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Maybe you’ve heard the advertisements promising to make the IRS go away and accept only pennies on the dollar for all those taxes you haven’t paid.
They promise expert advice and skilled negotiators who know all the tricks and can beat the IRS at their game.
And after hearing them, you can’t wait to call. That’s because you’ve tried to negotiate with the IRS without any luck whatsoever. The best you’ve been able to do is get some more time to figure out what to do.
Before you reach for the phone, remember that the IRS rarely accepts the offers that taxpayers make trying to reduce the taxes, fees or interest they owe.
And the ones that are accepted come from taxpayers who either have one foot in the grave or are unable to pay their taxes due to circumstances beyond their control such as being totally disabled.
You also need to know that Tax Relief or Settlement Firms can’t do anything that you couldn’t do yourself if you’re willing to make the effort. They’ll ask you to fill out all sorts of financial disclosures and budgets but guess what? The IRS will want that same paperwork regardless of whether it comes from you or the Tax Relief Firm.
The big difference? The Tax Relief Firm will charge a large, up-front, non-refundable fee and then require you to fill out the same forms you could have gotten from the IRS for free. What a bargain!
Before you call any of these Tax Relief or Settlement Firms, remember their promise that they can drastically reduce your taxes is probably a come-on to take your money. Watch out if they ask for a “small deposit” in order to get started. That’s the oldest trick in the book. Shortly after you’ve sent them some money, they’ll call back and tell you they’re making great progress on your behalf but, guess what, you need to send them some more cash to keep things moving. Expect to get a call like this about every six weeks. Unless you wake up to how their bait-and-switch scam works.
There are lots of reputable organizations that will help you get your finances under control. They may be called “Credit Counselors” and are often non-profit organizations funded by grants and donations. Call them before you let a Tax Relief Firm prey on your fears. Don’t be fooled by the Tax Relief Firm’s misleading claims and don’t let them talk you into paying an up-front fee.
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