If you've received a “CP90 Final Notice of Intent to Levy” from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for unpaid taxes, what should you do? First, let's go over the two things you should not do: Don't panic. And don't ignore the notice. While that's easier said than done, neither of these options will help you. Those tactics won't help you address the situation at hand. Panicking just makes it harder to think, while ignoring the notice means you're refusing to think about it. Instead, you need a new approach. You need to figure out how to solve the problem.
And as scary as the CP90 letter may seem, that's what a CP90 notice really is. The final notice is the IRS's way of saying there is a problem with your taxes that must be solved. If you don't take steps to fix it, the IRS will—by levying your property. But the IRS is still giving you time to come up with a solution.
Therefore, you certainly can immediately pay the full amount if you choose to do so. But that is just one way of solving the problem.
And you truly do have other options.
You can work out a payment plan. You try negotiating with the IRS to see if the agency will agree to your paying a lower amount. Or perhaps you think the IRS has incorrectly determined the taxes due. If that's the case, you can challenge the IRS' decision in a court hearing. You have the right to explain why the IRS is wrong and why you don't owe the amount the agency claims you do.
The key, though, is that time is of the essence. You have 30 days from the date of the notice to request a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing, which will allow you time to propose an overall collection resolution. Requesting a CDP hearing is an important step in protecting yourself from IRS collection action, but it will toll the statute of limitations on collection, so it should only be requested after a full understanding of the CDP process and after identifying a plan to resolve the tax liability through a collection alternative.
That's why, if you've just received a Final Notice or have any issues with unpaid taxes, don't wait to talk to a tax attorney.
Instead, act as soon as possible.
Give yourself more time to work out the best possible solution. If you need help, call Senior Partner, Tax Controversy Attorney, and former IRS attorney Brandon A. Keim at (602) 200-7399 or contact him online to discuss your options.
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