If you’re struggling with tax matters like outstanding bills, IRS liens, or wage garnishments, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning as the tax debt issues continue to pile up. However, it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayers deal with serious federal and state tax debt issues every year, from overdue returns to tax levies on their property.
Fortunately, there could be a straightforward solution to your problem. Tax attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assist with everything from appealing IRS audit decisions to negotiating tax settlements and navigating tax forgiveness programs.
Not sure if a tax attorney is what you need? We’ll walk you through the basics of what a tax lawyer does and how these professionals differ from certified public accountants (CPAs). Find out how a tax lawyer can help resolve your tax issues, and learn where to find the best IRS tax attorney for your situation.
If you’re thinking about hiring a tax attorney, your first question might be whether you should work with a lawyer in your local area. In most cases, there are a few upsides and some serious downsides to hiring a local tax attorney. If you go local, you might get the following benefits:
Hiring a tax attorney near you can also come with several drawbacks:
Why limit yourself to your local area when you can work virtually with one of the best tax firms in the country instead? Instead of hiring an IRS tax attorney near you, focus on finding a highly rated tax lawyer, regardless of their location. When you focus on quality instead of location, you can look forward to the following perks:
Finding the best tax lawyer to resolve your tax debt, isn’t always easy, but our tax firm listings make the process much simpler. We rate and review some of the most knowledgeable and experienced tax firms in the nation. Here’s how we identify the best tax attorneys:
With a Solvable rating of 9.6 and a BBB rating of A+, Stop IRS Debt is one of the top-rated tax firms in the business. This firm has been in business for 10 years and employs tax attorneys, enrolled agents, CPAs, and tax preparers who can handle cases ranging from incorrect filing to small business tax debt and wage garnishments.
Unlike some other firms, Stop IRS Debt has a low minimum tax debt requirement, which means its knowledgeable tax professionals can help a larger number of taxpayers. The firm resolves cases in an average of six to eight months, and offers payment plans that last up to 12 months to make budgeting easier for taxpayers. However, Stop IRS Debt also handles high-dollar tax cases for people with substantial tax debt and works with offshore account holders.
If you’re seeking a tax relief firm to help you negotiate with the IRS or resolve complex issues like payment plans, offers in compromise, or penalty abatement, Stop IRS Debt could be a smart choice.
It’s clear that you can trust J. David Tax Law, with its 9.2 Solvable rating and dozens of customer reviews with an average of 4.5 stars. This tax law firm only employ tax attorneys and also has excellent third-party ratings, including an A+ rating from the BBB. The firm has been in business for five years and served over 1,700 clients in 2018.
Unlike larger firms that offer a wide variety of tax preparation services, J. David Tax Law focuses on complex legal issues. The firm employs tax lawyers who handle cases dealing with incorrect tax return filing, wage garnishment, business and payroll tax issues, and state tax matters. J. David Tax Law also assists with criminal tax debt and represents clients in court.
If you’re looking for a tax attorney who can resolve cases quickly, J. David Tax Law could be the ideal choice for your situation. The firm specializes in rapid resolutions and can have wage garnishments lifted in as few as two days.
With a Solvable rating of 9.4, an A+ BBB rating, and over 100 customer reviews with an average rating of five stars, Community Tax is a top-rated tax relief firm. The firm has resolved over $400 million in tax debt during its 10 years in business, and it works with customers across the nation except for those who live in Maryland and North Dakota. Although its specialty is releasing IRS tax liens, the firm also employs tax attorneys, enrolled agents & CPAs who can assist with issues like wage garnishments and offers in compromise.
To demonstrate its willingness to help taxpayers, Community Tax offers some of the most flexible payment plans in the business. The firm offers payment plans with terms that depend on the needs of each individual case, and it also offers a generous refund policy. You can expect a full fee refund if the firm can’t provide a solution, giving you added peace of mind.
If you’re looking for a tax attorney with an excellent record, extensive experience, and generous payment policies, Community Tax could be the right choice for you.
With its Solvable rating of 9.0, its A+ rating from the BBB, and its 100+ Solvable reviews that average four out of five stars, Optima Tax Relief is one of the best tax relief firms in the business. The firm has been in business for nearly a decade and employs tax attorneys, CPAs, and EAs to handle all your tax debt needs.
