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SMART MONEY A COLUMN BY BRUCE WILLIAMS

The IRS might be open to fee negotiation

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 7:15 am

Q.:

I am having problems dealing with the IRS. My interest is much higher on my bill than the bill itself. How can I go about getting the IRS to lower or drop the interest fees? – Lee, via email

A.: I wish you had been a little more explicit as to what the reason is for the bill. Are there any penalties as well as interest and principal? Have you had a meeting with the IRS yet?

I know you don't want to pay these fees, but are you able to reasonably? If you are, you are going to have a tough time persuading the IRS to lower them. On the other side of that, if you are really being driven right up the wall and you can demonstrate that, oftentimes the IRS is open to negotiation.

You didn't mention the amount of money involved. If it's a substantial amount, over $10,000, there are companies that will negotiate for you. Just remember, don't pay any money up front.

Q.: What is the best way to invest money for children under 10 years old? – D.S., via email

A.: I would put the money into a separate account in your name. When the time comes, you can turn the money over to your grandchildren for them to spend however they chose with your approbation.

You can also purchase U.S. Savings Bonds.

Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.