IRS Offers Feeble Tax Relief in Hopes you Won’t Hire a Tax Professional

IRS Offers Feeble Tax Relief in Hopes you Won’t Hire a Tax Professional

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IRS collection officials do not want you to hire a tax professional. Why? Because when you represent yourself the IRS has a decided advantage. First, it is easier for them to intimidate and frighten you because they know you don’t know the law. Second, it makes it infinitely more likely that their procedural mistakes, their over-assessments and their violations of your rights will go undetected and unchallenged.

Based on my 25 years of experience dealing with IRS officials, I have no stronger conviction then this:

Taxpayers who are having problems with the IRS are foolish not to hire an experienced tax professional to ensure that the IRS does not, a) overcharge them; and b) violate their rights.

BIAS ALERT: I represent taxpayers for a living. Consequently, much like the Doctor who advises a person who is experiencing chest pains to seek medical attention, advising taxpayers to hire counsel is good for my business. But this fact does not make the Doctor’s or my advice any less wise.

Joe Kristan reports:

It’s an election year, so the IRS is pretending to be nice.

The IRS has announced an expansion of its “Fresh Start Initiative,” a program “to help struggling taxpayers by taking steps to provide new penalty relief to the unemployed and making Installment Agreements available to more people.”

It includes penalty relief for unemployed tax delinquents and expanded access to installment agreements.

Here’s what’s interesting about this: The IRS doesn’t want you to hire a CPA or tax attorney to help you resolve your tax problem because when you do, assuming you hire a good one, you will almost always:

  1. Owe less to the IRS than the IRS says you owe;
  2. Get better payment terms than you otherwise would have; and
  3. Be assessed less penalties and interest than you otherwise would have.

By announcing, up front, that it will give you penalty relief and “expanded access” (whatever the hell that means) to installment agreements, the IRS is making a preemptive strike to prevent you from hiring a tax professional who knows the law and your rights better than it does.

Don’t fall for it. Speak with a tax CPA or tax lawyer before contacting the IRS yourself.

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida