If you require tax assistance due to complicated financial matters, an experienced tax professional may be the resource you need to resolve your tax debt issues. In the event that you must locate a trustworthy source, be aware that not every agency may be as they appear. As more families are having financial difficulties, many agencies are advertising services that they actually can’t deliver. You need to be vigilant when hiring a tax professional or a service.

To find the most qualified person to handle your tax matters, you’ll need to do the legwork before signing any commitments. Here are some tips to help you find the right services by experienced and knowledgeable individuals:

Check Out Retainer Fees

A company that requires a retainer fee, which is money paid to ‘hold’ services before services are rendered or an agreement is made, may be inclined to take your money and leave you in the dark. Avoid companies that request retainers. They can legally change prices on any agreements and may leave you with more debt than you started with. The solution? Seek out companies that charge a flat rate. This will ensure that you know how much you will be paying for services and you reduce the risk that you will be ripped off and left hanging in tax trouble.

Debt Settlement Promises

There are more agencies advertising the settlement of tax debts for ‘pennies on the dollar.’ The program these agencies are referring to is the IRS’s Offer in Compromise. While it is a valid program, it is an extremely difficult program to qualify for when you owe tax debts. The Offer in Compromise program does allow debtors to settle their total tax debts for less than they owe but not just anyone can be eligible. An experienced tax relief attorney can help prove eligibility but firms advertising their guarantee for settlement will likely just take your money and offer no help.

Direct Solicitations of Tax Help

The IRS will file a public notice of a federal tax lien against you and your property. In some situations, a taxpayer will receive a call or mail correspondence directly addressing the situation. Others will receive multiple calls that seemingly won’t quit until you sign up for services. Companies that are making direct contact generally do not have the best of reputations. They purchase contact lists of consumers because they essentially have no other way to bring in customers. A qualified tax professional with a solid reputation will not use these solicitation tactics to get clients as their track record will speak for itself and word-of-mouth referrals will be strong.

Do Your Homework on the Business

The Better Business Bureau in your area will rate companies based on consumer complaints and feedback. You can check out the company you are considering in order to determine what their BBB rating is and what, if any, complaints have been lodged by previous clientele. You can also ask friends and family for information on a good referral. Furthermore, the Internet is a great place where you can seek out reviews of company operations. If the company is not legitimate, there will likely be a host of complaints found during a simple Google search.

The more you know before hiring someone to help with your tax issues, the better off you are at reducing the risk of being ripped off. A qualified professional will have your best interests at heart and not make money matters the primary concern. Oftentimes your gut instinct after contacting a company will be right on and you should trust your feelings before committing to a company. Most importantly, be aware and don’t let overpowering sales tactics pressure you in to doing something that you fee may be  wrong.