Don't Fear the Tax Man

It’s rare that a guest gives me the chills.

But when the head honcho of the IRS, Commissioner Douglas Shulman, said on OTM yesterday, “If you don’t call us first, we’ll find you,” he got our full attention.

Fear of the IRS may be at its height. Too many of us have found our finances in a dramatically different state than the year before and many of us for the first time may owe money. But where is that money going to come from? Job loss, loss of credit, loss of home equity, investment losses, and leaner small business earnings have all cut into our ability to pay the only entity that can put us into debtor’s—or should I say evader’s—prison. Hence, we’re all a little shaky when dealing with the tax man.

However, Commissioner Shulman assured us that this year is different for the IRS and how it handles folks who owe. His key point—and the preface to giving us the chills—was that you must be proactive. As long as you don’t hide from the IRS, they will work with you to manage paying what you owe. For example, you can create an installment plan to pay your taxes owed over time.

>>IRS Commisioner: We are Here to Help

Thankfully the evidence is there that the Commissioner is not just pulling a public relations move. Our tax expert, Elda Di Re confirmed it. At her tax firm, she and her colleagues are all finding that the IRS is being more helpful than ever with folks who owe. So on this “D” Day, if you haven’t filed yet or if you owe, head straight to and get in touch with the Tax Man ASAP. The IRS may still be far from cuddly, but at least there’s a glimmer of compassion.