People are often told to face their fears in order to make them less scary. If you’re afraid of heights or the dark, for instance, you can start gradually exposing yourself to situations where you confront the feeling of fear in a safe environment.
As helpful as this solution may be for some fears, it may not be of much help if you are someone who is afraid of the IRS. This is not an unusual fear; in fact, a recent survey found that 80 percent of millennials alone are afraid of the tax system in this country. Unfortunately, gradual exposure and/or outright avoidance will not be good ways of addressing this fear.
Most adults will need to file a tax return every single year. It is not something you can choose to do or not do if you are required to file to a return, so picking and choosing when or if you file is not going to be an option. Further, you cannot partially submit a return: If you fail to properly complete your return or leave out certain information, the IRS can come back to you asking questions.
This is all to say that gradually dealing with your taxes will not help alleviate your fears of the IRS.
Avoidance won’t work, either. If you fail to file a return or if you ignore letters from the IRS about your return, the problem will not just go away. In fact, it can only make matters worse to try and run from the IRS. Penalties and interest can stack up making it more difficult to resolve the situation.
The U.S. tax code is among the most complex in the world, so it is not unusual to be intimidated or scared about filing taxes or resolving tax-related issues.
But rather than trying to face your fears alone or running from this situation, it can be crucial that you get help from tax and/or legal professionals who can inform you of your rights and options. Having this type of support can help you address existing problems before they get worse and hopefully avoid any other issues from cropping up in the future.