Is Tax Relief Legitmate?
When it comes to something as important and vulnerable as your finances, it’s hard to know who to trust. Between banks and credit card companies, loan providers and credit-check bureaus, it is a full-time job to research who to trust, not only with your money, but the sensitive information you have to provide to receive help.
Finding relief for your tax debt is no different. TaxRise is one of the fastest growing legitimate tax relief companies in the country. We provide licensed and certified tax professionals who are ready to shoulder your debt problems for you.
Unfortunately, not every tax relief company you’ll encounter is as qualified as TaxRise is to help you combat the IRS, and keep your personal information secure in the process. Being aware of less-than-savory business practices you might encounter in your search for tax debt relief can help you arm yourself with the tools necessary to defend against self-serving tax relief scams.
Is Tax Relief Even Real?
The most important aspect of seeking professional services to handle your tax debt is deciding exactly what it is you are looking for–or rather, should be looking for–to meet your individual circumstance.
Tax relief at its core is any government program or policy initiative designed to reduce the amount of taxes paid by an individual or business. This could come in the form of a universal tax cut, or a program targeted to a specific group of taxpayers. The most recent example you may be familiar with is the Childcare Tax Credit.
With uncollected taxes in the United States approaching more than 280 billion dollars and rising, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stepped up efforts to collect unpaid back taxes from individuals and businesses that have outstanding balances due. Unfortunately, those who can’t pay their back taxes can face severe penalties from the IRS, including the seizure of personal or business assets.
In the wake of this dilemma, a new type of business has sprung up to help delinquent taxpayers cope with their tax liabilities: known commonly as “tax settlement firms,” these legal agencies claim they can either drastically reduce or completely eliminate whatever the client owes the IRS, but not all of them are trained in the rigorous process of negotiating a client’s tax debt with the IRS.
Though TaxRise is not a government agency, we work closely with the IRS, taking on the work of representing you and fighting for the best outcome to your debt resolution. We are staffed with certified experts who can get you the tax relief you need.
One of the most popular tax debt relief programs the IRS offers, called The Fresh Start Program, specifically pairs you with a reputable agency, such as TaxRise, taking the guesswork out of who to trust.
Do You Have to Pay for Tax Relief?
Long story short, the answer is no. Think of it like filing your taxes. You could pay someone to do them, or you could do them on your own. With tax relief, there is no one stopping you from filing yourself, but navigating the complex and ever-changing state and federal tax laws can not only be time consuming, but also difficult for a non-tax professional to understand. Like hiring an accountant or a lawyer, the investment in a legitimate, qualified tax relief company is worth it.
There is also a chance the fees you pay to hire a tax relief expert will be considerably less than what you owe on your back taxes. At TaxRise, we determine our fees on a case-by-case basis depending on your specific case.
Remember, getting out from under tax debt is not a quick fix. There are battles with the IRS, reopening cases when the IRS closes them, researching which Fresh Start Program works best for your circumstance, and a mountain of complicated forms to fill out. By letting the professionals at TaxRise handle the forms and paperwork, you are buying yourself peace of mind.
Are Tax Relief Companies Legit?
As we’ve mentioned, there are companies like TaxRise who are ready to help you remove the burden of tax debt, but there are also companies out there ready to prey on those in vulnerable financial situations.
What to Look for When Researching Tax Relief Companies
First, make sure you are speaking to a licensed tax professional. Some tax relief companies will sound knowledgeable, but their employees are really salespeople whose job is to persuade you to pay for things you do not need.
Be on the lookout for titles like “Tax Consultant” or “Tax Associate.” These people are not licensed to represent you, and should not be giving you tax advice. Look for titles such as Enrolled Agent (EA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Tax Attorney. These individuals have had extensive training in the field, and can confidently represent you in front of the IRS or state. We at TaxRise have a large number of licensed tax professionals on staff. They will examine your case and present you with real options, not a sales pitch.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sometimes companies will advertise the ability to wipe out your debt completely. While this is not unheard of, it is rare. The IRS has specific requirements as to who can qualify for these programs. At TaxRise, our professionals will give you truthful and transparent expectations about your case, and walk through all your options with you.
