Tax Relief Services: What to Expect With A Tax Relief Company

If you have taxes owed or a serious tax problem, tax relief services can be essential. There are fees for these services, but in most cases, the benefits outweigh the costs. Tax relief services can help you eliminate penalties, reduce your tax bill, and/or get the IRS/State Agencies off your back in regards to enforced collection actions. Tax professionals can also stop wage garnishments and prevent asset seizure.

The right option often depends on your financial situation or the company’s financial situation, but here’s an overview of the process.

Finding the Best Tax Relief Services

There are many tax relief companies out there, and finding the one that is best for you can sometimes be a difficult task. You may see many review sites out there that rank the best company overall, but the fact is you can't really rank the best overall company. Most of the big companies can do work remotely and help taxpayers in any state with IRS tax problems. The companies often lack experience in state-specific experience. The company you choose really depends on your unique tax problem. This guide here on finding the best tax relief company will help guide you to navigating the internet to ensure you find the best company for your unique situation. In this industry, there are many bad actors who use clever sales and marketing tactics to sign up as many clients as possible. Knowing the signs of a bad company is important to ensure you don't end up with overpriced and subpar services. 

How to Evaluate Online Reviews for Tax Relief Services

When considering a tax relief company or tax professional, it is important to know how to assess online reviews. Many different sites offer different types of insight, and you need to know which ones to place more weight on in order to make an informed decision.

Understanding Various Review Platforms

Reviews of companies appear for various reasons, some to showcase legitimate reviews from actual clients, and others to give an overview of the company and to make referrals to earn money for each referral they send. Platforms like the Better Business Bureau do not generate general revenue by sending company referrals and tend to be more reliable. The less reliable sites are influenced by getting paid to display the company. If you do an internet search for something like “Best tax relief company,” you will be met with many paid ads that do just this. Even the listings under the paid Google ads will show pages that say they rank companies but have a disclaimer that they receive commissions from the companies listed. 

Signs of Trustworthy Reviews

Generally, you will see detailed personal narratives that outline both positive and negative experiences of consumers who are or were clients of the company. These reviews contain information about the services performed and interactions with the professionals and reflect genuine customer interactions. Seeing a mix of recent reviews and older reviews is a good indicator of consistency with their business and less likelihood of manipulation happening. 

Red Flags of Review Sites

First, check the top of the page to see if there is a disclaimer. Many sites will contain a disclaimer that most people don’t read, which states that the ranking of the companies is influenced by what they pay. There are many variations of these disclaimers, so observe for this. Be cautious of sites that seem to have an overwhelming majority of positive reviews that seem to repeat similar phrases and lack the actual first-hand experience you would expect, which could indicate manufactured reviews. Many trustworthy review sites have algorithms to delete these types of reviews.

Comparative Analysis

To get a good overview of the tax relief company or the tax relief professional you are considering, compare reviews across multiple platforms. For example, consider reading reviews from a site like TaxCure (we have a detailed review process and validate each review), Google Business Profile (generally type in the brand name of the company and location, and you will see Google’s listing), and the BBB can usually provide a well-rounded picture of the company’s reputation. Avoid and ignore those sites that have advertising disclosures for ranking companies.

Case Study on Evaluating Reviews

As an exercise, we will evaluate the reviews of several tax relief companies and highlight some critical aspects to look at and consider. If you would like a particular company evaluated, please email [email protected], and we will provide our analysis of places to look and avoid when evaluating the company.

Case Study 1: Optima Tax Relief

Optima Tax Relief is one of the larger firms that spends a lot of money on brand awareness. They have listings on many review sites and are a good example of which review sites can be trusted and which ones cannot. Knowing where to look is essential to getting a good company assessment.

Evaluation of Pros & Not Companies

A company is made up of the tax professionals who work there. Understanding the experience of the tax professionals who will be working on your case is essential, and TaxCure has made it easier than ever to evaluate professionals based on their experience. Start a search by clicking “Find a Local Tax Pro” at the top of the page.

Free Tax Consultation With Tax Relief Services Assessment

The process starts with a free consultation. It typically lasts about 30 minutes but can take longer. During the discussion, a tax professional will qualify you and ask you questions about your tax and financial situation to ensure you would benefit from tax services. During the call, you will understand your options in most cases. Most companies and professionals specifically specialize in handling IRS tax issues, so if you have a state tax issue, but be sure the company has knowledge in helping with that specific state taxation agency as well. You can search for top tax professionals by agency and problems using the form below. At TaxCure, we have developed a system that allows taxpayers to find top-rated tax professionals by tax agency, problem, solution, and more. Start your search today.


After You Choose a Tax Relief Firm or Tax Professional

Once you choose a firm or an individual licensed tax professional, you start by signing an 8821, or a Tax Information Authorization form. If you are representing a business, you will be required to use this form as well. This form enables a licensed tax professional to complete a tax compliance check to find out the services you may need along with your tax options.

The IRS generally won’t work with you unless all past returns are filed. Therefore, it is essential for a licensed tax professional to know your tax compliance situation.

Tax Resolution and Settlement Process Begins

Next, the company will generally present you with a list of IRS programs and/or State tax programs you can pursue after a licensed tax professional reviews your transcripts and understand your financial situation. It is often known as a compliance check.

The tax relief firm will provide a breakdown of the fees involved. The company assigns your case to a tax attorney, an enrolled agent, or a CPA who will be representing you or your business if you agree to the services and fees. Before representation becomes active, you will need to sign a 2848 or Limited Power of Attorney form (POA) so that the licensed tax professional can resolve your tax problems by directly speaking to an IRS agent or Revenue Officer.  In some cases, several professionals may work together on your situation.

The licensed tax professional finds the most practical tax relief solution for your situation. Some common IRS solutions are the following,

Each state has its own set of solutions they offer as well. Many of the solutions mirror what the IRS offers, but will require completely separate filings to address state issues. 

The goal is to balance what the IRS/State will accept with your budget. Your tax professional handles all the paperwork associated with applying for a settlement or payment plan.

The process is not always quick, but once you hire a tax firm, at least you are moving in the right direction. You can save money and eliminate stress by tackling your problems sooner rather than later.

Settlement Approved and Taxpayer in Full Compliance

When the IRS approves the proposal, you make the required payment. For instance, if you applied for an offer in compromise, you pay the agreed-upon amount if the IRS accepts the offer (generally have to wait 9-12 months). The IRS is entirely off your back, but you have to ensure you stay compliant with tax filings and payments for the next five years.

After that, as long as you stay up to date on payments and compliant with future filing requirements, you stay in good standing with the IRS. Your tax professional will also give you tips on how to avoid future tax problems. Last but not least, once you set up a resolution with the IRS, and the tax professional provides future guidance, the licensed tax professional will generally withdraw the POA with the IRS.

Find & Evaluate Licensed Tax Professionals to Solve Your Tax Issues

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Find & Evaluate Licensed Tax Professionals to Solve Your Tax Issues

Select Tax Agency/Agencies