How to Choose a Tax Relief Service in 2021

ByChris MullerJan. 05, 2021
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Finding a tax relief service can be stressful and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we cover how to pick a tax relief service, as well as share some of our favorite services to work with.

Taxes are complicated. If you're behind on your taxes this season, it can be a daunting task to get the relief you need. One option is to hire a tax relief service that will do all the work for you.

Most of the time, taxpayers work with the IRS to negotiate a solution to reduce the amount they owe in back taxes. This arrangement ensures that they pay their taxes in installments. Some taxpayers may choose a private tax relief service to assist them if:

  • The IRS rejects their compromise
  • They want professional advice
  • They want faster results

Tax relief companies appeal to people who don't want to deal directly with the IRS. Instead, they can have a certified tax professional handle the payment agreements and previously unfiled tax returns on their behalf.

Here's how to choose a tax relief service for 2021.

What to Look for in a Tax Relief Provider

Attentional to Detail

The recommended tax relief services find tax breaks that you may not find on your own. For instance, you could save money if you hired a babysitter, moved out of state for a job, or made charitable donations. A tax attorney will review your financial statements with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that you save as much money as possible.

Your tax relief service should also understand what types of payment offers the IRS accepts. The IRS rejects most compromises. Ask your tax relief provider about their success rate during your initial consultation.

Transparency

Here's the unpleasant truth. Most people don't qualify for tax relief programs. Before you hire a tax relief service, verify that you're eligible for tax relief.

  • Go to IRS.gov/account to see how much money you owe
  • Get a free tax transcript from the IRS
  • Use the IRS's online pre-qualifier tool to see if you qualify

Reasonable Fees

Tax relief isn't cheap. Companies such as OptimaTax and Community Tax charge $250 to $500 for the discovery fee alone. The process includes collecting your tax information through the steps we listed above.

Companies also charge resolution fees. In exchange, you will receive an installment agreement or payment plan with the IRS. The fee varies depending on how much you owe in back taxes, but on average, it costs $2,500 to $3,500. Partial payment agreements are slightly complicated and expensive, costing up to $5,000.

Money-Back Guarantee

Protect yourself and your wallet with a money-back guarantee. The last thing you want is to pay a tax relief service and not see results. Anthem Tax Services is an example, offering money-back guarantees. While some companies only pay a refund within the first month, Anthem Tax Services will refund you at any time.

It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of a money-back guarantee. That's because most tax settlements fail. The IRS rejects roughly 90% of the compromises it receives each year. If that happens to you, and you don't have a money-back guarantee, you'll owe tax relief services fees on top of your back taxes.

Tax Relief Providers

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Community Tax has provided tax relief services to people across the U.S. since 2010. The Chicago-based company helps settle back taxes, set up payment plans, and put IRS collections on hold. It also assists in tax services related to preparation and accounting.

Expect to pay upwards of $3,000 to resolve your tax problems with Community Tax. The company is one of the pricier tax relief options, and while it does offer refunds, they are limited. Get started by booking a free consultation with a case manager today.

Read the full Community Tax review

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Tax Resolvers will work with you until you have a payment plan in place with the IRS. The company accepts clients with $10,000 or more in debt and offers hassle-free estimates. Tax Resolvers has NATP and Bar Association members, so you know its tax specialists who can resolve your back taxes.

Tax Resolvers offers tax services related to consulting, preparation, settlements, and negotiations. Sit down with one of the company's tax professionals to discuss how much they can save you this April. While Tax Resolvers doesn't offer up-front pricing on its website, expect to pay $186 for the Offer-in-Compromise filing fee.

Read the full Tax Resolvers review

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Anthem Tax Services has more than 30 years of tax relief experience and has certified tax professionals in all 50 states. Its services appeal to anyone who needs tax help related to resolution, relief, or preparation.

You'll need at least $10,000 worth of debt to work with Anthem Tax Services. The accredited firm works with you to resolve any outstanding payments, whether you owe back taxes or have recently received an audit. According to the company website, Anthem has saved clients millions of dollars in back taxes over the years.

Tax relief typically takes one to four months. You can learn more about Anthem Tax Services by scheduling a free consultation with one of its tax professionals. You can also secure one of the rare money-back guarantees in case the IRS rejects Anthem's compromise.

Read the full Anthem Tax Services review

Protect yourself

Paying back taxes can be daunting, particularly if you have never made an IRS payment or compromise. Make sure to consider these options before opting for a tax relief service. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "Most taxpayers don't qualify for the programs these fraudsters hawk, their companies don't settle the tax debt, and in many cases don't even send the necessary paperwork to the IRS."

The tax relief industry is fraught with perils, so protect yourself at every turn. Speak with a qualified tax attorney or financial advisor who has your interests at heart. Take the time to read and understand any documents you sign so that you'll know what to expect before you start.

Compare recommended tax relief providers