Everyone dreads the day they get that mailing. Taxes are due, but this year comes with a special headache. You aren’t getting your return. You’re getting an audit! So now what?

Many people’s first response is to freak out, but there’s no need to worry. You’ll be able to resolve it easily with the help of a tax professional. Sometimes, taxes are too strenuous to do or you forget or you run out of time. Whatever the case may be, once you get notified you should take steps to counter IRS problems before they become a larger headache than necessary.

Immediately upon hearing you might have some financial or tax worries, the first thing you should do is start a folder. You’re going to want to have your information related to this in one easily accessible place. Start with your account numbers, both at the IRS as a taxpayer and your personal financial accounts. You’ll probably be referencing these more than a few times through the course of an audit. Add in any tax returns or information you have for the last 5 years, as well as necessary information for other members of your household. It should be obvious, but you don’t want to lose this folder. Put it in a safe space, such as a literal safe. They are often heat resistant and water resistant, so there’s no better spot for your information in case of emergencies.

Once you have that done, you’ll want to contact a professional. Tax Defense Partners specializes in helping folks with taxes in all situations. Even if you don’t have IRS help, there’s still state and local taxes to navigate, all of which they are familiar with and more than capable of handling. Debt resolution and tax navigation is always a tricky field, as common commercials have made it seem like with a wave of a hand they can resolve your problems for pennies on the dollar. The reality is the IRS will take offers in compromise, but it’s often not a great solution to people’s problems.

In the meantime, while they are helping you with your debt and tax resolution solutions, you should do your best to handle your own accounting. This is often a great time to rebalance your budgets and set some new savings goals. Tax Defense Partners will help you set up an appropriate level of payment plan if needed, so that your family doesn’t have to go through more hardship than they have to while resolving debt.