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At Solvable, we care about your financial well-being and are here to help. Our research, articles and ratings, and assessments are based strict editorial integrity. Our company gets compensated by partners who appear on our website. Here is how we get compensated.
At Solvable, we care about your financial well-being and are here to help. Our research, articles and ratings, and assessments are based strict editorial integrity. Our company gets compensated by partners who appear on our website. Here is
No matter whether you need standard tax preparation services or you’re looking to settle substantial tax debt, finding a reputable service provider is crucial. When it comes to tax relief services, there’s an entire range of options based on how much you owe, how long you’ve owed money to the IRS, and what penalties you’re facing as a result of back taxes.
In this post, we’ll shed light on what makes a good tax relief services company and how to know whether you’re working with a trustworthy and professional source. You’ll also discover which characteristics to stay away from, so that you can avoid using tax relief service providers that might inevitably end up wasting your time or money.
What is a Tax Relief Services Company?
A tax relief services company is any service provider that markets to individuals with financial distress as a result of unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); these companies help consumers negotiate or settle their unresolved tax issues and often provide expert guidance and resources as the consumer works with the IRS to retain good standing.
How They Can Help You:
A qualified tax relief professional can be a necessary intermediary for individuals facing back taxes and other harsh federal penalties. Many times, these service providers can assist with:
Reducing the total amount of back taxes that a consumer must pay
Resolving unfiled claims or missing tax returns
Negotiating with the IRS to create realistic and beneficial solutions for paying off debt
Although there are many legitimate tax relief service companies that help consumers year-round, the Federal Trade Commission regularly monitors consumer reports for fraudulent and misleading tax relief service providers.
Fraudulent companies are those that make substantial claims while failing to provide results, or while charging significant premiums that leave consumers in even greater debt. It’s always wise to read consumer reports and to check for any FTC complaints before proceeding with tax relief assistance.
Top 5 Qualities to Consider in Tax Relief Services
Fortunately, many of the top tax relief service providers in the country have common characteristics that set them apart. These companies successfully help consumers overcome and settle obligations with the IRS. Below, we’ll discuss the characteristics for trustworthy tax relief services in more detail.
Proven History of Results
If you’re on the hunt for a trustworthy tax relief service, start with each company’s track record.
To find this out, you may want to:
Conduct basic internet research
Examine consumer reviews and testimonials
Look to the Federal Trade Commission or Better Business Bureau for any red flag reports and complaints
Perform your due diligence at this stage to avoid any surprises that come in the form of negative reviews or consumer complaints.
Transparency Regarding Fees and Service Charges
Second, it’s good practice to know how the tax relief service company you choose will charge for its services. Is the company upfront about how much and how often they charge while working on your case? Can you easily locate fees and other charges from a personal account or customer portal?
If payment for services seems secretive or vague, it’s best to stay away. Never sign a contract without first understanding how much you will be expected to pay for tax relief help.
Expertise of Staff Members
A good tax relief service company employs staff members who are well-versed in relevant tax regulations and federal laws. Depending on the severity of tax debts and obligations, some companies may work with licensed tax attorneys. Always ask about the knowledge, expertise, and training that your assigned tax professional will bring to the job.
Minimum Requirements for Assistance
Did you know that some tax relief service companies only work with individuals who meet a minimum debt threshold? Although many providers can help regardless of how much you owe, others specialize in debts and back taxes that exceed $10,000.
A strong tax relief service is up front about minimum requirements and typically filters customers through a qualification process before accepting or declining their business.
Does your tax relief service provider offer a money back guarantee? This quality is one of the hallmarks of strong, reputable tax professionals. Getting the results you need is often critical for your personal finances and future.
Choosing a company that promises results can provide reassurance during an otherwise chaotic time.
Characteristics to Avoid in Tax Relief Services Companies
Now that you’ve learned some of the characteristics to seek in a tax relief service, we’ll dive into some of the qualities that you should ultimately avoid.
Remember, no matter how drastic your situation may seem, doing business with reputable providers only is extremely important to your financial health in the long-run.
Unreliable Track Record
If the representatives from a tax relief company can’t provide any record of success, it’s time to move on. Proven results are critical, especially when you’re dealing with federal tax laws and legal obligations. When your financial stability is on the line, choosing a company that has a solid reputation matters.
Short Time in Business
Although newer companies might provide enticing incentives to get customers in the door, it’s always a good idea to go with tax relief service providers that have a substantial and established history. The longer that a tax relief provider has been in business, the more experience they have in helping customers overcome a wide range of tax hardships.
Hidden or Unexplained Fees and Charges
Consumers may be skeptical of tax relief services due to hidden fees and miscellaneous charges that many companies are known for. While it’s reasonable to pay for professional assistance, it’s not reasonable to be taken advantage of. Stay away from any company that springs hidden charges and substantial fees upon individuals who are already facing financial difficulty and stress.
Solvable is a for-profit company that helps customers resolve their tax problems, but a free service for consumers. Partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable editorial reviews or ratings. We do not publish favorable (or unfavorable) editorial reviews or assessments at the direction of an advertiser or partner. We always work to put consumers first and do our best to provide value in meaningful ways, but our reviews are subjective.
How We Make Money
Solvable is compensated by some of the companies seen on our website. Most often, Solvable receives fees when one of our readers clicks, fills out a form, applies for, or receives a financial product from one of our partners. We also earn fees for capturing consumer stories and writing about them, displaying advertising, having our partners sponsor certain parts of the site, and writing content that may be relevant to our partner and their audience. This compensation may impact where products appear on this site, including article pages, comparison listings, the order in which they appear or if they will even appear on a given page, and our matching recommendations. Solvable has not written about, reviewed, or rated all financial products available to consumers.
In addition, we may be compensated in the following ways:
Referrals to consumers who use the online form or locator line that may provide expert answers to questions;
Marketing tax resolution, tax preparation, tax audit help and general tax assistance.
Referrals to services that help consumers with tax resolution, tax preparation, tax audit help and other tax issues.
We do recommend that you shop around and compare services and costs with other companies while performing your own due diligence, especially since people’s experiences with companies can change over time.
Free Solvable Services
The offers that you are matched up with are from companies or attorneys/law firms that we may receive compensation from. Based on our initial review of such companies or individuals, we feel comfortable introducing them to our readers. We won’t recommend something just because we’re offered payment to endorse or promote it. However, we do recommend that you shop around and compare services and costs with other companies while performing you own due diligence, especially since people’s experiences with companies can change over time.
We are not attorneys and we don’t provide legal advice. As always, we encourage you to do your homework and check out individuals and companies before you hire them. If you are already working with an attorney, we urge you to ask them your questions. After all, they will be familiar with your situation and the laws in your state.
We hope that you find Solvable helpful in your efforts to get a fresh start.
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Congrats! You're One Step Closer To Resolving Your Tax Debt.