If you’re dealing with tax problems, you might feel like you’re all alone and your situation is unsolvable.
Though having issues with the IRS can be stressful, millions of Americans find themselves in the same boat. An estimated 19 million Americans owe taxes that they cannot afford to pay, and nearly 11 million individuals either didn’t file taxes or underreported their income.
The IRS is vigilant when it comes to collection efforts, but the good news is that having an advocate on your side can vastly improve and even permanently resolve your tax burdens.
The term that describes this task is “tax resolution services.” In this article, we’ll describe what’s involved in this service.
What Are Tax Resolution Services?
Tax resolution services are meant to protect your rights as a taxpayer. All taxpayers in the United States have rights that the IRS has identified as fundamental in enforcing fairness and integrity in the tax collection system.
Though all IRS agents are intimately familiar with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, it can be helpful to ensure that your rights aren’t violated. A tax resolution service professional can protect your rights.
In addition to making sure your rights are protected, a tax professional will also leave no stone unturned when it comes to preventing you from overpaying.
An important thing to keep in mind is that only specific classes of professionals are eligible to help, such as CPAs (certified public accountants), lawyers, and agents who the IRS authorized to represent taxpayers.
Tax Resolution Services
The term tax resolution is a somewhat broad term that includes a variety of services you might need if you and the IRS disagree about how much you owe, or you’ve encountered difficulty paying your tax bill.
At a high level, tax resolution professionals offer a range of services. The type of service that you’ll need will depend on your specific situation.
Representation for Tax Audits
You can think of tax resolution services as your first line of defense if you’re being audited or you made a mistake on your taxes.
Instead of battling an intimidating IRS agent on your own, you’ll have an informed tax professional to argue on your behalf and present evidence to support your case. This service is especially valuable if the IRS tries to make you pay taxes that you don’t legitimately owe.
Even if the amount you owe is clear cut, there’s a chance that you can reduce your bill or get more favorable terms for paying back your debt. Here, a tax professional functions like a mediator to find a middle ground that both you and the IRS can live with.
Some of the tools and agreements that can be implemented include:
– Apply for Currently not Collectible status: The IRS might seem ruthless, but they’d much rather know that they’ll get their money eventually than put you on the street and unable to earn a living.
When your tax debt is financially crippling, a tax resolution professional can apply for Currently Not Collectible status, which temporarily halts all tax collection activity.
– Waive penalties: The longer you go without paying your tax bill, the more interest and penalties you’ll accrue. However, in the interest of getting paid something, the IRS might be willing to waive or reduce those penalties.
– Negotiate payment structuring: Paying off thousands of dollars in one go can feel like an impossible task. The good news is that a tax professional can negotiate manageable payment plans that allow you to pay off your debt over time.
– Request an offer in compromise: One of the best possible outcomes is an Offer in Compromise in which your overall tax bill is reduced. These are difficult to get, but not impossible.
– Stop wage garnishment: Having your paycheck raided by the IRS is both embarrassing and financially crippling. This step is a last resort of the IRS, and tax resolution services can prevent this from happening or have the decision reversed.
Help Preparing Past Returns and other Forms
If you didn’t file personal or payroll taxes, the IRS can get very aggressive as they try to collect. By having a tax professional who’s experienced in resolution services prepare your taxes and file any missing forms, you’ll be in a better position to come to a fair agreement.
Remove Tax Liens
It can be frustrating to pay off your entire tax debt only to discover that you still have a tax lien against your home or other property. Tax resolution professionals can help remove any liens, which prevents erroneous foreclosures and other financial complications.
Get Help Resolving Your Tax Issues
The information contained above is meant to be an overview of the various services offered under the tax resolution services umbrella. At Levy & Associates Tax Consultants, we have a team of accountants, attorneys, and former IRS officers with a strong record of resolving IRS issues. Contact us for a free consultation and to discuss how we can help.