taxes?
On average, the IRS gives you up to 72 months to pay off your back taxes in installments. This doesn’t mean that you have 72 months to do nothing. You will have to reach out to the IRS from one of the methods listed above and set up some kind of payment plan.
If the IRS reaches out to you and you do not respond or make any effort in clearing out your balances come on the IRS will have to take action on its own. This is something you don’t want to happen.
So make sure you provide any information they request promptly. Also make sure that, if you are able to, pay any of the outstanding tax balances. It will make life so much easier.
There is a saying that goes:
There are two things guaranteed in life. Death and taxes. You can’t escape either.Tweet
If and when you find out that you owe the IRS back taxes, your best bet is to pay them off. If you don’t receive anything but you are unsure, make sure to use one of the tools listed above to check and see if you do.
Owing taxes is a big deal but it doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are really unsure and don’t want to walk this path alone, make sure to reach out to a tax specialist in your area. A simple Google will suffice 🙂