When dealing with a new financial tax resolution company, ask yourself: does the company make a thorough assessment of the factors listed above? Do they emphasize the importance of their employees’ qualifications? Do they make it clear that an Offer in Compromise is challenging to obtain? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you may be dealing with a scam company that does not have your best interest in mind.
How Can You Recognize a Tax Relief Scam?
Regrettably, the tax relief industry has attracted circling vultures waiting to prey on those weakened by the threat of IRS action. You can protect yourself from giving away your personal details to illegitimate companies by informing yourself about some of the most common tax relief scams below, and reading our tips on how to protect yourself.
Lead Generation Companies Posing as Professional Tax Relief Experts
We all know many companies buy and sell customer information–what are commonly called “leads.” Unfortunately, that applies to the tax relief industry as well.
Companies that specialize in marketing will lead consumers to believe they are dealing with a firm that does tax relief work, but in reality, they do nothing more than sell the customer’s information to multiple other tax relief companies who are legitimate. This process causes never-ending phone harassment that makes you susceptible to tax relief scams, as your information gets sold over and over again.
These marketing companies have no control over the resolution process, or even the quality of their customer service. Sometimes they will collect information from a client with no intention of servicing their needs.
Non-Refundable Payments Without Any Guarantees
One of the most common tax debt relief scams is when a company collects payment for results they know are unpredictable, if not impossible, to achieve. You’ve probably heard the radio ads where former IRS agents claim they can settle your liability for pennies on the dollar; what these ads don’t tell you is how difficult it is to qualify for the IRS Offer in Compromise program.
Be wary of companies that ask you to commit a large sum of money up front without first conducting a tax investigation. Our tax relief experts have years of experience, and they understand every case is different. Not everyone qualifies for tax relief, but at TaxRise, we’ll do everything we can to help you, and we will always be honest about the results we can achieve.
Outright Scam Artists
Sadly, some firms have outright cheated and stolen from their clients. These firms are eventually found out and shut down by Attorney Generals, and they are the ones who have tarnished the reputation of the tax resolution industry. In these cases, the unscrupulous companies will enroll many clients into a program and collect their money without providing adequate services. Some don’t even send the necessary paperwork to the IRS.
Once a scam company receives too many consumer tax relief complaints from upset consumers, the scammers will change their name and start preying on clients all over again. Many of these companies don’t provide refunds, leaving people with a greater tax liability than before.
Steps You Can Take to Help Us Keep Your Information Safe
TaxRise is committed to privacy and security. When you work with a tax relief company, you have to provide a lot of sensitive and personal information. Here, we keep all the information given to us in-house, and store it in our own custom-built and maintained database. Instead of utilizing multiple vendors and having information potentially shared among multiple companies for different services, we have an in-house development team keeping your data safe and secure.
There are many steps you can take to keep your information safe outside of our iron-clad database. First and foremost, choose complex, independent passwords for each website and service on which you maintain an account. Strong passwords help us keep any account breach isolated to one service. Please notify us immediately if you believe your password is compromised.
TaxRise urges you to take caution when using public computers or networks, such as those you would find at a coffee shop or library. To best protect your personal information and login information, don’t use public computers to access sensitive accounts, and if you must, ensure that you log out of your account after you are finished.
Additionally, be sure to look out for phishing emails. We will never ask for your sensitive personal information, such as a password, over email or through any site not under the taxrise.com domain. Please notify us at email@example.com if you ever receive suspicious correspondence from us.
Visit our security page for more on keeping your information safe.
Qualify Today for a Fresh Start
When it comes to resolving your tax liability or back taxes, there really is no time to waste. The longer you are in debt, the more penalties and interest will accrue.
We at TaxRise recognize the urgency to settle your tax debt. When you contact us, you are immediately paired with one of our licensed professionals who will discuss your options and review your case quickly, saving you time and money in the long run.
If you’re looking for relief today, do not hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions you may have. Choosing the right company to take care of your finances is a big decision, and a legitimate tax relief company like TaxRise can help you navigate dealing with the IRS and lift the burden of owing money to the government.
Call our office today and learn how simple it can be to qualify for tax relief.