15 Ways Not to Freak Out About Your IRS Tax Bill

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DARRIN T. MISH:  Good morning, this is the IRS Solution Attorney show, I am the IRS Solution Attorney Darrin T. Mish.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I’m your co-host, Katrina Madewell, welcome to the show today. Happy Thursday.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I’m amped up in here and you are all calm and mellow.


DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, well more mellow than normal.

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KATRINA MADEWELL:  Well I’m drinking some cafe lattes so give me about 10 minutes, if that.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Alright. We have kind of an exciting show today. It would be so stereotypical to do a show on the filing deadline is coming up so I decided not to do a show on that.


DARRIN T. MISH:  It is coming. We will do a show like that soon, it’s coming.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  We will do it when it’s too late for you to do anything about it. How does that sound?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, that sounds about right. But today’s show is going to be about 15 Ways to Keep from Freaking Out When You Owe the IRS More Than You Can Afford to Pay.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And that is right on time with your business motto cause all your clients have more than they can pay.

DARRIN T. MISH:  So yeah, what I do…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But here, let’s talk about where the idea for the show came because sometimes I think that is the magic and the excitement of the show.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Sure exactly. The other day I caught an article on the businessinsider.com and it kind of caught my attention because the title of the article was 15 Scientific Tricks to Beat Stress, Anxiety and Fear and that was written by Drake Baer and Shana Lebowitz. The reason it caught my attention was because virtually every day either one person or multiple people come into the office they have physical manifestations of stress wrapped around their tax problem.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  They are sweaty…

DARRIN T. MISH:  Trembling sometimes or some of the other things that I see is maybe somebody who is extremely introverted and I don’t think that’s their natural deal I think it’s…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  The nature of the situation.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, the stress of the situation. Attorneys don’t have all that high of a reputation in society. I think we are a step up above used car salesmen, no offense to used car salesman or lawyers.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I think we are right next to you in the real estate boat. That is alright. But not all attorneys are created equal. I should say that because we’ve encountered many attorneys in my line of work and some of them suck just like real estate agents and some of them are awesome and I would hire them in a minute if I had that problem.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, I think that is the reality of the situation. There is a stereotype. It’s noteworthy when an attorney commits fraud or steals money or whatever and goes to jail. It’s in the news but our profession is so regulated there is so many things. Do you know that we are not allowed under our ethical rules to actually speak a mistruth or make a misrepresentation in any aspect of our lives?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I believe it. So, give me a stupid example?  Alright you were just at Disney anything with that?

DARRIN T. MISH:  No I mean literally the rule, the ethical rule that you could be disciplined over is you cannot make any kind of misrepresentation. You can’t tell your wife, hey, you look good in those pants.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But you are an attorney so you can argue about anything.

DARRIN T. MISH:  You know that is true. It’s true. For about seven years after law school I had, I’ve been out of law school for 25 years or something and for seven years after law school I had a recurring nightmare that I wanted my old brain back because, it’s kind of like boot camp they break you down and they build you back up with this bizarre, overly analytical thought process. For 7 years, I had nightmares that I want the old Darrin back well…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I’ve never heard this story before.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah so, the old Darrin never did come back, he’s just softer then he was when I was a younger attorney.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Well they change your brain you know and I thought about that. I don’t think it would be good for me to ever practice any area of law and go through that because I already think enough like an attorney. I can imagine what that would look like me in the aftermath of that.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Well when I was in law school I did not date because I did not want to marry an attorney because I was looking forward. I’m like can you imagine two lawyers? There’s also couples that are lawyers that are married and it works out great. The way I was thinking was can you imagine the arguments?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Those fights you see fireworks coming from the house.

DARRIN T. MISH:  You would be cross-examining each other, it would be great.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So, the topic of the show going back to this Darrin you think about honestly some of the things that you hear a lot because you have a ton of podcasts you know because we have been doing the show for quite a while now. You’ve got a lot of videos and just a lot of information and content out there and so, your average client has what probably several hundred thousand dollars in tax debt?

DARRIN T. MISH:  I would say the average client probably owes you know north of a hundred grand and has missed a few tax returns.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Ok, so they owe a hundred thousand plus in taxes and they are missing them filed in who knows how long and so they, it’s not uncommon for you to hear when they come to the office hey I was up all night watching your videos.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, I was telling you that in the studio earlier before the show. It kind of makes me laugh because I feel sorry for those people they watch 5 hours of me on Youtube or whatever….

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Yeah something that took you years or months to create.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah exactly, they are like you were younger in some of those videos I’m like yeah because I was younger in some of those videos.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  That is funny. But you know with the gray beard comes experience.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Exactly. Well, it is, naturally.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Heather fixed it.

  1. Breathe Deeply When Confronting Your IRS Tax Bill

DARRIN T. MISH:  Moving right along. The first tip that we are going to share with you is,  a lot of people are going to be like duh, ok, but it’s to breathe deeply. It lets your nervous system know that it can chill out. Deep breathing is helpful.

