Finding the right tax resolution firm can be stressful. Before choosing a tax resolution firm you should do some things.
What You Should Do Before Hiring a Tax Resolution Firm
1. Conduct Research
It is important to conduct research on the tax resolution firm(s) you are considering before agreeing to purchase their services.
This should at least including visiting the Better Business Bureau at BBB to research for complaints and/or good standing with the BBB.
You may also want to ask your IRS or state representative if they have heard any positive or negative feedback regarding your representative or their respective firm.
2. Ask Questions
- Before signing a contract for taxpayer representation, be sure to confirm that the firm will provide your representation will assign you case to a licensed representative.You should be guaranteed that your representative is a licensed attorney, licensed certified public accountant, or a licensed enrolled agent, before you sign any contract. (The IRS will not allow non-licensed representatives to negotiate for a taxpayer.)
- Be sure to ask if the individual selling you the tax resolution service has ever been involved in IRS or state tax negotiations.Many times you will get a delayed answer because that answer is “no.” Be weary of salespersons that will base how they can help you from a sales script. Any case-experienced salesperson should be able to walk you through the case proceedings from start to finish.
- You will want to confirm that the fee you are paying is for the service you are purchasing this is a flat fee. If you cannot get this guarantee in writing, it is not a flat fee.Many salespersons will state flat fee over the phone but will not guarantee this in writing. If you do not understand the terms and conditions of your representative’s contract, you may be trapped into receiving unexpected requests for additional fees.
- Wait for erroneous commentary when being sold a tax resolution service. For example, be weary of working with firms that state they will abate both penalties and interest.
3. Do your part
- Understand that by hiring a representative to negotiate on your behalf is not a guarantee that your case will be resolved. You will need to work closely with your representative to ensure that your best interests are always held in high regard.Although your representative should do nearly all of the interaction with the taxing authorities, your participation with your representative is vital to the resolution process.
- First, understand that there is not guarantee that penalties or interest will be abated. The decision to abate is decided solely by the taxing authorities.A request for an abatement can be submitted for penalties or interest via IRS Form 843. Penalty abatement’s will be determined by what “reasonable cause criteria” the taxpayer demonstrated in their written request.
- The taxing authorities will abate interest charges in case of an error in their calculations or if a taxpayer can prove that erroneous advice as received by a federal agent.Other special circumstances may exist. However, less than 1% of taxpayers receive interest relief.
State matters should be handled through your state’s website or via your state’s taxpayer hot-line.
For assistance in obtaining state tax contact information, call Phoenix Financial Group at 888.572.2179