5 Tips to Finding Legitimate Tax Consultants: Avoid These 4 Red Flags

If you run into problems with the tax man, it’s time to find tax consultants who can help you navigate through the process, but watch out for these 4 red flags.

The US tax system is far from simple. While every US taxpayer has an obligation to keep up with their filing requirements and tax return preparation, it’s easy to get lost in the web of rules and regulations surrounding our tax code, and the different forms the IRS might ask you to submit. There are forms of making large cash payments, forms for certain acts of charity, forms for declaring income outside of your day job, forms for foreign assets, and more.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with it all, your best bet is to get in touch with professional tax consultants. But tax preparation services vary in what they do and don’t offer, and it’s easy to get hurt by teaming up with the wrong tax consultant and preparation service. Even worse is becoming a victim of a tax prep scam, a problem every taxpayer should be aware of.

 

Finding Reputable Tax Consultants

If you’ve never hired tax consultants or preparation services before, knowing what to look for – and what to beware – can help. Here are our basic pointers.

 

Ensure That They’re Licensed

Professional tax consultants and preparers typically do work in financial, accounting, or legal industries, and the best ones will be accredited lawyers, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, or professionals who have attended and completed the IRS’s Annual Filing Season program with a title such as Accredited Business Accountant, Accredited Business Advisor, or Accredited Tax Preparer.

These are a lot of different titles, so it helps to narrow your search down by using online directories.

The IRS has its own directory of tax professionals with a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which can give you a shortlist of professionals near you. You can identify services by PTIN-holding tax professionals with the following credentials:

 

Ask for a PTIN

Speaking of a PTIN, it’s important to ask your tax preparer to present theirs. The IRS requires anyone who performs professional tax preparation services to have a PTIN. It’s important to distinguish volunteer tax preparers from ones who ask for financial compensation.

If you get your uncle to do your taxes, because he’s a savant in tax law and has offered to help you out, then you obviously won’t need him to get a PTIN or note it down in your return. But if you’re paying someone to take care of your taxes, every return they prepare must have their PTIN included in it.

 

What Organizations Do They Belong To?

Aside from credentials, one way to further cement the competence and reputation of your prospective tax consultants is by finding out what organizations and associations they belong to.

Membership in the local Bar, the National Association of Tax Professionals, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and other similar national and state-level organizations requires that any given member act in accordance with the ethical and professional standards of the organization.

Being a member is a good sign, as it means the preparer you’re working with has held themselves to high standards within the industry.

 

Check Their Reputation

You can go a step further and leverage online review systems to get a better idea of what it’s like to work with this professional in the long-term. What do former clients have to say about them? How well do they curate their online image? Do they have reviews on the BBB, Google, or Yelp, and what do these reviews mention?

An online reputation isn’t everything, of course. Reviews can be bought, competitors can be review bombed, and one vindictive client with an exaggerated horror story can cost a company dozens of potential clients down the line.

But it doesn’t hurt to give any prospective tax professional a cursory online search and find out more about their client history.

 

Can They Represent You?

A questionable tax return, a forgotten detail, a puzzling or unique life, or just bad luck. These are some of the factors that might lead to an inquiry by the IRS, a potential IRS audit notification, and even a collection action on tax debt. When things go awry with the government, it helps to have a legal professional representing you.

But not all tax preparers are legal professionals. Some tax preparers can represent you in front of the IRS on matters such as payment, collection issues, and potential audits. These include enrolled agents, attorneys, and CPAs. Some tax professionals can only represent you under a limited capacity, such as those who completed the Annual Filing Season Program.

Some tax preparers can represent you, but don’t offer to do so as part of their preparation services, out of availability issues, or as part of their low-cost offering.

Be sure about what services you are and aren’t paying for when looking for tax consultants. It’s always best to work with a legal professional who not only offers to represent you, but is also communicative, keeps track of your tax history, and will follow up for other issues.

Of course, cost matters too. Don’t be afraid to compare and contrast between services.

 

4 Important Red Flags to Keep an Eye On When Searching For Tax Consultants

Just as there are tips and tricks for getting the best tax consultants on your side, there are also important red flags that you can’t afford to miss.

