Your Question Answered: How to Find Out How Much I Owe the IRS
“How much do I owe the IRS?”
If you’re asking this question, time is probably already of the essence. There’s no hiding a tax debt from the IRS, even if you haven’t filed taxes for the year you owe payment for yet! That’s why finding out how much you owe is the first step to getting help with IRS debt.
For most people, reaching out to the IRS directly to ask about an unpaid tax bill doesn’t exactly seem like a “friendly” option. Fortunately, you have several ways to confirm the amount you owe to the IRS. There’s no changing the fact that it’s important to know exactly where you stand with past due payments if you’re ready to get IRS tax help.
Below, we’ve put together five ways to find out how much you owe the IRS.
1. Go Online
In 2016, the IRS introduced a tool to make it easier to find out how much you owe. The Account Information portal lets you see what you owe for each tax year. The second benefit is that it’s free to access your information. You’ll also be able to glance at your payment history if you’re trying to catch up with tax bills.
You will need to register to use it, which means providing extensive verification information. The registration process can take up a significant chunk of your time. In addition, you may run into technical road bumps if you’re missing any information, don’t know the answer to something, or make a mistake.
What exactly do you need to register online with the IRS’s tax payment portal? Buckle up for a lengthy process! The IRS will ask you for details like your Social Security number, mailing address from your last tax return, filing status, mortgage information, student loan information, telephone number, date of birth, auto loan information, and more. The IRS also pulls a credit report on you as part of verification.
Keep in mind that the IRS’s online payment portal is only available from 6 a.m. Monday to 9 p.m. Saturday, as well as Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight EST. If you use accessibility software such as a screen reader, magnifier or voice command software, please consult the IRS’s accessibility guide, as the portal has compatibility issues with some accessibility tools.
2. Give the IRS a Call
Placing a call to the IRS is an intimidating prospect for many, because they’re concerned about saying the wrong thing. But you won’t have to complete a long registration process just to make contact the way you do when accessing the online portal. You can inquire about your IRS balance by calling 1-800-829-1040 (toll-free) and speaking with a representative who can pull up your file. Its hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m., so put some time aside to make the call, as it’s not uncommon to be on hold for up to 30 minutes.
3. Visit an IRS Office
Many don’t realize that you can actually walk into an IRS office to ask about your balance. The question of if you’d want to do this without some type of representation is a different story. If this seems like a good fit, simply use the IRS’s portal to locate the Taxpayer Assistance Center Office closest to you.
4. Request a Transcript by Mail
If you’re curious to know what your tax situation looks like from the side of the IRS, requesting a transcript may be your best bet. You can view your transcript online or request a physical copy be mailed to you. To view your transcript online, you’ll need an IRS account. You can request a transcript be sent to you by mail whether or not you have an IRS account, butyou’ll need to provide your Social Security Number, your date of birth, and the mailing address used on your latest tax return. You can expect the transcript to arrive within five to 10 days if the request is received and processed.
5. Seek the Help of a Tax Professional
If any of these options for finding out how much you owe the IRS seem overwhelming, you have another course of action. Many people seek the help of a tax expert or lawyer right away because they don’t want to take any chances.
A tax professional will get you answers regarding how much you do or don’t owe the IRS right away. You’ll also receive guidance for how to address your tax debt, whatever it may be, in real-time. In some cases, that might mean appealing the IRS’s assessment of what you owe. You may even be in a position to look at IRS debt forgiveness programs if you qualify for installment payments, reduced debt, or frozen debt.
Final Thoughts: How Do I Find Out How Much I Owe the IRS?
If you owe the IRS money, it’s time to act! Every day that you let the problem linger could cause you to miss out on relief options. What’s more, things like interest, penalties, liens, and levies could be stacking up without your knowledge if you’re somehow missing letters, calls, and other communications from the IRS. You should also be careful about assuming that the IRS hasn’t discovered that you owe tax funds simply because you haven’t filed your taxes. The IRS uses sophisticated software to detect when taxpayers have unfiled tax returns floating around. The bottom line is that there are many benefits to figuring out what you owe, getting caught up with returns, and making a plan to get your IRS debt settled.
If you’re ready to find out if you owe taxes, the team at Tax Group Center is ready to help. Let us give you that final number on what you owe – and if you need more help, you’ll have an array of tax professionals and lawyers backed by 30 years of experience standing by to work out your debt with the IRS. Reach out to Tax Group Center today to get started!