Each year, thousands of Delawareans get letters from the Internal Revenue Service. Sometimes the letters bring good news that the taxpayer is getting a refund in the mail. Other times, the notice from the IRS brings bad news; the taxpayer owes the federal government money. Or, it may just be the IRS needs more information concerning a tax return that was filed.
More often than not, the taxpayer does the right thing and contacts the IRS and addresses the issue at hand. Frequently, however, the taxpayer never opens the letter. Or, just as bad, the taxpayer opens the letter, sees the amount owed and never does anything about it. Not opening the letter or not responding are not solutions to a taxpayer’s predicament.
Procrastination only makes the situation worse. The longer a person avoids addressing the balance due, interest and penalties continue to accrue.
The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council Inc., a nonprofit fair-lending advocate for more than 25 years, can help. Its free Tax Clinic Workshop will take place from 5 to 6:45 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Georgetown Professional Park, across from North Georgetown Elementary School in Georgetown. Its bilingual staff will be happy to answer any questions.
For those who have a controversy with the IRS over a tax liability, DCRAC’s Tax Clinic is available to assist at no cost. Many times, clients are asked to sign an IRS power of attorney that allows DCRAC to deal directly with the IRS concerning the client’s issue.
DCRAC has no typical clients. It serves senior citizens, veterans, single parents and people who wish to file a tax return but do not have a Social Security number. Controversies with IRS many times involve a lien being placed against a home, making it difficult to sell; a bank account or savings account being levied by the IRS and depleted of funds; an innocent spouse discovering a tax liability for which she believes she should have no payment responsibility; or a client having a case in U.S. Tax Court.
Relief DCRAC obtains for clients before the IRS always involves a fair resolution of their tax liability with due regard for the individual’s financial circumstances. Some resolutions consist of an installment agreement with monthly payments paying down the liability over time (typically five years) or an compromise where the client offers a lump sum payment in settlement of the liability.
The Delaware CRA Council is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to ensure equitable treatment and equal access to credit and capital for the underserved populations and communities throughout Delaware through advocacy, education, legislation, and outreach. DCRAC has offices in Wilmington and Georgetown. For more information go to www.dcrac.org.