Facing tax-related problems can cause extreme stress and anxiety for people who are at risk of having their bank accounts or assets seized. While it may seem like a simple process to remain in good standing with the IRS and stay up to date with filing tax returns and making tax payments, if a person falls out of the routine, they can find themselves with a tax issue.
What Are Tax Relief Companies?
Tax relief companies are organizations that serve to help clients resolve their tax issues due to accumulated tax debt. Some tax relief companies work by charging the client a percentage fee of what is owed to the IRS, while others charge hourly rates or charge a fee based on the particular service. People often choose to seek assistance from these companies, even when they are stressed about paying back their debt, due to the company’s ability to negotiate with the IRS on the client’s behalf and find the best tax solution according to their expert knowledge.
What Is Ideal Tax Solution?
Ideal Tax is a tax relief company that aims to assist clients in resolving their tax problems and reducing their tax debts. Ideal Tax was established on April 19th, 2010, shortly after the 2007-2008 financial crisis and Great Recession that caused significant economic hardship for many families. Based in Orange County, California, this tax resolution and mediation company specializes in:
- Reducing tax debt
- Removing wage garnishments
- Removing bank levies
- Removing bank liens
- Securing tax debt relief options
- Protecting against property seizure
Tax Professionals at Ideal Tax Solution
One of the benefits of working with a tax relief company like Ideal Tax Solutions to help resolve tax problems is the ability to consult with tax experts who are familiar with tax law and have experience negotiating with the IRS. There are several types of tax professionals at Ideal Tax who assist clients in reaching tax resolutions, including:
- Tax Attorney
- Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
- Licensed Enrolled Agents
- Case Managers
- Tax Consultants
Ideal Tax Solution is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and the American Bar Association (ABA). Additionally, they meet the following business accreditations:
- Better Business Bureau
Ideal Tax Solution is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating. The BBB is a private non-profit organization focusing on advancing marketplace trust between consumers and companies.
- Best Company
Best Company is an organization that aims to provide clear and honest customer reviews and rankings to help consumers find the best business to assist them in their needs.
- Business Consumer Alliance
Business Consumer Alliance is a private non-profit organization that offers complaint resolution, business reviews, and business membership services. Businesses are given a grade from AAA to F so customers can easily understand if a company is reputable.
How Does Ideal Tax Solution Help Reduce Tax Debt?
As explained on their website, the process of getting involved with Ideal Tax Solution can be completed in four steps. Below is a breakdown of each of the four steps, along with the benefits and drawbacks that can be found for each.
1) Free Consultation
What is a free consultation?
The first step of the Ideal Tax Solution tax relief process is scheduling a free consultation. During a free consultation, the client will meet with a tax professional and inform them of their tax burdens, financial struggles, and what they are looking for with a tax solution company. The experienced tax analysts will evaluate the information provided by the client and educate them about tax relief programs that are offered by the IRS. If the tax professional believes that the case will be an appropriate fit, they will present an offer to continue with the program.
Benefits of a free consultation
The main benefit of Ideal Tax Solution offering a free consultation service for the clients is that they have the opportunity to learn how the program could be useful for their personal situation.
Most of the people who are considering using a tax relief company are already facing financial hardship. For this reason, paying money for the initial meeting to potentially decide that it is not a good fit would be extremely expensive, and overall, a waste of money that could have been going toward their unpaid tax debts.
Many companies that offer tax relief solutions, such as tax attorneys, charge hundreds of dollars for the initial consultation call. Those hourly rates are enough to scare off most of the taxpayers who are struggling with their finances. By providing free consultation, the service becomes more accessible to those who otherwise would not be able to consider getting help or who do not want to risk the investment without speaking to someone first.
Drawbacks of a free consultation
While it is beneficial to have the opportunity to meet with tax professionals and discuss your tax problems directly before moving forward with a tax relief option, it is important to note, that the free consultation alone will not substantially improve the client’s outcome if they do not move forward with the program. While the consultant may provide advice about how they may proceed with reducing their tax burden and negotiating with the IRS, the Ideal Tax representative will not move forward with any action until the client has committed to the program.
Additionally, if people cannot afford the Ideal Tax program, they may feel pressured by the tax representative to commit to the program to receive the help they need so they are able to move forward with their job of taking actionable steps toward finding a tax solution. It may be best for the client to do their own research about IRS tax relief programs if they are not seriously considering hiring tax managers to help them with their tax issue.
2) Instant Protection
What is instant protection?
The second step in the Ideal Tax Solution 4-step process is what the company calls “instant protection” or a “stay of enforcement.” Following the free consultation, if the person decides to move forward with the 4-step process, Ideal Tax Solution will immediately file for a stay of enforcement that prevents the IRS or collection agencies from seizing their assets, including their funds and property.
Benefits of instant protection
The main benefit of instant protection is that it ensures the clients that their tax liability will not significantly increase and they will not lose access to their assets while they search for a long-term resolution. If an individual is accepted for this status, the IRS knows that person is trying to find a solution for their tax issue, and they can honor that by not going after their assets. This is a good first step before reaching a solution that will ultimately place the individual in good standing with the IRS with settled tax debt.
Drawbacks of instant protection
Most of the drawbacks of instant protection are due to its display on the Ideal Tax Solution website, as opposed to the program itself being ineffective. To start, on the home page, Ideal Tax does not call “instant protection” what it actually is: Currently Non-Collectible.
When Ideal Tax Solution says they will file for a stay of enforcement, what they are really referring to is filing for Currently Non-Collectible (CNC) status. If an account is flagged as “non-collectible,” the IRS and collection agencies cannot collect tax payments, freeze their bank accounts, or seize their assets.
