Introducing the Fourth C: Clock – a crucial determinant of success in tax resolution. A golden rule that guides this aspect is allocating ample time to handle your case effectively. Here’s a handy guideline: irrespective of the issue’s scale, a non-professional usually requires around ten hours for any tax matter, plus an additional hour for each $1,000 owed. So, envision a $5,000 tax debt demanding approximately 15 hours of your commitment, while a $10,000 debt may require around 20 hours. This translates to a ‘sweat equity’ of roughly $500 per hour – an investment of time and effort akin to the home improvement realm. This endeavor is front-loaded; approximately half the time is spent initially, with the remaining spread over about six months.

However, it’s imperative to recognize your limits. If you find yourself unable to dedicate this amount of time, don’t embark on a solo journey. It’s akin to attempting a complex plumbing repair without the requisite expertise, only to inconvenience yourself and your loved ones in the process. If committing half the suggested time seems viable, consider seeking expert guidance through a ‘Do It Together’ approach. And if time constraints render this impossible, opting for professional assistance remains a wise move. It’s completely natural to opt for this route, even if you possess the skills, much like hiring a plumber instead of tackling a bothersome toilet issue personally. Remember, when dealing with taxes and the IRS, both financial and emotional considerations warrant a balanced decision-making approach.

Kelly Coughlin, CPA,

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