We are talking about some people coming to the office, they can hardly communicate. I have no negative feelings towards them, all I want to do is, and this is corny but and sincere, all I want to do is figuratively wrap them in a hug and say look this is going to be ok. We are just going to have to deal with this.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Right. Well here’s the thing even with your kids if they get stressed out or whatever what do you tell them?  Breathe come on. I stop my kids and I go alright, come on come on, let’s breathe. Just taking those deep breaths in and out it will relax your brain and your mind. You can speak and think clearly, it’s the oxygen to the brain thing.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Psychologist’s say that it helps us kind of sort out that fight or flight response that we have. When we are in a stressful situation what our minds and bodies want to do is it wants to decide, am I going to fight or am I going to run? That goes back to cave man days when you had a tiger chasing you and you had to make that decision.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  What if you are doing anything hard? Even at the gym how many times do you hear people just breathing hard and it’s because what they are doing is just part of their training to just get through that. There’s a lot of focus on just the breath and paying attention to the moment and getting through it.

DARRIN T. MISH:  And I think breathing is the core of meditation and…


DARRIN T. MISH:  Of yoga and things like that so when you do this deep breathing it takes you out of that fight or flight kind of response mechanism where your body is trying to make that decision and it calms you down. It’s like, ok, we can deal with this. We are breathing, we are not drowning, everything is working, we are fine. So, I would say the number one tip is just take a deep breath and try to relax and try to get over the immediate panic of the situation. I’m sure that would come in handy when you get that letter from the IRS, when you get that audit letter in the mail that has got to be just a terrible feeling.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I’m sure you wish you could just put a sticker on the outside of the envelope that says just breathe. Play a little song.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I wish I could put a sticker on the outside of the envelope that said don’t even open this, just call Darrin.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  1-888-get-mish.

DARRIN T. MISH:  We will open it together.

Slow Expose Yourself to Things that Make You Uncomfortable

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Or 888-get-mish. I had a conversation this morning with one of my agents and we were talking about being uncomfortable. There’s a lot that can be said for any aspect of your life with being uncomfortable and that’s pretty much what number two talks about.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Well, I believe that we are either growing or dying. There are only two options here in life in terms of business development and personal development. You are either growing or dying. You have to be uncomfortable to grow, it is just part of the deal.

Remember when you were a kid, my kids have them, you have leg pains, they have leg cramps and stuff like that it’s because they are growing. That’s exactly one to one correlation. So, this tip is slowly expose yourself to the things that you are afraid of so that they are no longer unfamiliar to you. If you are super afraid of your tax situation maybe you should get some education that would be a way to expose yourself.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Right because we have talked, scared of the unknown right most of the time that’s exactly what it is fear of the unknown which is why people hesitate or and that’s with anything if you don’t know what to expect that’s what makes it hard.

DARRIN T. MISH:  What we fear as humans is the unknown. I can tell you every time I experienced intense anxiety it’s because I’m afraid. I don’t know what’s really going on.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  You don’t know what is going to happen next. Pat’s shaking some tax forms at us.

DARRIN T. MISH:  It’s probably his tax return where he is getting this giant refund.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It looked like a W-2 to me what was that Pat?

PAT GEORGE:  It was my W-2 when we go on the break I am going to show you why I’m heartbroken.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Oh no. You work here for the insurance remember that, Pat?


Recognize Misplaced Anxiety and Make Like Elsa

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Alright so number three, recognize when you are stumbling to misplace anxiety and let it go. Make like Elsa and let it go. I love that.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I can try and sing that but it would be terrible.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Come on, Pat, that’s your queue, get the music going. Come on, you are slacking.

DARRIN T. MISH:  So, this is a little bit more obtuse. When we are experiencing anxiety in one part of our life, then it tends to spill over into other things and that is why tax problems are so damaging to people. If you have this underlying tax stress that is going on, it tends to spill over into your workplace, into your relationships, how you deal with your spouse, how you deal with your kids, everything. I mean we’ve all experienced that right?

This morning I was stressed out about something, my son came out this morning it was in the dark and stuff and he walked out and he kind of surprised me and I kind of snapped at him and he is like jeez what is wrong with you?  Well what was wrong with me is I was stressed out about something else, it was totally unrelated to what he was trying to do which was something nice…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  That’s funny maybe our kids talked this morning because Anna Lisa came in and scared the bejeezus out of me. I jumped I was just quiet you know I was in my calm space and she came in like and I was like ahh.

DARRIN T. MISH:  When you live out in the middle of nowhere in the woods and somebody comes out of the dark…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Oh my gosh at your house I can’t even imagine how bad that might be. . You are listening to the IRS Solution Attorney show hanging out today with me, Katrina Madewell and Darrin your IRS Solution Attorney and today’s topic is all about 15 Ways to Not Freak Out About Your Tax Bill. We will be back in just a minute.

(commercial break)

DARRIN T. MISH:  Welcome back to the IRS Solution Attorney, show I am the IRS Solution Attorney, Darrin T. Mish.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I’m your co-host Katrina Madewell and I think we figured out during the break why we didn’t  get that Elsa music. Just kidding.

