How to Find a Legitimate Tax Relief Company
It can be a daunting task when you’re searching for a legitimate tax relief company. No one wants to be a victim of the millions of dollars being extorted from consumers. It seems like all you hear or read about are the hundreds of scams being played on countless people every day. Here’s how to find a Legitimate Tax Relief company:
You’ve scoured the internet searching for a sign that maybe this could be the one, but how do you really know? Here are some ways to help you navigate through the never ending cons of tax relief companies.
The most common scam is through television and radio. People want to believe what they see on TV must be true. “Tax Lady” Roni Deutch was a well-known advertisement staple. According to the State of California Department of Justice, Deutch collected large fees upfront and made promises she did not keep. A $34 million lawsuit was filed against her by the California Attorney General and $435,000 was ordered to be refunded to customers. The irony is that television is for entertainment, so when it comes to owing money to the government, why would you trust a commercial without doing your homework?
Most bogus companies make misleading promises that you qualify for an IRS program to reduce your tax debts. Scam artists find their prey by searching through tax liens and offer them false tax resolutions or special limited-time offers only they can give. JK Harris & Co. was another nationwide firm offering to reduce your tax debts for pennies on the dollar. They filed bankruptcy while still owing $20 million in unsecured claims. Employees were still waiting to be paid their last paychecks as reported by The Post and Courier. Your best bet is someone that has extensive knowledge of the tax code and the policy and procedure handbook of the IRS, usually a CPA, Enrolled Agent, or former IRS Agent. These professionals are up to date on the changing laws and can better assist you in determining what your next step is.
Scammers will call or send unsolicited mail claiming that you qualify for a special settlement of your tax debt. Their goal is to get you on the phone, verify how much you owe, and sell you on their qualifications that they can reduce your tax debt. They will persuade you into signing up with them, but for a nominal fee. Once they bait you fees can get excessively high. CNBC reports that American Tax Relief of Beverly Hills was charged by the Federal Trade Commission with falsifying their abilities to reduce tax debts for thousands of customers. They collected over $60 million dollars in fees from their customers.
They will request the same documents over and over and then will tell you, you no longer qualify or the IRS has rejected their proposal. This tactic is a way for scammers to continue to deplete your life savings and leave you further in debt. While you try to get more information on your case, these guys have already closed the company and set up shop somewhere else, but with a different company name.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that taxpayers who filed complaints against sham tax relief companies paid thousands of dollars up front ranging from $1,500 to $9,000 and unauthorized payments were taken from their bank accounts and credit cards. These companies pretend to file the necessary paperwork for the IRS programs, but in most cases the taxpayer is not qualified and is falsely lead to believe their case is being taken care of.
Taxpayers may be well-served by staying away from companies with high pressured sales tactics and those that charge exorbitant fees. ABC News stated former Houston-based firm, Tax Masters used deceptive business practices telling customers they could get their payments down to “next to nothing” with a 97 percent success rate. They filed for bankruptcy a day before the case against them began. You can always call the IRS yourself and see what options they give you. Finding a CPA or Enrolled Agent who also has experience as an IRS agent is one of the best ways to ensure you are working with a reputable tax relief company.
Only the IRS can determine whether or not you qualify for their programs, so beware of any company that guarantees results. Avoid companies that claim they can stop IRS collection efforts because consequently you can be hit with wage garnishments, bank levies, and tax liens.
Tax relief programs are not easy to qualify for and a legitimate tax settlement company will have qualified personnel to guide you through the process. Some of the most common tax relief programs are Offer in Compromise, penalty abatement, and installment agreements.
An Offer in Compromise is where the IRS will accept less than you owe, but you must show proof that all your financial resources have been exhausted and that there is no future money to be made.
A penalty abatement is where the IRS will eliminate or reduce the penalties, late fees and possible interest you incurred from being behind on your taxes. If you can prove extenuating circumstances, then you can apply for this relief. Installment plan fees range from $105 or $52 and monthly payments are debited from your bank account for up to six years or longer.
If you feel you have been a victim of tax fraud or suspect the company of abuse, then you can report them to the IRS. There are many sites that post reviews of fraudulent companies and that alone could stop you from doing business with them. Research a company thoroughly before engaging them to help you settle your tax debt.
The economic downturn has made it hard for distressed people to pay their tax bills. Make sure you do your research before you do business with a tax settlement company. Look for all the red flags and follow the adage “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” Falling for a tax scam can cause you deeper despair and put you further into debt. It might be hard to sift through all the false promises and sleazy scams, but if you look hard enough you will find a legitimate tax relief company such as Landmark Tax Group.
