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Community Tax Review

By
Andrew Martins
,
business.com writer
|
Feb 07, 2019
Home
> Finance
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Tax season can be a stressful time of year for freelancers and independent contractors. Without the relative safety of W-2s provided by a larger employer, it's easy for a self-employed individual to mishandle their taxes. If this happens and a tax debt crops up, we find that Community Tax is the best company to hire to address the problem. For the last nine years, Community Tax has provided its clients with a range of services and access to its team of tax professionals who specialize in dealing directly with the IRS. By law, only tax attorneys, enrolled agents and certified public accountants (CPAs) can negotiate tax debt relief with the government agency. Community Tax employs all three types of professionals.

Community Tax

Community Tax

The Best Tax Debt Relief Services of 2019

The Verdict

Community Tax's pleasant staff and knowledgeable tax professionals are a great asset for a self-employed individual wrestling with tax debt. With a range of tax debt relief options at its disposal, Community Tax is our best pick for individuals.

View all our recommendations for tax debt relief services on our best picks page.

Tax Services

Representatives from the best tax debt relief companies listen attentively as you explain your situation before they suggest a plan to help you resolve your debt with the IRS. They understand that it's important to address the problem promptly, and work hand in hand with you to come up with an effective strategy.

During our interactions with Community Tax, the representatives were courteous and attentive. Only after double-checking that they fully understood the situation did they offer solutions. In addition, they offered a separate tax preparation service to avoid future problems with the IRS once the debt was handled.

Tax debt relief services help their clients get their assets back while tackling the overarching problem. The IRS is extremely capable at getting its money from debtors, so any unaddressed tax debt can get out of hand quickly. Spend too much time with a tax debt on your records and the IRS will go as far as it can to get the debt paid, including garnishing your wages and keeping any tax returns.

How a tax debt is handled depends on your unique circumstances. What may work for an individual with unfiled taxes may not work for an S corp with payroll tax debt. Some of the IRS's more punitive actions can add more hurdles to the overall debt recovery process.

The professionals at Community Tax offer the following options to their clients:

  • Offer-in-compromise
  • Fresh Start program
  • IRS installment agreements
  • Innocent/injured spouse relief
  • Currently not collectible (CNC)
  • Tax lien help
  • Levy and seizure prevention
  • Penalty abatement
  • IRS audit defense
  • Income tax preparation

After you and Community Tax select a plan of action, professionals assigned to the case begin the initial fact-finding phase. During this time, they assess your finances to make sure they have a clear understanding of your actual situation. This initial stage takes approximately two or three business days, though this may vary, depending on your specific case.

Next, the tax professionals at Community Tax begin working with the IRS. These negotiations can take weeks or months, depending on the type of work needed. If there are liens or levies, they work to lift those conditions off your case.

Pricing

When it comes to the cost for hiring a tax debt relief company like Community Tax, it's important to remember that not all resolutions are the same. As a result, pricing will change on a case-by-case basis. The more involved your case, the higher Community Tax's flat fee will be.

Once in an agreement with Community Tax, you will be charged an initial fee between $500 and $750 for the first phase. How much you pay for the company's fact-finding efforts depends on the complexity of the case. After that, it charges a flat fee based on the amount of work a case required. Since the company has a team of tax lawyers on staff, there is no need to pay for a legal retainer.

We asked for a cost estimate for the second phase based on a tax debt scenario we used on each company in this category, but we were not given one. The representative declined to do so in each case, since pricing depends so much on the complexity of the case.

Each of Community Tax's fees can either be paid back in full or through a monthly payment plan. Working with Community Tax requires a contract.

Customer Service

Grappling with a tax debt from the state or IRS can be stressful, especially as a freelancer or contractor. As a self-employed individual, you don't have the relative safety net of operating under an LLC or partnership. The liability rests on you.

Considering how stressful this entire process could be, it was heartening to hear how personable and understanding Community Tax's customer service representatives were in our interactions with them. As we explained our situation, they offered a handful of solutions, including double-checking our tax issue and working out a payment plan with the IRS. They also offered additional tax preparation services so that we would not run into the same problems in 2020.

However, we did experience a couple instances where the representative we spoke to on the phone became pushy about hiring the company. At one point, we were asked why we wanted to shop around for this type of service. In another call, we were asked for specific identifying information during the consultation. Once we said we were just shopping around, however, they backed off and went back to being very forthcoming with information.

Drawbacks

It's important to note the services that Community Tax provides require very specific criteria from the IRS to be met. If you do not meet the federal or state government's requirements, no tax debt relief company will be able to negotiate for that course of action.

While Community Tax does not have a minimum for how much debt you must owe before it takes on your case, it may not be worth your while to hire them – or any tax debt relief company – if you only have a small tax debt. Individuals with smaller debts may be able to handle their issues with the IRS themselves. While considering which company to hire for your case, you should make sure to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Remember that these companies do not offer their services for free and will add a cost to your existing tax debt. Only use this kind of service if the benefits outweigh the costs.

More specifically to Community Tax, some of its representatives were pushy, which is unhelpful when you're already stressed about your tax debt.

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.

SHARE THIS
Community Tax

Community Tax

The Best Tax Debt Relief Services of 2019

The Verdict

Community Tax's pleasant staff and knowledgeable tax professionals are a great asset for a self-employed individual wrestling with tax debt. With a range of tax debt relief options at its disposal, Community Tax is our best pick for individuals.

Andrew Martins
Andrew Martins
Andrew Martins is an award-winning journalist with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before joining Business.com and Business News Daily, he wrote for a regional publication and served as the managing editor for six weekly papers that spanned four counties. Currently, he is responsible for reviewing tax software and online fax services. He is a New Jersey native and a first-generation Portuguese American, and he has a penchant for the nerdy.