Thursday, 13 June 2024

IRS answers the 'what if' tax questions of an economic downturn

What if I lose my job? Is my unemployment check taxable? Can I afford to take money out of my retirement account? These are just a few of the "What if" questions people are dealing with these days.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes that many people are going through difficult times financially. Often, there is a tax impact to events such as job loss, debt forgiveness or dipping into a retirement account.

If your income has decreased, you may even be eligible for certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can mean money in your pocket.

Most importantly, if you believe you may have trouble paying your tax bill, contact the IRS immediately. There are steps the IRS can take to help. To avoid additional penalties, you should always file your tax return on time even if you are unable pay your tax bill.

Here are some “What if” questions that are answered on the official IRS Web site.

Simply go to and type the keywords "What if" in the “search” box at the top of the page.

Job Related

What if I lose my job?

What if my income declines?

What if I withdraw money from my IRA?

What if my 401(k) drops in value

Debt Related

What if I lose my home through foreclosure?

What if I sell my home for a loss?

What if my debt is forgiven?

Tax Related

What if I can’t pay my taxes?

What if I can’t pay my installment agreement?

What if I can’t resolve my tax problem with the IRS?

What if I need legal representation to help with my tax problem but can’t afford it?

Remember. to access the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov. Don't be confused by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is


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