Choosing the Right Professional
In an industry that has exponentially expanded over the last decade without much supervision, it is exceedingly important to take the time to make sure you understand who you are hiring, what you are paying for, and what the expectations are to be when the work is completed.
Who to hire?
When choosing representation, you want to be sure you are clear on who it is you are hiring and who is going to be the one handling the day to day negotiation of your liability. You want to be careful not to contract with a middleman marketing firm that will then be filtering your case into an impersonal network of 3rd party tax representatives. Make sure the representation you choose has licensed and qualified professionals on staff, this way you finish with who you start with and avoid the passing of the buck if things get off track.
What are the fees and what do they cover?
It has become commonplace for firms to secure business by charging low up front “investigation fees” that sometimes are misrepresented as the total cost. This has become a way to get a client in the door and vested to then present a plan of action with a hefty price tag on top of the initial fee. Most taxpayers have a relative idea as to why the taxing authority is claiming what they are. By taking the time to discuss circumstances surrounding your case, anyone who is a knowledgeable and experienced professional should be able to assess that information on an initial consultation and give you a realistic idea of what the plan and cost should be without having to charge hundreds of dollars in “investigative fees”.
What should my expectations be?
If you watch tv or listen to the radio daily there is a good chance you are going to see or hear an advertisement or two marketing tax services to individuals that owe back taxes. Many of these solicitations advertise best case scenarios and can sometimes be misleading as each Client’s situation truly is case by case. Also, if there is a public recording of a tax lien filed against you, be wary of mailers that may show up mimicking “official notices” from your county threatening aggressive collection or suspension of social security benefits. Take the time to get a free consultation with a qualified professional so they can gather case specific information on your liability, ask the right questions before jumping to conclusions, and allow them to identify the most advantageous path available to closure within the current tax guidelines.