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If you need tax relief, you can work directly with the IRS yourself (more about that at the bottom of this review). But if you want professional help, you can work with a tax relief company such as Community Tax.
Community Tax offers help with getting on a payment plan with the IRS, settling tax bills for less than what's owed, and putting IRS collections on temporary hold. The company also offers tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting services.
The bottom line Community Tax covers a wide range of issues, but it won't be cheap.
Community Tax provides a variety of tax relief services that can help people manage their back taxes.
Investigation, or discovery, work — where the company rounds up details to assess the scope of your tax issue — runs $325.
Resolution work — where the company works toward actually resolving your tax issue — costs much more and depends on the particular tax issue, but the fee for setting up installment agreements, applying for an offer in compromise or applying for Currently Not Collectible status with the IRS runs $750 to $5,000 ($3,000 on average).
Clients are assigned a case advocate to be their primary day-to-day contact and a licensed practitioner who will actually represent you before the IRS.
Fees: The company says it offers a free consultation, which can help you decide whether they’re for you, and there’s no time limit or topic limit. After that, you’ll pay for the company to diagnose the size and nature of your tax issue, and then more for the company to try to resolve the issue.
Who does the work: Community Tax assigns you a case advocate, and every case has a licensed practitioner as well as a tax preparer if needed. The company says it requires employees to have a law license, CPA or EA designation in order to negotiate with the IRS on your behalf. The company also says you can work with them via phone, e-mail or chat, or by mail.
Refunds: Given that most people can get on a payment plan with the IRS (also called an installment agreement), it’s unlikely that this or any other tax relief company will say there’s nothing they can do for you. But if it comes to that, Community Tax says that if it's unable to recommend a resolution or made a material mistake, it may offer a refund.
Before you decide to hire a tax relief company, here are a few things to know.
Working with a tax relief company generally entails two steps:
If you want to hire a tax relief company because you don’t have the time or energy to deal with a tax issue, that’s fine. But be aware that it’s not required. There are many things you can handle directly with the IRS to get back on track without having to pay a third party. Some of those things include:
Three things here:
Community Tax covers all of the bases, but it won’t be cheap. Clients get a list of services covering a wide range of issues, including offers in compromise, installment agreements, Currently Not Collectible status and penalty abatement.