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Best Tax Relief Companies with Tax Attorneys On Staff

June 2024

If you're facing a complicated tax situation, you may need an experienced professional on your side. Tax attorneys can help you navigate the legal terrain of tax debt relief. This is SuperMoney's list of the best tax relief companies with tax attorneys.
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You don't need a tax relief company to settle your tax debt with the IRS. However, if you do choose to hire a tax relief firm you should consider firms that have tax attorneys on staff. Why? Because tax attorneys specialize in tax law and they are the most powerful advocates you can hire to level the playing field with the IRS. This is SuperMoney's list of the top tax relief companies with tax attorneys.
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Methodology

Resolving a tax problem is an important responsibility and requires you to trust the firm you hire. We vetted more than 70 tax relief firms and selected the best-rated tax relief firms with tax attorneys on staff. Of course, having tax lawyers on staff is not the only thing you should consider when choosing the best tax relief firm for your circumstances. Other factors to consider include:
  • Years in business
  • Minimum tax debt requirement
  • Complaints
  • Services
  • Fees
  • Flexible payment plans
  • Customer service
  • Overall resolution process
The most recommended tax relief companies have tax attorneys and enrolled agents on staff. They are well-established, with many years in business, and have a good track record when it comes to client satisfaction. They also offer competitive fees and justify them with the value they provide. Further, they offer flexible payment plans to ensure clients can fit the fees into their budget.

Common Questions on Tax Relief Companies and Tax Attorneys

What is a tax lawyer?

Tax lawyers are legal experts with experience protecting clients from tax litigation and negotiating tax relief solutions. However, they do not practice tax litigation exclusively. In fact, many tax lawyers handle a variety of tax-related duties for individuals and corporations, including:
  • Navigating complex tax codes and laws.
  • Structuring and documenting business entities.
  • Overseeing business tax planning to minimize tax burdens legally.
  • Advising clients on estate, tax, and financial planning.
  • Handling disputes before the IRS.
Tax lawyers can also help to relieve the stress you may feel by dealing with the IRS on your behalf.
A tax attorney can represent you in a state or federal tax court or other courts, including the District Court, the Court of Federal Claims, or even the Bankruptcy Court. Additionally, a tax attorney can represent tax professionals who are the subject of IRS enforcement proceedings, such as injunction actions or violations.

Why hire a tax attorney?

Tax lawyers are highly specialized professionals. They must have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, pass a state bar exam, and have either a master of laws degree in taxation or certification as a tax law specialist. It can take up to 10 years to obtain those qualifications. You don’t need a tax attorney to file your tax return or advise what tax deductions or credits to claim. An experienced CPA or enrolled agent will work just as well, and you’ll save yourself some money in retainer and consultation fees. But when dealing with complicated tax relief applications or resolving cases with potential legal ramifications, a tax attorney can save you a ton of money and stress.
Among other things, a tax attorney can leverage their expertise to get you an affordable tax relief solution. They can prevent you from sharing sensitive information that might trigger an audit. And since they streamline the process and speak the jargon, the IRS prefers working with them and may offer them more favorable options. It can help to have a tax relief company on your side. The best tax relief companies have tax lawyers and enrolled agents on staff.

What is the difference between a CPA and a tax attorney?

Both CPAs and tax attorneys can help you settle your tax debt problems. However, a tax attorney has a law degree, has passed the state bar exam, and specializes in the legal aspect of preparing taxes. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a financial advisor who has passed the CPA Exam and earned a business degree.
CPAs and tax lawyers will cost more than a regular tax preparation specialist but also are typically more knowledgeable and experienced. Tax attorneys specialize in the legal aspects of taxation and become important when you are dealing with complicated tax issues or if you need to go to court because of a tax matter.

Will I qualify for tax relief with the help of a tax attorney?

A tax attorney may improve your odds of getting the best possible outcome with your IRS tax issues. However, the tax relief options available to you will depend on your financial circumstances. Due to their experience and knowledge, they may be able to negotiate a better deal than someone less qualified. However, the cost of representation will probably be higher if a tax attorney is handling your case.

How much do tax attorneys cost?

