It is important that the FTC included tax debt relief companies along with debt relief companies
Greensboro, NC (Vocus) October 19, 2010
A Web-based tax software start-up that helps consumers solve their IRS problems supports new legislation protecting Americans struggling with tax debt. New River Innovation, Inc. applauds the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule which cracks down on the deceptive practices of many “pennies on the dollar” tax resolution firms. New River offers online options for consumers who need help.
A major deadline for the FTC legislation is coming up on Oct. 27. From that date forward, tax debt relief companies who promise IRS debt reductions will be banned from collecting up-front fees. Furthermore, these firms will not be allowed to collect a penny until they’ve partially or entirely settled the customer’s tax debt, and the customer has made a payment toward the settlement.
“It is important that the FTC included tax debt relief companies along with debt relief companies,” said Jim Buttonow, a 19-year IRS veteran who spent years auditing the credit counseling industry. “Attorneys General across the US have been focusing on tax debt relief companies due to their false promises and deceptive practices. We’re somewhat surprised that the FTC didn’t take action earlier.”
Industry insiders have suggested that some tax debt firms may to try to finds ways to skirt around compliance. For example, some companies may try to open local offices because the FTC rules don’t cover online or face-to-face interaction, only intrastate telemarketing. Even so, consumers should still be wary of any debt reduction promises that sound too good to be true.
Despite all of the uncertainty, there are some bright spots for consumers in all of this. For taxpayers who want help dealing with the IRS, promising new options are emerging. Online software, for one, seems to be gaining momentum as an affordable alternative to higher-priced tax attorneys and debt relief firms.
Web sites such as Mr. Buttonow’s easyIRS.com, use software to help consumers solve their own IRS problems—intending to do for tax problem solving what Intuit’s TurboTax™ has done for tax filing. The software is available at easyIRS.com, and prices range from $49 to $159—less than the cost of 30 minutes with a tax attorney.
“Americans who are afraid of enforcement or think they need a deal-maker to work with the IRS should know that working with the IRS is cut and dry”, Buttonow said. “The key is understanding your problem from the IRS point of view. IRS agents on the phone and at regional offices are trained to offer options and accept arrangements according to guidelines,” Buttonow said. “In reality, there’s little room for negotiation.” And software, like easyIRS, can provide Web-based problem analysis, detailed action plans, and IRS ready forms.
With helpful new software applications on the way, taxpayers can save big on representation and negotiation fees, and feel empowered to take control of their own tax problems.
New River Innovation company profile
easyIRS.com is the flagship Web site of New River Innovation, based in North Carolina and backed by a leading venture capital firm, Intersouth Partners.
The firm is staffed by IRS and tax experts, as well as professionals experienced in high-security applications, Web technology, and intellectual property.
Using the Web, easyIRS applies years of practical, professional experience solving tax problems into a simple-to-use service.