The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Business

April 22, 2013

The Color of Money: Be your own savior with the IRS

(Continued)

Even if you decide you still need help from a tax professional, do some homework to learn about the IRS collection process. If you have a good working knowledge of your own, you'll get better help, Smith said.

The IRS has a series of videos at IRSVideos.gov/OweTaxes that provide a lot of information on the collection process, including tips on hiring someone to represent you before the IRS. If you're low-income, you may be able to get help through the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program, which is run by the Taxpayer Advocate Service and provides free or low-cost assistance. During the first half of 2012, the program helped eliminate nearly $16.5 million in tax liabilities, penalties and interest. Go to www.irs.gov and search for "Contact a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic."

If you have tax debt, stop hoping for a savior and contact the IRS.

   Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1150 15th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is singletarym@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary). Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

   

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