(This special report is for individuals)
Sometimes taxpayers with IRS tax problems decide to face the IRS on their own. Sometimes they hire a professional like a CPA, or an attorney, but not someone who specializes in tax resolution. The best thing to do when faced with an IRS problem is to hire an expert in tax resolution so you can get the best result possible.
Even if you owe $10,000 or less, have all your income tax returns filed, and are able to pay the amount due over 36 months with a guaranteed monthly Installment Agreement (payment plan), it’s good to pay a small fee to have a professional set it up for you.
Here are the top 4 reasons why hiring a CPA is a smart thing to do if you OWE money to the IRS:
1. Contrary to popular belief, you DO have rights as a taxpayer, rights that you probably don’t even know exist. One of these rights is the right to representation. If an IRS revenue officer or agent calls or “visits” you, did you know you are under no obligation to answer any of his or her (very intrusive and condescending) questions? You politely respond by asking for the agent’s contact information and telling him or her that you are in the process of hiring a professional to represent you and that this person will contact the agent directly. A CPA who deals with IRS problems for a living knows the “ins” and “outs” and how to deal with the IRS so that your rights are protected. A tax resolution specialist also knows how to get you the lowest possible settlement. Generally, our clients never meet or speak with the IRS once we’re on the scene!
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3. Having unfiled tax 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. Generally, the IRS won’t throw someone in jail unless the taxpayer is deemed to owe a lot of money and is uncooperative about getting the returns filed. Hiring a professional to represent you is the smartest move you can make here!
4. If you are being audited—or about to be—the IRS will ask you about 50 very intrusive questions in the initial interview. How you answer these questions will dictate the fate of your case. Having a tax resolution specialist conduct these meetings WITHOUT you is the best course of action I can recommend. Half of the referrals to the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) come from that “nice” IRS guy or gal you’re sitting across the table from during the audit.
One last thing … ask yourself this question: Would you go to court without a lawyer? If you answered “yes,” I hope 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 someone who is well versed in the subject matter. Well, it’s the same thing with the IRS. Hiring someone who knows how to negotiate and deal with the IRS may be the best money you’ve ever spent!
Noel B. Lorenzana
Registered Certified Public Accountant