PAT GEORGE:  I’m starting a year on Facebook right now pretty soon people are going to see a GoFund me page on Facebook.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So we are talking about how radio does not pay well.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, we are the butt of Pat’s jokes all the time so he is the little bit of the butt of the joke. He showed us his W-2 and it’s a little bit sad.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But you’ve got insurance hey. It’s not Obamacare.

DARRIN T. MISH:  How is that Obamacare thing working out for you?

PAT GEORGE:  Oh, you saw I can’t even afford that.

DARRIN T. MISH:  So the topic of today’s shows is 15 Ways to Keep from Freaking out when you owe the IRS more money than you can afford to pay.

PAT GEORGE:  Now that will never happen with me.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Probably not, based on what I just saw.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Now we know why he runs a hot dog cart.

Spend Time With Friends to Reduce Your Anxiety

DARRIN T. MISH: We have 15 tips. If we keep cutting up we are not going to get through them all. So, tip number four is kind of obvious, but going back to the original article that was a source of this show today is spend time with friends and social. Social support reduces anxiety.

A lot of times when you have tax debt it tends to be really isolating. You think that you are the only one that has a tax problem or could owe money to the IRS I’ve heard that countless times over the years, people come in and they say wait a minute there are other people like me and I’m like yeah you are on the small side. In fact, yesterday I was talking to a gentleman….

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So do you ever tell them at that point that you have a tax problem at some point?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Oh yeah, I tell them because it helps them feel better.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Isn’t it interesting how that comes full circle? Originally when I had you on my show as a guest, you did not want to talk about that and you know getting uncomfortable is now your comfort zone and so what happens is people that come in and say oh, he is like me.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, I’ve had two or three tax problems in the past and kind of had to navigate through them. Some of them, one of them was even after I was the IRS Solution Attorney guy. I already knew what I was doing and I still generated a problem. But the good news was I knew how to solve it, so I went ahead and solved it myself. Yesterday there was a gentleman in the office I think he owed around $50,000 so it’s not a ton of money in my world at least in terms of dealing with people with tax problems and…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But for him, it’s probably the biggest problem he’s had.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah for sure I mean he was in his 70’s retired and living on social security…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Yeah that’s a big deal at 70.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I could share with him, he thought he was alone. No, you are not the only person and I was able to share with him you know I think my average client is hundred, two hundred grand and really yours is very manageable. That situation he had a pretty short statute of limitations so we really didn’t do business together because it was like here’s your solution, just keep doing what you are doing and in a couple of years, it will be over. So, he loved that. He might be watching on Facebook live, I’m not sure.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I sent you a client that we are working with right now and the same thing happened for them. They basically have an old tax thing that’s you know it’s run its course it’s expired and you are going to be able to get that lien released?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, we are working on that lien release. I think it’s going to come through any day now that should allow them to close on the house.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Yep exactly. So it’s still showing up on credit and it’s one of those things where the score has rebounded. It’s no longer collectible because the client called the IRS and they pretty much hung up on him and wouldn’t talk to him. I said alright I am going to send you to somebody that can help you out. For you those are easy.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, if you know the secrets, if you know the magic, and you are on a semi-first name basis with people who do that kind of work, then it’s not really all that challenging. Although we haven’t done a show on liens in a while, there is a trend where the IRS wants to issue a release to a Federal tax lien but they don’t want to pay the $6.00 to have it recorded in the county where it belongs…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So are you getting it and recording it?

DARRIN T. MISH:  So you know what an unrecorded release is?  It’s nothing, it’s a valueless piece of paper that means absolutely nothing.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But anybody can record anything right so you guys are getting it and recording it?

DARRIN T. MISH:  In some Florida counties they will not allow a citizen, you know a normal person to record something from the IRS.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But will they allow you?

DARRIN T. MISH:  No, they won’t, so then we must go back to the IRS and ask them to record it. They will eventually do it, but the funny thing is you would think it costs the government more than $6.00 to do it twice?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Oh gosh, how much do the hourly people make? Way more than $6.00. I mean they are touching that for at least an hour.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, it’s preposterous but that’s the situation that we are in. The Federal Government goes through swings where we have these trends and you can tell it’s from management, somebody somewhere has decided we are not going to do it the old way we are going to do it this new way and then as practitioners and lawyers and what not we have to fight through that and like get them back to, let’s do it the way that works.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Reminds me of the HOA communities with the homeowners every time there is a change in the board people. Just kidding anyway.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I do not miss the HOA.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I bet you don’t.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I do not miss that.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Alright so should we mention the book Friendfluence and how the benefits of having long friendship kind of ties into number four?

DARRIN T. MISH:  That book stands for the proposition that having friends allows us to live longer and happier lives. I think that kind of goes into the no kidding kind of…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Companionship, yes, for sure.

DARRIN T. MISH:  It’s like if you are isolated and you are all alone then you are probably not going to be as happy and you are probably going to die earlier.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So maybe someone’s take away from today’s show if they don’t have IRS or tax debt is to reconnect with an old friend. They would love to hear from you.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Absolutely or family. Just don’t, if you have problems I don’t think you should withdraw. It’s the natural sort of human thing to do is going in your cave and hide but I don’t think that that is necessarily the right thing to do. It never worked for me.

