There are currently 937,514 delinquent tax accounts in the United States, as of 2016. Americans fail to pay $458 billion in taxes each year. It is all too common for people from all walks of life to run into tax problems, for all kinds of reasons.
Tax relief services are there for them when that happens. But how do you pick a tax relief?
What’s the best way to identify a reputable service with so many to pick from?
How To Find The Right Tax Relief Services
The IRS wrote off $33.8 billion in unpaid taxes between the years of 2012 and 2018. They have every incentive to try to work something out with those sort out their back taxes.
Even more, it becomes increasingly unlikely that they’ll get their money with each passing year. They’re likely to work with taxpayers who make an effort to settle their accounts.
Back taxes and delinquent accounts are generally set up with some kind of tax relief program. Some common forms of tax relief programs include:
- Installment program
- Non-collectible status
- Offered a compromise
- Bank levy release
- Penalty release
- Tax lien release
- Innocent spouse relief
It can be tricky to set up on of these tax relief programs, however. That’s where tax relief services come in.
How To Pick The Right Tax Relief Service
With tax relief being such a large industry, recent years have seen an uptick in illegitimate tax relief services. You’ve got to be careful when selecting a tax professional to help you get back into financial good standing.
The best tax relief services work directly with the IRS to find the best deal for your particular financial situation. The problem is, you’ll likely start to receive mail from companies claiming to be able to solve your tax situation if you fall afoul of the IRS.
The first step in finding a tax professional to help you with your back taxes is to remain calm. Notices from the IRS always induce a sense of panic. You can’t make sound financial decisions when you’re feeling panicked.
Ask Your Community
It’s no great mystery that a great percentage of consumers prefer word-of-mouth recommendations when selecting services. Advertising is always going to be somewhat biased, even if it has the best of intentions.
People you know and trust can be one of the only sources of undistorted advice on reliable tax relief services.
You Get What You Pay For
Tax relief services often deal with very large sums of money. Some will advertise their services for pennies on the dollar. They may offer limited-time offers, as well, to try and rush you into soliciting their services.
You can find great deals on tax relief services. It doesn’t have to break the bank. Beware of offers which appear too good to be true, however.
You should do your due diligence before settling on a tax professional. You should look for companies that have been established for a while. The longer they’ve been in business, the better.
The company should have some certified public accountants on their payroll. They should have tax agents and tax attorneys working for them, also. These are the only people certified to represent you in front of the IRS.
Any tax service without these people is not likely to be legitimate.
Ask A Lot Of Questions
Unscrupulous tax relief services won’t be able to answer your questions clearly and directly. It’ll also help you get an idea of what you need to do on your end of things.
Questions To Ask Your Tax Service
Here are some questions to help you find the best tax services for your needs.
How Long They’ve Been In Business
Ask the tax professionals how long they’ve been working with the IRS. The longer they’ve been in business, the more established they’re likely to be.
How Long Will It Take?
You should also check the tax professionals about how long they expect the process to take. If everything is in good order, it should only take three to four months to get back in good standing.
It can take up to nine months, in extreme circumstances.
What Documents Do You Need?
A legitimate tax relief company will ask for all of your tax records. They’ll also need to look at your earnings history to determine your reasonable collection potential (RCP).
What If You Don’t Have Your Paperwork?
Don’t worry! A tax professional can obtain copies of all of your tax records. W2s, 1099s, and 1098s can be easily obtained by tax agents and attorneys.
How Much Will It Cost?
This question should probably be higher up on the list, as how much a tax service costs is likely to be one of the first things on your mind when looking for a tax service.
Remember, cheaper is not always better. Quality tax services can still be had at a reasonable cost, however.
Although every firm has its own procedures, a flat-rate is common for most tax relief cases. This flat-rate should be discussed at your initial consultation.
Who Will Handle Your Case?
The last but definitely not least important question to ask is who will be handling your case. Your case won’t always be handled by the same agent from start to finish.
Over the course of your tax relief process, you’ll talk to agents, case managers, and consultants. Find out who’s overseeing your project so you can check in with them from time to time.
Tax relief can bring a major piece of mind if you’ve fallen behind on tax payments. This is all-too-common, in the wake of The Great Recession. There are all kinds of assistance out there for you, however, if you know how to go about finding it.
Want To Learn More About Tax Relief?
Tax law in a complicated labyrinth to navigate. Having a guide to navigate its twists and turns helps clear the confusion, so you can get the tax rates you deserve.
Read more articles about personal tax relief services to find out more!