Looking back 78 years ago, IRS Form 1040 instructions were a mere two pages. Today, taxpayers are forced to stumble through 214 pages of instructions – not to mention the more than 1,120 additional tax forms & schedules one might need to worry about alongside their 1040. Recently published tax codes and supporting regulations total over 14.4 million words. In total, there have been approximately 4,680 changes to the Tax Code since 2001, making the IRS tax codes perhaps the most complicated regulations to date.
These complexities have caused over 90% of taxpayers to turn to tax software and professional tax preparers to complete their returns each and every year – and even still, taxpayers made a whopping 10.6 million math errors on their returns in 2010!
In 2007, USA Today asked five tax professionals to calculate a family’s tax bill – and they all came up with a different answer. After reviewing each other’s work, they still couldn’t agree on who was right. The newspaper reported, “As the Tax Code turns ever more unwieldy, deciphering it has become more art than science, tax experts say.” Tax preparation software yielded the same unfavorable results. Additionally, in 2009 PC World ran a scenario of a hypothetical taxpaying family through five of the most popular online self-guided tax preparation sites. Each came up with a different result with a variance of almost $2,000 from lowest to highest tax owed.
The continued increase in tax regulation complexity has contributed to an aggressive expansion in taxpayer delinquencies and IRS collection efforts. According to an IRS report, the total balances owed to the IRS in unpaid assessed taxes, penalties and interest were $124.3 billion in 2012 – an increase of $8 billion over 2011 with the numbers continuing to climb.
The IRS is considered by many to be the largest, most aggressive collection agency in the world. Last year alone, they served taxpayers with over 2.9 billion tax levies, 707.7 million tax liens, 773 thousand property seizures, and are currently investigating over 3.9 million collection cases. Beyond the fiscal numbers, in 2012 alone the IRS initiated 2,291 tax crime investigations, which could result in taxpayer incarceration.
“I can confirm that our tax attorneys and CPA’s are seeing both an increase in the number and complexity of tax resolution cases they are working on,” says Jesse Stockwell, Managing Partner of Optima Tax Relief. “With so much confusion surrounding the IRS tax codes, hiring a professional is not only recommended, but essential. Without trusted advice, you could potentially be paying thousands more than what you truly owe – and that’s a lot more painful than the fees associated with professional services.”
The founders of Optima Tax Relief recognized the need for a trusted and modern approach to an antiquated tax resolution industry. The Company has expanded at a pace beyond even the most aggressive of estimates. Since the beginning of this year, Optima increased its office space by more than 10,000 square feet and added 25 new tax professionals, including both Tax Attorneys and Licensed Enrolled Agents to help taxpayers in dealing with the IRS.
Combining their unique two-phase approach to tax resolution, unparalleled technologies, and the most highly skilled professionals in the industry, Optima Tax Relief has positioned itself to be one of the fastest growing and most successful tax resolution firms in America and looks to even greater growth in the second half of the year. Since inception, the firm has assisted thousands of clients, resolved over 80% of all wage garnishment issues, and averaged a 95% reduction on all outstanding tax debts presented for settlement.