I was pretty exasperated with my experience so far and was considering calling Optima back. I thought if I could push for more information about what the “$995 and higher” quote meant I might consider hiring them. My good friend Linda, who knew how frustrated I was and had been helping me do some website research, suggested I call IRSMedic. It was the last call I made. I wish it had been the first.
I called and spoke with a very friendly girl who asked me some basic questions; what my issue was, was my tax issue business or personal, how much I owed, and if I had any state issues. She then asked me if I’d like to schedule a consult for a future time, or if I’d like to do it right then. I chose to speak to someone then, so she put me on hold for a few minutes and then transferred me to a “Resolution Specialist”.
The woman I spoke to first told me that since they are an actual law firm, our conversation would be subject to the attorney client privilege. I realized right then that no one else I had spoken to had said that to me! She asked me some more detailed questions about how I got into trouble, my income, assets, and other debts. She struck me as more sincere than the other people I had spoken to; she didn’t try to talk over me and just listened.
After getting an idea of my issue, she first assured me that they could help me. She said that she wouldn’t be able to guarantee exactly what the resolution would be, but it would be the best resolution to take care of the problem forever. I thought about my call to Omni, where the person I spoke to said they would be able to get a $5,400 Offer in Compromise approved, or JG who guaranteed me that they would get me on a small monthly payment plan.
When I asked her about that, she explained that I should be wary of anyone guaranteeing a specific resolution for two reasons. One, a detailed financial analysis needs to be done first to understand exactly what my finances are. Two, no one knows exactly what the IRS will approve! I was feeling like I had been duped by some of the other companies I called.
She then went into some more detail about what steps they would take. First, she said, they’d get a Power of Attorney so they could look at my information in the IRS database. Then they would do a financial analysis; this would help them to decide what sort of resolution would be best. They would then work directly with the IRS to get that resolution in place.
She made me feel so good in reassuring me that once they took over the issue, I wouldn’t have to deal with the IRS directly at all! She said that they have attorney’s, CPA’s and enrolled agents all in house to take care of my tax problem. I asked her if they could take care of my state issue since JG said they could not. She said that they could, and that a lot of other resolution companies can’t be bothered learning all the different state tax laws.
Another important thing to note: When I told her that I had signatory authority on my grandma’s bank account in Germany, she immediately stopped me and asked me what the balance on that account was. I told her about $5,000 — she asked if it was ever over $10,000. I said no, and she explained that if it had been over $10,000 at any time during a tax year, I would be obligated to fill out an FBAR form, and if I didn’t the IRS could impose a huge penalty for failure to file! No one else I called had mentioned that!
She asked me if I would like to hold while she spoke to the attorney to get me fee quote, or if she could call me back. I opted to hold and she came back to the phone in about 4 or 5 minutes. Their quote:
- Between $500-$1,000 to prepare each tax return (but they are used to doing very complicated returns, so I opted to prepare them myself to save that part of the fee)
- $3,500 to solve the state of Missouri tax issues
- $6,000 to solve the IRS issues
Since it was one of the higher quotes I’d gotten, I asked her why it was so much. She said it included the financial analysis, tax prep, resolution of both IRS and state issues, an appeal with the IRS if necessary (no one else had mentioned that either!), and a warranty and guarantee for their work. Also, they would be in charge of all communications with the IRS; all I had to do was provide them with all the appropriate documentation. I asked her how long it would take, and she said that it’s hard to know exactly how quickly the IRS would move, but could be anywhere from 6 months – 2 years. I was thankful that she was honest instead of making false promises.
I truly wanted to hire them right then and there, but expressed that I didn’t have that kind of money upfront. She offered to have me talk to their financial guy; he was so nice and explained the payment plan options. They were so flexible and friendly, and I ended up hiring them. That night was the best nights sleep I’d had in years.
That was two months ago, and their communications have been great. I can contact them at any time with questions. I am so thrilled I found them – I’ll continue to post updates about the process so check back soon!
You can find them at www.irsmedic.com. Trust me, call them today and tell them Deb sent you! 🙂
*Update: My tax issue is officially over…done…fin! Hiring someone to help me with the best decision I ever made. They took over my case and I never had to deal with the IRS again. The firm contacted me with updates so I always knew what was going on. They successfully submitted an Offer in Compromise for me; the amount I ended up paying was waaay less than I originally owed. I remember reading a quote on their website that really hit home, and now it means more than ever:
Our goal is to develop a plan on how to achieve resolution with minimal change to your lifestyle.
And that is exactly what they did. Thanks IRSMedic.