Tax debt relief services help their clients with a variety of situations, such as unfiled state and federal taxes, tax liens, and bank levies that leave assets in limbo. The IRS is well versed in collecting debts and can go so far as to garnish your wages or place tax liens on your property.
Tackling a tax debt at the state or federal level can come with challenges that are unique to your case. 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 offers a variety of services, and each has certain criteria that your case must meet. Here are some of the options ALG Tax Solutions can provide:
- Offer in compromise
- Fresh Start initiative
- IRS installment agreements
- Innocent/injured spouse relief
- Currently-not-collectible status
- Federal tax lien/levy assistance
- Penalty relief
- Audit representation
- Tax preparation
Once you choose a course of action and enter an agreement with ALG Tax Solutions, professionals assigned to the case will begin their initial evaluation. During this time, they will do a deep dive into your finances and ensure that they get a clear understanding of your financial situation. Company representatives told us 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 the 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 tackling 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 is, the higher the price will be. If your tax debt isn't large enough to warrant the company's services, representatives will suggest not hiring them and handling the problem yourself instead. It was noteworthy that they were willing to turn down our business based on a cost-benefit analysis.
If you decide to use ALG Tax Solutions, the company charges an initial consultation fee during the first phase, generally ranging from $250 to $500, again depending on the case. After that, ALG charges a flat fee based on the amount of work a case requires. Based on the tax debt scenarios we presented the company as a 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 had 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 via a payment plan. If you start working with ALG, you must sign a contract.
Dealing with tax debt can be a tough experience. When calling a tax debt relief company, you are usually looking for any help with the problem and are often 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 so they could 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, and they carefully laid out the process and tried to make the best suggestions they could with the information we gave them.
The representatives also offered additional services to help ensure that we did not have to call them again in a year. When it didn't make sense financially for us to use ALG Tax Solutions, the representatives 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 is the IRS Letter Decoder on the company's 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.
That's where the IRS Letter Decoder comes in. You enter the number located in the upper-right-hand corner of the letter, and 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 an ALG representative to get started on your potential case.
The services that ALG Tax Solutions can provide come with requirements from the IRS. If those criteria 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 weighing 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.
September 2021: ALG Tax Solutions recently unveiled a new online calculator that makes it easier for small business owners to determine if it is eligible for an IRS Offer in Compromise. Once you input information about your equity, it calculates whether or not the IRS will accept a settlement.