It is critical to examine the type of professionals hired by tax relief companies. Enrolled agents are federally licensed tax professionals that hold the highest credential awarded by the IRS. They may represent any taxpayer on any matter before the IRS. Certified public accounts (CPA) and tax attorneys are also authorized to represent clients before the IRS; however, both are regulated on the state level. CPAs cover a wide range of accounting needs while tax attorneys specialize in tax law and can represent clients in tax court. There are several organization that provide training and regulate industry standards including the NAEA, NATP, and ASTPS.
While researching, potential customers need to find out what type of tax problems each company resolves. Many companies represent clients during tax audits (thorough examinations of tax returns). Other critical services include help with wage garnishment, tax liens, and tax levies. Wage garnishment is when the IRS collects
owed taxes directly from a taxpayer's paycheck. Liens involve a public notice declaring the IRS' right to claim earnings before other creditors when a piece of property is sold. Levies are the IRS' legal right to seize property for unpaid taxes. Tax relief companies may also assist with innocent spouse relief and other services such as bookkeeping, business taxes, etc.
There are several different types of tax relief solutions: an offer in compromise allows taxpayers to settle with the IRS for less than they owe. It is only granted when the taxpayer is unable to pay the full amount. More often, tax relief companies will help clients create an installment agreement with the IRS. This allows the taxpayer to pay their owed taxes in monthly payments over a extended period of time. This can take the form of a streamline, partial pay, or traditional installment agreement. Finally, special circumstances may also qualify taxpayers for penalty or interest abatement.