Fairy Tales Sell.
Each year thousands of people pay millions of dollars to hundreds of websites promising to eliminate or significantly reduce their tax debts.
Maybe the IRS is giving out magic beans? Maybe you should get in line?
Companies advertising under the banner of “tax debt relief” are typically little more than boiler-room operations. Despite the horror stories they leave in their wake these companies continue to thrive. Desperate people are much more willing than the average consumer to pursue a long shot.
So, are there IRS magic beans? There are a precious few. The average delinquent taxpayer (there are 10 million in the United States) has less than a 3 in 1,000 chance of “having thousands in tax debt erased.”
If you’re staring at a large amount of tax debt, consider using a CPA.
Or at least a lawyer.
(That’s a lawyer joke.)
Speaking of lawyers, do I need one?
We occasionally advise clients to get a lawyer. We know some good ones and aren’t shy about recommending them. If we believe you have a material risk of of criminal investigation we will refer you off to a lawyer. If we believe you are likely to end up in tax court we will refer you to a lawyer. Although CPAs can be licensed to practice in tax court, Maui Tax Counseling is not. If we believe you’re headed for tax court we’ll put you in touch with an attorney who can best handle your case. Otherwise, you’re in good hands with our CPAs.
But What about the “fresh start” program I’ve heard so much about?
Let’s be clear, IRS did grant tax debt relief to over 24,000 taxpayers in 2018 through Offers in Compromise (OIC) and related “Fresh Start” programs. The debt forgiven is over a quarter of a billion dollars. Still sounds fantastic, right? Until you consider there are over 10 million delinquent taxpayers. That’s right.
Less than three in a thousand delinquent taxpayers were helped by Offer in compromise filings last year.
Our website doesn’t feature a blizzard of client testimonials and blog posts rehashing well known areas of tax law. We focus on straight talk. And we’re talking to you: the 997 in every 1,000 delinquent taxpayers who will need legitimate solutions for your tax problems. Not children’s stories. We counsel our clients in understanding what’s possible, and perhaps more importantly, what’s not. We also clean up messes left behind by internet ‘tax debt relief’ firms.