Tax consultants: Good? Bad?
May 22, 2007 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone had experience with Tax consultants. The ones that claim to settle your IRS debt for pennies on the dollar?

I've seen plenty of ads in the paper and on the tube, and I have over 10gs in tax debt. Just wondering if any of them are legit, as many of the debt consolidation outfits aren't. Thanks!
posted by JABof72 to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Any reasonably experienced accountant can help you with that. And yes, if you got one of those "by our reckoning you owe us $X," you will likely be able to get off with less than that.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:54 AM on May 22, 2007

A quick Google search found this, which you may have already seen.
posted by Brian James at 9:23 AM on May 22, 2007

My experience is in Canada, so it may not be directly applicable to paying the IRS instead of the CRA, but I will say this:

The Tax Man follows the rules, and wants to get paid. If you've got nothing to use to pay your tax debt (savings, home equity, etc), then chances are good that the Tax Man might decide you aren't worth bothering with, and "write off" amounts owed, or settle for a lesser amount. Most people who are truly "poor" don't amass $10k in tax debt, though.

If you've got assets, the Tax Man will want you to leverage those assets to pay your debt. Often, you're better off negotiating a loan from a bank, getting a HELOC, or cashing in some savings/investments and paying the tax debt. At least that way you have some control over your payments -- the Tax Man has the authority to take your stuff to settle the debt on his terms, not yours.
posted by gwenzel at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2007

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