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If My Business Owes Back Taxes, What Game Plan Should I have?

Have you ever wondered “If my business owes back taxes, what game plan should I have?”  I’ll tell you.

Hi, I’m Jeff Fouts, a tax attorney located in metro Atlanta, with a nationwide law practice helping clients who have serious IRS problems.

So, “If your business owes back taxes, what game plan should you have?”

Owing back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service means that every decision you make at this time can have a dramatic effect on your business, and personal life, and these decisions should be well thought out.

Take a Deep Breath

Regardless of how you got into the situation you’re in, whether it’s your fault, or circumstances beyond your control impacted you, or both, you must take a deep breath.  I would tell you to relax, but I know that’s very difficult to do when in the situation you’re in.  You have take stock, you have to evaluate where your business has come from, where you’re at, and where you’re going.

The Name of the Game

The name of the game is to either:

1)         save your business, stabilize its finances, and gradually move it toward true profitability, OR

2)         make the tough decision that the business may not survive and consider very carefully how to spend whatever valuable cash or credit you may have left as you attempt to save your business without wasting money or getting further in debt.

You’re an entreprenear.  You’re a different breed.  You’re a risk taker.  You love your business.  You’ve sacrificed for it.  You’ve worked long, hard hours creating your business and building it up. This is your baby, and its been a labor of love.  You’re going to have to make some very difficult decisions.  Difficult both financially and emotionally.

If you owe back taxes, and the IRS is not pursuing you, you must quickly attempt to understand what your options are, both for your business and for yourself personally, before the IRS arrives on your door step.  If the IRS is already on your door step, then you must move even quicker.

Time for a Cold Hard Look

It’s time to gather lots of information and data and look at it.  I don’t mean to just look at it, but to evaluate it with an eye toward strategy.  When you’re in the midst of a business crisis you, as the business owner, won’t truly be able to look at your business totally objectively, and if you think you can you’re fooling yourself a little.  This is a time for cold, hard reality, not what you wish your circumstances were, or what you believe they might be in a few months or next year.

Every decision counts.  And every decision must be driven by the facts, not by emotion.  So the first step is to gather the facts.

Be Open to Change

After all the facts have been gathered, and then assessed, the next step is to formulate a game plan.  It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that any game plan you create may have to be modified as you move forward to take into account circumstances that change, as they usually do.


As a business owner, your business is your job.  Unlike a regular W-2 employee, there is no real wall that separates your personal life and your “job” issues.  Your business issues may very well severely affect your personal life, especially if you owe the IRS. This is an important time for you, your goal should be to maximize your chances of obtaining the very best result possible for your business.

I hope this important video tip has helped you understand the IRS a little better and about how tax problems are solved.  Chances are you have questions or concerns about your own particular tax problem.  What I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and call me.  I can answer your questions.  Over the past 20 years I’ve represented clients in all 50 states and 29 foreign countries, and I welcome your call.  You can reach me at (888) 995-6785 or by email at  I’m Jeff Fouts and thanks so much for watching.  Have a wonderful day.

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