Bill Fritton: People come to us because they’re having problems with the IRS or state taxing authorities. They’ve either ignored a problem, don’t know about a problem, or know about a problem, tried to resolve it on their own and been unable to do so, or they’ve gone to somebody else and haven’t gotten results they wanted. They then come to see us, and we try to interact with the IRS and state taxing authorities, act as a go-between, and negotiate a settlement, payment plan, or some other resolution to their problems. With this kind of problem, it weighs on you, and sometimes they just want to know everything’s going to be okay, and somebody actually takes an interest in making sure that they’re going to turn their lives around and turn their IRS problem around, so that they can sleep at night, so they can enjoy their family life, so that their business will thrive.
A tax problem arose for a reason, and in 90% of those cases, the reason is a cashflow problem. What we try to do is really dig into the business itself, because if I solve your tax problem, and you come back to me a year later, have I really done my job? The answer, for me at least, is no. My job is not only to solve the tax problem, but to try to make sure it never happens again.
Equity Search was formed in 1984, by two former IRS revenue officers in Buffalo, New York, and they went out on their own after serving with the IRS for over 20 years. There were some things within the IRS that they didn’t like, and they wanted to go out and help taxpayers who were being taken advantage of. Since that time, we’ve grown to become a nationwide firm. Our main office is in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, which is just outside of Washington, D.C. I have clients all over the country, but like I tell everybody, if you want to meet face-to-face, I’m willing to do it any time, anywhere you want. You can come to our offices or in many cases, I go to you.
It’s very difficult to know who knows what to do, versus who just put their shingle out a week ago, a month ago, whatever. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We’ve been doing this for 30 years. We were one of the first companies in the nation to offer tax resolution work. I’d say probably half of my business at present are people who tried using other firms, or tried to do it themselves, and haven’t gotten the results they wanted.
With our firm, you’re going to want to know what the cost is to you right upfront, so there is no guesswork, there’s no hourly fee. You can call me a hundred times a day, you can call me none, if you want. I give every one of my clients my own personal cell phone number. I’ve had people call me on Thanksgiving Day, because something was bothering them. A lot of times, my clients procrastinate, even once they hire me, so it’s my job to push them, to move them forward, because even though I’m involved, without their help, it’s difficult for me to resolve the case, and I need help from all my clients. Sometimes they procrastinate, it’s my job to push them forward to get to the resolution.
There is no better sense of accomplishment in my mind than being able to see somebody come into me at some point in their life, and be at the absolute bottom for them, and it’s great to see, at the end of a month, two months, two years, that person come back to me and say, “Thank you for getting me my life back. Thank you for letting me spend time with my family. You know, opposed to a year ago, where I couldn’t pay my employees, I couldn’t pay my taxes, I couldn’t pay my vendors. Now I’m on top of the world, I’m making money, my tax problem’s resolved. I can sleep again once the problem’s resolved, I can actually sleep.”