Get Plenty of Exercise to Reduce Stress

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Alright so number 5 is, exercise to protect yourself against the effects of stress which include anxiety and fear.

DARRIN T. MISH:  You know I don’t exercise as regularly as I’d like but I can tell you this when I do exercise I don’t feel as stressed and my body, although might be muscle sore, doesn’t feel as like inflamed, you know cranky, creaky sort of sore.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So I should be totally transparent about this. The way that I was raised and brought up, we did not exercise regularly. We did not do any of that, so it was foreign to me and I hated it. I couldn’t stand being up early and with my schedule, if I don’t do it first thing in the morning it just does not happen. I either get too busy or something else happens, I’m too tired. There’s always something. It’s not an excuse it’s just the way it is.

I’m like, alright, how am I going to fix this? I go to the gym at 7:30 in the morning and I do that 3 days a week. So, schedule it and those three days when I go to the gym and I come back 30-minute workout I’m ready to go. I’m pumped. I’m always more productive on those days that I’ve been to the gym.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I can’t quote the source of this study that I saw someplace but basically stood for the proposition that if you exercise you become smarter. I think I can believe that because it allows you to…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It gets your endorphin’s moving like everything just moves faster.

DARRIN T. MISH:  It’s free. It kind of has a tendency to free that clutter which is why I go out on my farm on the weekends and I cut brush and I just do physical things because I don’t want a cell phone attached to my face or my ear and I just want to kind of go do something that doesn’t require a lot of thought.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Well you’ve got to have that. I mean in my line of work to we are constantly connected which is why if I didn’t take that one day off to recharge and totally disconnect and not look at my phone I would not be in this career this long.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah literally every week when we pull up, when I see you pull up in the parking lot you are on the telephone every single week.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  All the time.

DARRIN T. MISH:  So you probably use that commute time to the studio on Thursday mornings and Friday mornings for you to just make phone calls and what not. I feel blessed that I don’t have to make quite that many phone calls.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I get it from all angles like it’s text, it’s messages, it’s Facebook posts, it’s everywhere. It comes with the territory so I really don’t mind it and people that have been around me long enough know that sometimes when I get into my day it’s kind of busy. If they call me early like 7 something in the morning they are going to get me.

Reframe Anxiety as Excitement

DARRIN T. MISH:  Alright so let’s move on to tip number six and that’s to reframe anxiety as excitement. You can devote more energy and resources to the situation. Now I don’t think this one is common sense.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I was going to say how do you reframe anxiety as excitement, what does that even look like?  Or sound like or feel like?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Emotions happen at two levels. There is the physical sensation and that’s called arousal. It’s like in the psych world and then the way that you mentally interpret it and that’s called valence I guess. When you are anxious your heart rate goes up, that is high arousal and you read it as bad news and that is negative valence. So, the takeaway is if you are anxious, try to reframe it as excitement.

I will tell you in my personal life if I’m anxious and then I can get a little education and I can feel hopeful and then I can devise a plan then I can psych myself up because I can just bang it out. Does that make sense?  If I can get educated enough to where I can make a rudimentary plan, then I can chunk it down to steps.

Then I think, the first thing that I have to do is this, the second thing I’ve got to do is that. Sometimes you can’t even get beyond the first step or the second step. You are like, ok, my plan is I’m going to start with step one and then what I learn from step one will tell me what to do next and so that is how I would frame that.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Some of it’s just starting, but it’s funny I’m looking at this reframe anxiety with excitement and sometimes my head is so full and I got 15 million things going through my head, that I think my anxious is my excitement and my anxiety they are like all in one because they only time I ever get anxious is when I feel like I can’t move fast enough.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Ok so I read a book called Getting Things Done. Have you ever read that one?


DARRIN T. MISH:  And what he tells you to do when you are feeling anxious, because you have too many things to do, is set yourself in a quiet place and do a brain dump.  To get all those things that you want to get done, you’ve got to write them down on a piece of paper. I’ve done that exercise a couple of times and it’s amazingly effective because when you look at it, your list might be two pages long but when you look at it you are like ok…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But you are more productive too because you can go check off your list. It’s been a long time ago since I read that but it probably should be a good read for me now.

DARRIN T. MISH:  That’s great. I think David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done.

Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Yeah, it’s been awhile. So, number seven and we will get into this tip after the break but it’s, prevent yourself from always focusing on negatives by looking at the big picture.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Absolutely.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So we will jump into number seven and the rest of the tips and try to get through all 15 of these before the end of the show. I think we are doing ok.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I think we are doing ok, actually.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  If you have a question for us or you would like to chime in you can get us here live in the studio at 888-404-1010, 888-404-1010 if you are listening on the AM dial don’t forget you can pick us up at 103.1 FM or also HD radio at 99.5 HD too. You are listening to the IRS Solution Attorney show with Mr. Darrin Mish. I am your co-host Katrina Madewell stick around we will be back in just a minute.

