Avoiding IRS Back Tax Relief Scams

BJ Lynch
Expert Contributor
Last Updated:
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  • Solvable does the work of vetting tax debt relief professionals, so you don’t have to.
  • When something seems too good to be true, like a magical strategy that makes all of your tax troubles disappear, it probably is.
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It can be especially challenging to spot a scam when it is staring you right in the face. With the way that companies market themselves in today’s marketplace, you will find that you hardly ever get what you see. This seems to be more true of tax debt relief companies than just about any other industry out there.

The best way to evade these scams is to ensure you don’t have tax issues you need to seek relief from, but life happens. We all could find ourselves in less than fortunate circumstances when it comes to tax debt. Knowing what to look for when seeking tax relief professionals can go a long way when it comes to preventing IRS tax debt relief scams from pulling you into their trap.

Know the Signs

There should be no reason for you as a consumer to be on the lookout for scams. You should be able to shop and use the services you want without having to look over your shoulder constantly. Retailers, restaurants, and service providers should always be transparent with their customers and provide a stress-free experience. Unfortunately, these aren’t absolutes in the real world. You could throw caution to the wind and do business with anyone, and that would be your precognitive, but you would be inviting financial disaster in the process.

Scam artists are skilled in the art of deception, so you have to develop a keen eye for the signs associated with scams. Signs of an IRS tax debt relief scam are numerous, but we will cover a few examples to help you learn how to spot a fraud. Scammers typically have a deceitful tongue or know how to manipulate you by telling you what you want to hear.

For instance, you might read that the IRS has launched a new program allowing taxpayers to satisfy their tax debt for pennies on the dollar. It is true that you could qualify for an IRS Offer In Compromise (OIC). An OIC is a program the IRS offers that determines the least amount the IRS will settle for to take care of your tax debt and the deciding factor is your Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP). The requirements set forth by the IRS are strict, hard to fulfill, and are often left out by scammers to fool you intentionally.

Avoiding IRS Back Tax Relief Scams

Typically, a scammer will lure you in by only providing information that sounds good but not the many details of how you must qualify for the relief you are seeking. The IRS is known for their strict requirements and the actions that they can take against you. So when you hear a company tell you that it is a simple and easy process and anyone can be approved, you can rest assured that they are feeding you a lie.

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You don’t have to settle for any vague talk of what they are going to do for you or how they have helped numerous others. There is a considerable amount of resources available to you like Solvable, where you can gain an understanding of taxes and connect with real tax debt relief professionals.

Don’t trust unsubstantiated claims of success. Scammers will often boast of their unblemished track records, making claims of how they have never had a customer denied of a settlement. If they are ready to offer you a guarantee of being approved before knowing all the details of your specific circumstances, you can bet they are trying to lure you into a con. The IRS rejects way more settlement offers than it approves. This is a fact you can prove by taking a few minutes on the IRS homepage researching regulations, codes, and qualifiers specific to settling your tax debt.

More often than not, scammers will hide in plain sight. They will use various types of advertising to pull you in. If you find that you are seeing and hearing the same name on television, radio, billboards, mailers, flyers, and emails, you will most likely want to avoid them.  Most legitimate tax debt relief professionals don’t need all the advertising or the hype; they get the majority of their business through word of mouth. Ask around within your circle of friends, family, and the consensus should steer you in the right direction.

Beware of payment requirements that seem out of place. Scammers will prey on your desperation concerning your tax debt. If they ask for you to accept their no refund policy, to pay a hefty fee up front, or urge you to borrow money to pay them, you should reconsider doing business with them.

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Always Be Prepared

The absolute best way to bypass an IRS tax debt relief scam is to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to make sound judgments when choosing a tax debt relief specialist. When making decisions throughout the process of selecting a tax debt professional, you should ask questions and take into consideration what we have discussed so far:

  • Learn how to speak a scammer’s language.
  • Don’t let overzealous advertising fool you into making a bad decision.
  • Be skeptical of promises and claims of success when they haven’t even asked for the details of your situation.
  • Avoid using a company that has a no refund policy.

One of the best ways to guard yourself against being the victim of IRS tax debt relief scams is not to let yourself be persuaded to do business with someone out of desperation. Take hold of your tax debt by formulating a plan and executing that plan. At Solvable, we understand that the stress of tax debt can bring you to your knees, so don’t forget we are here for you.

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BJ Lynch
Expert Contributor
Last Updated: