- Confirm you are speaking with a licensed professional when inquiring about services. Are you speaking with a licensed professional or a “consultant.” Let it be known that a consultant is more commonly known as a “salesperson” in the tax resolution industry. This pushy salesperson will promise you huge savings from paying taxes owed in exchange for hiring the company. They are paid through commissions on the sales they make and toss the case to the back end in hopes they never get to speak to you again so they can move on to their next sales commission prospect! Salespeople will often speak to you as though they will be personally handling your case. Don’t fall for this! If you do speak with individuals promising you all of the above, ask them if they are an attorney, CPA or EA and they’ll turn around and answer you in this way, “We are a team of licensed attorneys, CPAs, and EAs.” A telltale sign you are speaking with a salesperson is that they will not answer this simple question. I’ve heard this one too many times, listen very carefully! Discuss exactly what you will be paying for, and what results you can reasonably expect with the person who will be actually working on the majority of your case. Do not let a sales representative (or consultant) sign you up so that your case gets tossed around to an unknown worker who you have no idea what their competence level is. This is a gamble that you cannot afford to make!
- Check the credentials of the tax professional you plan to hire. EA credentials and active certifications are found at the IRS website link under “Professionals” The Office of Professional Responsibility” (OPR) has all the records and licenses of practicing EAs and it is at that office that customers can file complaints against EAs. You can visit the IRS website by clicking here You can check the credentials of any attorney of interest by finding out what state they are licensed in and going to the state bar website for that state. Input their name in an attorney search.
- Do your online research for possible complaints against the company. Research the BBB, Ripoff Report.com and other similar sites to see who’s talking about these companies. You can also Google the name of the business and input COMPLAINTS on the side and click search. You can find a lot of data that will help you determine if the company is worth your trust.
- Request information on the company’s owners/principals. If you are not able to get this information from the company, then run the other way. A reputable tax resolution company will provide you with the names of the principals that handle your case. Why should this not be disclosed to you? If there is nothing to hide, then this should not be an issue.
- Hire a tax resolution company that is focused on quality not quantity – Large National Resolution companies have so much volume, that it becomes difficult to maintian efficiency and proper handling of a case. Large tax resolution firms usually do not have adequate systems to provide the care and attention needed to execute a case. Thusly, they are more likely to neglect the case. The much needed attention to a case becomes secondary to just pushing the case along and just “do what you can.” We’ve worked for some of these large companies and we have first hand knowledge that employee turnover rates are very high because they simply cannot handle the complexity and sheer volume of cases within their workable hours. Many of these resolution “professionals” are paid very little which creates little to no motivation to produce the best possible results for each case.
The difference at The L is that we are not salespeople looking out for a commission, we are the actual professionals that will deal with your case from beginning to end. We do not take on every case. This allows us to work with clients that actually need the help, and not engage in representing cases that require no more than a thorough advice session. We encourage taxpayers to work with the IRS, but when it becomes too difficult or time consuming, then consider professionals. We’re here to help you!