What to Look for in a Tax Relief Company
There’s no shame in needing help navigating the world of taxes, whether you have tax debt or need help filing taxes for your new business. If you’re struggling with tax issues, you’re not alone. In 2017, Americans owed over $131 billion in interest, back taxes and penalties.
Fortunately, tax relief companies are a huge help when it comes to navigating a solution for your tax issues, whether they consist of money owed or questions about tax relief. This guide will assist you in understanding what you should be looking for in a tax relief company, the types of tax relief you might be interested in and how to hire a tax relief company
How to Choose a Tax Relief Company
Choosing the right tax relief company for you can be a complicated process, but it’s worth it to not have to deal with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on your own! A tax relief company worth contacting will have qualities that allow you to feel safe and secure in seeking a resolution for your tax issues with them. Here are several points you should consider when choosing a tax relief company.
1. Clean Background
It’s imperative to ensure the tax relief company you’re considering has a completely clean history. These companies should have reliable and accurate credentials that outline their legitimacy. There are three steps you can take to ensure said company is clean.
First, ask them for their licensing information. All tax relief companies will have licenses. If you ask a company and they don’t immediately show you their license, you should note that as a major red flag that you shouldn’t conduct business with them.
Additionally, check to make sure their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is at least an A. For example, our company, BC Tax, has an A+ rating. The BBB has also labeled us an accredited business. This information ensures the company has been checked out by a credible, well-known third party.
Performing a web search will reveal to you any major issues a business has had with the law or their clients. Don’t trust a company that has had issues with the law with your money or personal information. It also helps to check online reviews to see what experiences previous clients have had with them.
Ultimately, verifying the company’s history will steer you in the right direction when selecting a tax relief business to do business with.
2. No Scams
A tax relief company looking to scam you will often ask for a large amount of money before they fully explain how they can help with your tax issues. The tax relief company you choose to work with should make it clear through their actions that their ultimate goal is to help you out of your financial crisis. A legitimate company will meet with you to discuss the situation in full, and won’t accept payment before you’ve created a plan of action for tax relief.
It’s also important to consider how the IRS will contact you. The tax relief company you do business with will communicate with the IRS, so you shouldn’t expect any emails or phone calls from them. There’s a chance that you’ll receive written communication from the IRS — otherwise, you should be wary of potential scam messages. If the way the tax relief company communicates seems odd to you, consider that as a significant red flag.
3. Transparent Process
Before a tax relief company starts to resolve your tax issues, they should make it clear to you what options for tax relief are available. Then, they should describe in detail every step this option requires. If you’re confused about any step the tax relief company plans on pursuing, that’s often a warning sign. The company you work with should make you feel comfortable and secure about whatever tax relief option you decide to pursue.
4. Realistic Results
If the tax relief company you’re looking into boasts lofty claims about how quick or easy they can make your tax resolution, you should consider that a red flag. Completely resolving your tax issues can take time. Therefore, an honest tax relief company will be transparent about this fact. A credible company will help you resolve your real-life tax issues with real-life solutions. Additionally, they’ll defer to the IRS for specific decisions and processes, like your qualifications for certain tax relief options.
5. Knowledge of Reputable Programs
A credible tax relief company will have extensive knowledge of reputable tax relief programs. For example, states have different tax relief programs that tax relief companies should be able to navigate with ease. If a company mentions a program you’re unable to find any credible information about, that’s a warning sign that they may be more interested in your money than finding a solution for your tax issues.
Types of Tax Relief
Knowing what type of tax relief will make the largest impact on your tax debt is a smart place to start before settling on what tax relief company will fit your needs best. Navigating the different versions of tax relief isn’t easy without the help of a professional. Therefore, a credible tax relief company will provide you with an agent who has no problem describing the tax relief options you might have questions about.
IRS Payment Plans
For those who don’t want to pay off their debt with one payment, the good news is that the IRS is flexible when it comes to payment plans. Depending on how much you owe and what your job situation is like, the tax relief company you choose should be able to negotiate a short-term or long-term payment plan with the IRS.
- Short-term: A tax relief company will suggest this plan if you’re able to pay off your tax debt during a 120-day period.
- Long-term: If you’re not able to pay your tax debt off within three months, the IRS has options for paying it off over time in smaller amounts.
Depending on what payment option you choose, there may be extra fees.
Tax Payment Deferral
If you’re in a state of financial crisis, the IRS may agree to defer your tax payments to a later date. To qualify for this option, you can’t have money in your bank or investment accounts. If you do qualify for this option, the IRS can set limits for what you have to pay monthly on certain types of payments, such as car loans.
