Individuals who can’t settle their taxes in full may avail of tax relief programs offered to taxpayers under specific circumstances. These tax relief programs, available to both individuals and business entities, may come in the form of tax reduction, delayed payments, installments, tax credits, and other forms of tax deductions.
If you owe the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) a huge amount of tax debt, it’s time to seek help from professionals offering tax relief services. Tax attorneys, accountants, and other professionals can help you navigate through the complicated tax rules to help you out.
How to Find the Best Tax Relief Service Provider
Before starting your journey in choosing the best tax relief services provider, prepare your tax return and file it, even if you can’t pay for it in full. The IRS charges a minimum of 5% of the total amount of taxes you owe for each month that your return is late.
Taxpayers who fail to file a tax return, or were unable to pay taxes or misfiled their return, end up paying additional costs from accrued penalties and interest. Besides, one cannot apply for tax relief without filing a tax return.
Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, start your search for the best tax relief services provider.
1. Search online or ask for referrals. These days, it seems that everything can be resolved by hitting the search button. In fact, industry estimates reveal that at least 80% of buyers start their journey online, and through searching for companies or products and services.
If you’re not comfortable relying on search engines and reading through customer reviews, ask your family and friends for referrals.
Sift through the information you got online and from friends, and choose two or three firms that you think are the best for you.
2. Check the services offered. There are many ways in which a taxpayer can avail of tax relief programs, from installments or easy payment plans to tax credits and other reductions. These programs, however, rely on specific criteria, that’s why you need to know which services the contractor is most familiar with. Choose the firm with the widest specialization so you have a number of options for your tax debt resolution.
3. Contact them and seek an appointment. Taxpayers may have specific situations that require a different approach, so it’s best to talk to them either by phone or through online chat, and eventually move on to see their representative in the office.
By knowing specifically what your issues are, tax resolution specialists can come up with a better assessment on your issue and could better present you with options on how to tackle the issue. It also pays to talk to these professionals in person so you could ask pertinent questions, such as the cost and the length of time needed to iron out your tax problems. Tax relief service providers offer free consultation or charge a minimal fee.
4. Don’t hesitate to ask. Doing this can help you in two ways: one, your questions will be answered and you’ll have more clarity about your situation; two, you’re able to assess the tax relief service contractor’s familiarity with the various tax programs.
Choose the entity which you think will exert all lawful efforts to do everything they can to find and work on an option that suits your case. You’d want a contractor who knows and has succeeded in facilitating tax relief services, of course.
5. Study their staff. The U.S. tax law only recognizes CPAs, enrolled agents, and tax attorneys as the three types of tax professionals who can transact and negotiate with the IRS on your behalf. The best tax debt relief services must have these professionals available, so choose accordingly.
6. Assess the firm’s customer service. Helping you out with your tax issues is not a one-off deal. Applying for tax relief and waiting for approval is a lengthy and tedious process. It requires the company and client to interact regularly for updates on the application status and other developments.
While interacting with the representatives of your top three firms, assess the way they deal with you or the other clients, and make sure the firm is accessible and responsive. By observing the system in place and your personal interaction with the company, you will have a “feel” of how transacting with them would be like in the long term.
7. Check for red flags. Apparently, some fraudsters are taking advantage of this pervasive problem, luring desperate taxpayers in their web of tax relief service scams. Most of the bogus service providers ask you upfront for payment and make false assurances, for instance, promising that they can substantially reduce your tax debts, or have all your penalties waived.
In an ideal world, a taxpayer should settle his or her taxes in a prompt manner to avoid penalties and the risk of being slapped by a lawsuit or asset forfeiture. However, be aware that there are so many factors that impact your capacity to pay for your tax obligations.
Negotiating with the IRS for your accumulated tax debts can be confusing and daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with tax laws and IRS policies. In most cases, it may be worth spending money on tax professionals to represent you.