It is no secret that the key to finding an end to tax problems is making sure that you have brought the right help on board, and getting the right tax attorney or resolution specialist is not an easy task. Trusting someone with your financial welfare can lead to victory, or it can lead to disaster. The choices that you make today will ultimately bring about either a great relief or hefty issues. It is natural to fear the potential results, and the best defense is arming yourself with knowledge to be able to make the best possible choice.
You can choose between a CPA, a tax attorney, or a tax resolution specialist. A tax resolution specialist should be certified and is often referred to as CTRS. When you receive notification of auditing issues, back taxes, unfiled returns, property or payroll issues, or any kind of tax problem, the natural tendency is to panic and run for help. An IRS notification is a scary thing, and many people just want to run and ask for immediate guidance. The only problem with this is that you may end up just picking a name from a list and hoping that you got the best possible help.
Without a checklist of requirements, you could end up paying for help that is a complete waste of time. In order to ensure the best possible outcome you need to slow down and look into your options. There are scams that are run for tax relief, and there are those who are legitimate professionals that are simply not very effective. Paying fees for a service that does not bring resolution is costly. Start with some very basic questions and you increase the odds in your favor when hiring someone for tax relief help.
Be realistic about your tax problems and their cause. This will help you understand exactly what sort of professional and help you are looking for while also helping you get through the process faster. Be honest with yourself. You may be a victim of fraud or are falling into the consequences of a spouse's or exes actions. You may have avoided taxes or have previously ignored IRS requests and statements because you didn't feel prepared to deal with it.
The condition of your records, whether the IRS is aware of your problems, or you have discovered them on your own, and whether state and federal taxes are involved can play a role in who you need to turn to for help.
You will save money by hiring a CPA, but a CPA may not be able to handle all of your issues. Sometimes an accountant is great for getting your records in order, handling small issues, and helping you file returns that have been previously left unfiled. If you have large issues, have ignored previous requests, or need to sit down for a face to face audit a tax lawyer is usually the better option. Specialized professionals that deal with the IRS on a regular basis are often better able to handle stepping in front of the situation. Their experience and knowledge gives them a deeper insight into what is legal, what is not, and what it is that can be done in your best interest.
The tax specialist that you use should be interviewed. You have the right to look at the entire process as hiring an employee, because that is essentially what you are doing. Asking questions as an employer puts you in a position of empowerment and helps you make better decisions.
Do not hire anyone who offers you a guarantee simply because it is impossible to do so. Avoid those who use sales pitches and want to pressure you into giving them your business. You should also be aware that there is a big difference between placing a reasonable deposit for the service and handing over an entire fee at once. Don't be pressured into paying up front.
The firm and the staff should have ample experience. If you are hiring a lawyer, make sure that the firm has tax attorneys on staff. While it's nice to have the input of a former IRS agent, if you need legal counsel, then you need to have lawyers on staff to handle things. One very quick way to eliminate scammers is to inquire about the owner's name. You want to know who owns, not runs, the firm. Those who are not legitimate are not going to be forthcoming about the owner's name.
Deal directly with the individual who will be representing you. There is no other way to determine whether your case will be treated with the respect that it deserves unless you are able to have contact with the right person. If you have to wait an exceptional amount of time before your calls are returned your stress levels will rise and your opportunities to close the tax settlement fast may fade. Only when you are truly comfortable with the individual, and the firm should you proceed forward. When you are able to hire a highly qualified professional, tax problems become less of a mountain standing in front of you.
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