The tax relief company you decide to work with should be able to help you prove any circumstances that are beyond your control to the IRS. This capability is important because if these circumstances caused you not to be able to file your taxes, the IRS will give you three options:
- The IRS will allow you more time to file your taxes for the following circumstance — a fire, death in the family, an illness or a natural disaster.
- Typically, there’s a penalty if you don’t pay your taxes on time. However, the IRS can grant you a penalty waiver if you’ve had no other tax penalties in the last three years.
- If you’ve received incorrect information from the IRS, remember to keep copies of your communication with them. If you do, the IRS may qualify you for a statutory exemption.
Offer in Compromise
An offer in compromise involves the IRS reducing the overall amount of money you owe them. An effective tax relief company will help you navigate proving that you’re in a financial crisis. If they’re successful, the IRS may find you eligible for an offer in compromise. Note that if you have enough financial stability to pay off your debt with a short-term or long-term payment plan, the IRS won’t likely grant an offer in compromise.
Typically, the IRS will qualify you for an offer in compromise if there’s doubt that you were assigned the correct amount for your tax payments, doubt that paying the full amount wouldn’t create an unfair financial crisis for you and if your assets and income combined don’t equal the amount you owe to the IRS. Make sure the company you’re working with has a deep knowledge of how the IRS functions.
IRS Fresh Start
If you owe $25,000-50,000 in back taxes, you may qualify for the IRS Fresh Start program. This program allows you to pay off your debt over a 6-year period but only if you set up electronic payments for this debt.
How to Hire a Tax Relief Company
Even if you know what services you’re looking for in a tax relief company, how do you know if the company you choose will come through with its promises, and how do you go about hiring them? Here are several questions to ask yourself when choosing a tax relief company.
Do They Have Good Reviews?
Often, tax relief companies will have numerous detailed online reviews. When looking at one of these reviews, make sure that the company or business that wrote the review is credible. Sometimes, companies even have their reviews on their website as a form of transparency. Find reviews for BC Tax here.
What Services Do They Offer?
An effective tax relief company will have enrolled agents on their team waiting to help you. These agents are approved by the IRS to help you with certain tax relief solutions, meaning they typically have detailed knowledge about state and federal tax relief options. These solutions include resolving back taxes, filing returns, tax defense, halting collection efforts and dealing with liens and penalties.
The tax relief company you end up working with should offer a range of services, and these services should be easily accessible to read about. BC Tax offers the following tax services:
- Abatement of penalties
- Enforced collection action
- Back tax help and installment agreement
- Offers in compromise
- Tax appeal representation and due process
- Audit representation
- Transcript protest
- New company start-up
- Payroll tax recovery
- Lien discharges or subordinations
- Non-collectible status
- Tax planning and preparation
- Unfiled taxes
Are They Knowledgeable?
Come to the tax relief company you’ve chosen with questions about your individual tax issues and possible financial crisis. If the company you speak to has a hard time answering your questions or doesn’t know where to go to get answers for your questions, it might be time to go back to the drawing board when it comes to choosing a tax relief company.
If a tax relief company can’t show you where they source their information from, it’s a sign their information might not come from a credible source. For example, rules concerning taxes the IRS has set in place can typically be found online. However, it can be difficult to navigate the language used on some government websites. The agent assigned to your case should be more than happy to help you understand any material you might bring to them.
What’s Their Booking Process?
If a tax relief company is difficult to contact, that’s a warning sign that clients are not their priority. Look for companies that have an obvious and easy booking process. For example, BC Tax has a simple, straightforward way for you to make contact with us — fill out our brief form, and we’ll contact you as soon as possible to discuss your tax relief options.
Hire BC Tax for Your Tax Resolution
Whether you’re an individual or a business, BC Tax can help you reduce your tax debt. Our goal is to work with you and the IRS to help you pay off tax debts in a way that works for your personal situation. We’ve established a working relationship with the IRS to make sure we’re aware of every option we have to help you resolve your tax issues.
At BC Tax, our number one goal is to make sure you understand all of the ins and outs of your tax situation before we take over all communication with the IRS. We want to relieve you of any stress concerning your tax debt while also keeping you out of the dark.
We’re responsible for helping thousands of our clients begin the process of paying off their tax debts. You can check out our client success stories to learn more about how we’ve helped numerous Americans handle their tax debt. We want you to be one of our success stories, so come to us for any tax issues you might have, and we’ll make sure taxes are no longer a stressor in your life.
If you’re interested in the tax services we provide, call us at 1-800-548-4639.