Legitimate Tax Relief Services (BBB Accredited Companies)
Do you want to negotiate a more convenient and affordable payment plan with the IRS or, when possible, settle your debt with them for less than the full amount you owe?
Using the services of legitimate, law-abiding, and trustworthy tax resolution firms is the best way to avoid the risks of being exploited, overcharged, scammed, or ripped off.
The following list provides information about tax debt relief companies approved by the Better Business Bureau after being thoroughly reviewed by the national consumer organization and successfully meeting all their strict requirements.
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Consumer tips, how-to’s and articles that you may find interesting.
Struggling with Debt to the Tax Authorities
It can happen to anyone.
One day you open your mailbox, and you see an official letter from the IRS.
It’s a notice stating that you have a balance due.
You take a deep breath and try to organize your thoughts, but then the questions start to pile up: What happens if you can’t pay? How do you protect your family’s financial health? Are you in trouble? Will you have to deal with this powerful organization all by yourself?
Owing money to the Internal Revenue Service or to state tax agencies, either as individual or as a business, is not a pleasant scenario to be in.
Struggling to pay current or back taxes is something that is often associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, panic, and fear of what the future may hold.
Nobody wants to deal with the unfortunate ramifications of unpaid tax bills, but what happens when you have to?
Welcome to the grim world of failure-to-pay penalties, interest charges, late fees, wage garnishments, tax liens, bank levies, or other mechanisms that Uncle Sam can use to collect what you owe.
Needless to say, such measures can have a serious impact on one’s most valuable possessions: home, vehicle, retirement savings, bank account funds, and other financial assets.
Under such gloomy circumstances, there’s little wonder why some American taxpayers, who are desperate for any type of relief, look for legal ways to find loopholes in the system.
Their purpose? To find effective debt elimination, forgiveness options, or other clever strategies that will help them avoid paying their outstanding debt or at least most of what they owe
Conversely, people who do not live in Fantasy Land adopt a more realistic and achievable approach and simply look for legitimate programs that will enable them to ease their financial burden, decrease the amount of taxes owed, or divide the debt into reasonable payments they can actually afford.
The Tax Resolution Industry
Getting assistance from an established tax relief firm may help clients resolve their unpaid state and federal tax obligations and work toward a better and brighter financial future by eventually becoming debt-free.
Such businesses can provide U.S. taxpayers with concrete step-by-step guidance regarding what IRS programs they qualify for and assist them with the application process.
Their goal is to reduce their clients’ monthly payment or in some specific conditions – the overall debt.
The major services that operate in this market legitimately employ tax attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, former IRS employees (who know how everything works from the inside), and other well-trained debt reduction experts.
These professionals can use their education, knowledge, and industry experience to fix the problem or at least direct clients toward the right solution.
Some common tax relief options include:
- Installment Payment Plans
- Innocent Spouse Relief
- Currently Not Collectible (CNC) Status
- Penalty Abatement
- Offer in Compromise (OIC)
- IRS Fresh Start Program
- Tax Levies, Liens and Wage Garnishment Assistance
Consumer Tips: How to Avoid Tax Relief Scams Online
Falling into five figures of debt (or higher) with federal and state tax agencies is a reality that cannot be ignored and must be dealt with responsibly.
Many consumers, who wish to address this pressing problem in a comprehensive and decisive manner and resolve their unpaid tax obligations as quickly as possible, turn to what they see as ‘the experts.’
Their expectation is to be served by qualified and competent companies who demonstrate the highest levels of transparency, integrity, and fairness and hold themselves to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.
However, just like any other sector that involves consumers, businesses, and money that switches hands, the tax debt resolution industry also has its fair share of scammers, fraudsters, and con artists that operate online and look for potential victims.
Scammers use a variety of illegal, unethical, or dishonest ways to capitalize on some of the most vulnerable people in society who cope with a serious outstanding debt to state or federal taxing authorities and just want to get their life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Some fraudulent companies use high pressure sales tactics and try to take advantage of desperate, unsuspecting debtors and lure them in with highly exaggerated claims and false promises that cannot be fulfilled.
