I read a story of an ordinary middle-income wage earner who received some letters from the IRS, ignored them, wound up having her wages garnished. Then she got scared and did not file her 2016 tax return, making matters worse. We don’t know the original issue that triggered IRS concern (perhaps inadvertently omitted items on an earlier return?) but we know that the problem is larger now. IRS says she now owes at least $6,000.
The solution now, unfortunately, us to hire a tax professional at a cost of $1,000 or more, give power of attorney, get a tax transcript, get the latest tax return filed, address the original deficiency issue, remove the wage garnishment, remove the penalties and enter into an agreement with ORS to pay the balance due over time. It will be a lot of extra work and avoidable cost but still, at this point, the best way to get life back to normal. Peace of mind will come as soon as she knows that someone competent is handling the problem.