Tax issues can be a tangled mess to sort out. It’s not unusual for a taxpayer in the Twin Cities area or the western part of Wisconsin to be thrown so much for a loop by a notice from the Internal Revenue Service that it leaves them frozen in their tracks. That’s exactly the wrong reaction to have, however.

IRS notices speak to a lot of different issues. There are literally more than 100 notices and letters the agency uses to cover the matters it deals with. Whether it’s an audit notice, a notice about taxes the IRS believes are due, or some other demand to resolve liability of uncollected taxes, there’s a form for it. And, especially in instances where the amount in arrears or delinquent is $20,000 or more, immediate action must be taken.

Even if you disagree with the assessment, making some sort of initial payment on a voluntary basis can set the stage for productive negotiations about how to achieve resolution with IRS or Minnesota Department of Revenue officials. It’s not possible to guarantee that outcome will be completely to your liking, but by taking action right away you send a signal of willingness to find a solution. And you can be sure that if you choose to take no action until you receive a certified mailing, you’ll find officials likely to take a more inflexible position against you.

Nor do you have to be concerned that if you turn to an experienced attorney for help that you will be simply be taking on an additional cost burden. Initial no-cost consultations are available. Considering the negative implications and long-term headaches that can follow if an IRS notification is ignored, doesn’t it make sense to take positive action?