With the array of tax consultants out there, you might not be sure what an enrolled agent can do for you, as compared to a tax attorney or an accountant. While they don’t necessarily have to have specialized in tax law or accountancy during their training, enrolled agents are licensed by the IRS to help taxpayers in negotiations with the organization. All enrolled agents have either passed a three-part IRS examination or are former IRS employees, and must engage in continuing education every three years. That means they’re just as qualified as tax attorneys or CPAs for most tax resolution services. Research tax consultant firms in your local area to find an enrolled agent who offers the specific tax help you need. tax resolution
IRS Audit Preparation and Representation
An error or suspicious number on your annual tax return can lead to an IRS audit, a time-consuming and frustrating examination of your financial records to determine whether you’ve been honest and accurate in your dealings with the IRS. If you receive notice of an impending tax audit, it’s a good idea to secure the services of a tax specialist to help you prepare your records. An enrolled agent can also represent you during the audit, negotiating with and presenting evidence to the IRS on your behalf. Many are so thorough in their preparation that you don’t even have to be present at the audit, which can save you time and stress during the IRS auditing process.
Tax Settlement Negotiation
If you’re struggling with a tax debt you aren’t able to pay, one can help negotiate a tax settlement with the IRS. First, your tax consultant will examine your financial records and recommend the best course of action. For instance, you might be able to pay off your tax burden if you could break it up over a period of several months, in which case you’d petition for an installment agreement. You might have reached a point where you know, given your current and projected financial status, that you won’t ever be able to pay the debt in its entirety, in which case you can ask for an offer in compromise, you pay as much as you can, and the IRS absolves you of the remaining debt. They will know what tax settlements you’re actually eligible for and which you’re most likely to receive. Then he or she can help you gather the necessary paperwork to plead your case.
Tax Penalty Abatement and Dismissal
The IRS often goes to extreme measures to collect on large or far-overdue tax balances. Almost immediately after failing to file and pay your taxes on time, you’ll begin accumulating fees and interest. Eventually, the IRS may garnish a portion of your paycheck to cover the debt, leaving you unable to pay your monthly bills. The IRS can also place a lien or levy on your assets as security against the debt. An enrolled agent can help with tax penalty abatement and dismissal. Your agent may also negotiate a tax settlement, such as an installment agreement, in place of the wage garnishment or tax lien.
Every tax firm will differ slightly in its services, so it’s best to research ahead of time and take advantage of any free consultations offered before hiring someone to help you. Also, you need to be aware of what falls outside of one’s scope; for instance, while enrolled agents can represent you with the IRS, only tax attorneys can represent you in a court of law. Similarly, not all offer accounting services aside from tax resolution. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and think about what kind of help you might need in the future, even as you work to resolve your current tax situation.