Q: If I were to be audited by the IRS and my Dad owes a lot of money to them, could this flag the IRS to go after my Dad?
A: Not necessarily, but it's possible. It depends on what turns up in the audit. Regardless, the most important question is why he owes a lot of money to the IRS in the first place. If a taxpayer hasn't filed returns in a handful of years, the IRS would basically create a return for the purpose of sending a tax bill. Often, the amount can be reduced by sending in properly prepared returns to the correct IRS unit.
If a taxpayer genuinely owes the amount, taxpayers have a variety of options to pay it off. There's payment plans and Offers in Compromise, a formalized settlement process that is calculation based ((income - valid expenses x 12 or 24) + equity in assets). Regardless, the best solution is to get into compliance and begin making progress towards becoming "tax healthy." If a taxpayer continues to ignore the IRS, that's where they get serious with bank levies, wage garnishments, liens, etc.
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