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If you're behind on your tax payments or have past years where you didn't even file a return, you probably feel the pressure mounting. Unless you've come into money recently, you're thinking there's no way you can possibly pay off your tax debt while still keeping food on your table and gas in your tank, right?
Fortunately, you've got options you might not be aware of. At the federal level, the IRS offers the Fresh Start program that lets you settle your debt for a lower amount than what you actually owe through an Offer in Compromise. The amount that the IRS will accept depends on your household expenses, current income and assets, and your payment will usually consist of a lump sum upfront and then monthly payments for 6-24 months or in full within five months.
Friday, December 9th
CuraDebt has consistently been one of the highest recommended providers of tax relief. If part of your financial troubles comes from credit cards, medical bills, or other debts, you can count on this company to help you take care of all of it. There are no upfront fees to get started with CuraDebt, and ultimately what you pay will be a percentage of the total you save. Thousands of clients have trusted CuraDebt for tax relief over the years, and you should too.
Optima Tax Relief is one of the big names in the industry, resolving over a billion dollars in tax debt since 2011. This service is completely transparent in how long it can take to resolve tax challenges, and it's the only one we know of that has a 15-day refund policy when you've entered the fee-based investigation phase of the process. Optima clients are quick to offer their enthusiastic approval of this company, which operates in all 50 states and works with both federal and state tax debts. Optima Tax Relief earns one of our highest ratings for effective, confidence-inspiring service.
Community Tax is a full-service tax company, offering both general tax preparation as well as tax relief and resolution at both state and federal levels. Over 100,000 clients have benefitted from this service, with more than $800 million in resolved tax debt since 2010. Community Tax goes so far as to refund your investigation fees if they can't lower your overall tax liability. You might pay a little less with a rival provider, but Community Tax's reputation and refund policy are good reasons to ultimately choose this tax relief service.
Jackson Hewitt offers lots of strategies for tackling tough tax issues, in addition to their well-known tax prep services. You'll need to schedule a free consultation in person or over the phone to get started. JH doesn't disclose their fees upfront, but you should expect a no-cost discovery phase on federal tax relief and overall costs ranging from $500 to $5,000. This service isn't available in all 50 states, but Jackson Hewitt is a trustworthy provider of tax relief if you happen to live within their service area.
Since 2009, Direct Tax Relief has worked with thousands of clients who owe a minimum of $10,000 in state or federal tax debt, negotiating owed amounts down by as much as 75% (or more). The company is "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a good reputation for trustworthy service. Direct Tax Relief is a name you can count on to give you a straightforward take on your tax situation.
Tax Relief Inc. may be the only provider we've found who not only has a perfect rating and accreditation from the BBB, but also zero complaints. This is a smaller service than most, but it still offers tax relief options across the spectrum: consumer and corporation, federal and state, and so on. We'd love to see more client feedback and at least a rough estimate of the fees you'll pay for tax relief services here, but we have no reservations about recommending Tax Relief Inc. as a trustworthy option.
Enterprise Consultants Group will carefully analyze your situation to see if they are your best option for tax relief - and they'll be upfront with you if they're not. You won't pay anything for their initial consultation, and client fees here are on par with most competitors' services. Although ECG's rating with the BBB has dropped a little bit, clients still praise this company for providing a wide range of effective tax relief services to individuals and businesses alike.
97tax charges a one-time fee of $97 to help you apply for an IRS tax payment plan, state payment plan (in a small number of eligible states), or to remove an IRS tax lien once your debt has been paid in full. While you could fill out and submit that application on your own at no cost, many clients appreciate the peace of mind that comes with having professionals oversee the process. The tax relief services here are very limited, so most taxpayers will likely wind up needing to choose a different provider. However, 97tax is worth considering if all you need is a bit of help with those three types of applications.
Fidelity Tax Relief looks like its rivals at first glance: plenty of strategies for addressing federal tax concerns, a free initial consultation, and an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau. So far, so good. But that's where the similarities end: we couldn't find any evidence that this tax relief provider is keeping up with the industry, with most client reviews and even blog posts dated at least six months in the past, and absolutely no disclosure of their fees unless you make an appointment. You've got much better options to choose from than using Fidelity for tax relief.
Tax Defense Partners is a tax relief specialist and is available to residents throughout the US for both federal and state tax issues. Unfortunately, their reputation has continued to decline throughout the years, with their BBB status changing from "A+" and accredited to "under review" , and still not demonstrating a commitment to responding to client complaints. We'd love to see a rebound for TDP in the future, but for now you should look for tax relief from a more reliable provider.
All this sounds great, but are you confident that you can accurately determine your eligibility, wade through the 32 pages of the IRS document explaining the program, and get it approved?
That's where tax relief services come to the rescue. These companies take the hard work out of your hands, securing power of attorney to step in and interact with the IRS on your behalf. The process typically has three stages: a free consultation to explore your specific situation, an investigation phase to determine the extent of your tax problems, and finally the resolution.
How much does it cost? You should anticipate fees ranging from $200-$500 for the investigation, and some of the top tax relief services will refund them if they determine they can't reduce the amount you owe. The resolution stage carries the largest cost, from $500 to $5,000 based on your total owed amount and the complexity of your case. It might seem like a lot to pay, but if you could reduce $100,000 in owed taxes down to just $10,000 (or less), wouldn't it be well worth the expense?
With so many companies offering tax relief services, how can you decide which one is the best fit for you? Keep these factors in mind as you look at your options:
To help you get out from underneath your tax burden, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular tax relief services available today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to get the assistance you need quickly and stress-free.
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