How to Help a Friend Who Has Tax Problems

Tax problems happen to good people—from individual taxpayers in Norman to business owners in Oklahoma City. As the friend of someone who owes outstanding taxes, interest, and penalties to the IRS, you understand that mistakes can happen. You sympathize with your friend because you understand that sometimes, difficult decisions may need to be made with a finite amount of money. However, you also understand that you friend may be embarrassed to talk to you about his tax problems.

You Can Still Help

No matter how much you care or genuinely want to help your friend, you should be aware that talking about tax problems is tricky. You do not want to risk your friendship by “butting in” or putting your nose where it doesn’t belong. Instead, you may be able to provide some support and advice in one of the following ways:

  • Talking about your own financial difficulties. This may make your friend comfortable enough to share his or her problems with you.
  • Casually mentioning some interesting material you found on the internet. You could mention, for example, our book The Ultimate Survival Guide for IRS Problems. This might encourage your friend to ask questions or to look up the information independently.
  • Offering your help. Maybe your friend needs a more direct approach and needs you to say that you are available to help.

You know your friend best and can probably predict which type of approach will work best.

Friends are Important

It can be stressful to have IRS problems and keeping those problems from friends can make the situation even more difficult. Have you ever had a friend facing serious tax problems in Oklahoma? How did you handle it? Please leave a comment and share what worked, and what did not work, with others who might be facing similar issues.

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