If you're facing an IRS or state tax issue, it may be in your best interest to seek assistance from a licensed tax professional. Such an individual may work privately, or be part of a company or network. When you have a tax problem, it is critical that everything that is provided to the IRS is timely and accurate. A tax professional understands the importance of these details and will work on your behalf to make sure nothing gets overlooked.
Unfortunately, there are certain misconceptions regarding tax resolution companies that sometimes prevent taxpayers from getting the help they need. In the event that you find yourself with a state or federal tax concern, it's important to understand what to look for in a tax professional. As with any industry, choosing effective tax representation is a matter of thorough research. Consider these facts and myths as you begin your search for the perfect tax pro:
Myth: "You'll pay pennies on the dollar to resolve your tax debt!"
A common misconception is that there are deals out there, which will allow you to pay next to nothing to settle your tax liability. While there are IRS programs, such as the Offer in Compromise, which may enable you to pay a reduced amount, they can be difficult to qualify for. Most of the time, you'll be expected to pay the full amount of your liability, though not necessarily all at once. If you encounter a company that promises too-good-to-be-true settlement offers, steer clear and keep looking.
Myth: "Some tax experts know tricks to get around your debt or keep you from having to pay taxes..."
If someone offers to "work magic" to get you off the hook with paying a tax bill or filing a return, you should run the other way. There are certain unethical or even fraudulent individuals who will take your money and promise you nothing short of wizardry when it comes to your taxes. The worst part is that entrusting such a person can end up costing you time, money and, in some cases, serious trouble. Always make sure you find out who you're dealing with; the Better Business Bureau is an excellent company research tool. A legitimate tax professional will explain precisely what is needed to resolve your tax problem and what you can expect from his or her participation.
Fact: "A reliable tax resolution company will offer you a free consultation and won't demand full payment up front."
Any company or individual you're considering to help you with your tax problem will be both fair and reasonable. You should be entitled to a no-cost consultation, so you can explain your problem in detail. You should be presented with a plan of action for your resolution, along with a detailed breakdown of any associated fees. Finally, a legitimate organization will accept payments for the necessary work to be completed. You should never be told that the entire cost for the services will be required beforehand or all at once.
Myth: "There's nothing a tax professional can do for you that you can't do yourself."
You could probably perform your own root canal or rebuild the engine in your car if you really had to, but would that be wise? Similarly, effective tax resolution requires time and precision. More importantly, the IRS is not patient. You'll be expected to pay any tax debt quickly and in total. Failure to do so means additional penalties and interest for every month that passes. Your original tax debt can balloon substantially as you try to learn everything required to handle it, and handle correctly the first time. If you feel uncomfortable dealing with the IRS on your own, at least call and speak to a professional to get some advice (remember, that consultation is at no cost to you). Working with an experienced tax resolution company is as much about having piece of mind as it is being complaint with your taxes. That is a fact.