Because you're bombarded with confusing claims, simply bad information, and near worthless solutions. How do you find a qualified, competent tax resolution specialist? How do you make sure you're not getting ripped off?
You may find this information useful to help make an informed, intelligent decision.
RIP-OFF #1 Overpromising Results
If someone guarantees to settle your tax debt for a certain amount through an offer in compromise or promises you a certain monthly payment amount, that should be a “red- flag” to you. That's like you going into a trial and your lawyer telling you he knows which way the jury is going to rule. They don't and can't know ahead of time. It's the same with the IRS. The IRS is the final arbiter, they have the last word. A reputable firm will conduct a thorough analysis of your case, before they ever agree to take you on as a client, to determine what's more likely than not to resolve your matter based on (their years, the number of cases, etc.) historical experience with cases such as yours.
RIP-OFF #2 Bait and Switch
Beware of firms that quote seemingly low fees for a particular service just to get you in the door then turn around and inform you of additional services needed, and want MORE money from you, to complete your case. A reputable firm will let you know at the onset, even before becoming a client, what the total fees are to achieve permanent resolution. Some firms will also bill you by the hour and nickel and dime you for copies, faxes, time on hold with the IRS, phone calls, postage, etc. You'll never know what it will cost you to achieve a final resolution. Most reputable tax resolution specialists work on a fixed or flat fee basis, so you'll know, “all-in” what you're going to pay to achieve permanent resolution.
RIP-OFF #3 Salesperson vs. CPA, EA, or Attorney
You should always ask the person you are speaking with on the initial phone call or meeting how many cases they have successfully settled. The answer may surprise you, as only a CPA, Enrolled Agent or an Attorney can represent you before the IRS. If you've called an “800” number 10 states away, chances are you are speaking to a salesperson who makes a large commission for signing you up and has no direct bearing on your case. You want to make sure you are only speaking with a licensed professional, who is also a tax resolution specialist, regarding your situation and possible remedies.
RIP-OFF #4 Large Upfront Fees
Beware of firms requiring you to pay the entire amount of the fee upfront. These are generally the large national Tax Resolution firms you hear advertising on the radio and on late-night TV. They're hungry for your money to continue to pay for their expensive advertising without regard to completing your case. It's like a giant Ponzi scheme. A reputable tax resolution specialist will usually require a reasonable deposit to start your case and will allow you to pay them over time, usually in fixed monthly payments that your budget can handle.
If you have any additional questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out to me.