Not only are we licensed Tax Relief Specialists, we are also former Senior IRS Agents that now serve the best interests of taxpayers like you – all we do is handle IRS Tax Relief matters, all day, every day. Speak to us at (949) 260-4770.
Very good experience and glad I made the decision to use this company. Michael was professional and courteous in all of my dealings with him. My tax dilemma was quickly resolved and Michael even waived much of his normal fee. Where else have you heard of a business doing that? Without question, I would recommend Landmark Tax Group for anyone seeking a fair resolution for a tax problem.
Michael was fantastic! He understood my case very quickly, got right to work and was super prompt with communications. His professionalism and his friendly demeanor immediately put me at ease. I whole heartedly recommend contacting them if you’re in need of advice and assistance.
I received great advice in how to deal with the FTB, i don’t review often, but when someone is honest and legitimate, they do deserve a review. My questions were answered, and if i didn’t quite understand, Micheal was more than willing to give me follow-up answers to better help me. I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group, just for the mere fact that they treat you as a human being, Not a cash cow.
I had some returns from previous years to complete after receiving a hefty bill from the California Franchise Tax Board. Michael was prompt in answering my questions and very helpful and reassuring. We had several back and forth communications and this was all done for free since they do not prepare tax returns. He gave me some contacts and advice and now I’m on my way to getting my situation resolved. I’m very thankful for his advice and guidance.
While Michael’s scope of practice meant that we ultimately could not work directly to resolve the issue I was having, he was very prompt, professional, generous and kind in taking time out of his schedule to consult with me, refer me to his network of colleagues- not just once, but a second time even months after. Some professionals are just after services and compensations but Michael strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about your situation and wants to see to it that it gets resolved. These other reviews speak to that as well. You never want to be in a situation where you need to be looking up tax help, but God forbid you ever are, Michael is the person you want in your corner!
Michael and Landmark Tax Group were simply awesome. I like so many others had a year’s old tax issue arise with California FTB. I no longer live there which compounded the stress of the situation. The state had seized monies and filed a lien. After a call to an online tax relief place and some sketchy phone calls I was so happy to find Michael and immediately felt in good hands… at a time of considerable panic.
Fast forward to today and with his help I am totally debt free. He saved me $23,000
I highly recommend Michael and Landmark Tax Group
Michael Raanan is an angel! Michael went above and beyond for me. He was very knowledgeable, professional and very thorough! He is easy to talk to and amazing at what he does. I have a feeling that everyone at landmark tax group shares this way of professionalism! I highly recommend coming here for any and all of your tax help. They will help you and you will be more than pleased with them. 🙂
After calling the other highly advertised tax assistant agency’s and being disappointed with how they responded to my tax matter, I feel fortunate to have found out about the Landmark Tax Group. Michael was very understanding of my situation, and I felt very comfortable dealing with him. He was very knowledgeable and professional in handling our tax issue in a timely manner. I would highly recommend The Landmark Tax Group to anyone who needs assistance in dealing with the IRS.
Wow, just wow. I called Michael today to ask about some major tax issues I had with a defunct corporation I’d started years ago. Michael talked to me for about half an hour, walking me through options and generally helping me understand my options.
Because of him, I’m going to rest nicely tonight for the first time in weeks. It was great to hear that he used to work in IRS collections for 8 years too… which made me feel a lot more secure in his answer.
In all, I’m completely stunned by the level of service he gave to a random stranger who called in and wasn’t going to turn into any revenue for him. I have to imagine that his level of service for actual customers is unreal.
Fast, dependable, reliable, full transparency. Michael Raanan of Landmark Tax Group allayed my fears spending the rest of my senior years paying my tax debt. As a result of his extensive knowledge of the tax code, the right questions to ask, and his dedication to my case, I had information, resolution and a plan of action within 24 hours, start to finish. Amazing! I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group!
We were very pleased with the expert assistance we received from Michael Raanan at Landmark Tax Group. In a matter of months we had a resolution to our IRS tax issue. He was very knowledgeable, professional, explained things in easy to understand terminology & was very easy to discuss our tax issues with. We called around to other tax groups & just felt the most comfortable speaking & working with Michael. We are happy to recommend him & his firm.
Michael Raanan represents the highest level of professionalism, integrity, decency, and true concern for his clients. His advice every step of the way was right on target. The end result was a savings of $13,000 on my taxes.
I have already referred him to the other members of my financial team and have complete confidence in referring any clients to him. He is a shining star in his field.
Oh, did I mention how reasonable his fees are? Exceptional considering the amount of attention he provides.