Should I Hire a Professional to Help Resolve My IRS Problems?
By Ismail F. Bharmal, CPA, EA
Los Angeles, CA
The most common IRS tax problems are the following: tax money owed, no filers, and IRS levy and lien issues. Because IRS tax problems are a complicated issue, many address them in different ways. Some taxpayers decide to face the IRS on their own, while others hire a professional like a CPA, Attorney, or EA. However, the best solution is closer to the latter: to hire an expert in tax resolution so that you may have an organized, tested, and efficient result.
Even if the debt is $10,000 or less, it is essential to have all your income tax returns filed. The amount owed, regardless of its quantity, can be paid over 36 months with a guaranteed, monthly Installment Agreement (payment plan). A small hiring fee for a professional to arrange this will be well worth the conflict averted in future. Furthermore, here are the top 4 reasons why hiring a CPA or EA who specializes in tax resolution is the smartest thing to do if you OWE money to the IRS.
- Contrary to popular belief, you DO have rights as a taxpayer. One of these rights is the right to representation. For example, if an IRS revenue officer or revenue agent calls or “visits,” you do not have an obligation to answer any of their often very intrusive and condescending questions. Instead, you may politely respond by asking for their contact information and inform that your tax representative will contact them soon. Specially trained for conversations like these, a CPA or EA is more able to speak with an IRS officer while ensuring that your rights are protected. In addition, a tax resolution specialist also knows how to get you the lowest possible settlement. It is our hope that our clients will never have to be forced to deal with often convoluted and tiring conversations with the IRS once we’re on the scene!
- If you owe between $10,000 and $200,000 and over, the IRS has several, NEW, and flexible programs available to taxpayers such as Offer in Compromise, Partial Pay Installment Agreements, Payment Plans, Penalty Reduction, and Currently Not Collectible Status. Each carries its own unique process, procedures and qualifications. Having an experienced tax professional in your corner ensures you are taking advantage of the best options available to you.
- Having unfiled returns (on average our clients have more than three years of unfiled returns) qualifies for getting professional help. Not filing legally required tax returns when due is considered a federal misdemeanor which carries with it a $10,000 fine and potential jail time. Fortunately, the IRS won’t throw you in jail unless the taxpayer is deemed to owe a cumbersome amount of money and is uncooperative in getting the returns filed. Hiring a professional to represent you so that you may steer clear of any legal trouble is the smartest move you can make!
- If you are or about to be audited, the IRS will ask you close to 50 very intrusive questions in the initial interview with them. Unfortunately, many individuals unintentionally force themselves into corners because the information gained from these answers is often delicate. Having a tax resolution specialist conduct these meetings, without you present in the conversation is the best course of action I can recommend.
Dealing with the IRS is synonymous to going to court. Would you go to court without a lawyer? If you answered “yes” hopefully you know the law inside and out concerning your case, but if representing yourself doesn’t seem like a good idea it’s best to hire somebody who is well versed in the subject matter. This applies to the IRS as well. Having someone who knows how to negotiate and deal with the IRS will save you not only money and time but also relieve a tremendous amount of stress and weight off of your shoulders.
The following guidelines will be helpful in choosing a tax professional:
- Professional designation, i.e. CPA or EA.
- Prior experience and special skills in tax resolution.
- Prior testimonials on resolving tax resolution cases.
- Relevant distance from your location.
- An official, well-organized, and professional workspace.
- Easy to communicate, so that he/she can understand your tax situation.
- Genuinely willing to resolve your tax problem(s), not just for his/her fee.
If you have any or all of the above issues, please contact our office at (714) 896-0366 firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your 30-minute complimentary, no-obligation consultation.