I love to cook and learn new cooking techniques. One of those techniques is the concept of “mise en place.” It is a French phrase, which means “everything in its place.” Every chef and professional kitchen implements this concept. The idea is that you prepare your cooking station before you start cooking. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need for the dishes are ready and close before you even begin cooking. This ensures that when you are in the heat of the moment and the kitchen is busy, you can go on automatic pilot. The food will come out just as planned because every single ingredient you needed for the dish was in its place. And this practice can also be used when you are speaking to the IRS.
I understand it can be nerve wreaking when calling the IRS to discuss the collection letter you received. So implement mise en place to the situation to avoid mishaps in the heat of the moment.
So what can you do? Let me give you a short and powerful checklist on how you need to prepare your station before calling the IRS.
- Make sure you have your latest IRS correspondence with you and read it one more time.
- Write out a quick outline of what you want to accomplish with your call. (Please don’t call the IRS without a strategy or plan. This is not the time to go with the flow or let the divine muse inspire. This call is 100% strategical.)
- Make sure you have a pen and paper handy. (I know this sounds redundant, but you will be amazed at what you forget when you are nervous.)
- Make sure your phone or cellphone is fully charged and be ready to be on hold for a long time. (Quick tip: Don’t call on Monday. Everyone is calling on Monday.)
Voila. You have the steps you need to follow before you talk to an IRS agent. Stay tune for the next blog post where we will talk about what you need to do when you actually and finally get on the phone with an IRS agent.