Today TaxMama wants to talk to you about ways to get help when you are in tax trouble, as a result f a desperate plea from a fellow named Jon.
Reading some of the problems people bring to me can be heartbreaking. I spent a couple of decades helping people get out trouble with IRS and reconstruct their lives before the Internet came along. This medium gives me an avenue to provide free information to help people avoid getting into trouble in the first place.
But once you’re in trouble, what can you do?
First of all, you don’t need to rush to the nearest high-priced firm advertising on TV or radio, who promises to cut your taxes to pennies on the dollar. Most people don’t qualify for that particular break. But there are lots of ways to get help. We outline some of your options in this complimentary video – IRS Practice Series: Overview of Collection Issues .
If you are very bold and brave, you can learn to fill in the forms for an offer in compromise yourself – we’ll be teaching that on November 1st – for less than the cost of a one-hour consultation with a tax pro! http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama/
You have resources available to you that cost nothing:
When you have IRS problems and are getting nowhere, turn to the Taxpayers Advocate Service – http://www.irs.gov/advocate/ – 1-877-777-4778. They do wonderful work. I am a huge fan!
Most states have a similar service. The position might be called an Advocate, an Ombudsman, or…. For instance, this morning, I found that Montana calls their service Taxpayer Assistance. You don’t need to search for this person. Just call your state tax agency and ask for the phone number of the person in this position – http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/
Many colleges with business schools offer assistance. Call the college in your area. Their business department will tell you who to contact – or if there is some other service in your area.
Sometimes, Enrolled Agent, CPA or Attorney associations in your area offer pro bono services. Call around and ask . Look up the local chapter in your area.
- Enrolled Agents – National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), www.naea.org
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), http://www.aicpa.org/feedback/shortfb.htm
- ABA, http://abanet.org
Sometimes, you can find a VITA site, or TCA site or an AARP Tax-Aide site with volunteers who help with tax problems as well as tax preparation. There may not be many of them, but there are some. http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=107626,00.html
Naturally, all of these organizations offer help to the military. You may also be able to get help on your base.
Of course, if these options don’t work, you can always do what Jon did – get hold of your legislators, governor, even the president. In fact, sometimes, when you are totally frustrated with the system, call on your local TV or radio consumer affairs person. Who knows. They might be able to help.
Naturally, if you can afford to get professional help – do that. It’s often faster, more efficient – and the experience can be quite satisfying. See the tax pro organizations above to find an experienced representative.
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about resolving tax problems, and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the join TaxMama.com link – it’s free!]
Please post all Comments and Replies in the new TaxQuips Forum