Fear. Humiliation. Guilt.

These three simple words explain why the United States has virtually the highest tax compliance in the world.

If you are not currently "tax compliant" (in other words, you your returns are late, you have not filed a return in a while, you just can't pay, or the authorities are already making things miserable for you) welcome to Tax Hell. We've never met anyone who enjoys visiting here.

You may have already found accountants or tax preparation services in your community which specialize in helping taxpayers who have found themselves in trouble. However, many tax "professionals" inflame rather than soothe their customers' anxieties. At least once a week we hear a story about a tax preparer somewhere who makes a comment like

"Gee, this is pretty bad. We will do our best to help keep you from going to jail."

or even . . .

"The penalties and interest are likely to be enormous. There's a good chance the IRS will take just about everything you have and make you pay for many years to come. Of course, we will do everything we can to help you keep your house and your car."

This little drama is normally followed by a demand for a ridiculous fee, which must be paid up front.

While legal punishment is possible in very, very extreme cases, there are plenty of greedy, unprofessional tax preparers around who use fear, humiliation and guilt to extort excessive fees from their customers. We know because their victims sometimes find their way to us when they begin to feel that their problems were even worse than before.

Needless to say, we handle our clients and their tax challenges much differently than they might experience in Tax hell. You can expect compassion, patience and a positive approach to bringing a resolution to tax problems. You won't get a lecture from us (we've already heard your story a hundred times anyway). We encourage you to get emotional if it helps (there is a box of tissue on every desk) as long as you feel better about your future when your leave our office.

We have many years of experience in negotiating with the IRS and state tax authorities. We've learned that they are more likely to be pleased than angry to see a taxpayer return to the fold. In many cases, we have been able to negotiate sometimes-substantial reductions in a fallen taxpayer's outstanding obligations, and even make payment arrangements that everyone can live with.

We can't guarantee any particular results for anyone, of course. If you have intentionally committed massive fraud, the chances of saving you from Tax Hell could be slim. But if you are like millions of Americans who have let a little problem get out of control, contact us for a guilt-free consultation about how we can help you sleep better at night.

About the MIDI sequence

Now get me out of this hell.