While the company provides information about CNC status on other areas of its website, what Ideal Tax Solution does not mention on its home page where they describe the 4-step process is that achieving CNC status is not “instant.” Instead, the application for CNC status is only accepted once the IRS has reviewed the application.
What is an investigation?
Once the free consultation has taken place and Ideal Tax has filed for CNC status on the client’s behalf, they will move forward with a thorough investigation of the client’s accounts and finances. During the investigation process, the tax expert from Ideal Tax will evaluate the entire situation and apply their professional knowledge and experience and help the client save the most money by the end of the process.
Benefits of an investigation
Tax laws can be intimidating to navigate for the average person. Not only is there an abundance of technical jargon involved that may require them to research several definitions while trying to learn about a tax topic, but there are also nuances that exist that can be difficult to catch if someone doesn’t have a thorough understanding and background on the subject. This is the reason that most people seek professional tax help in the first place.
Not only is self-research stressful and time-consuming, but at the end of all of it, the taxpayer still cannot be confident that what they learned is correct because they are not tax professionals. It can provide an invaluable level of reassurance consulting with a tax expert that can clarify things and guide them through the whole process.
If a person instead tries to do their own research and negotiate with the IRS, they may eventually learn that they paid significantly more than if they followed the advice of a tax strategist at a tax relief company like Ideal Tax Solution.
Drawbacks of an investigation
The main drawback of the tax investigation process outlined by the Ideal Tax website is their wording regarding how they will investigate their accounts and ultimately find a tax solution for them. While the industry knowledge of the tax pros at Ideal Tax can help clients navigate the application process with the IRS and discover which solution will be ideal, the help of Ideal Tax alone will not be able to save clients money in what they would owe in tax liability.
IRS tax relief is solely dependent on prerequisites that the taxpayer must meet in order to qualify for the specific program, such as if they are up to date on filing tax returns, how much money they make, and what their essential living expenses are. At the end of the day, if the client does not meet these requirements, they will not be able to receive that form of tax relief.
What is a resolution?
The final of the Ideal Tax Solution 4-step process involves actually applying the resolution that was found to be the best option during the investigation stage. The best resolution for the individual will be one that saves them the most money and allows them to pay what is owed to the IRS without facing significant financial hardship. Ideally, the resolution will end up saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars that they would have had to pay in taxes.
Benefits of a resolution
The best part of the 4-step process is that it leads to a resolution that allows the client to feel confident that they are doing the right thing for their situation. It can be intimidating for someone with little to no tax knowledge to contact the IRS and attempt to negotiate for a settlement as they may feel that someone will take advantage of them. Having a tax professional to advocate for them who is providing dedicated service can make them feel comfortable that their tax problem will be solved with the best strategy.
Drawbacks of a resolution
Again, although it can be beneficial for people who prefer to have professional help to utilize a tax resolution firm like Ideal Tax Solution to help them resolve their tax issues, most of the resolutions could be found without the help of a third-party company because the IRS is evaluating the case based on financial prerequisites. For this reason, a taxpayer may feel that they can conduct adequate research so that they could negotiate with the IRS themselves and apply the money they would have invested in Ideal Tax Solution toward their back taxes.
Ideal Tax Services Offered
As listed on their website, Ideal Tax Solution offers a variety of tax relief services that help individuals and businesses find resolutions for their serious tax problems, including:
- IRS Fresh Start Program
- Amending Tax Returns
- Back Taxes
- Currently Non-Collectible Status
- Installment Agreement and IRS Payment Plans
- Penalty Abatement
- Tax Audits
- Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
- Tax Relief
- Asset Protection
- Bank Levy
- Innocent Spouse Tax Relief
- Offer in Compromise
- Tax Lien Subordination
- Wage Garnishments
How Much Do Ideal Tax Services Cost?
One of the drawbacks of Ideal Tax Solution is that their website does not clearly outline how much their services cost. Some tax resolution companies charge a percentage of the debt owed, some charge a flat fee for the service, and others have an hourly rate. If this information was included on their website, clients could make a more informed decision before moving forward with Ideal Tax. However, they do have a refund policy that offers the client’s money back if they request a refund within 48 hours of signing the contract, which is reassuring to know.
There is some numeric information available about Ideal Tax. According to third-party websites, the minimum debt requirement for a client to be eligible to work with Ideal Tax Solutions is $7,500. Many other tax resolution firms appear to have a minimum debt requirement of $10,000, so this difference makes Ideal Tax slightly more inclusive for people to get their tax issue resolved.
Summary: Is Ideal Tax Worth It?
Now that we have covered what tax relief companies do, the Ideal Tax Solution 4-step process, and the services they provide, here is a summary of the pros and cons of this company:
- Ideal Tax Solution offers a free consultation, whereas many other companies charge hundreds of dollars for their initial consultation.
- Ideal Tax has a BBB rating of A+ as well as positive ratings from Best Company and the Business Consumer Alliance.
- Ideal Tax has a team of professional tax attorneys, CPAs, licensed enrolled agents, and other tax consultants that can guide clients through their case.
- Ideal Tax provides comprehensive services and offers a wide range of tax relief that can help people through a variety of tax problems.
- The Ideal Tax website homepage only contains vague information about their 4-step program, such as in the step 2 instant protection phase, where they do not outline the details of CNC status and what that means.
- The Ideal Tax website lacks specific pricing information that would allow potential customers to make more informed decisions about if they could consider the program before scheduling a free consultation.
Overall, if someone is looking for professional tax advice, Ideal Tax Solution would be a valid option to consider.