It is so easy to ignore the letters. It is easy not making your tax problem a priority. Procrastination is a natural human behavior. Unfortunately this only compounds the problem since the penalties and interest are very aggressive and your debt can DOUBLE before you know it. There are many alternatives for dealing with the IRS, including getting on an installment agreement, making a one-time settlement or combination of both. Penalties and interest can be abated (forgiven) in certain circumstances. Tax returns can be amended to reduce your liability. However, the total bill will only grow if you wait. It takes time to solve problems that have taking years to build-up, so the best course of action is to clean up your records, settle with the government and get these affairs in order quickly.