Tax relief companies offer assistance such as the fresh start program to taxpayers who are struggling to pay their taxes. These companies negotiate with the IRS on your behalf to try to reduce the amount of taxes you owe. They may also be able to help you set up a payment plan or get other relief from the IRS.
But are tax relief companies actually worth it? That depends on a number of factors, including how much money you owe, what type of assistance you need, and whether you feel comfortable working with a company. Let's take a closer look at each of these factors to help you decide if a tax relief company is right for you.
One of the main factors to consider when deciding if a tax relief company is worth it is how much money you owe. If you only owe a few thousand dollars, it's probably not worth hiring a tax relief company. You can probably negotiate with the IRS on your own or set up a payment plan without too much difficulty.
However, if you owe tens of thousands of dollars or more, it may be worth considering hiring a tax relief company. The reason is that the IRS is more likely to work with a company than an individual when it comes to negotiating payment terms. Additionally, if you're facing wage garnishment or other actions from the IRS, a tax relief company can help stop those actions and give you some peace of mind.
Another factor to consider is what type of assistance you need from a tax relief company. If you simply need help setting up a payment plan or getting some information from the IRS, you can probably find that assistance for free from the IRS website or by calling the IRS directly.
On the other hand, if you need more comprehensive assistance, such as help negotiating a lower amount of taxes owed or stopping wage garnishment, then it may be worth paying for help from a tax relief company. Keep in mind that most tax relief companies charge by the hour, so you'll want to be sure that the assistance they're providing is worth the cost.
A Note on Free Help vs. Paid Help It's important to note that there are some "tax relief" companies out there that claim to provide free help but then try to sell you overpriced services once they have your attention. Be sure to do your research on any tax relief company before working with them to make sure they're legitimate and that their services are reasonably priced. There are also some non-profit organizations that provide free or low-cost tax preparation and filing assistance, such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites sponsored by the IRS. If you need help preparing and filing your taxes but can't afford to pay for professional assistance, these VITA sites may be worth checking out. You can also find free Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) offices throughout the country that can provide certain types of free assistance, such as help if your refund has been delayed or if you've been contacted by the IRS about an audit. To find free TAS offices near you, visit taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/contact-my-local-office-for-assistance#localoffices2 or call 1-877-777-4778 And remember, even if you do decide to use a paid tax relief service, many of them offer free consultations so that you can get more information about their services before making a decision.
The final factor to consider is whether or not you're comfortable working with a company rather than dealing with the IRS directly. Some people feel more comfortable negotiating with the IRS on their own while others would prefer to let someone else handle it for them. There's no right or wrong answer here; it's simply a matter of personal preference. If you decide that working with a company is right for you, just be sure that any company you work with is reputable and has experience dealing with the IRS. And as we mentioned before, don't forget that many companies offer free consultations so that you can get more information about their services without making any commitment upfront.