Some companies and law firms use false promises and deceptive tactics to take advantage of consumers who desperately need help resolving their back tax debt to the IRS. These companies usually charge a high upfront fee, possibly thousands of dollars, for their services. They tell consumers that they can stop IRS collection activity and resolve IRS problems. After collecting their advance fee, these companies often fail to provide the promised tax relief. Instead, after requesting the same documents time and time again from consumers, they conclude that the consumers no longer qualify, or the IRS rejects their efforts to resolve the back tax debt. Some companies never even submit a request to the IRS to resolve the debt. And in the end, these companies typically refuse to refund the advance fee consumers paid them.
Don't be lured in by promises that sound too good to be true. Here are some tips from the IRS for avoiding tax debt relief scams:
If you can't resolve your problem with the IRS, you have options to resolve your issues for free:
The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility has jurisdiction over Enrolled Agents, Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Actuaries, and Appraisers who practice before the service. If you suspect practitioner misconduct, you can report the behavior to the IRS via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a victim of a tax debt relief scam, file a complaint with the Alaska Attorney General's Office.
Consumer Protection Unit