I was a former IRS Revenue Officer and Instructor. Having practiced tax law since 1973, I’ve worked thousands of IRS Cases. Here is some solid information about the 433-F that you should read before calling the 1-800 number and giving the IRS your financial history.
Most taxpayers do not know the damage they can do to their case if they call the IRS. They are giving the IRS their financial history with having no knowledge of the outcome of their action. This is not prudent. You are giving them information or a road map to your assets.
Tax professionals are there for a reason. To get the results you want to achieve. A true IRS Tax Expert can do this. For those of you who wish to venture on this journey by yourself, though not recommended, here is some information that may be helpful to you.
How to fill out the IRS Financial Statements, the 433-F, 433-A or 433-B.
The IRS Financial Statements are the single biggest problem for taxpayers when trying to close their IRS case. It is this document alone and the corresponding documents that determines the outcome of your case. The biggest cause of concern and problems comes from lack of knowledge. It will significantly change the outcome of a case and cause hardship for the financial life of the taxpayer.
Here are some tips for success when dealing with the IRS financial statements:
The 433-F is a financial statement that is primarily used by the Automated Collection System of the Internal Revenue Service, also called the ACS Unit. This Unit is set up throughout Regions in the United States and works off of a 1-800 telephone answering system. This is a switching station set up.
All calls to the ACS go into one national telephone system and then are routed to whichever regions telephone lines are available to pick up. Call volume determines this. It is very possible that a case from Florida may be worked in California.
The one feature about this system is that it allows taxpayers on the East Coast to call up to 8:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time to close their cases. The downside to this system is that it is almost impossible to close the case with one telephone call. Fresh Start Tax has the ability to make this happen.
What typically happens is that you call the 1 800 telephone number and the IRS agent asks you to complete the 433-F and at that very time, the agent on the telephone wants all documentation to support it.
If you have documentation, you will be asked to fax it to the IRS agent directly, but if you are missing one piece that they are looking for, you must call back after you retrieve the missing supporting document(s).
You will then call the 1-800 telephone number again and someone else always answers the phone. You can never get the first agent you spoke with. You have to go over the whole case again and at that time, the second agent who reviews the 433-F may ask for different documentation than the first agent inquired about. This process can repeat itself over and over.
This is the most frustrating system in the world and the IRS knows it and does nothing to fix it. Also, each case worked must be approved by a supervisor.
The IRS will tell you “they will get back to you and let you know.” This does not happen. You must call them back, always, to find out if your case if closed. If you do not confirm that your case is closed, it is very possible that the case will hit the enforced collection system of the IRS and the federal tax lien and/or the federal levies on bank accounts and wage garnishment may take place. Always call back to confirm. By the way, customary wait times can be up to 45 minutes. The wait time is biggest on Mondays and after Holidays.
The basic tips to close your case when calling the IRS using the 433-F
1. Complete every line.
2. Answer all questions. Write “none” or “not applicable (n/a)” in cases where it does not apply to you.
3. Have all documents ready to be faxed to the IRS. Do not call them until you do.
4. Make sure you have bank statements, pay stubs and all supporting documentation for any expenses.
5. After the IRS tells you they need managerial approval to close your case, make sure you contact them back or your case will most likely still be open in the system. Do not assume the case will close itself.
Other key tips:
The IRS will ask you for the last three months income statement or pay stubs, however, many times this could have been your largest spike of income. In that case, send them the entire year or past 6 months if that lowers your average income. Use the lowest period of income to prove your case.
If you are going through a time of extraordinary difficulty, the 433-F does not ask for that part of the documentation, but send it to them as part of the package. Remember, the IRS does not know your circumstances so by all means show it to them.
Show past medical bills or other debt(s) that you are facing. Remember, paint the picture with documents that best reflect your situation. If you have negative financial information in your history, send it to them even if they do not ask for it.
Remember, the IRS only cares about income and assets.
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