Why You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself Before The IRS

John P Jones   |  

Every year, during tax season, thousands of Americans experience income tax issues and are audited by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Problems with the IRS can result from delays in filing taxes, financial mismanagement, or simple miscalculations. Whatever the case, if the IRS contacts you regarding your tax record, you should see that the problem is solved at the earliest.

However, sorting out issues with the IRS is one of those things that is easier said than done, especially if you are unaware of the details of the tax system or don’t have a clear remedial strategy. With the help of a CPA (certified public accountant), you can gain insights into the IRS regulations and strategize innovative solutions for your tax situation.

Unfortunately, many individuals and businesses avoid professional tax help hoping they will save on fees and charges. In reality, this is a mistake, as, without professional assistance, you are likely to get into an irreversible mess that ends up costing you more than you save. To show you exactly how these problems could arise, John P. Jones Inc. has explained two reasons why you should not represent yourself before the IRS.

1. You could divulge unasked for or damaging information  
As citizens and taxpayers, we have the right to representation. The right to representation means that should a revenue officer visit and ask intrusive questions, you do not have to answer them without expert representation. Choosing to go at it on your own can be highly detrimental as you could give damaging or incorrect information to the IRS, which could hurt your case and leave you vulnerable to penalties.

2. You may be charged higher penalties
While you may feel that hiring a CPA is an expense you can avoid, the downside of representing yourself also includes accidentally giving the IRS unasked for information about other matters, business entities, and related organizations. Offering the IRS uncalled for information often leads to expanding the investigation and significantly driving up the settlement costs.

Do things right - Hire a Professional
In most cases, attempting to negotiate with the IRS on your own is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Without specialized knowledge to fix your tax problem, you are left underpowered and on the back foot and can end up owing more money to the government, thus putting yourself deeper into debt.

A CPA, on the other hand, is specialized in dealing with the IRS. They know the system’s ins and outs and have the experience and ability to solve your problems with ease. A CPA can assess any back taxes and scrutinize your tax situation, offering solutions the lay-man is not aware of. A tax professional could suggest an offer in compromise, request a currently not collectible status, ask for a structured installment agreement, or even advise you to file for bankruptcy if appropriate.

Assistance in handling the IRS is without a doubt valuable, and in most cases, necessary. But, when looking for a tax resolution specialist, it is wise to verify if they are a CPA, an attorney, or an enrolled agent. They are the only ones legally allowed to represent taxpayers before the IRS. Next, look at their testimonials to determine the level of competence and quality of their services. If you see positive reviews, this should make your choice simple and straightforward.

When seeking a tax expert’s services, it is also important to remember that a tax specialist’s fees vary depending on the complexity and depth of your tax issue. Similarly, it is wise not to choose the cheapest representative as they might lack experience and reliability, leaving you worse than when you started. If you are unsure you can afford a CPA or tax professional and are worried about their service fees, it is smart to shop around and ask a few specialists for quotes. This will surely help you find someone that suits your needs and meets your financial limitations.

For a reliable certified public accountant in Chicago, Illinois, reach out to John P. Jones Inc. John has over thirty years of experience and extensive knowledge of accounting and taxation to help you save money and succeed in your business. He prioritizes customer service and satisfaction and does not rest until all your accounting and taxation problems are solved and his promise of reliability and professionalism is fulfilled. His expertise covers tax preparation and planning, accounting, strategic planning, tax resolution services, and retirement planning.

To learn more about the services offered at John P. Jones Inc., please click here or get in touch by clicking here.