Do you have a complex tax debt case or owe back taxes? Approaching the IRS alone can be stressful, especially if you don't have the skills to advocate for yourself or the experience to resolve complex tax debt issues. That's why a tax resolution firm is the best option.
Tax resolution experts have the experience and the skill to help you face the IRS. However, you need to choose the right firm to handle your tax problems. Below are seven factors to consider when choosing a tax resolution firm.
1. Their Level of Experience
How long has the company been in the market? As you look for the proper tax resolution expert to handle your case, it's best to consider a firm that has been in the industry for many years. Don't look for a novice firm or an inexperienced tax professional looking to gain experience at the expense of your case.
Experienced tax resolution professionals are more likely to have handled a case similar to yours or even more complex ones. They also keep up to date with current tax laws that may apply to your case. They will likely use these laws to your advantage when dealing with the IRS on your behalf.
Firms with little to no experience in the industry are less likely to resolve their tax problems satisfactorily. A good measure to determine a firm's experience in the market is whether it has been in business for at least five years or more.
However, depending on your case's complexity and personal preference, you may choose to hire a company with over five years of experience.
2. Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating of the Tax Resolution Firm
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is another factor to consider before hiring a tax resolution firm. The BBB rating is like a report card and can disclose a lot of information about the firm's integrity, transparency, and professionalism. Go for A+ rated companies, as they have a score of between 97% and 100%.
As you look at the BBB rating, ensure you examine the company’s:
Number of unresolved complaints from clients
Number of lawsuits filed against them
If the company has numerous unresolved and outstanding complaints and lawsuits from clients, this is a sign of its failure to meet its client’s needs. This could also mean that the company isn't handling customer cases to their satisfaction. Avoid the services of companies with poor BBB scores and those with many outstanding lawsuits and unresolved complaints.
3. The Company's Qualifications
As a client, you expect a tax resolution firm's staff member to handle your case to your satisfaction. Therefore you need to look for companies with staff members who are certified and licensed tax resolution experts or tax attorneys.
Tax resolution experts should belong to professional entities such as the Institute of Certified Public Accountants or the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers. On the other hand, tax attorneys should be admitted to the state bar.
4. The Firm's References
If you were looking for a hairstylist, a landscaping company, or even a home contractor, you would check their references and reviews online. The same type of due diligence is required when looking for a reputable tax resolution firm.
As a client, you're entitled to ask the firm for references from their current and former clients. The firm's representative should share with you the contact details of their clients.
Contact the company's references and ask them about the following:
How well the staff members handled their case
Their general experience with the firm
If the company was transparent about its fees and prices
How well the company explained the terms of agreement and service to the clients
Based on the type of responses you receive from their former clients, you can decide whether to hire the company or not. However, if the firm refuses to give you a list of references, take it as a warning sign and move on to the next potential firm.
5. The Company's Pricing and Fees
A reputable firm will be transparent and clear about its prices and fees. The representative will give you an estimate of how much you will pay for the services you need.
When comparing service fees, ask the firms about:
Their hourly rate
Their tax lawyer's retainer fee
Their charges for services such as document preparations and courier costs
Any other unexpected charges
Remember to ask for all the expenses and any estimates to be put in writing. Also, ensure that these charges are not subject to changes without any advance notice in writing.
6. Personalized Service
A company that offers personalized service will ensure you're informed as the case unfolds. You will have information about the most intricate details of your case. Personalized service also allows you to meet face-to-face with the expert handling your case.
Ensure you settle for a company that offers its clients personalized services. You will also need assurance that the person handling your case will always be available by email or phone to answer your questions or help you with your concerns.
7. The Honesty of Their Staff Members
Most companies use marketing tactics to attract clients. Some even guarantee that you will have a positive outcome. However, no one can guarantee your case's outcome.
The right firm will make it clear that the outcome of your case depends on:
How much money you owe the IRS
Any interests and penalties you owe
How old your debt is
Seize on your assets by the IRS
The above factors make it difficult for a company to give you a 100% guarantee about your case's outcome. Ensure you look beyond the marketing and ask for an honest analysis of your case.
Resolve Your Tax Issues Today
Successful tax resolution demands hard work and commitment. However, it’s all worth it in the end because you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being tax debt-free.
Are you looking for a reputable tax resolution firm?
At Katie Lawson PLLC, we have many years of experience helping our clients with their tax resolution problems. We offer an honest assessment of your case and ensure our clients receive the highest-quality legal services. Contact us today and work with our experts on your case.