Yesterday my law firm posted a blog entry (the RoniDeutch.com Tax Relief Blog) describing a handful of tactics used by dishonest tax debt resolution companies. Over the past 19 years, my team and I have heard hundreds, if not thousands, of horror stories about these unethical companies and their practices.
1. Cold Calling Solicitation
Because of high sales demands, some tax debt resolution companies have turned to cold calling in order to solicit new clients. This is alarming because unpaid taxes are not something most people want to freely disclose. Having a stranger leave you an unwelcome message regarding your tax debts can be intrusive and discomforting. These companies may also use half-truths to try and scare you into believing that immediate action is required by you to resolve your tax debt.
Some tax debt resolution companies represent that they can obtain a settlement offer with the IRS for significantly less than what a taxpayer may owe to try and convince taxpayers to retain their services. However, don’t be fooled. No one can guarantee that the IRS will accept your settlement offer. Whether the IRS will accept a settlement offer, otherwise known as an Offer in Compromise, or another tax debt resolution depends on each taxpayer’s unique financial situation, tax liability, and tax filing compliance. The IRS has strict guidelines for some types of tax debt resolutions and the IRS will not accept a particular tax debt resolution if a taxpayer’s financial situation does not meet the established guidelines.
3. No Pre-Analysis, No Attorney Review
Many tax debt resolution companies will sign up new clients without knowing anything about their financial situation. My law firm will not agree to sign up anyone without first performing a free and confidential tax analysis. In order to perform the tax analysis, our law firm asks a series of questions to obtain an understanding of a taxpayer’s unique financial situation. The tax analysis is performed by a tax attorney. After reviewing a taxpayer’s financial information, a tax attorney will recommend which particular tax debt resolution would be the most appropriate for the taxpayer. Unfortunately, performing a tax analysis for a taxpayer and providing the taxpayer with tax resolution options prior to enrolling the taxpayer does not appear to be a common practice with many of the tax debt resolution companies.