How can I get help for a tax problem?
The IRS is breathing down your throat. Now what do you do? Here are 10 questions and points to consider when you look for a professional tax consultant to help you navigate the process of getting help with the IRS.
- See if the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Program is something that will help you. Use the link above and follow up as appropriate. They may be able to help you even before you hire a professional tax consultant.
- See if you qualify for low or no-fee low income tax assistance.
- Is this a settlement matter? If you are in trouble with the IRS, in dispute over a settlement or need to negotiate a settlement in a non-criminal case, an enrolled agent (EA) may be the right choice.
- Is this a criminal matter? If so, you should engage an experienced tax attorney. The tax attorney should have specialized experience and not just general law.
- What are their credentials and what is their experience in tax matters? An EA is tested and licensed by the IRS specifically on tax law and regulation. In addition to the examination, they must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years. EA’s are usually very knowledgeable and experienced in federal taxes.
- Are they licensed in the state? Check with the state licensing department to see if there are any complaints against them.
- Do they have experienced IRS experts on staff? Many companies are built by or with IRS retirees on their professional staff.
- Do they have a track record that they will share with you? Many professionals are happy to share their statistics with you as a way to build your confidence.
- What are their fees and how are they paid? What will it cost you to go forward with them?
- Can they help you in a timely manner?
Don’t let the stress of the situation stop you from making good choices in using free resources or hiring good professionals you trust to help you through your tax problems.
Please remember that you are in control of your life. None of this information should ever be considered a substitute for medical, financial or legal advice.