(commercial break)

DARRIN T. MISH:  Welcome back to the IRS Solution Attorney show. I happen to be the IRS Solution Attorney, Darrin T. Mish.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I can verify he is. I’m your co-host, Katrina Madewell, thank you for sticking with us or joining us or popping into the conversation. We are glad you are here in the money talk 1010 family, thank you for joining in. If you have a comment for today’s show and you would like to talk to us catch up with us or you got a suggestion for a great topic we would love to hear it and you can reach out to Darrin directly at 888-get-mish.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Or you can visit the website at getirshelp.com. We have a YouTube channel, we have a Podcast, we have an app. There are all kinds of ways to reach out to me. I would say that or Facebook…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Facebook, Twitter.

DARRIN T. MISH:  IRS Solution Attorney I don’t spend a whole lot of time on Twitter but it’s been…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But Matt will probably catch that.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. Today’s show is basically 15 ways to keep from freaking out when you owe the IRS more money than you can afford to pay. This is common in my practice since all I deal with is tax problems. So, we thought we would do a show about how to kind of, I mean this is informal but you know chill a little bit.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  How to not freak out.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Because if you are freaking out you are not moving the ball forward. You are just hiding and waiting for the ball to drop and usually that is not a satisfactory solution with the IRS.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And if somebody is listening now and they are stressed out about anything at all these tips are going to be right on time.

DARRIN T. MISH:  For sure and probably, most of the people in their cars that are listening to us are in fact stressed out about something because driving in the Tampa Bay area is not super fun especially at this time of the day.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And we usually are always streaming live on Facebook so if you hop on over to Darrin’s, did we figure out if your page is public or not or do we know?

DARRIN T. MISH:  The page is public but we have a technical challenge with posting it on the IRS Solution Attorney.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It’s all hidden now.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah so you have to friend me at Darrin Mish.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Number 7 let’s hop back so we can get through…

DARRIN T. MISH:  So prepare yourself from always focusing on the negatives by looking at the big picture. I can tell you from personal experience that this was very helpful to me when I was going through kind of a bad time in my life. I had a situation a few years ago where…I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this where you have multiple big deals happening, multiple bad things happening…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It’s always that way, isn’t it? It’s not one thing it’s a bunch…

DARRIN T. MISH:  It’s not like one business thing it’s like five business things and then you throw a personal thing in there. Maybe a health thing, and it just seems like everything is just kind of crashing in on you. It’s easy to succumb to depression and just kind of inwardly retreat and it’s a bad idea. I can remember the day that I was all wrapped up in self-pity and I was feeling bad about what was going on.

I was looking in the mirror and I started talking to the mirror. I pointed at myself in the mirror, you are the problem dude, you need to fix this and you need to start looking at the bright side and you need to start being grateful. So, I think the point of this tip is everybody, even the guy living on the street has something to be grateful for. That’s what you need to focus on. Focus on gratitude, focus on what’s going well. Even if you have seven bad things going on financially…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  There is something good.

DARRIN T. MISH:  You’ve got a full belly, you’ve got a place to sleep at night, you probably in relatively good health and you probably have family that loves you. I mean everybody has something that they can focus on in terms of gratitude.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So I will give you a perfect example. I have a lady who sold her house probably three or four years ago. I got a call from her yesterday and she always had kind of a crazy schedule because she is a medical assistant. She had a little boy that was about three. She is a single mom and she says, hey, I was taking care of my son. He missed several days of school.

When I came back, they fired me. She lost her job and she is like I don’t think I, I’ve been there 11 years I don’t think I can get the same amount of pay. So, what we did was just actually talked her through that. Sometimes I think people just need somebody to say alright let’s take this horrible thing and figure out how we are going to make it work. So, she called me about selling her house but the bright side of it is that she is going to have enough equity to go pay cash for something small.

DARRIN T. MISH:  There you go.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And had she not been a homeowner and she was always a renter that opportunity wouldn’t have been there. So, as we were talking through that, we realized that maybe you should go back into the school system and be a medical assistant. You can have the same schedule as your son and for her she is like that would be heaven. I said, I know you and your personality enough to know that you wouldn’t make this decision on your own so sometimes that step back is actually 3 or 4 steps forward.

DARRIN T. MISH:  And that goes back to tip four, which is get back into your social circle, get back with your friends because people that care about you are going to give you advice. You don’t always have to take their advice because sometimes it’s not good advice, but in your case, it sounds like pretty good advice. Did it work out?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Talk to somebody. She is prepping the house now. It is going to be live in a week or so and she is going to pay cash for something else, so it will it will definitely work out.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I think this is a pretty good time to buy and sell. Mostly sell.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Great time to sell. Let me tell you if you’ve got a house to sell, call me because we have sold everything that we have. I have zero inventory left and I can promise you I will sell it for top dollar.

Take a Few Moments Every Day to Tell Yourself You are Going to be Fine

DARRIN T. MISH:  So tip number eight is a few times every day if you are going through a lot of stress just stop and recognize that at this moment everything is fine you are doing ok.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It goes back to gratitude right like find something to be grateful for.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Well there is a neuropsychologist named Rick Hansen and he says in a column that he writes in Psychology Today that our human instincts of survival make us constantly unsettled and fearful, protecting us against ever completely letting our guard down.