Optima Tax Relief offers all clients its signature two-phase process, which begins with communicating with the IRS on your behalf and then providing the best possible resolution out of the possible options. The firm can provide results in as few as three months, and its experienced tax professionals work with taxpayers in all 50 states.
If you’re seeking a tax attorney who can help you save pennies on the dollar, Optima Tax Relief could be the right choice for your situation. The firm provides a 15-day money-back guarantee to offer added peace of mind.
It’s easy to see that Hurricane Tax is one of the top-rated tax attorney firms, with its 8.6 Solvable score and 75 customer reviews that have an average of four stars. Although Hurricane Tax is a relatively new firm that’s been in business for just three years, it’s already generated impressive results. In 2018, the firm resolved over $35 million in tax debt and served over 1,300 clients.
Hurricane Tax prides itself on being a full-service tax relief firm that employs tax attorneys, CPAs, and EAs. However, the firm specializes in complex issues like releasing tax levies and liens and lifting wage garnishments. Hurricane Tax can also assist with IRS installment agreements and resolves cases in an average of two to six months.
If you’re searching for a tax lawyer who offers easy-to-understand pricing that won’t break the bank, Hurricane Tax could be the right firm for you. Hurricane Tax offers flat-free pricing and doesn’t charge a retainer fee.
Whether you put more stock in customer reviews or third-party ratings, Honest Tax has both. The firm has a Solvable score of 8.4 and over 130 customer reviews with an average of four stars. Honest Tax has an A+ BBB rating, which demonstrates the firm’s honesty and transparency. The firm is also endorsed by Ben Stein, who’s known for his informed commentary on economic issues.
Honest Tax has been in business for 14 years and helps with issues ranging from incorrect filing and small business tax to inability to pay and both individual and business tax audits. The firm specializes in ending wage garnishment and resolves tax liens at the state and federal level.
If you want to hire a tax attorney that provides a full range of IRS tax debt issues and offers a flexible payment policy, Honest Tax could be the right firm for you. Honest tax provides a 10-day refund policy for peace of mind and offers payment plans that span up to 38 months.
As one of the most knowledgeable firms in the business, Tax Law Advocates has three decades of experience resolving tax debt. The firm boasts an 8.2 Solvable score, over 40 customer reviews with an average of four stars, and an A+ rating from the BBB, making it one of the top-rated tax law firms.
Although the firm specializes in legal issues, Tax Law Advocates has tax lawyers, CPAs, and EAs on its staff to assist with a wide variety of issues. The firm has extensive experience with stopping wage garnishments, and it specializes in releasing tax levies and audit representation.
If you want to hire a tax attorney with extensive experience resolving state and federal tax issues across the nation, Tax Law Advocates could be the right choice for you. Tax Law Advocates also offers payment plans to put tax relief within reach for a wider variety of taxpayers.
Like many of the top-rated tax relief firms, Alleviate Tax has a Solvable score of 8.2 and customer reviews with an average of four stars. The firm is also BBB Accredited, which means that the firm meets the BBB’s strict requirements for resolving customer issues.
Alleviate Tax has been in business for two years and employs both tax attorneys and EAs. The firm specializes in tax debt resolution and can assist with issues ranging from delinquent tax filings and incorrect filings to wage garnishment and small business tax matters. Alleviate Tax has a history of providing outcomes like IRS installment agreements and offers in compromise.
If you’re looking for a top-rated tax attorney that also provides transparent pricing, consider Alleviate Tax. The firm offers flat-rate pricing rather than hourly fees, and it provides 12-month, interest-free payment plans.
With its Solvable score of 7.6 and its four-star average customer rating, Coast One Tax Group is one of the top-rated firms for tax debt relief. The firm provides services to taxpayers with over $10,000 in IRS tax debt as well as those who are being audited.
Coast One Tax Group has tax attorneys, CPAs, and EAs at your disposal and can provide assistance with both federal and state tax issues nationwide. The firm has been in business since 2013, and its tax experts have a combined 30 years of experience in the field.
If you’re looking for immediate assistance with your tax debt issues, Coast One Tax Group may be the right choice for you. The firm provides one-on-one phone consultations around the clock and can assist with everything from resolving back taxes and ending IRS penalties to stopping wage garnishment and releasing tax liens and levies.
If you’ve never worked with a tax attorney before, you might be wondering what these professionals do and how they can help you. Learn more about their areas of expertise and which issues they can help you resolve.