If you hire a tax relief firm that employs tax lawyers, the cost is included in the overall fees you pay the firm. However, if you were to hire tax attorneys working in a regular law firm they would generally charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee for their services. Hourly rates typically range between $200 to $400 an hour. Tax attorneys with a lot of experience who work for big firms in large cities may charge more than $1,000 an hour. Other tax attorneys charge a flat fee, a one-time charge, that doesn't change regardless of how many hours the attorney works on your case. In general, tax attorneys will only use a flat fees for simple or routine matters.

When should I hire a tax attorney?

Most tax problems can be resolved without the help of a tax debt lawyer. However, it may be a good idea to consider a tax attorney if you are dealing with a complicated or unusual tax issue. If you owe large amounts of money (more than $100,000) to the IRS, you have an IRS revenue officer assigned to your case, or you own a small business, you may benefit from having a tax attorney represent you.

What do tax lawyers do?

A tax lawyer, sometimes called a tax litigation lawyer or tax controversy lawyer, can help you with:
  • Tax audits. If a taxing agency questions whether you paid the right amount of taxes, they might request an audit. Audits come in three forms:
    • Correspondence auditsare uncomplicated audits that the IRS can perform by mail.
    • Office audits require you to take your receipts and other documents related to specific questions about your return to a local IRS office.
    • Field audits send an IRS agent to your home or place of business.
  • Tax appeals. If you need help understanding your rights and what to expect during the appeal process, a tax lawyer can provide guidance.
  • Tax collection. Individuals and businesses are responsible for paying various local, state, and federal taxes, including income, sales, payroll, and excise tax. Tax lawyers can help you understand your responsibilities and walk you through the collection process if needed.
  • Tax penalties. The IRS imposes tax penalties for failure to file or pay taxes, negligence, disregard, and many other infractions. A tax lawyer can help you navigate the many ways the IRS (and other taxing agencies) penalize taxpayers. They can also help you find a tax relief solution to get you out of debt without a tax levy.

How can tax lawyers help?

Many people make innocent errors when filing their taxes, and these misunderstandings can usually be cleared up without a professional. But if the IRS accuses you of a more serious crime -- like tax evasion, failure to collect employment taxes, or filing false documents -- a tax lawyer can help.
Penalties for criminal tax fraud can include up to five years in jail, plus fines and the cost of prosecution for each tax crime. And there’s more. Afterward, the IRS Examination Division will assess your taxes along with a civil tax fraud penalty.
Keep in mind that the IRS understands that sometimes people make mistakes. Mere carelessness is not tax fraud. Fraud includes overt acts such as:
  • Intentional understatement of income.
  • Failure to file tax returns.
  • Concealment of income or assets.
  • Engaging in and concealing illegal activities.
  • Failure to make estimated tax payments.
If you need assistance with criminal tax fraud or tax evasion, you need a tax lawyer. A tax lawyer understands the process, how a civil tax case works within the system, and the most important factors to consider.

Why should you hire a tax attorney instead of an accountant?

There are three good reasons you should use a tax attorney instead of a certified public accountant or an enrolled agent.
  • They're skilled negotiators. A seasoned tax attorney knows what deals the IRS can and cannot accept. They are trained to resolve conflicts, design agreements, and determine resolutions to difficult situations. This is particularly important during tax relief settlements. Although detailed rules regulate tax relief programs, much depends on the negotiating skills of your representative.
  • They're legal experts. Tax lawyers are familiar with IRS procedures; they know how to navigate its bureaucracy. Having a tax attorney in your corner immediately neutralizes the intimidation factor the IRS holds over you. And if you have something to hide, a tax attorney can help you keep a lid on those past tax indiscretions.
  • Their work is confidential. One of the most important benefits a tax attorney offers that an accountant cannot is the attorney-client privilege. The information you share with your lawyer is confidential. The IRS cannot force your tax attorney to testify against you.

Can a tax attorney prepare a tax return?

Yes, tax attorneys are registered tax return preparers. They can also prepare a legal defense for a client involved in a tax-related court case -- even for taxes, they did not prepare.

When do I need a tax attorney?

When you want to protect yourself and your business from IRS penalties, interest, and possibly criminal actions (including jail terms), it is best to hire an expert in tax representation who will be able to handle your situation better.

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