Tax debt relief scams are everywhere; unfortunately, many innocent people fall prey to them. Even in a difficult financial situation, it is vital to seek help from a reliable source and not fall for a scam. This blog post provides seven tips to help you avoid falling victim to these scams.
What Is Tax Debt Relief?
Tax Debt Relief is when a taxpayer can reduce or eliminate the taxes they owe. This can be done through filing for an extension of time to pay the taxes, requesting a payment plan, filing for an Offer in Compromise, or discharging the tax debt in bankruptcy. Each option has different requirements and benefits. A professional tax advisor can help you determine the best option for your situation.
When filing for an extension of time to pay taxes, the taxpayer can request the IRS to extend the deadline for filing and paying taxes. This can give the taxpayer more time to gather the necessary funds to pay the owed amount and more time to negotiate a payment plan with the IRS.
Unfortunately, relief scams are all too common, leaving many taxpayers frustrated and confused. With the right information and resources, you can avoid falling victim to such schemes. Here are seven ways to protect yourself from falling prey to a relief scam:
1. Research the Company
The first step to avoiding scams that apparently provide tax debt relief is researching. Finding out as much as possible about the company you are considering is essential. You should look for information about the company’s history, services, and customer reviews. This will help you determine if they are a legitimate company or a scam. It is also crucial to look at the company’s website and social media accounts to ensure they are active and up-to-date.
2. Check the Business’s Credentials
It is essential to check the credentials of any company you are considering. Ensure the company is licensed and accredited by the relevant authorities in your state. Additionally, you should ensure the company is registered with the Better Business Bureau and has a good rating. If the company does not have the necessary credentials, it is best to stay away.
3. Take the Time to Read the Reviews
Another critical step to avoiding these scams is to take the time to read reviews. You should read reviews from previous customers to get an idea of the quality of their services. Additionally, it is vital to read reviews from independent websites, not just the company’s website. This will give you an unbiased view of the company and help you make an informed decision.
4. Never Give Out Personal Information
It is important to never give out personal information such as your social security number, bank account information, or other sensitive information to a company you don’t know. If a company asks for this information, it will likely be a scam. It is also essential to never give out your credit card information or sign up for any services that require payment upfront.
5. Never Wire Money
Never wire money to a company you don’t know. This is a common tactic used by scammers to get your money. Instead, you should opt for a payment method that is more secure such as a credit card or PayPal.
6. Seek Professional Advice
The best way to avoid becoming a scam victim is to seek professional advice. It is vital to work with a qualified and experienced tax professional who can provide honest advice on how to resolve your tax debt situation best.
A reputable tax professional can provide solutions tailored to your specific needs. They can also explain the tax relief options available to you. They will also be able to advise you on how to avoid scams and help you to identify any signs of a scam.
7. Report Scams to the Authorities
One of the most important things to do is to report any suspected scams to the authorities. This will help to protect you and others from becoming victims. Reporting these scams to the authorities can be done in a few different ways.
The most direct way is to contact the relevant government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), your state’s department of taxation, or the consumer protection agency. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This will help to alert the authorities to the scam and help to prevent it from happening to others.