16 Mar How to Choose the Right Tax Resolution Services
When you’re dealing with tax debt, you probably know you could use some help dealing with the IRS. However, you might not know where to turn to get the help you need. Following these tips on how to choose the right tax resolution services will allow you to find the best services for your situation.
How to Choose the Right Tax Resolution Services
Look for Experience
The primary focus of your search for the right tax relief company should be their experience. Look for services that have been in business for many years and have a track record of successfully helping their clients solve their tax problems. There are always going to be new tax resolution firms popping up, especially around tax time, but if you’re already in debt, you can’t afford to hand over your case to a company that might not know what it’s doing.
Experience comes with mistakes, but you don’t want to be the client a company makes a mistake with. You want a firm that has already been through its growing pains and is now successfully resolving even the most complicated tax issues. When you are searching for a tax services company to use, choose one that has successfully dealt with a case that’s similar to yours so that you can have some idea of what to expect in your situation.
Find Out How Long the Company Has Been in Business
This goes along with experience, but you should choose a tax services company that has been operating for a minimum of five years. You don’t want to put your trust in a fly-by-night company that disappears as soon as tax season ends. Depending on your situation, you may even want a company that has been in business for longer than five years, but in general, five years is a good measuring stick for most cases.
Check Various Rating Platforms
The Internet makes checking out a company’s business rating fairly simple, so there’s no reason for you to choose a company that is poorly rated when you can find one that has a stellar reputation. One such business rating platform is the Better Business Bureau, otherwise referred to as the BBB. This platform will provide you with a company’s grade, overall score, number of unresolved complaints, and number of lawsuits against it.
While the overall grade and score are important, you really want to pay attention to the number of unresolved complaints and number of lawsuits. These are indications that not only is the company not serving its clients well, but it could, in fact, be breaking the law. Choosing a company that has no unresolved complaints and no lawsuits against it is ideal, but even good companies run into problems every now and then, so use your best judgment.
The employees of the firm you select should be either licensed tax attorneys or certified tax resolution specialists. These designations signify that they have been properly trained in tax law and have demonstrated the ability to assist taxpayers when dealing with the IRS. Unlicensed or non-certified employees may not even be qualified to file tax paperwork on your behalf, which can lead to a whole host of other problems that you probably don’t need in addition to your tax debt.
Ideally, the employees of any reputable tax resolution company will also belong to professional associations such as the Institute of Certified Public Accountants or the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers. If an employee is a tax attorney, they should be members of the state bar. While belonging to an association isn’t a requirement, it does signify that members have received up-to-date training on any tax code changes or available relief programs that may affect you.
Prior to hiring a tax resolution company, you should ask for references that will allow you to contact previous clients who have previously taken advantage of their tax relief services. If a company does not want to give you references, that is a sign that you may not be happy with their services and that you should move on to a company that will provide you with references that you can easily verify and who will answer your questions.
Have a list of questions available when you contact these references so you can get an overall picture of the company’s reputation, communication style, fees, and professionalism. Some questions you may consider asking are the following.
- What was your overall experience with this firm?
- Did this firm adequately disclose its fees and prices?
- Did you have any unexpected issues with your case?
- Were the terms and agreements of service well explained?
- Were you happy with the professionalism of the staff?
If the answers to all of your questions meet your satisfaction, you should feel comfortable hiring that company. If you still are undecided, though, it might be a good idea to continue to check around. You don’t want to leave your tax issues in hands that you don’t fully trust.
Ask for Pricing and Fees
All tax resolution firms should provide their prices and fees upfront, before you agree to work with them. You should be able to clearly understand how they’re pricing their services and be aware of how your costs may change based on how your situation changes. There will be different pricing structures on the market, from flat-rate fees to a la carte fees, so you’ll want to determine which structure you’re most comfortable with before signing a contract.
You should also look for a money-back guarantee at least for the initial period you work with the firm. For instance, if you find you’re not getting the service you thought you were within the first three weeks, you should be able to get at least a portion of your money returned to you. This indicates that the firm is willing to stand behind its services and is confident that you’ll be satisfied with the quality of work they do.
No tax resolution company can guarantee that you will receive a certain outcome for your tax problem. This is because the resolution depends on a variety of factors including how much debt you owe IRS, how old your debt is, the penalties and interest you owe, if your assets have been seized, if your wages have been garnished, and which resolution option you ultimately decide to file. If a company guarantees a settlement, it’s not being truthful.
A guaranteed outcome is different from an initial services satisfaction guarantee. Essentially, you should be able to try out the services of a tax company without risking a lot of money. However, you should not be given the expectation that your tax debt will be entirely erased because every situation is different and there’s no telling how the IRS will respond to individual circumstances. Look for an initial services guarantee, but stay away from an outcome guarantee.
Hold Out for Personalized Service
As mentioned before, no two IRS tax cases are exactly the same. While an experienced firm is likely to have handled a case similar to yours, it will still need to deal with your situation individually. Make sure the firm will keep you in the loop as your case progresses through the system and that you are informed of all pertinent details of your potential resolution before you agree to it.
Owing back taxes can be a scary situation. Contact our specialists at Tax Alliance today to help you resolve your tax issue and remove that fear from your life.