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Being in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a terrifying experience. With the mounting threats of losing money and property through levies and liens, it’s important to act quickly in order to minimize the potential damage you could incur, as well as take steps to protect your financial future. When looking for an IRS tax expert Austin, it’s important to partner with someone who is truly interested in pursuing the best possible outcome for you. Unfortunately, fear can lead to making poor choices- including putting your trust in a company who is more interested in making money off you than prioritizing your best interests.

Defrauding Consumers

It happens far more often than it should and the consequences can ruin your chances for a beneficial compromise with the IRS. In the end, even more of your assets could be at risk. We aren’t even talking small fry scam artists- even big, national companies can get you into a worse situation than you were in before. CNN Money, reports that TaxMasters, a Houston based company that did business for years across the United States, was found guilty of fraud in 2012. Just before the verdict, they filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid the $195 million dollars awarded to the victims of their schemes. According to ABC News, TaxMasters hired salespeople with no direct knowledge or experience with the IRS or tax law, to sign people up for their tax debt relief services. The sell was more important than helping their customers. After shelling out $2,000 to $8,000 in fees to TaxMasters, many of their clients were shocked to learn the company had never even started the resolution process with the IRS. All the while, more deadlines were missed and penalties added, making it even more challenging to resolve the tax debt.

Perpetual Billing

Similar to the TaxMasters scheme, many companies will make their clients sign up on a perpetual billing cycle but may not be doing any work on your general tax preparation, filing, or IRS case. These companies will not be transparent about what they plan to do to help you during tax relief negotiations, or the status of your case or tax prep- but they will promise you the moon. Beware any company who has poor communication but continues to insist that they are the only ones who can save you the most money- they are trying to keep you paying into their system while they should be more concerned with providing the best possible results to your situation or case.

The Bottom Line

Navigating the complex IRS negotiations process is never something you should do on your own. You need a tax expert who knows the process inside and out and who will work hard for you, with your best interests at heart. If you find yourself needing tax assistance of any kind, take your time to thoroughly research the company you plan to do business with. Doing a quick check on the BBB website and Yelp reviews is usually enough to get an idea of how their previous or current customers feel about their services. Prior to the court case against TaxMasters, there were plenty of visible complaints online. However, due to their aggressive TV marketing campaign, a lot of good people were fooled into believing the hype and lost a lot of money. You should partner with a tax expert Austin who wants to help you succeed, and not a company who just wants to lock you in to be their latest source of income.

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