If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last decade, you’ve seen the ads. It is such a cliche in the “tax resolution” industry. “Tax Resolution” firm websites will commonly invoke the term “pennies on the dollar” to warn you of the firms you should steer clear of. Sure, pretty much all of those firms are bankrupt, but that doesn’t stop their newer iterations from warning you about them.
But I am writing this post to warn you about a new trend I see developing in tax resolution: Step-by-step “systems” that tax resolution firms claim are some how proprietary and unique to their offices.
More and more firms are claiming that they have the secret “system” to resolve tax debts. But really, their “system” is usually nothing more than a repackaging of IRS rules and regulations, rules which must be followed in order to achieve permanent success in any IRS debt settlement. The problem I have with taking on the IRS with a step-by-step system is that there are no cookie-cutter solutions to tax problems.
let me repeat that:
There are no cookie-cutter solutions to tax problems.
In several scenarios, different emergency situations must be handled immediately. Often clients will come to me days before (or after) an important deadline. In many cases taxpayers have stories to tell – stories that are important to their case, stories that the IRS needs to hear, and stories that an advocate should be engaged to help them get across.
This will occur in several areas of tax resolution where big dollar changes in the over-all tax liability of a taxpayer can result. Specifically, Innocent Spouse cases, Trust Fund Recovery cases, and Penalty Abatement cases require a careful framing of facts. When taxpayers are facing enforced collection action, they don’t want a representative who adheres to a “system” they want an advocate who gets the levy released, gets their money back, and protects their bank accounts from being completely wiped out.
They want an advocate not an automaton.
So, my point is that you don’t fight a machine with another machine. You want someone who can break through the machine, and make sure that your story is being heard by real people a the IRS (yes, they exist.)