Friday, February 3, 2017

6 Tips for Hiring a Good Income Tax Attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist

While taxpayers are allowed to represent themselves before the IRS, many discover that dealing with the IRS can be frustrating, time-consuming, intimidating or all of the above. Often, they will make the decision to hire professional tax help (specialized tax attorney, tax resolution firm, etc.) to negotiate with the IRS on their behalf.

An experienced tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) who specializes in providing tax relief to individuals and businesses can help resolve tax problems at both the state and federal level. Before you hire a tax resolution professional, check out these top tips for choosing a good tax relief expert to help you resolve your IRS problems.

Understand the cost of going solo. There are many advantages to hiring an income tax attorney or CTRS, but the greatest advantage is peace of mind and knowing that you are not taking unnecessary risks with your personal and financial freedom. Going in front of the IRS without a tax attorney is like defending yourself in a murder trial. You’ll get creamed.

To paraphrase the wise old saying, “He who acts as his own tax attorney has a fool for a client.” Even if you can’t afford to pay your back taxes or have years of delinquent returns, a tax professional can help you settle your IRS debt by increasing your chances of resolving your back taxes and helping you qualify for a settlement where you only pay back only a fraction of what you owe.

Don’t be penny wise but pound foolish. Even when you know you need a tax attorney, it can still be a difficult decision to make when faced with their fees. However, know that not getting professional tax help can be even more costly. You need to leverage the specialized knowledge that only an expert tax resolution professional can provide. In many instances, retaining professional services will often result in more affordable IRS payment plans and lesser tax penalties.

However, when you owe back taxes and you need a tax attorney’s help to get the tax relief you want, the issue at stake is more than just what is on your balance sheet. Issues with back taxes and other IRS problems can be both financially and personally crippling ‘” so you will want to resolve them swiftly and permanently.

Understand your tax settlement options. Your tax attorney or CTRS should help you understand the process for resolving tax debt so that you have realistic expectations for solving your specific issue. Because the IRS has very strict guidelines governing eligibility for tax settlement, your tax relief professional needs to let you know up front what options are viable for resolving your specific IRS problems.

Know that every tax relief case is different. To get the tax relief you need, you will need personalized attention rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to tax resolutions. Beyond being able to leverage the specialized knowledge only an income tax attorney or CTRS can provide, you will want to choose a firm with extensive experience and an exceptional track record for success to help ensure your unique case is in good hands.

Look for a firm that offers transparency. It’s unfortunate that there are some firms out there that will “lowball” their initial fees ‘” without letting taxpayers know about additional fees that may be involved further down the road. This is a popular tactic that is used to secure a client. They start the process by quoting entry-level fees – intentionally leaving out the fact that the Offer in Compromise process can take up to 6-7 months.

Because a high percentage of offers are rejected by the IRS, these cases often have to go to the appellate level ‘” at which point these firms will then turn around and hit the client with additional appellate representation fees. You will want to choose a firm that will help you understand exactly what’s involved with achieving a settlement for your specific IRS problem.

A tax attorney will keep you out of future IRS trouble. Hiring professional tax resolution services can not only help you resolve IRS problems from the past, but it can also help you achieve permanent tax relief, making sure you don’t run into problems in the future.

Hiring a good CTRS or tax attorney can help significantly increase your chances of securing offer in compromise settlements, IRS payment plans, penalty abatement, innocent spouse relief, release of liens or levies, non-filer issues and many other tax settlements.

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