Don’t Delay in Managing IRS Tax Debt

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Freedom Financial Network Offers Advice, IRS Assistance for Serious Tax Problems

With tax day, April 15, less than one month away, consumers and business owners who have looming tax liabilities are likely breaking a sweat just about now. For those with serious tax problems, Freedom Financial Network, LLC, can help by working directly with the IRS to reduce past-due tax penalties and payments, and offering tips on managing tax season.

Because Americans are carrying more debt than ever, today’s consumers are more likely to have tax problems than in the past. And the situation will likely only grow worse, says Brad Stroh, co-CEO of Freedom Financial Network, a debt resolution company serving more than 3,000 clients.

According to the Internal Revenue Service:

1.Fifteen percent of all taxpayers owe back taxes.

2.In 2003, an estimated $120 billion in taxes went uncollected.

3.An estimated 76,686 taxpayers had delinquent tax bills of more than $100,000 (as of Fiscal Year 2001).

4.The number of levies (a key enforcement tool in which the IRS takes possession of assets to collect on unpaid taxes) topped 2 million during fiscal year 2004. The figure is a 21 percent increase from 2003 and triple the 2001 number.

Tax problems usually merit professional help when tax liabilities reach $10,000 or more and individuals find themselves in a position where they cannot pay, says Stroh. At that point, specialists can negotiate directly with the IRS on behalf of these consumers, helping them obtain settlements, Stroh says. “Experts can navigate the intricacies of IRS forms and calculations that characterize tax relief. They can help consumers understand the criteria the IRS imposes, then help them get back into good standing with the IRS.”

Tax relief specialists include attorneys with special training, and experienced debt resolution advisors such as those with Freedom Tax Relief, a division of Freedom Financial Network.

These advisors can help obtain one of two types of IRS settlement, depending on the severity of an individual’s situation:

·Offer in compromise, which reduces the principal amount owed to the IRS.

·Installment agreement, which is a payment plan for the amount due; often includes a reduction in penalties.

Freedom Tax Relief charges a fixed fee for its services. Fees vary depending on the type and amount of tax owed as well as individual circumstances.

“Unlike with unsecured creditors, you can’t let taxes languish or be slow getting around to them,” Stroh warns. “The IRS is serious and aggressive about tax collection and evasion. Tax debt can result in a lien on a house or garnished wages.”

Stroh encourages individuals with tax problems to act early, before they receive “intent to levy” notices from the IRS. When selecting an advisor, look for a solid track record of success. For example, Freedom Tax Relief’s lead attorney maintains a career success rate of more than 90 percent acceptance for offers in compromise. This rate compares to an industrywide rate of less than 15 percent.

“Handling tax problems is becoming more important than ever, in light of bankruptcy reform legislation now in Congress,” Stroh says. He explains that historically, consumers in severe IRS debt might file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection or try to wait for the 10-year statute of limitations on tax liability to expire. With the new Federal Bankruptcy Reform Bill likely to pass quickly, people will be much more limited in the ability to obtain Chapter 7 filings. The bill’s new “means test” will require many consumers to file instead for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which establishes a repayment plan, rather than wiping out all debt.

“Consumers with tax debt who are looking to Chapter 13 may find it much less costly, simpler and easier on their long-term records to work with a debt resolution firm with a tax relief service,” Stroh says. “In doing so, individuals can set up a tax payment plan while avoiding court fees, attorney fees and a bankruptcy judgment on their records.”

Freedom Financial Network, LLC (http://www.freedomfinancialnetwork.com) provides consumer debt resolution services through its Freedom Debt Relief, Freedom Foreclosure Relief and Freedom Tax Relief divisions. Helping consumers resolve their debts for the least possible personal cost, Freedom Financial Network offers an alternative to bankruptcy, credit counseling and debt consolidation. Based in San Mateo, Calif., Freedom Financial Network serves more than 3,000 clients nationwide and manages more than $80 million in consumer debt.

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Aimee Bennett
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