There are a lot of things that can hold you back from taking the first step to resolve a tax problem, and the impending holiday season can be a convenient excuse for putting it off even longer. Here are six excellent reasons not to wait.
1. Facing your tax problem after January 1 will not be any easier than it is right now.
Taking steps to resolve a tax problem will not become any less difficult or fearsome if you wait. After Thanksgiving, there are countless distractions and excuses to delay addressing a tax problem. You might try convincing yourself it will be easier to face your tax problem after the holidays are over, but it won’t be any easier to take that step in January. You won’t feel any more motivation than you do right now.
2. In fact, it will likely be much harder.
If you wait, you’ll have to motivate yourself to deal with the problem in the post-holiday doldrums while the holiday credit card bills are coming in. Penalties and interest on unpaid taxes snowball for another eight weeks at that astronomical rate – which if stopped, could have covered your holiday expenses.
3. You’ll know your true financial picture in time for holiday spending.
Paying for gifts and travel over the holidays is difficult and stressful enough without a looming tax problem. Start now, and you can learn your options, potential outcomes, and have a financial plan in place with plenty of time left for your Black Friday holiday shopping. The last thing you want to do during this time of year is worry about your taxes. Knowing your options will help relieve your stress as you’re being proactive about the problem.
4. The IRS does not completely halt collection activity during the entire holiday season.
Having a tax problem is hard enough. While the IRS typically halts collections from mid-December until New Years, there are still plenty of days from Thanksgiving forward where you could be surprised by a lien, levy, or seizure during the holidays. Dealing with an IRS emergency is – I promise you – not how you want to spend your holiday season. Nor is it the holiday memory you want to provide for your family.
5.You can enjoy the holidays – and so can your loved ones.
You might tell yourself that addressing a tax problem before the holidays will be too stressful. But layer the high expectations of holiday travel, expenses, and family pressures on top of an unresolved tax problem and you have stratospheric stress. Your health will suffer, and relationships with those whom we love most suffer, no matter how hard we try to ignore the problem.
A skilled and competent professional can help lift the burden almost immediately by reviewing your options, answering your questions, giving you a picture of your financial future, and putting a solid plan in place so you know exactly what’s happening. A professional can even take on all communications with the IRS on your behalf, saving you another level of stress.
6. If you start now, you can ring in the new year with a fresh start.
Think of it this way: You can ring in the new year with a solid plan for resolving the tax issue and securing your financial future or with the dread and uncertainty of an unresolved problem. Which sounds like a better way to spend time with your friends and family during this special time of year? Free yourself from this tax burden once and for all by taking the first step sooner rather than later.