How to Get Help with Tax Bills
Tax bills can represent one of most difficult types of debt to recover from. You can get hit from federal, state and even local tax authorities with bills that can be extremely difficult to repay. Unlike other consumer debt, you cannot eliminate most tax debt through a bankruptcy filing. Fortunately, you can get help with tax bills, but not necessarily from the sources that you might think.
First of all, the most widely recognized entities that help with tax bills actually provide very little if any relief. Instead, they make vague promises and charge thousands of dollars in upfront fees. Once they have your money, you can expect them to do little more than send form letters on your behalf, something you could have done on your own for free.
Law firms that provide so-called tax debt settlement help
vary in effectiveness. If you respond to a television commercial about a national law firm that can help you reduce your tax debt substantially, you will likely become their next victim.
Instead of paying them thousands of dollars for dubious representation services, you may consider contacting the tax authorities directly. The Internal Revenue Service has many ways that they will work with you on your tax debt. Their offer in compromise program is limited in scope, but it can be an option for a tax payer who is hopelessly unable to meet their income tax liability. Sometimes an innocent spouse may be granted relief from a tax bill resulting from their spouse's unknown activities. Even payment plans are frequently approved, thereby allowing you a reprieve from embarrassing levies and liens.
Your state's department of revenue and county tax authority also have similar programs. You simply have to contact the appropriate department, be honest about your situation, and make an honest effort to comply. Remember though that if you owe a tax debt, you will be expected to pay it if they determine that you are able.
If you do choose to hire a tax attorney, avoid the late night television commercials. Instead, contact your state's bar association to search for an experienced and licensed tax attorney. They can help you navigate the process when your situation is more complicated than you feel you can handle.
When you cannot pay your tax debt because you owe many consumer debts, then it is time to contact a reputable credit counseling organization
so that they can help you find a way to pay everyone. Otherwise, financial ruin may result if you wait until legal action results.