I think that again goes back to our almost prehistoric ancestors. So, you are in the cave and the fire has gone out and now you are worried that a bear or wolf is going to come in and eat you. I think we are hard-wired still very much like that. I feel like this a lot where hey everything is fine now but…. what if?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Well, here’s the thing. There is a lot to be said even for NLP. As soon as you use the word but you’ve erased everything that you have just said when you just said everything is fine. Well, guess what, that is all that you are hearing and what you said after the “but” so replace that but with an “and” and see what happens.

DARRIN T. MISH:  But I can tell you on a personal level if I combat that, if I fight that, if I’m aware of that and I don’t allow myself to succumb to those negative thoughts, then everything tends to work out much better.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It’s interesting. I’m sure you’ve seen me grow as a person even as a professional in the time that you have known me. The same thing for you when I first met you, you told me it was one of your worst times ever. I had approached you to come on my show as a guest and you were like what is this radio thing? I don’t want to do this.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, I was not going through a good time professionally or personally and my gut reaction was it’s out of my comfort zone. I just don’t want to deal with this and then something just told me, dude, you have to be out of your comfort zone to grow so I went on the air with you and…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I was likable so he said ok and here we are.

DARRIN T. MISH:  She is relatively likable. It all worked out well. It was a blessing and I consider you one of my great friends now.

Realize it’s not the End of the World

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Same here. You’ve got to look for those opportunities they are always there no matter what you are succumbing to at the moment. So, tip number nine is, realize that not everything is not the end of the world and one way to do this is by consciously trivializing tasks. I got to say the sky is falling those people make me nuts like I try not to be around them.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I saw I mean…


DARRIN T. MISH:  I saw a meme on Facebook last night that goes through this point very well. It said something like if what you are worrying about today is not going to matter in 5 years. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  That’s right on.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I was obsessing over what was happening with a client situation last night and I was just going over and over and over and I saw that I’m like yeah this is totally not going to matter in 5 years. I’ve given this way more than 5 minutes. I need to move on, it’s not that big a deal.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I think it’s human nature. We all want to please people and most people do want people to be happy at the end of the day. So, if you have anything unsettling it’s human nature.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah so what this, again this social psychologist named Susan Perry suggests in her psychology today column that you should always think of yourself as playing. So if something goes wrong, you just try again and try in some other way. That is really happening in our society with our smartphones. If you’ve noticed every app that you interact with a lot there is some game aspect to it. Even ways you know the GPS app that I really use a lot.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  There’s points.

DARRIN T. MISH:  If I’m in the car I’m using the thing, yeah, you get points and you can slaughter your friends in terms of how many points you can get and then you get little icons and if you get…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  People are competitive by nature. Isn’t it neat that something as simple as a traffic driving app has a competitive sense to it?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah you get 6 points for saying there is a car parked on the shoulder of the road so.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Make it a game that’s what makes life fun you know I think, a lot of older people and just you know people that have had long lives and just see how they interact in their day to day you usually don’t see stressed or negative or they are positive they are grateful.

DARRIN T. MISH:  No because that stress physically manifests itself and it will kill you.

Affirm What Your Values Are

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Definitely. Alright, number 10 affirm your core values before a challenging situation so you can remember what makes you unique.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah so you just have to figure out what you are about.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Everybody should start there. Why do you get up in the morning and do what you do? Why do you do it?

DARRIN T. MISH:  And if you are true to yourself and you are happy with who you are as a human and you feel like everything, the way that you are behaving is entirely consistent with who you actually are or your best view of yourself then I think you feel better about yourself. During that tough time that I was going through when I was talking to myself in the mirror and pointing fingers at myself.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  You that guy.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah. I said something like you are not being the best version of you and that’s why things aren’t going well. I had fallen. I’ll admit this. I mean this is kind of a public forum. I mean I had fallen into the trap that everything that was going wrong was some else’s fault. But that was not working out for me.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I should have given you the book QBQ by John G. Miller.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah that was not working out for me so I was in that pattern for I don’t know 6 months or a year where none of this was my fault and then that one day I am like no wait a minute if this is not going to get better until you acknowledge that all of this is your fault.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Right that’s an excellent read did you ever read that?  You’ve read QBQ?

DARRIN T. MISH:  No I haven’t….

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Add that to your list. If you are in this little rut where you are blaming somebody else, read that book by John Miller QBQ. It’s a question behind a question and in that book, he teaches you to learn about self-accountability, self-responsibility and even if you think it’s somebody else’s fault, you have a part in it.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah so, I forgot. I lost my train of thought.

Protect Yourself from the Negative Effects of Stress

KATRINA MADEWELL:  It’s an excellent read. I’m sorry I sidetracked you. I do it all the time. It’s normal for the show. So, number 11 help others protect yourself from the negative effects of stress.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Let me circle back really quick to the statement I made where I looked at myself in the mirror and I pointed a finger and I said this is all your fault. What I meant by that was yes, certainly, there were people, there was key people in my life or professional life even that had let me down in a big way.

