Getting a letter from the Internal Revenue Service can be frightening, especially if you’re behind in your tax payments and you aren’t sure how you’re going to solve the problem. To be sure, you are not the only one dealing with tax issues, so don’t panic! You can hire a tax resolution specialist to help you establish a plan to get you out of hot water with the IRS.
What Is a Tax Resolution Specialist?
Before you commit to hiring one, you should be aware of what a tax specialist is and does. This person is an expert in tax statutes, laws, and regulations, and has extensive experience with representing taxpayers as they deal with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). No matter what tax issue you’re struggling with, be it an audit, back tax debt, or filing problems, this expert can help you communicate and negotiate with the IRS to find a satisfactory solution.
A specialist in resolving tax problems may be an individual person or it could be a group of tax experts that work at a firm that provides various tax services. Most people who are tax experts have experience in accounting and in a variety of legal fields. You might even hear these experts call tax attorneys because they legally represent taxpayers on their behalf when dealing with a government agency. In fact, many tax attorneys have law degrees.
When seeing out a tax specialist, you want to ensure the firm or person you hire has the proper qualifications to represent you appropriately. While the typical minimum education required for a specialist in resolving tax problems is a bachelor’s degree in accounting or law, some states require they hold a higher degree, such as a master’s or doctorate. Having passed the bar exam is always an excellent bonus education qualification that may provide you with additional peace of mind.
As important as their education is a tax specialist’s certification as a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS). The American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS) awards this designation to tax experts who have achieved passing scores on the Uniform CTRS Exam. Before they can sit for this exam, tax professionals must have at least a year of experience in the field, and once they are certified, they must continue taking additional educational courses to keep their designation.
Even if a tax specialist has all the proper education and certifications for the field, you still want a firm or expert who has significant experience with the IRS. A firm that has at least one expert who has actually worked for the IRS will be intimately familiar with every tax regulation and law in the country. They will also have a large network of contacts at the IRS and other agencies that can help with your case.
Other information you may want to know that establishes the firm or individual’s experience are how long they’ve been in the business of helping people solve their tax problems and how successful they’ve been helping clients with your specific issue. Be sure to also ask about their professional development policy, as tax codes and procedures change all the time. The best firms and individuals will continually educate themselves and their staff about these changes to make sure their clients benefit.
Not every tax specialist is experienced in resolving tax issues, so make sure that the firm or individual you hire has extensive experience with this aspect of the field. Additionally, while most of your case can be handled remotely, there may be some situations where you’ll need to be represented in person. Some firms do not perform this service, but in case you need in-person counsel, you should choose a firm that includes this as part of their offerings.
Reasons to Hire a Tax Specialist
Reduce Stress Levels
Having to deal with the IRS is nerve-wracking for anyone, but if you’re having issues like you can’t afford your tax debt or you’re behind in filing your taxes, it can be downright scary. As you know, when you’re under a huge amount of stress, you can make poor decisions or severe mistakes. This is reason enough to hire a tax specialist, who will take over communications with the IRS and counsel you to make the best choices.
When you owe a significant amount of money to the IRS, the agency can be difficult to negotiate with, especially if you don’t have any experience in this area. Tax specialists deal with the IRS on a daily basis and know how to properly negotiate with the agency on behalf of their clients. They know how far they can push the IRS and know when they’ve received the best outcome possible for each client situation.
Tax Levy Releases
If you’ve received a tax levy notice from the IRS, you don’t have very much time to act if you want to get it reduced or released. There are many steps to take in a short amount of time, which takes an experienced professional to get through the processes quickly to resolve the levy. Since a levy can authorize the seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt, you don’t want to mess around with this without professional assistance.
You’re Behind in Filing Your Tax Returns
People who haven’t filed their taxes in several years may be afraid to even begin the process of clearing their tax records up; however, in some cases, the IRS will file tax returns for you based on whatever information they have. These are called Substitute For Returns or SFRs and may not even need much adjustment. A tax specialist can investigate your record and determine what exactly needs to be done to get you current.
Your Case Is With a Revenue Officer
In the event that your case has been turned over to a revenue officer with the IRS, you are likely going to experience aggressive collection tactics, and you may be subject to severe actions to get the money you owe. A tax specialist can communicate with the revenue officer on your behalf and assert your rights as a taxpayer. When things are calmer, proper negotiations to satisfy your debt can begin and lead to an appropriate resolution.
No one wants to be audited, even if they know they’ve followed the rules as best they can. However, audits are almost always stressful situations, especially if you’ve never been through one before. Your peace of mind can be restored by hiring a tax specialist to help you prepare for the audit and be there to answer any questions throughout the entire process. Just having someone in your corner can be a huge relief.
If you owe back taxes, you may not even be aware of your tax debt relief options. Consulting with a tax specialist will give you the opportunity to explore the various choices you have at your disposal to solve your situation. For instance, a specialist can help you decide which option is best for you and assist you in applying for an Installment Agreement, an Offer in Compromise, a Partial Payment Installment Agreement, or for Currently Not Collectible status.
Many people put off solving their tax issues because they are afraid of dealing with the IRS. This is a natural reponse, as government agencies can be challenging and intimdating to work with. If you’re in this position, contact Geaux Tax Resolution right away to schedule a consultation with our experts. We’ll take over from there!