 

1. They Don’t E-File

It’s not just a matter of being old-fashioned. Tax consultants who do not offer the option of e-filing probably aren’t doing as much tax preparation work as they claim to do. The IRS requires all paid preparers who do more than ten returns a year to file electronically via the IRS’s online system.

 

2. They Ask You to Sign a Blank Return

Never sign a blank return. Fraudulent tax preparers and scammers can use signed blank returns to fudge the details, omit income, and even include their own bank details to steal your tax refunds.

 

3. They’re Sending and Receiving Via Email

Financial security is crucial when working on your taxes. Diligent and modern tax consultants will exchange only the bare minimum of details via email and will otherwise insist on secure and encrypted file sharing services when discussing your tax returns and working remotely.

 

4. They Barely Ask Questions

A good tax preparer should know that the average layman won’t remember to bring up every relevant detail during the first interview.

While you should be asking questions to satisfy your own curiosities and learn more about your tax consultants’ history and experience in the field, you should also expect to hear a lot of questions coming from your tax preparer if they’re serious about representing you and providing the best possible service.

Spotting the difference between a good and bad tax preparer can save you a small fortune, and plenty of headaches. Take your time, compare your options, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If you are looking for a qualified and professional tax consultant, contact Rush Tax Resolution today. We can help get you back into good standing with the IRS.

Reefer Tax Madness!

Can You Have Your Pipe and Smoke It Too?

The cannabis industry is booming and continues to garner mainstream acceptance as more and more states contemplate legalizing it.

What many cannabis business owners need to be aware of, but often are not, is that there are very specific rules outlined in the IRS’s tax code of which they must be in compliance. Specifically, Section 280E, which bars ‘drug traffickers’ from taking business expense deductions on their taxes. In other words, cannabis entrepreneurs must pay taxes on ALL of their revenue, without the benefit of being able to use business expenses to reduce their taxable income. The only exception being the cost of acquiring the product intended to be sold. All other ‘costs of doing business’ cannot be filed as a deduction.

As long as marijuana is considered illegal under Federal law, cannabis businesses, even in states where it has been legalized, are barred from reaping the full tax benefits of other businesses.

There are financial experts that cannabis entrepreneurs should seek out as soon as possible that can navigate them through the murky waters of the Tax Code and keep them off the IRS and State Authorities’ radar. Cannabis business-centric firms like cannabistaxsolutions.com know what red flags can trigger an audit (and how to avoid them), how to properly prepare income tax returns and also provide accurate monthly financial reporting. Engaging the services of such a firm can end up saving you big money in potential IRS penalties and interest and safeguard your business from being shut down for outstanding tax debt.

Note: If you’re an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, and your business is currently on the IRS’s chopping block, DO NOT TRY TO DEAL WITH THEM ON YOUR OWN! They are incredibly adept at extracting information, and you could end up saying the wrong thing and making your situation worse. You should instead hire the services of an expert in cannabis taxing and accounting to deal with the IRS on your behalf. Firms like cannabistaxsolutions.com advocate for their clients, and they know what to say and what not to say to get you the best possible resolution.

https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2019/03/05/the-irs-keeps-winning-marijuana-cases-in-us-appeals-courts/

Hello from the Other Side, I Must’ve Called a Thousand Times

“HELLO” Lyrics by Adele

Adele probably wasn’t referencing the IRS in her epic hit ‘Hello’, but the line fits all the same. The Shutdown of December 2018/January 2019 left a lot of wreckage in its wake, but the fallout was particularly disastrous at the IRS, having created an enormous backlog of work that some are saying may take over a year to catch up with.

By the time the shutdown ended, the IRS faced the following:

More than 5 million pieces of mail that hadn’t been batched for processing.

80,000 unaddressed responses to Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) audits from the previous tax season, some of which included frozen tax refunds.

87,000 amended returns that still needed to be processed.

Taxpayers who desperately needed their frozen tax refunds or required relief from an IRS penalty had nowhere to turn during the shutdown, the report found. No IRS employee or TAS employee – which advocate for taxpayers – were authorized to work to assist a taxpayer experiencing a hardship because of the IRS.
The IRS chief counsel said that these functions didn’t meet the requirements for the “safety of life” exception under the Anti-Deficiency Act.