For example, some will tell prospects that they have unique expertise or secret knowledge that enables them to offer supposedly-guaranteed extremely positive results.
Others may claim to possess personal “connections” with the IRS that grant them with preferential treatment or other advantages that no other company can deliver.
All these deceptive pledges are usually given without even reviewing the client’s unique financial background.
Needless to say, all these exciting sales presentations are full of half-truths, blatant lies, and other unreliable information and turn out to be complete scams designed to separate people from their money.
Other fraudsters make unauthorized charges or slap their clients with hidden fees and additional costs that were not outlined in the service contract that the client signed.
In other cases, certain businesses will not even bother to send the applicant’s necessary paperwork to the IRS and falsely claim that the organization has rejected the client’s case.
Some websites pretend to represent actual tax law firms but are, in fact, only built to manipulate users and steal their private information so it can later be sold as “leads” to tax relief marketing agencies and industry practitioners.
Other crooks operate fake review sites that mislead U.S. consumers to think that the companies they list are indeed legitimate ones that have been fully vetted by their editorial staff.
So what do you do in order to avoid the rotten apples of this business sector?
Taking the following steps will help you find more credible and reliable companies who can represent you before the IRS and avoid making an already bad situation even worse.
Do Your Homework
Found a service provider that looks interesting? Investigate its credentials, prior experience, and track record online.
Look for verifiable third-party reviews, scan complaint boards, and search for possible lawsuit information or problematic news reports.
With the help of Google, this type of background research work can help you spot tax relief scams ahead of time more easily.
Be Skeptical and Use Your Common Sense
As the old saying goes, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’
If a company tells you they can guarantee debt forgiveness or promise to reduce your tax liability for pennies-on-the-dollar by supposedly negotiating and settling with the IRS for a fraction of what you actually owe – walk away. It’s a pure scam!
Avoid services that use deceptive advertising to get you believe they can help you ‘get rid’ of the debt, completely erase it, and help you get out of this financial mess in a quick, easy, and painless process.
Check for Memberships and Accreditations
As with any other major industry, the tax relief business also has trade associations.
Memberships and accreditations by these third-party organizations, such as the National Association of Enrolled Agents or the National Association of Tax Professionals, may indicate professionalism, reputation, and expertise.
As a consumer, working with companies that offer a money-back guarantee is a great advantage, since at least in theory, it eliminates some of the risk and gives you an option for a refund in case you’re not satisfied with the service or the results.
However, here’s an important word of caution: read the fine print of the guarantee as carefully as possible and remember – the devil is in the details.
Be sure to understand in clear terms what the guarantee actually covers – as well as what it doesn’t.
Read the Contract
The contract you sign has to detail in a clear and transparent manner the overall scope of the work, pricing model, all fees, the payment schedule, etc.
Read your contract carefully before signing it, pay attention to the details, and make sure you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
Many tax firms offer free consultations regarding the services they offer and how they can be used in order to resolve your unique situation.
Use this option to ask questions and evaluate the company, its operational procedures, and its recommendations regarding how your individual case should be handled.
Make sure the company’s representative explains the entire process in full detail and articulates how they plan to fix your unique situation in a clear and transparent manner.
Investigate the Tax Relief Service’s BBB Record
Check the company’s record on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
What you’ll find there will help you determine whether it’s a legitimate business that deserves your money and trust or if you should look elsewhere.
Look for the current BBB rating, customer reviews, complaints, warnings, and alerts on their business profile.
Also, learn how long it has been in business – a potential indicator of experience and reputation.
If the company is not even listed with the BBB, this is a very bad sign.
On the other hand, if the researched tax resolution company is certified as a BBB Accredited Business, it’s an important, positive signal.
Pay Close Attention to Red Flags
Learn how to protect yourself better when ordering goods and services on the internet to avoid scammers and keep safe in general.
Knowing how to check if a website is legitimate or not is the first line of defense.