Fixing Your Tax Problems to Repair Your Credit: What You Need To Know

“They say love makes the world go round, but that’s not true,” Sal M., who lives in Spencer, MA, said. “It’s money – or more correctly, credit! – that matters. If you don’t have good credit, you can’t do anything in this world. You can’t buy a house, you can’t start a business, you can’t go to school – I can’t even get a car that runs halfway decent because my credit’s all screwed up!”

Tax Liens Can Hurt Your Credit

Many people don’t realize that their tax problems can hurt their credit. When you owe money to the IRS or MA DOR (or both!), and you don’t pay your tax debt, you can wind up with tax liens. Tax liens are public record, which means anyone can find out about them. All of the credit rating agencies use tax lien information against you when determining your credit score.

A good credit score is, as Sal discovered, essential to the way we live our lives today. Even the US Government seems to have figured that out. That’s why there are special incentive programs in place to encourage delinquent taxpayers to resolve their tax issues and repair their credit.

Don’t Try To Fix Your Tax Problems On Your Own!

Working with a skilled, experienced firm that specializes in solving tax problems gives you the widest range of options when it comes to having your tax liens released or withdrawn. The IRS and MA DOR are not in the business of advising tax payers how to best solve their tax problems and restore their credit – they’re focused on collecting the maximum amount they can from you.

You May Qualify for a Fresh Start to Fix Your Credit

The Fresh Start Initiative allows delinquent tax payers who meet specific qualifications to take steps to repair their credit. If you owe the IRS less than $25,000 and can comply with a direct debit payment plan, after you’ve made 3 payments, you can request a lien withdrawal from the IRS.

This is only one of the ways you may qualify for the Fresh Start Initiative. Your experienced tax problem solver will fill you in on other available options to obtain a lien withdrawal. All tax lien withdrawals have a very positive impact on your credit rating. Be aware that you’re required to remain in full compliance with the tax laws going forward, and it’s an opportunity that’s only available once.

Is the Fresh Start Initiative right for you? The best way to get an answer to that question is to consult with an experienced tax professional. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today to discover how you can fix your credit and get your life back on track!

Solving Your Tax Problems: Confirming A Tax Lien Has Been Released

The news that a Braintree lawyer has gotten into trouble for filing false and fraudulent tax lien releases has raised concerns for some Massachusetts residents who have or have had tax problems with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue or the IRS.

“I’d hate to think we went through all the work of having our tax problems resolved only to discover it was a scam,” said John M., who lives in Framingham. “If someone tells you that they’ve fixed your tax problem, how can you check to make sure they’re telling the truth?”

Experience Matters: Find the Right Professional To Solve Your Tax Problems

There are only three groups of people who are legally allowed to talk to the IRS or MA DOR on your behalf in order to fix your tax problems: Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Attorneys, and Enrolled Agents (EA). These professionals have to be licensed. If someone tells you that they can fix your tax problems, and they’re not a CPA, Attorney, or EA, run – don’t walk! – away. Make sure that anyone you hire to help you fix your tax problems is licensed.

Next, make sure that the person you hire to fix your tax problems is experienced in resolving IRS and MA DOR tax problems. Having a federal tax lien released or withdrawn is not an easy process. The same thing is true for state tax liens. Someone who’s brand new to the tax world may have the best intentions – they really want to help you out! – but if everything’s not done properly, it’s you that winds up in hot water with the IRS or MA DOR.  

Be aware that not all CPAs, EAs, or attorneys are familiar with tax problems. You want to choose a tax professional who specializes exclusively in solving tax problems. Choose a tax professional who has a proven track record of getting the job done right.

Your Tax Problems Solved: Making Sure A Tax Lien Has Been Released or Withdrawn

If the IRS has placed a tax lien on your property, it’s very difficult to sell and your credit takes a major hit.  If you’ve hired someone to solve your tax problems, and you want to make sure that they’ve actually had your tax lien released or withdrawn, there are steps you can take to double-check their work.

Contact the tax authority – either the IRS  or MA DOR – and, using your Social Security number or Federal Employer ID number, request a literal transcript. This transcript will show all of the official activity on your account, including when the lien was issued and when it was released or withdrawn.

Be aware that it can take some time for a tax lien release or withdrawal to appear on your transcript.  If you don’t see the lien release or withdrawal on your transcript, ask your tax professional for a copy of the release or withdrawal. On the release or withdrawal, you’ll find the identifying information of the official who issued the release or withdrawal. On a federal release or withdrawal, you will see the IRS employee’s name and badge number, as well as the location it was filed and recorded. On a MA DOR  release, you will see the employee’s name and Registry of Deeds where it was filed and recorded. You can call the IRS or MA DOR directly to confirm that the lien release or withdrawal has, in fact, been issued in accordance with what you’ve been told.

Don’t Be Afraid To Double-Check!

You know how stressful it can be to have tax problems. The collection letters, the calls or visits to your home or workplace, the constant wait for the bad situation to get even worse…these things all add up. That’s why people get help to solve their tax problems.

Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with resolving your tax problems. Don’t be afraid to double-check  your professional’s work. You’re entitled to this information, and the tax authorities will give it to you. 

Getting a tax lien released or withdrawn allows you to sell your property and repair your credit.  These are important considerations in getting your life back on track. If you need more information about getting a tax lien released or withdrawn, give us a call. We’ll be glad to help!

Massachusetts Property Owners: Tax Liens Can Keep You From Selling Your Property

“I don’t want to go into details, but for a number of reasons, our financial situation had really gotten out of hand,” Megan R., who lives outside of Worcester said. “There were some medical expenses; my husband’s start up never actually succeeded…we needed a lot of money, and we needed it fast. The real estate market is finally picking up, so I took a deep breath and said, ‘Honey, I think it’s time we sell the house.’”

Megan sighed. “That’s when my husband looked at me and said, “We can’t sell the house.”  Megan had little suspected that her husband was keeping a big secret from her: the couple owed the IRS nearly $100,000 in back taxes. The situation was so dire that the IRS had placed a lien on their home. “Until that lien was taken care of,” Megan said, “we couldn’t sell the house!”

What Is A Tax Lien?

The IRS and Massachusetts Department of Revenue are in the business of making sure you pay your tax debt. If you don’t, they have a number of harsh and effective tools to use to force you to pay up. A tax lien is one of those tools. Basically, a tax lien is a written legal claim against your property notifying the public that you owe a tax authority – either the IRS or the Massachusetts Department of Revenue – some taxes that you haven’t yet paid.

A tax lien attaches to your property and clouds the title. Until your tax issue is resolved, no one can buy the property without the lien attached. Any time a potential buyer does a title search – a basic part of the home buying process, and one that all mortgage companies insist on – the lien is revealed. Buying the property means buying the tax debt – and that’s something very few home buyers (and no mortgage companies!) are willing to do.

What Can Be Done About A Tax Lien?

There is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet about the best way to handle a tax lien on your property. The truth is that every tax problem is unique, and there’s no one-size fits all solution.

Your best choice is to connect with a CPA who works solely on solving tax problems for expert advice and guidance. Don’t try to face the IRS on your own. A knowledgeable Massachusetts tax expert can work with the IRS or Massachusetts Department of Revenue to find a solution to your tax problem.

 It may even be possible to reduce the total amount of tax you need to pay through a mechanism known as an Offer in Compromise.  When you’ve paid off this reduced debt, the IRS will release the lien, and then you’re free to sell the property.

Don’t give up hope! Every tax problem has a solution.  But you have to take action! Tax liens don’t go away on their own.  If you’re ready to get your life back, and be able to sell your property the way you want to, your tax situation needs to be addressed.  The time is now!