Income tax book and stack of file folders with calculator and pen

Envision this scenario: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has contacted you to let you know that you owe the government a large sum of money. Meanwhile, you’ve received an official letter in the mail from a tax relief company indicating a notice of investigation.

You may be tempted to reach out to that tax company for help given the convenient timing, however, it’s important to note that not all tax relief companies are legitimate.

Many risks arise when you’re suddenly required to pursue tax relief, as not all tax relief companies can be trusted. In fact, some companies exist for the sole purpose of preying on taxpayers in your situation. Their goal? To line their pockets while leaving you high and dry. In this situation, you could easily find yourself in a far worse condition than you were in to begin with.

In our ongoing series about the best tax relief options for you, we’re exploring tax relief companies and tax resolution firms’ hidden fees, in addition to other red flags to look out for.

Hidden Fees Are Not a Good Sign

If you’re seeking tax relief, tax relief companies are not the most legitimate or reliable option. First, they generally don’t have much experience in providing true IRS tax debt help. Second, they are sales-oriented. And with sales-oriented “relief” comes the potential for hidden fees.

For instance, after you sign up with a tax relief company, you may find that the company will make unauthorized charges to your credit card, or it may withdraw money from your bank account to cover “fees” that were not disclosed upfront. In these situations, tax relief companies avoid charging flat fees that cover everything needed to resolve a specific case. They also don’t provide clients with current schedules of their various service fees, as assessing random fees over time and keeping their clients in the dark about these fees allows them to overbill their clients time and time again.

Why Else Are Tax Relief Companies Not Legitimate?

Tax relief companies are known to engage in various other tactics as well, including guaranteeing to you that they will settle your debt without first evaluating and qualifying your case. In addition, these companies tend to charge major upfront fees.

Another sign that your chosen tax relief company is likely untrustworthy is that it tells you that your IRS tax issue can quickly be resolved. Furthermore, watch out for companies that don’t share who will be handling your case with you. In addition, look out for companies whose Better Business Bureau ratings are subpar.

Other Reasons Tax Relief Companies Are Not Legitimate

According to the Federal Trade Commission, many tax relief companies that promise to help taxpayers who are in your situation never actually settle taxpayers’ tax debts. In fact, in many situations, they fail to send the IRS the proper paperwork. On top of this, these companies may refuse to provide their dissatisfied clients with refunds, even though they have done nothing to help these clients.

Since Tax Relief Companies Are Not Legitimate, What Should You Look for Instead?

Rather than seeking help from a tax relief company, you should consult a tax attorney who has extensive experience in dealing with IRS tax issues. The benefit of hiring a tax attorney is that you’ll enjoy client-attorney privilege, which means that all of your communications with the attorney concerning your case will remain confidential. As a result, you don’t have to worry about the attorney testifying against you in court.

Furthermore, a reputable attorney will give you solid legal advice regarding the best options for resolving your tax issues. And most importantly, working with an attorney will help you to avoid hidden fees that could cost you thousands of dollars in the end.

There Are Legitimate Alternatives to Tax Relief Companies

As you face tough IRS tax debt problems, questioning the legitimacy of your options can be stressful. The truth is, tax resolution firms generally are not dependable. But the good news is that you can receive legitimate tax debt help from a tax attorney. At Delia Law, we can help you to effectively address these issues, keeping your best interests at heart.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can successfully reduce or eliminate your tax debt based on your unique situation.

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