When it comes to addressing tax debt, effective communication can make all the difference. In this post, we’ll focus on the first three tips that pertain to style, approach, and communication – collectively referred to as “Setting the Tone.”

  1. NO EMOTION: Before you dive into conversations or correspondence related to your tax debt, it’s crucial to set aside your emotions. Whether it’s anger, shame, embarrassment, or fear, compartmentalize these feelings and leave them in the corner. While it’s not always easy to completely detach, remind yourself to put these emotions aside as you work through your case. Life happens, and it’s important to move forward with the mindset of problem-solving, forgiving mistakes, and focusing on the solution.
  2. BE NICE: Dealing with tax-related matters can be frustrating, especially when dealing with the IRS or state revenue departments. However, maintaining a respectful and courteous attitude can go a long way. Remember that the individuals you’re interacting with also have families, jobs, and responsibilities. Despite any grievances, approach conversations with professionalism. Share your perspective, but do so respectfully. Building a rapport, even with tax officers, can lead to better outcomes.
  3. BE CLEAR and CONCISE: Busy individuals, including IRS and state revenue officers, appreciate clear and concise communication. Avoid lengthy backstories or unnecessary details. Instead, focus on the key points that matter. When reaching out, ensure you include important information such as your name, social security number, address, the specific tax year in question, and the type of tax you’re addressing (individual or business, income or payroll, etc.). By staying on point, you demonstrate respect for their time and streamline the communication process.

Mastering these foundational aspects of communication can significantly enhance your approach to resolving tax debt. By setting the tone with emotional detachment, kindness, and clarity, you’re more likely to establish productive interactions and pave the way toward a successful resolution. Stay tuned for future posts where we’ll delve into additional strategies to help you effectively navigate the complexities of tax debt. Remember, a composed and considerate approach can make a world of difference in achieving your financial goals.


Kelly Coughlin, CPA
CEO, EveryDayCPA.com


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