Tax lawyers have to complete extensive education before they can represent clients. Most earn a bachelor’s degree in a subject like accounting or business before completing law school. In order to work as a lawyer, these professionals have to earn at least a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Some also go on to earn a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) degree, which provides specialized preparation for working in tax law.
Finally, tax attorneys have to pass the bar exam administered by their state’s bar association. This exam requires rigorous preparation and proves attorneys’ competence at practicing law.
Throughout their careers, tax lawyers also have to complete continuing education credits to maintain their state licensure to practice law. Undergoing continuing education helps tax attorneys stay on top of legal changes and new tax code issues.
IRS tax attorneys specialize in handling a wide range of legal issues related to the tax code. They understand the intricacies of the federal tax code, and most also have in-depth knowledge of the tax code for at least one state. Tax lawyers typically have expertise in at least one of the following issues:
Tax lawyers can help you both before you have a tax debt issue and after the IRS has contacted you to resolve tax matters. They can handle the following:
If it’s your first time hiring a tax relief firm, it’s normal not to know whether you need to hire a tax attorney firm or a CPA firm. Typically, if you are dealing with complex tax issues, you want to go with a tax attorney. CPAs are a better choice for straightforward issues, relating to tax filing and preparation. In many cases, tax attorneys are supported by IRS enrolled agents to do the prep work.
CPAs follow a very different educational path from tax attorneys. Most CPAs have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and some complete combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Others opt for a separate master’s in accounting of Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. No matter what degree program they choose, CPAs need to complete at least 150 semester hours before they can earn a license.
To complete their licensing requirements, CPAs generally need at least two years of accounting work experience. Then they take the standard exams administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). These accounting professionals have to take a total of four standard exams to earn a CPA license, and they’re required to complete continuing education courses to keep their licenses current.
Because they aren’t licensed to practice law, CPAs typically handle more straightforward tax issues. They’re generally responsible for the following:
Hiring a CPA to assist with your tax matters makes perfect sense in some situations. You can benefit from working with a CPA in the following ways:
However, working with a CPA also has some downsides. The biggest disadvantages include:
Working with a tax attorney can offer substantial benefits. Some of the biggest perks include:
Hiring a tax attorney can have some drawbacks, too. Be prepared for the following downsides:
The cost of working with an IRS tax lawyer can be anywhere from $500 to $10,000 and over. The following factors impact the cost of your case:
Most tax attorneys offer free consultations before they start working with you. This complimentary discussion allows you to talk with a knowledgeable tax expert and decide whether you want to work with them. A free consultation also helps you understand what your tax resolution options are without spending any money.
In most cases, free tax consultations include a brief meeting or phone call with a tax attorney. They’ll ask you to explain your circumstances and share any notices or other communication you’ve received from the IRS. Then they’ll discuss some of the tax resolution options that may work for you. At this stage of the process, many tax attorneys can estimate how long your case is likely to take and what the total fee will be.
After receiving a free tax consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to begin working with your tax attorney of choice. You may need to provide an up-front payment, sign an agreement, and share additional tax documentation to begin moving forward.
Although most tax attorneys offer free consultations, each firm has its own policy. Always ask about the consultation fee first so you know what to expect. If the firm doesn’t offer free consultations, do the math to determine whether you’ll save money even without the complimentary discussion.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it to hire a tax attorney, it depends on your individual situation. Some tax lawyers can help clients save pennies on the dollar with resolutions like offers in compromise, and others save clients millions every year.
To determine whether it’s affordable for you, compare the cost of the attorney fees with the amount you’ll save on your tax debt. If the cost of the fees is less than the balance of your tax debt, then you can consider tax attorneys affordable.
If you’re dealing with serious tax matters like an audit appeal, a tax settlement, or tax forgiveness, it’s in your best interest to seek out help from a knowledgeable professional. Tax lawyers can help you resolve complex tax issues and put your tax problems behind you. Find an experienced tax attorney and take steps toward resolving your IRS tax debt today.
When you hire an IRS tax attorney to resolve your tax issues, it’s important to make sure you work with a reputable professional. Reviews and ratings can tell you a lot about how tax lawyers work with clients, but only the attorney’s bar association can tell you whether they’re in good standing. Check your attorney’s listing on their state bar association website to make sure they’re the reliable professional you expect.