“Neither of these exceptions would allow personnel to be excepted to issue a refund or release a levy in order to allow the taxpayer to obtain access to funds to receive a life-saving operation, for example,” the report stated. “Nor could the IRS use resources to release a levy where it is depriving the taxpayer of funds to pay for basic living expenses, even if the levy could leave the taxpayer homeless.”

Maybe the only thing scarier than trying to call the IRS on your own is trying to call them after you find out they levied your bank account or garnished your wages AND NOW YOU CAN’T REACH ANYONE WHO CAN HELP! The IRS’s average hold time to speak to a live person in Collections has substantially increased since the shutdown, and it was long and tedious to begin with!

We can have the IRS on the phone in minutes for our clients. If you’re having issues with the IRS – you owe a lot money from back taxes or you have years of unfiled returns, or you’re a business owner with payroll tax problems – we can help. Call us now for a free IRS transcript investigation and analysis at 855-477-2255.

Thank You to Our Client, Teddy, for the AWESOME Five Star Review!!

★★★★★
2/13/19

After doing a little research and reading a few reviews on the BBB website, I contacted RushTax to help me with my dire tax situation and after just one phone call I knew I made the right choice. I spoke with Joe and explained the mess I created and he assuaged my fears and assured me I was in good hands. And as God is my witness, RushTax was there for me and my family in ways I could ever imagine. The owner of the firm was available to me when and if I needed, but it was with Joe (my primary contact) and Shadi, the tax lawyer who personally handled my case, that I felt cared for and protected from start to finish. These people CARE about their clients and will fight for you no matter how bad you perceive your case to be. Shadi worked tirelessly on my case, was available day or night (even on weekends sometimes) and never made any promises that she did not intend on seeing all the way through. I feel truly indebted to her and Rush Tax and thankful that I was fortunate to have them advocate for me and to get me the resolution I desperately hoped would be possible and they delivered 100%. If you are lucky enough to be able to retain Rush Tax and to work with Shadi and the other great people at this firm, please do not waste another moment of your life and reach out to them as soon as possible. I hope this review finds you and that you heed this advice and call Rush Tax today…you won’t regret it I promise you. I’m indebted to them forever.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/rush-tax-resolution-woodland-hills

IS IT TRUE? CAN I REALLY SETTLE WITH THE IRS FOR LESS??

People often ask us about the IRS Offer in Compromise program:

Is it really true that you can settle with the IRS for so much less than owed?

The answer is YES!

See our real client results below!

 

 

Yes, you must qualify for the IRS settlement program; and not everybody qualifies.

However, if you currently owe $10,000 or more to the IRS, why not find out for Free?

We offer an IRS transcript investigation, analysis, & financial review; UP FRONT and for FREE.

With this service, we are able to determine if you are a good candidate for this program.

RECENTLY APPROVED OFFER IN COMPROMISES:

OUR AVERAGE SETTLEMENT IS LESS THAN 2% OF

BALANCES!

CLICK HERE, FREE PRE-QUALIFICATION, IRS FRESH START

NOT ALL TAXPAYERS QUALIFY FOR THIS PROGRAM.  

CALL NOW TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD SAVE OFF YOUR TAX DEBT!  

(877) 554-7874

                     

                       

What if I Don’t Qualify for a Settlement with the IRS?

Can You Still Reduce What I Owe?

The answer is YES!

Not everybody qualifies for an Offer in Compromise, but that does not mean that we can’t still save you substantial amounts of money off our your tax debt.

We have saved many of our clients tons of money by eliminating and/or reducing penalties

and the interest on the penalties by negotiating penalty abatement for them against the IRS.

On older tax years in particular, 35% to 50% of what you owe may just be the penalties and the interest on them.  It’s absolutely crazy!

We’ve also saved many clients tens of thousands by replacing old substitute tax returns prepared by the IRS with new returns that we prepare.

CALL NOW TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU COULD SAVE OFF YOUR TAX DEBT!  

(877) 554-7874