How your small business should interact with the IRS

This week at the Small Business Show, we’re starting by rethinking the concept of not setting financial goals for your business, but rather creating systems that will keep you successful and correct mistakes over time. Dave and Shannon have used this concept for years, but it took Scott Adam’s book How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big to describe it in detail. Scott’s book is a must.

Long time listener Dan T. sent a question that brought us to the main topic of the show, how to interact with the IRS.

Dan’s question: Hey guys – I have a question for you guys. I started getting some letters from the IRS about my company’s tax returns from a few years ago. I think I know the answer to most of your questions, but I’m kind of freaking out that this could lead to an audit or something. I have nothing to hide but I have never experienced anything like it, any tips on how to deal with the IRS?

Thank you for asking us for help, Dan! It’s no surprise that we have some tips on how to interact with the IRS that can be helpful in your situation. We dive into a lot of the details, but the two main points we’d like to address this week are:

First, humanize your relationship with the IRS. Pick up the phone and get in touch with the sender of the letter or call your local IRS office for help. Be open, honest, and transparent, and chances are you can find someone with the IRS who has a legitimate interest in helping your situation. Treating this person with respect and interacting with them personally can make a huge difference in the way things go for you.

It is also important to remember that YOU are a client of the IRS! That’s right, part of their job is to please you, believe it or not. IRS staff are trained to treat you well and offer advice to help solve problems for the benefit of all. That doesn’t mean they have the power to steal you money if you owe it, but they can (and should) make the process as painless as possible. If you’re not getting the kind of treatment you’re expecting, Shannon has some tips on how to let someone else take care of your case.

The IRS and your business are such big issues that we obviously ran out of time to cover everything we wanted. Look for a second edition of The IRS Show soon!

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