They did bear some blame, but my point in my comment was focusing on what they did wrong was not going to move me ahead. So, it was my fault from the standpoint either I didn’t recognize these possibilities could arise or I was just too focused on pity to move along.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And to add to that, sometimes when these business relationships disappoint you or anything in life, there are people that you really shouldn’t be connected to anyway. Don’t you agree with that?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Oh yeah.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And looking back you are like wow I probably should have never had that relationship to begin with.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah if it wasn’t serving me well, sometimes we just hold on to long. There are people especially in professional situations where you just need to move on.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  You know it’s funny because we’ve kind of gotten to this to where even my whole team knows I don’t do toxic it’s like cancer in your organization or relationships or anything and if you’ve got that negative or people that are just distracting everybody I would rather get rid of that one person than have it effect the whole team.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Absolutely.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  So alright when we come back we will jump into number 11 which is helping others to protect yourself from negative effects of stress. Stick around you are listening to the IRS Solution Attorney show and today is all about 15 ways to keep from freaking out when you owe the IRS more than you can afford. Back in just a moment.

(commercial break)

DARRIN T. MISH:  Welcome back to the IRS Solution Attorney show, I am the IRS Solution Attorney, Darrin T. Mish.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I’m your co-host Katrina Madewell whacking myself in the teeth with my headphones.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Well you know in the last segment I accidentally turned my volume up with you talking up to like 9,000…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Oh your poor ear drum.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah if you watch me on Facebook live you saw me jump out of my chair because it was startling. So today we are talking about the 15 ways to keep from freaking out when you owe the IRS more money than you can afford to pay, that’s a mouthful but anyway that’s what we are doing that is what we are talking about.

Helping Others can Help Your Stress Level

Tip number 11 we are going to have to kind of rush because we’ve got to get through these in just a few minutes. You need to help others to protect yourself from the negative effects of stress. I can tell you in my life it continues to be helpful. What I do, an attorney is a very stressful thing, I mean think about it, I fight the IRS for other people all day 7 days a week….

KATRINA MADEWELL:  With big problems that aren’t yours.

DARRIN T. MISH:  More like five days a week, but anyway all year and have so for years. They are big problems and they are complicated. They are stressful. So, the way that I in part combat stress is, I really must embrace the idea of helping other people. There was a gentleman that came in yesterday, we decided not to do business with each other because he really doesn’t need me, it would be overkill. It would be like killing a no-see-um with a sledgehammer. You just don’t need to do that…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Which by the way is a very good sign of a good attorney. You can always tell if you get an attorney that says, oh, you know what, you could hire me. I could take your money, but you should just do this because this will serve you well.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I believe in treating people the way that I would like to be treated. Now it’s not exactly a perfect system, but it’s darn close. I treated this gentleman with a great deal of respect and kindness and told him exactly what I thought he should do which didn’t involve him paying me any money. It involved him paying the IRS no money so he liked that answer.

At the end of that appointment, I was happy. I know there is a part of me that would have been happier if I got a big fee, but I still felt good because I helped this guy and there really isn’t anything in it for me other just karma, right?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Birds of a feather flock together so the likelihood of him knowing someone else with tax debt is pretty good.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Exactly. We kind of hit it off and we decided to follow each other on Facebook. So, we are going to develop some sort of relationship even if it’s just sort of a social media friend kind of relationship and that is how we get business is through referrals and through people that listen to the radio show.

Drinking Coffee May Help you with Anxiety

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And number 12, which I can’t wait to talk about, drink coffee regularly because it may help you manage stress. I don’t think you drink coffee regularly. I’ll drink your coffee for you Darrin.

DARRIN T. MISH:  According to this study. They’ve done test on mice and stuff and they say if you give mice enough caffeine they don’t stress out as much I guess.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  But I love the part that says too much caffeine at one time has the potential to make us anxious or jittery. I think I was exempt from that part because I can literally drink espresso and go to sleep.

DARRIN T. MISH:  I’m super sensitive to caffeine and I can, there is such a thing as caffeine overdose and that is when you get the super jitters and you are like anxious and stuff like that.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Never had that in my life.

Practice Meditation to Reduce Anxiety and Depression

DARRIN T. MISH:  I have and it’s not a pleasant thing. So, tip number 13 is practice mind fullness meditation to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. That makes sense.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Kind of leads back to number one.

DARRIN T. MISH:  It’s like yoga and just kind of meditate and chill out because if you really were to focus in an objective manner for any length of time at all on your problems most of us are going to decide our problems aren’t really that catastrophic.

Talk to Yourself to Perform

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And looping back a moment ago we were talking, number 14 is, talk to yourself to perform. We didn’t read on down to that one but this was here…

DARRIN T. MISH:  No I had forgotten that was on here, but I do that a lot and you cannot talk to yourself negatively if you talk to yourself negatively. What do you think is going to happen?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  What you think about you talk about, what you talk about you think about.

DARRIN T. MISH:  And then it’s, yeah exactly that’s why we have to be careful around our kids to and you don’t want to put your kids down because that becomes their self-talk for the rest of their lives in a lot of cases.

Embrace the Potential Advantages of Stress

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Alright so really quick number 15 and we will post more details on your site, embrace the potential advantages of stress and you will be more likely to learn from the struggle.

