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4 Things to Look for in a Tax Debt Resolution Company

July 11, 2017

4 Things to Look for in a Tax Debt Resolution Company

If you owe the IRS and don’t know where to start, then you’re one of over 8 million Americans who are in the same boat. And while many financial pros can claim to help, selecting one isn’t the same as choosing a candy bar at the grocery checkout line.

Tax debt resolution professionals help clients figure out the best approach to relieving tax debt or resolving issues concerning the IRS, but they’re not all cut from the same cloth. That’s why it’s important to evaluate which company can best serve you (and who you can trust) before signing on the dotted line.

Here are four things to consider when choosing a tax debt resolution provider:

1. Proven experience and dynamic resources – When tax relief can seem like rocket science, you’ll inevitably have questions for the pros. Look for a company that not only knows their stuff (hint: check their website, social media accounts and credentials), but grants clients direct access to licensed professionals such as attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents. It’s a good sign that you’ll have a fast pass to the resources you need when these professionals are on staff.

Industry expertise pairs well with practice, so consider how long the company has been in the market and its track record. Is it a law firm that recently added tax services? Is it a bike shop turned tax solutions provider? In short, the longer the company has been successfully helping customers like you, the better.

2. A commitment to client empowerment – When you owe the IRS thousands of dollars, you don’t exactly feel powerful. Client empowerment occurs when a company puts forth effort in communication, guidance and transparency to help you feel valued. A tax resolution company that not only empathizes with your situation, but is a partner to you throughout the process, can be your best catalyst for regaining confidence. If you have a designated consultant on your case, this is a good sign you’ll be in good, steady hands.

3. Accreditation and stellar ratings – There are many unbiased, third-party review sites that provide valuable insight into a company’s business practices and the client experience. Organizations like Better Business Bureau (BBB), Best Company or Trustpilot take real customers’ reviews and ratings to grade companies. For example, the BBB rates companies from F (lowest) to A+ (highest), so you can ensure a company has a “passing” grade.

4. A broad range of service offerings – Here’s a little secret: Most tax resolution companies offer the same basic services. Sift out a true diamond in the rough by seeing if the company goes beyond the basics. Look for a tax services provider offering (and mastering) complex issues such as:

  • Federal and state taxes
  • Business tax solutions
  • Self-employment tax solutions
  • International filing
  • Trust and estate taxes
  • Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)

Ideally, you want a partner you can trust for all tax-related services or guidance you may need now and in the future.

When you check “yes” to these four must-have qualities, you’ll be on your way to resolving tax issues in no time.

Tax Defense Network has been in the business of helping taxpayers resolve their issues for 10 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. To start the journey to tax debt relief alongside experienced professionals you can trust, call Tax Defense Network at (877) 588-1098 or chat with an analyst today.

How Much Vacation Fun Can You Write Off On Your Taxes?

July 7, 2016

How much vacation fun can you write off on your taxes?

With summertime in full swing, you may be considering some much-needed time away from home (and we don’t blame ya). Whatever your travel plans, you might want to consider whether or not you’ll be able to take tax breaks for your time off. Believe it or not, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to take some tax deductions for that much-needed vacation.

Mix Business and Pleasure 

The best way to maximize your tax savings when you’re on the road is to incorporate your job into your travel plans; or, perhaps more accurately, squeeze pleasure time in between work activities. Your plane fare, lodging, and even meals can be written off if the expenses are made under working conditions. So, just because you have to meet with clients doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a dip in the hotel pool.

Passive vs. Active Business Trips

There are two types of common work-related trips: passive and active. A passive trip is educational in nature, such as a software training or an industry conference. An active venture involves actual work functions, like business meetings or factory inspections. Expenses for both passive and active trips may be deducted on your taxes – but just make sure that you’re actually paying the bill for these items. In other words, don’t try to write off expenses that your company is covering.

The Acceptable and the Unsuitable

The IRS will allow some tax deductions while rejecting others. Examples of acceptable tax deductions while you’re out of town for work include:

  • Your rental car
  • Parking
  • Luggage fees
  • Hotel wifi service

If you’re combining your vacation with work, you can still take the above deductions if they’re for work activities. What you don’t want to do is attempt to write off expenses for your friend, companion or relative as work-related (unless he or she is a legitimate co-worker). Here are some examples of what not to include:

  • Mom’s pedicure while you’re meeting with potential clients
  • The kids’ theme park tickets while you’re on conference calls
  • Family dinner after your seminar

If your family is tagging along and sharing your hotel room while you’re on the clock, that’s completely acceptable, but don’t try writing off obvious leisure and non-work items. Most importantly, don’t forget to keep receipts for every individual item you write off. While you want to take every deduction you can, you also want to avoid making a fatal error on your return.

How to Play It Smart

It’s a good idea to ask for help when you’re writing off vacation expenses. If the IRS sees anything they perceive as questionable, you might be in for an uncomfortable discussion about your return. A licensed tax professional can help you prevent any IRS issues from mistaken deductions or resolve an existing tax issue.

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