IRS Tax Debt Resolution: The Financial Planning Approach

IRS Tax Debt ResolutionsTrying to find the best way to resolve tax problems can be a difficult process. Writing about the best practices to help taxpayers is also a unique challenge. When I started the project of writing a book on tax resolution planning I had a simple goal in mind. I wanted to present an overview of how to use the tax and financial process to deal with tax problems. However, I quickly noticed that very few tax and financial planning professionals actually provide comprehensive financial counseling and planning for a group of people that needs help the most. While exploring this specialized area of tax and financial planning, I have learned a great deal about my own approach to the tax resolution process.

My conclusion is quite simple. The ideal solution to tax and financial problems includes a dual focus on tax resolution and financial planning. Rarely are both disciplines combined in an effective manner. Resolving IRS tax liabilities by using fundamental principles of the financial planning process is the most effective way to deal with tax problems. The use of these same principles is also needed to prevent future IRS tax problems.

One thing that I realized during my research and practical application of this approach is that comprehensive financial planning does work for people with federal and state tax liabilities. However, tax resolution planning is a unique process that needs to be structured in a way that increases the likelihood that someone with significant tax issues related to financial management problems will actually succeed in taking control of their situation.

The LifeSpan Process of Tax Resolution and Financial Freedom combines the fundamental principles of tax and financial planning in a holistic manner that focuses on the psychological and behavioral aspects of managing money and taxes. Simply put, most other approaches to tax problems only deal with the elimination of tax debt rather than the elimination of poor financial decision making. In order to achieve freedom from tax debt you must start with a plan that emphasizes smart financial decisions. When the tax resolution process is performed the right way it always places the focus on “big picture” issues.

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About the author

Scott M. Spann, CFP®, EA

Scott Spann CFP®, EA is a Fee Only financial life planner and the founder of LifeSpan Financial Planning, LLC located in Charleston, South Carolina. Scott has been providing financial planning advice for a diverse group of clients since 2000. He is a Fee-Only financial life planner practitioner with a strong orientation in areas of tax planning and financial life planning. Scott also specializes in investment planning, retirement planning, college planning, tax planning and incorporating life planning into the financial planning process. Scott is committed to the Fee-Only model of financial planning.

Scott is originally from Greenville, South Carolina and has called the Lowcountry his home since graduating from the College of Charleston in 1997. He began his financial planning career in 2000 after completing graduate studies at The Citadel (MA, 1999) in the field of psychology. This academic background helped shape his vision to help his clients make the smartest decisions possible with their money in a client-centered relationship. Scott completed his advanced financial planning studies at the College for Financial Planning.

Scott is a member of the Nation Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). In addition to promoting Fee Only financial planning, Scott also devotes a significant amount of time promoting financial literacy and recently volunteered with Your Money Bus. He is a frequent guest on the Money Matters Radio Show on 94.3 WSC FM in Charleston, South Carolina where he provides financial planning advice to listeners. Scott also provides free financial counseling to military service members as part of the Department of Defense's Financial Readiness Program.

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