Editors' pick: Originally published March 17.

Unpaid taxes are a big problem for the Internal Revenue Service, and if they find you're one of those delinquents not paying, the agency will make big problems for you, too.

While data varies on the topic, one study from the IRS says that the federal government loses $385 billion, while other reports state that the number is closer to $600 billion, in unpaid taxes each year.

Even to the U.S. government, $600 billion is a lot of money, and that's why they'll send the IRS after citizens who don't pay up, or who come up short on the amount of taxes they owe Uncle Sam.

That's where an IRS "back taxes" letter enters the picture, which comes chock full of fines, interest and penalties that come part and parcel with owing the IRS money.

If you receive a letter from the IRS stating you owe back taxes, experts say to take it very seriously, and to take the following steps to rectify the problem:

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