5 Tips for Hiring a Tax Relief Professional
If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from tax debt, hiring a tax relief professional can be a great idea. Depending on where you live, you may hear advertisements on television and the radio for debt relief services. While many of these services are valid, hundreds of debt relief scams exist; therefore, you have to be extremely careful when selecting a tax relief professional.
As previously mentioned, you may have heard or seen an advertisement on the radio or television for tax debt relief. Often, these services claim to make your tax woes disappear all while charging you a significant up-front fee. Unfortunately, some of the most common scams are a result of these advertisements. Scam artists prey on people who are desperate for relief. They often claim to instantly qualify you for tax reduction programs and give you false resolutions or limited time offers.
In order to avoid scams, do your research. Before ever committing to working with a tax relief professional, look up the company online to read reviews and complaints. If it’s a scam, there is a good chance you will be able to uncover it by doing a little research. Additionally, a good rule of thumb is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Hiring a Professional
It’s important to discuss scams because, unfortunately, they are a very real part of the tax relief industry. However, just because scams exist, it does not take away from the fact that several high-quality, professional tax relief services exist. If you’re in need of tax relief due to back taxes, unfiled returns, audits, tax liens, levies and wage garnishments or seizures, it’s a good idea to hire a professional. When you do, keep these 5 tips in mind.
1. Understand the Costs
You do not need to work with a tax relief professional in order to handle your debt. As a taxpayer, you are still able to represent yourself before the IRS. If you elect to work with a tax professional, it will cost you. However, the benefits can far exceed the cost.
The biggest benefit you receive when turning your tax debt over to a professional is the peace of mind knowing your taxes are being handled properly, plus it saves you a lot of time of trying to figure out how to present your case.
When you work with a tax debt professional, they will increase your chances of resolving your tax issues as well as help you qualify for IRS debt relief programs and settlement options. They will handle all the paperwork to ensure it is filed properly and in most cases will take over all communications with the IRS on your behalf.
Like any business professional you work with, a debt relief professional will share with you their fees for services available. A good professional will typically offer a free consultation and will be very honest and up front about the costs. Be sure to discuss this when you meet with a debt relief professional so you fully understand all the costs involved in the process.
2. Understand Your Options
As lonely as it may feel, you do have options when managing your tax debt. When you work with a tax relief professional, they should communicate all options to you and explain what each option means. Debt relief programs have very stringent qualifications and detailed application processes.
A good tax relief professional is familiar with these programs and will help to determine if you qualify. If you do, they will walk you through the entire application process and often times handle your communication with the IRS. If certain IRS programs are not an option, a good tax professional will let you know what your alternatives are. Regardless of your situation, they will focus on working with you to develop a plan to resolve your tax debt issues.
3. Check the Credentials
As we mentioned previously, it’s important to do research before working with a debt professional. Not only should you research the company, you should research the individual who will be working with you. Good tax relief professionals are proud of their credentials and more than willing to discuss them with you. A professional in the debt relief industry should be a CPA, Enrolled Agent, Attorney, or former IRS agent. Be sure to ask what qualifications the individual has before working with them. In all cases, you will want to make sure the professional specializes in “tax representation” matters, aka “tax relief”.
4. Ask Questions About Your Situation
Each situation is different. A tax relief program that worked for your sister may not work for you. The best way to guarantee your situation is handled properly is to work with a professional who will give you a personalized plan and solution to your issue. When you begin working with a debt professional, be open and honest about your situation. In order for the professional to find the best solution, you have to explain your entire tax situation. A good tax professional will know what questions to ask you and what solutions are available to you.
5. Look for Honesty, Transparency and Trust
If you’re experiencing tax debt, you can feel very vulnerable. Unfortunately, some tax services take advantage of your vulnerability, over-promise and under-deliver. It’s imperative that you select a firm that is honest, transparent and trustworthy.
A good tax relief professional will have an upfront discussion on all the fees throughout the debt relief process and answer all of your questions regarding the fees. In addition to that, a good professional will take the time to slow down and listen to your specific issue. If you feel rushed or if it appears that the professional doesn’t care, it likely won’t be a good working relationship. Instead, select a professional who makes you feel comfortable and secure throughout the process.
If you’re experiencing tax debt, working with a professional is usually the best solution. The key is to be selective in who you hire. Use the tips above, always do research, and remember, if it seems way too good to be true, it unfortunately probably is.
If you have questions about tax debt relief, contact us today at 1 (714) 382-6780 for a FREE
and CONFIDENTIAL consultation with our CPAs and former IRS Agents.
We look forward to serving you.
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