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Dave Says: How to Deal with State Tax Debt

by | Jan. 23, 2014

Finances

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Dear Dave,

My husband has his own business installing windows. As a result, we now have IRS and state tax debt. We’re managing the payments, but where should these debts be placed in the debt snowball plan?

Olivia

Dear Olivia,

I don’t usually cheat on the smallest to largest progression of the debt snowball, but I’d recommend moving these debts to the top of the list. 

Both state and federal taxes come with ridiculous penalties and interest rates, and the authorities at either level have virtually unlimited power at their disposal to screw with your life if something bad happens. The IRS can actually take your money without suing you. So, you don’t want to become a blip on their radar screen by being late with payments.

Get it cleaned up as quickly as possible, Olivia. You don’t want to mess around with these guys!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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