Weekly Feature

2018-04-11 / Business

Local tax expert still rescuing clients from debt after quarter century

by ALAN RIZZO Reporter

Dombrowski Dombrowski After 25 years of sorting out personal and business tax and debt problems with the IRS, veteran tax agent Marc Dombrowski is still optimistic about a subject that makes most people anxious: back taxes.

On the website of his company, Tax Help Associates, which has offices in Hamburg, Depew and Amherst, he makes the following reassuring statement: “There is no problem, big or small, that cannot be resolved; there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Just take the time to talk to us about it.”

Getting to the root of those problems — and helping the people tied up in them — is what Dombrowski considers sustaining about his work.

“I love to help people; I joke with clients that I sell sleep,” he wrote in a recent email to The Bee. “I am a good problem solver. Combined with solid organization skills and patience, I can establish a plan to resolve the client’s case and execute a plan to resolve it. But the client needs to want it. They need to accept responsibility and work with me constantly to settle with the IRS and state on back taxes.”

According to testimonials and stories posted on the Tax Help Associates website, many debtors have wanted a resolution enough to work with Dombrowski, often saving hundreds of thousands in the process through offers in compromise, agreements where individuals pay less than what they owe because their income, expenses and assets demonstrate that they can’t pay in full.

While OICs are the solution for some, Dombrowski said there is an increasing need to rescue others who have bought into false promises made by unlicensed tax resolution companies, whose internet, TV and radio ads promise to solve tax problems for “pennies on the dollar.”

He warned that 90 percent of what people hear on TV and radio about “pennies on the dollar” is not true, noting that licensed firms are not allowed to guarantee settlements in ads.

Dombrowski said he is currently working on a case where a 90-year-old man paid a $10,000 fee to a salesman, who promised an offer in compromise concerning his $40,000 tax debt.

“The client did not need an OIC,” Dombrowski said. “I charged him $500 to have the IRS revisit his tax liability and within 60 days got the balance down to $2,300. We are trying to get the $10,000 out of this supposed resolution company.”

Instead of buying into promises like these, he said people with tax debt problems should seek out licensed tax professionals, who stay abreast of tax policy updates and programs to offer solutions on a case-by-case basis.

“The key to helping someone with an IRS or state tax problem is that you have to customize a resolution to their specific case,” Dombrowski said. “Not all cases work out as to what the client expected, but that is life. IRS tax problems don’t go away quickly, and they must be worked out the same way you eat an elephant — one bite at a time.”

In addition to helping clients resolve tax problems, Dombrowski also teaches tax professionals by giving lectures and webinars through the National Tax Practice Institute, Tax Practice Pro and The Resolution Academy.

He is also a contributor to CNBC, the Wall Street Journal and the National Association of Enrolled Agents’ EA Journal.

To learn more about Tax Help Associates, visit https://tax-help.net/, call 634-6200, or email Dombrowski at marcdombrowskiea@gmail.com.

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