DARRIN T. MISH:  This probably sounds bizarre to some people. What are the advantages of stress?  Well, I tell entrepreneurial people who are small business owners all the time that we make as much money as we need. Not as much as we want, but as much as we need. So sometimes you have to put the pressure, some stress, the pressure is another word for stress, you have to put some pressure on yourself to perform better so that you can internalize that need to make more money.

In this case if you are the small business owner that just never pays taxes because you never have enough money as soon as you internalize that need to pay your taxes as you go along I’ve had very few people disagree with the fact that you will make the extra money because that is what business owners do.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Train kept rolling all night long. There is our train it’s time for our train wreck of the week.

DARRIN T. MISH:  This is the segment of the show that is one of my favorites is the IRS train wreck of the week. This is the segment where we talk about somebody who came into the office and they were kind of a train wreck they had a big problem with the IRS, owed a lot of money and…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And all a train wreck.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah and after we got done with them they ended up smelling like a rose. In this case, it was an interesting case. I’ve said this on the show many times that smaller cases are more difficult to settle with the IRS. The reason is there is a statute of limitations of 10 years, so the IRS only has a set amount of time to get the money. So, if I’m trying to argue to the IRS that over this 10-year period in this case my client couldn’t pay $19,253.00 it’s kind of a hard sell for most people could pay $19,000 over 10 years…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Most people could sell a car or something to pay $19,000.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Exactly, but in this case, it was a retired Asian gentleman. The only reason I bring that up is so you can visualize he’s frail and soft-spoken and there was a lot of shame and anxiety and embarrassment wrapped up in the fact that he had this tax problem.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  What was the tax term was it business, Chinese restaurant didn’t pay taxes?

DARRIN T. MISH:   I don’t, boy that’s a stereotype…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Well I didn’t mean it like that.

DARRIN T. MISH:  No I don’t remember it was income tax I forget…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Some type of annual return tax…

DARRIN T. MISH:  It was probably an early withdrawal from a 401K because it was just one year and it was $19,253.00. We sat down and we analyzed his appropriateness for an offer in compromise which is where you make a deal to settle for less and we decided to file that offer in compromise and I went aggressive on this one. I offered $50.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I’ve got to start calculating these percentages…

DARRIN T. MISH:  Now I do have friends around the country that will offer as little as a dollar or 20 bucks. I’ve done one for $20 before but typically in cases like this, I will offer $250 or $500 because I just don’t want to have the argument with the IRS that is not enough. But in this case, I thought that his finances, he was living on a fixed income I think it was Social Security only and had no assets and he was in his 70’s so I just went for it. I offered 50 bucks.

Well, the other day we got an envelope in the mail from the IRS and I can kind of tell just from what the envelope looks like, what’s inside. I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s kind of thicker and I can tell it’s from that address and it’s kind of thick it’s an offer of acceptance or rejection. I don’t get as many rejections as acceptances so I ripped the envelope open and it was on this case and they had settled that case for 50 bucks with zero questions.

I never spoke to anybody from the IRS, I never had to provide updated financials, we filed the offer and it came back accepted for 50 bucks. This is rare it’s happened about two or three times in my career, but it does happen sometimes. Pretty neat story. I was really happy for him and when I called him…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I bet he was really happy?

DARRIN T. MISH:  He was really and…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  I bet he was happy to hear from you?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, he was borderline tearful and he was just happy to have…

KATRINA MADEWELL:   So you get the letter first because you represent them as their attorney usually you see it first?

DARRIN T. MISH:  Well they get the letters too but since I’m at work and we get our mail early in the day typically I get the mail before they do.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And they probably don’t want to open their mail.

DARRIN T. MISH:  And a lot of times people don’t even know what it means so my favorite job at the office is to make those phone calls, hey we won. Now my least favorite calls are it didn’t go so well.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  We’ve got to fix it. We’ve got to get a new plan, plan B.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Yeah, my favorite calls are when I get to call the client and say hey you know your offer was accepted at 50 bucks. I mean how cool is that?

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Well if you have a tax problem or an IRS issue or you’ve got a question and you think Darrin’s your guy you can get him at 888-get-mish I’m pretty sure he will be able to help you.

DARRIN T. MISH:  You can visit the website at getirshelp.com, you can visit our YouTube Channel which is The IRS Solution Attorney. You can visit…

KATRINA MADEWELL:  And likely we’ve already done a show or you have a video out there that can answer the question.

DARRIN T. MISH:  We’ve probably done multiple shows on your particular question that you have, we are probably running out of ideas here.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Be like most people and get the answer on your own without having to talk to anybody.

DARRIN T. MISH:  Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. I have lots of books on sale that I’ve written on amazon.com as well. So, there’s lots of ways to check me out.

KATRINA MADEWELL:  Give us an idea for a show we would love to hear from you. You can call Pat George he’s back there at 888-404-1010. You don’t have to talk to us you can talk to Pat he’s more fun anyway. 888-404-1010 and he will make your day great I’m sure let him know if you see any traffic incidents or if you’ve got a topic or an idea for myself or for Darrin. We love that you are here with us today thank you so much for joining us on the money talk 1010. Have a great rest of your day.

DARRIN T. MISH:  We’re out.

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