If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities to your clients, your employees, your vendors, and your family. One of the biggest responsibilities you face is paying your personal and business taxes. You need to pay withholding, property tax, social security, unemployment, and state and federal income taxes among others. Here in lies the importance of hiring the right tax resolution services firm.
Sometimes you get overwhelmed. You can have a business setback, like losing your biggest client, cash flow problems, a medical emergency, or other disaster and suddenly, you can find yourself behind on your tax obligations.
The government takes tax collection very seriously. The longer you put off a payment, the more penalties and interest will accrue. They can garnish wages, and in extreme cases confiscate property like your home or business. Approaching the IRS on your own can be a challenge. You know how to run your business, but do you know how to effectively deal with the IRS? Can you advocate for yourself when you owe back taxes or have a complicated tax debt case to resolve?
Hiring a tax resolution services firm to advocate and guide you is the answer. They understand the law and the IRS. They will advocate on your behalf to achieve a settlement that you can live with.
What to Look for In a Tax Resolution Services Firm
Here are some of the key qualities you need to look for when choosing the right tax resolution services professional to address the IRS on your behalf.
When vetting potential tax resolution services firms, look for a team that has years of experience in the industry. You don’t want a “fly-by-night” company or a novice at the firm looking to gain experience at your expense. Look for a professional or company that has been in the industry for at least several years.
Experience is important. You want to work with a tax resolution services firm that has handled similar cases or even ones that were more complicated. They will understand the current tax laws and how they apply to your case. They will then use this knowledge to your advantage when negotiating with the IRS on your behalf.
• Time in the Business
The benefits of experience growth over time. The length of time your tax resolution firm has been in the business matters. Consider using a basic “standard” for determining if a firm’s experience is enough to meet your needs. You may wish to consider only those that have been in business for at least five years. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may want to retain a company that has been in business for longer than five years.
Asking how long a firm has been in business is one of the first questions you should ask when interviewing firms. A newer company may lack the experience needed to resolve a complex tax issue.
• Check the Firm’s BBB Rating
A firm’s Better Business Bureaus rating can tell you a lot about their professionalism and integrity. When reviewing a firms BBB rating, pay attention to its:
• Overall Score
• Number of complaints outstanding
• Any lawsuits that may have been filed against it
If a firm has any outstanding complaints or lawsuits, it may be a sign that the company does not resolve cases well. Avoid retaining any firms that have a poor BBB score or those with complaints or lawsuits filed against them.
You have a right to ask any tax resolution services company for references before you sign any agreement. They should be happy to offer you names and contacts of customers who have used their services in the past. If they refuse, this may—or may not—be a warning sign. Some companies may have policies that prevent the sharing of client contact information. However, a firm that does provide a list of satisfied clients would surely give a prospective client more comfort than one that will not.
When you receive a list of references use it! Make contact and ask about:
• Their experience with the company
• If the company was open about disclosing fees
• If any unexpected surprises arose during their case and if they were handled professionally
• Was the staff helpful and professional
Based on the answers you receive; you can decide if that company is a good fit for you. If not, continue vetting other companies.
• Personalized Service
As a client, you want to work with a tax resolution firm that understands the stress involved and can offer you personalized service. They should educate you about the IRS and what to expect, as well as keep you informed throughout your case as it unfolds.
What is an Enrolled Agent?
While there are many companies, tax accountants, or licensed or certified tax attorneys, who claim they can help you with your tax problems, any firm you hire should have Enrolled Agents on their staff.
An Enrolled Agent (EAs) is a federally licensed tax practitioner who may represent taxpayers before the IRS regarding collections, audits, and appeals. They are authorized by the Department of the Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations and are granted unlimited practice rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. Enrolled Agents are authorized to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for corporations, estates, partnerships, trusts, individuals and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. They are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.
This representation is the most important element to look for when hiring a tax resolution services firm. It is imperative to have representation when dealing with unpaid IRS tax issues. They will negotiate directly with the IRS on your behalf, taking the stress off you. This certainly makes it easier to focus on what’s important, like getting your business back on track.
A professional EA can work with the IRS to possibly reduce or eliminate fees and penalties. They can work with the IRS to reach an agreement that allows you to pay your back taxes while staying in business. They are up to date on all IRA laws, regulations, programs, amnesties or changes that may affect your agreement. Most importantly, they will guide you ethically and confidently to a more secure financial situation.
If you live in the New York area and would like to learn more, give the licensed tax experts at True Resolve Tax a call. Their team of specialized, licensed tax professionals offers commitment, experience, and the expertise to solve your tax problems today, and their unique personal approach will provide you with the peace of mind to know that your tax issues are in good hands. They can help you with business or individual tax resolution, tax preparation, bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, understanding the IRA and all your income and tax-related needs. Call today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your tax issues.