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IRS Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Is Real

Owing the IRS and dealing with their collection tactics can be very stressful. It can be the source of anxiety, illness and depression.

Even after the controversy is resolved, the trauma remains. I have seen clients continue to exhibit certain behaviors indicative of continued fear of the IRS enforced collection action. Many taxpayers who have experienced bank levies, who no longer owe the IRS and are not in jeopardy of a levy, continue to be uncomfortable putting money in their bank accounts. This is sad because they are unable to enjoy the convenience of modern day banking.

I have seen Taxpayers have full blown anxiety attacks if they receive a letter from the IRS in the mail. They have not opened it. It could be a $1,000,000 check, it could be an address change confirmation. All they know is that it is from the IRS and that alone causes acute anxiety.

One of the strategies that helps these tax payers recover from. Their IRS post traumatic stress is education.  We fear what we do not know. Especially when all we do know is that “they violated me and took my hard earned money with no remorse.” Really understanding the collection process, how to avoid being a part of that process again, and steps to take if for some reason you do become part of that process. Rehabilitation and unlearning financial bad habits goes far in avoiding future encounters with IRS enforced collection.

5 ways to avoid IRS PTSD:

  1. Hire a CPA to help you with tax and financial planning so that you avoid owing the IRS again.
  2. Talk to a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist who can explain the Collection process.
  3. Take responsibility for playing a part in the collection action being taken in the first place.
  4. File and pay your taxes on time.
  5. Call the IRS or order transcripts periodically to confirm that you don’t owe them anything and that you can in fact relax and go back to your pre-IRS life.
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