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How To Choose A Tax Relief Agency

"We can guarantee the IRS will not place a lien on your property or garnish your wages. Come see us, and see how easy it is to obtain tax relief!"

"Tired of being hounded by the federal government over money you just can't pay? We've helped over a thousand people just like you to settle their tax debts at a fraction of the amount owed!"

Do those pitches sound familiar? If so, then chances are you've seen one of the many advertisements for tax debt relief agencies.

There is a plethora of companies on the market today that claim to be the best at reducing the amount of debt taxpayers owe the federal government. Some of those companies are reputable, while others are no more than clever fronts to convince taxpayers to hand over money for services they will never receive.

The Federal Trade Commission reported last year that it had received numerous complaints from taxpayers who signed up for services with tax relief agencies, only to find they had become the victims of financial fraud. Some companies were accused of requiring upfront fees of several thousand dollars, while others were accused of making unauthorized charges on consumers' credit cards or bank account withdrawals.

The Federal Trade Commission closely monitors agencies of this nature, and takes all complaints about them seriously. In fact, in 2010, the commission was behind a federal judge's decision to shut down a company called American Tax Relief after it had received numerous complaints about the company. The company operated on a nationwide level and is accused of bilking consumers out of thousands of dollars. The company had its license to operate suspended and was ordered to pay restitution to its clients.

So how does one ensure they are not being taken advantage of if they seek out the help of a tax debt relief agency?

There are a few simple rules to consider when choosing a tax relief agency.

The internet can be your friend when it comes to checking the legitimacy and reputation of any agency you are considering using. Websites such as the Better Business Bureau and TopConsumerReviews.com can be used to identify which tax relief companies provide the best service to their customers. If you have a specific agency in mind, research them to make sure they are legitimate before ever contacting them.

If you find no poor reviews or complaints about an agency on the internet, the next step is to find out more information about the people who work for the agency. Are they qualified to represent you? Do they have any prior experience in settling tax claims? Is anyone in the agency certified through the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers, or ASTPS? A non-profit agency, ASTPS consists of professionals who represent taxpayers before the IRS. It only gives certification to agents who are able to pass a written exam, provide evidence they have experience in the tax industry and be a licensed certified public accountant or tax attorney.

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Tax Relief In The News

Streator High applies for property tax relief grant

Property tax rates in the Streator High School district will remain flat, but taxpayers could save money if other school districts pass on a property tax relief grant from the state. The Streator High ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 21:00:00 GMT



Quirky and Convoluted: Business as Usual for State's Homestead Tax Relief

Residents looking to popular program for pain relief from high taxes on their homes may want to skip the fine print and get to the bottom line - applications must be submitted by November 30 Once agai...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:33:00 GMT



Georgia Senate gives final approval to storm relief, airline tax bills

Less than nine months after state lawmakers shelved a tax break for airlines such as Delta when the company snubbed the National Rifle Association, all was forgiven Saturday. Breaking marketing ties w...

Published:  Sat, 17 Nov 2018 08:59:00 GMT



Tax relief for victims of wildfires

Victims of wildfires that took place beginning on Nov. 8 in California may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service. The President declared that a major disaster exists in the State of ...

Published:  Mon, 19 Nov 2018 10:45:00 GMT



New homeowners benefit from stamp duty tax relief

More than 180,500 first time buyers have pocketed the cash they would have spent on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for their new homes, statistics published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reveal. The mo...

Published:  Wed, 21 Nov 2018 03:57:00 GMT



Expect some tax relief when the CAQ tables its economic update Dec. 3

QUEBEC - The province will produce an economic update, which should include some tax relief for Quebecers, on Dec. 3. Coalition Avenir Quebec Finance Minister í‰ric Girard made the announcement ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:58:00 GMT



Exonerees Racing Against a Tax Clock

He is trying to get word out to defense attorneys and anyone who might know exonerees that a filing deadline for the Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act is Dec. 17. "No one else was going out and findi...

Published:  Mon, 19 Nov 2018 19:26:00 GMT




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