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97tax Review

Saturday, June 25th

2022 Tax Relief Company Reviews

97tax Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • One-time fee of $97
  • In business since 2017
  • "B+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 3 main services: IRS Payment Plan Applications, State Tax Payment Plan Applications, Tax Lien Removal Applications

In business since 2017, 97tax is a tax preparation service based in Brandon, FL. The company can easily be reached via phone during standard business hours of Monday through Friday, 9a-4p EST, email, or online form.

Limited tax relief strategies on offer

97tax is relatively limited in what they offer. Their main service helps you apply for an IRS payment plan: you pay a one-time fee of $97 (hence the company's name), and they take care of getting the application filled out and submitted correctly. This is part of the IRS' Fresh Start program for individual taxpayers who owe up to $50,000; installment plans can be set up for up to a six-year period. Applying for this program stops the IRS from filing additional tax liens, but it won't remove any current liens or wage garnishments and it won't stop a pending or completed tax levy. If you're concerned about getting your application done properly, you may find the peace of mind worth the one-time fee, but some clients have felt cheated when they realized that they could fill it out and submit it for free by themselves.

Straightforward process

Still interested? Fill out the preliminary qualification form with your name, phone number, email address, and the amount you currently owe the IRS. If you qualify, your payments will automatically be broken down into a 72-month installment plan, but you can change the repayment term to anywhere from 3-72 months. Once you've answered a few additional questions and paid your one-time application fee, 97tax will create your IRS application within 24 hours and send it to you via USPS, along with a prepaid mailing envelope to the IRS address that corresponds to your location.

Payment plans in a few states

97tax also has state payment plan services for residents of California, Illinois, Georgia and New Jersey. On the State Payment Plan page, click on your state to see what the requirements are, and follow the same process you'd use to create an IRS payment plan application.

Removal of tax liens too

Finally, if you've already got an IRS tax lien and think you qualify to have it removed (because you've paid off your tax debt), 97tax can help you apply. You guessed it: it's a one-time fee of $97.

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Easy tracking of progress

Whichever service you use, 97tax lets you track your order in real time by entering your order number and phone number on their website. Just be aware that you've only got a one-hour window to change your mind and request a refund - because 97tax gets right to work on your order once you've submitted your request.

Not many complaints

We were surprised to see that 97tax only earned a "B+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, due solely to the fact that there were 19 complaints filed against the company in the three years prior to this evaluation. That's really not very many, and all of them had been resolved appropriately - which is likely why 97tax still received the BBB's accreditation despite the less-than-perfect rating.

Great service if you know what you're getting

For clients who understand 97tax's services, they tend to be completely satisfied with the work done on their behalf. Most say that it's worth it to them to pay under $100 to ensure that their IRS or state payment plan applications are done accurately and submitted to the correct IRS address, and they praise 97tax's representatives for being helpful and knowledgeable.

Good track record, limited services

There are a lot of tax relief services that 97tax doesn't offer, like Offer in Compromise or other negotiated solutions, and that keeps this provider from earning a higher ranking. However, if all you need is some hands-on help with applying for a state or federal payment plan or to remove an IRS tax lien, 97tax is affordable and straightforward.

Which Tax Relief Service is Right for You?

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.

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Tax Relief Company FAQ

Tax relief is a means of reducing what you owe to the IRS and state in back taxes. Your debts can be negotiated and payment plans may be established to help you pay it in a more manageable amount and timeframe.
You'll probably need to owe at least $10,000 in state and/or federal taxes to be eligible for tax relief. There usually aren't any other requirements.
You could work directly with the IRS to work out a 3-year payment plan, but that usually only applies if you've filed all of your previous years' tax returns and you owe less than $10,000 in taxes. Using a tax relief service eliminates the guesswork and walks you through the entire process from start to finish. Plus, you don't have the stress of meeting with the IRS: your representative at the tax relief company does all of that for you!
Most services offer a free initial consultation, to determine which of their plans (if any) are the right fit for your situation. Once you've chosen a tax relief strategy, the provider will probably charge up to 20% of what you saved in debt as a service fee, but that varies from one company to another.
Your representative will go to work on your behalf, using a variety of methods to work with the IRS and state taxing authority. These may include Offer in Compromise, Penalty Abatements, Tax Lien Subordination and more. Some services will assign you a dedicated representative who will keep you updated on your case's progress.
As you'd expect, it depends on the complexity of your situation. However, a general rule of thumb is between two and six months for a tax relief plan to be fully executed.
Some tax relief services offer their customers a satisfaction guarantee - but it's often a very small window of time compared with how long it takes to see a significant change in your tax debts. It's a good idea to look at the reputation of any service you're considering, to see what previous clients have said about the effectiveness, and reliability of the programs offered.
Most of them are. It's not difficult to find tax relief partners that have been helping consumers for decades. That being said, there are opportunistic scammers who would like nothing more than to convince you that they're legit and then take your money without offering any tax relief whatsoever. You should research the provider before signing on the dotted line, which includes looking up their rating from the Better Business Bureau.
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Continued from above...

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:

  • Minimum Debt Required. It's pretty common for tax relief providers to require you to have at least $10,000 in federal tax debt to qualify for their help. If you don't have quite that much, or if your tax problems are at both federal and state levels, your options may be more limited.
  • Fees. What will you pay to get tax relief? Most companies don't come right out and tell you how much it will cost until you've had an initial (free) consultation. Make sure that the fees and payment plans they recommend will give you a good value at the end of the process.
  • Refunds/Guarantees. It's pretty rare to find a guarantee or refund policy, but some tax relief services offer them. That can provide some reassurance that you're not just throwing money out the window when you pay $300-$500 for the investigation phase of your case.
  • Client Feedback. This is one of the most important criteria. Can the company show you success stories? How much tax debt have they successfully resolved? How many five-star ratings have they earned from satisfied clients?

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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