If your tax debt is $25,000 or more, we find that ALG Tax Solutions is the best company to hire in your situation. Since 2011, the Howell, Michigan-based company has provided its clients with access to a staff of tax professionals trained to directly negotiate with the IRS. By law, only certain legal specialists can represent your case before the IRS, and ALG Tax Solutions has all three on hand: tax attorneys, enrolled agents and certified public accountants (CPAs).
View all our recommendations for tax debt relief services on our best picks page.
As you look for a tax debt relief service, you want to find a company that listens carefully to your situation and offers a plan for getting out from under the IRS. It should help you address the situation quickly and work closely with you through the entire process. After we've considered multiple companies and learned what they have to offer, ALG Tax Solutions is our best pick for high-debt situations.
Tax debt relief services help their clients with a variety of situations, from unfiled state and federal taxes to tax liens and bank levies that leave assets in limbo. When it comes to collecting debts, the IRS is well versed in getting its money back and can go so far as garnishing your wages or placing tax liens on your property.
Tackling a tax debt at the state or federal level can come with a unique set of challenges, based on certain circumstances. What may work for an individual with unfiled taxes may not work for an S corp with payroll tax debt. If levies or liens are also part of the case, additional considerations must be made.
If the IRS or your state are calling you and sending letters about your tax debt, it probably feels like the hole you're in is getting deeper. While it may seem easier to just ignore the problem, that's the worst thing you can do.
ALG Tax Solutions' professionals offer a variety of services to their clients. Each handle very different situations and have certain criteria that your unique case must meet.
Here are some of the options ALG Tax Solutions can provide:
- Fresh Start initiative
- IRS installment agreements
- Innocent/injured spouse relief
- Currently not collectible (CNC)
- Federal tax lien/levy assistance
- Penalty relief
- Audit representation
- Tax preparation
Once a course of action is chosen and an agreement is made between ALG Tax Solutions and a client, professionals assigned to the case will begin their initial evaluation. During this time, they will do a deep dive on your finances and ensure that they get a clear understanding of your actual financial situation. We were told that this initial stage takes approximately two or three business days, though it may vary given the scope of your case.
The second phase generally takes longer. As ALG Tax Solutions' tax professionals work with the IRS, negotiations can take upward of a year before final resolution is in order. If there are liens and/or levies, ALG's team will work to lift those conditions off your case while working on the overarching problem.
Like most tax debt relief companies, ALG Tax Solutions charges its clients on a case-by-case basis. The more involved your case, the higher the price tag will be. If your tax debt isn't large enough to warrant their services, we found that their representatives will suggest not hiring them and handling the problem yourself. The fact that they were willing to turn down our business based on a cost-benefit analysis was noteworthy.
If you decide to use their services, they charge an initial fee for the first phase, generally ranging from $250 to $500, again depending on the case. After that, they charge a flat fee based on the amount of work a case required. Based on the tax debt scenarios we presented the company as part of our testing, we were quoted flat fees ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. We gave the same tax debt scenario to the other companies on our list, and ALG was the lowest price in this category.
ALG Tax Solutions generally does not charge a retainer, but we were told that some circumstances warrant such a fee. All of ALG's fees can be paid back either in full or in a payment plan. If you start working with ALG, you will be required to sign a contract.
Living with tax debt from the IRS or your state can be a tough experience. When calling a tax debt relief company, you're usually looking for any help with the problem and worried about the consequences. That's why ALG Tax Solutions' customer service stood out to us.
In our multiple calls with the company, during which we posed as small business owners, each representative and tax professional we spoke with was understanding and wanted more information to better address the problem. They listened to our concerns and quickly responded with follow-up questions or potential solutions. They didn't require personal information before providing their consultation. They carefully laid out the process and tried to make the best suggestions they could with the information we gave them.
They also offered additional services to help ensure that we did not have to call them again in a year. When hiring them didn't make sense financially, they told us so and explained how we could handle the problem ourselves rather than pay more money.
Something else that makes ALG Tax Solutions stand out from its peers is the Tax Letter Decoder on its website. When a tax problem first comes to light, the IRS sends a letter describing the situation. While those documents are generally meant to explain the problem, they often make the situation even more confusing.
For those instances, ALG Tax Solutions has a feature on its website where you enter the number located in the upper right-hand corner of the letter. Once entered, the decoder will explain what the letter means, why you received it, and what your options are if you agree with the notice or plan to appeal. From there, you can set up a consultation with one of ALG's representatives to get started on your potential case.
The services that ALG Tax Solutions can provide come with requirements from the IRS. If those requirements are not met at the federal or state level, ALG Tax Solutions will not be able to negotiate for the solution you choose.
We also suggest considering the costs against how much you already owe in taxes. Smaller tax debts may be easier and cheaper to manage by yourself than with the help of a tax debt relief company.
Editor's note: Looking for tax debt relief services? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have our sister site BuyerZone connect you with vendors that can help.