6 Tips for Hiring a Good Income Tax Attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist

While taxpayers are allowed to represent themselves before the IRS, many taxpayers seeking tax relief find dealing with the IRS frustrating, time-consuming, intimidating or all of the above. So they make the decision to hire professional tax help (specialized tax attorney, tax resolution firm, etc.) to negotiate with the IRS on their behalf. An experienced tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) who specializes in providing tax relief to individuals and businesses can help resolve tax problems at both the state and federal level. Before you hire a tax resolution professional, check out these top tips for choosing a good tax relief expert to help you resolve your IRS problems. Tax Relief Professional Hiring Tip #1 - Understand the cost of going solo. There are many advantages to hiring an income tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, but the greatest advantage is peace of mind and knowing that you are not taking unnecessary risks with your personal and financial freedom. Going in front of the IRS without a tax attorney is like defending yourself in a murder trial. You'll get creamed. To paraphrase the wise old saying, "He who acts as his own tax attorney has a fool for a client." Even if you can't afford to pay your back taxes or have years of unfiled delinquent tax returns, a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist or tax attorney can help you settle your IRS debt by increasing your chances of resolving your back taxes and helping you qualify for a tax relief settlement where you only pay back only a fraction of what you owe.

Tax Relief Professional Hiring Tip #2 - Don't be penny wise but pound foolish. Even when you know you need a tax attorney, it can still be a difficult decision to make when faced with their fees. However, know that not getting professional tax help can be even more costly. To get the tax relief you need, you need to leverage the specialized knowledge that only an expert income tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can provide. In many instances, retaining professional and reliable tax attorney and tax resolution services will often result in more affordable IRS payment plans and lesser tax penalties. However, when you owe back taxes and you need a tax attorney's help to get the tax relief you want, the issue at stake is more than just what is on your balance sheet. Issues with back taxes and other IRS problems can be both financially and personally crippling - so you will want to resolve them swiftly and permanently.

Tax Relief Professional Hiring Tip #3 - Understand your tax settlement options. Your tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist should help you understand the process for resolving tax debt so that you have realistic expectations for solving your specific tax problem. Because the IRS has very strict guidelines governing eligibility for tax settlement, your tax relief professional needs to let you know up front what tax settlement options are viable for resolving your specific IRS problems.

Tax Relief Professional Hiring Tip #4 - Know that every tax relief case is different. To get the tax relief you need, you will need personalized attention rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to tax resolutions. Beyond being able to leverage the specialized knowledge only an income tax attorney or Certified Tax Resolution Specialist can provide, you will want to choose a firm with extensive experience and an exceptional track record for tax relief success to help ensure your unique case is in good hands.

Tax Relief Professional Hiring Tip #5 - Look for a firm that offers transparency. It's unfortunate that there are some tax relief firms out there that will lowball their initial fees - without letting taxpayers know about additional fees that may be involved further down the road. This is a popular tactic that firms use to secure a client. They start the process by quoting entry-level fees - intentionally leaving out the fact that the Offer in Compromise process can take up to 6-7 months. Because a high percentage of Offers are rejected by the IRS, these cases often have to go to the appellate level - at which point these firms will then turn around and hit the client with additional appellate representation fees. You will want to choose a firm that will help you understand exactly what's involved with achieving a settlement for your specific IRS problem.

Tax Relief Professional Hiring Tip #6 - A tax attorney will keep you out of future IRS trouble. Hiring professional tax attorney and tax resolution services can not only help you resolve IRS problems from the past, but it can also help you achieve permanent tax relief, making sure you don't run into tax problems in the future.

Hiring a good Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) or tax attorney can help significantly increase your chances of securing offer in compromise settlements, IRS payment plans, penalty abatement, innocent spouse relief, release of liens or levies, non-filer issues and many other tax settlements.


Michael Rozbruch, one of the nation's leading tax experts, is a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS), licensed CPA in the state of Maryland and CEO & founder of Tax Resolution Services. He teams up with an expert staff of tax attorneys, CPAs, and tax relief professionals to help individuals and small businesses solve their IRS problems with tax liens, unfiled back taxes, offers in compromise, wage levies, tax relief, delinquent re...

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Have a question for Michael?

Michael Sullivan
5th March 2015 3:59pm
Do you have some idea on what it would cost approximately to hire someone like yourself to settle my back tax problem for both state (NY) and federal? This is assuming that the OIC is accepted.

12th March 2015 12:11pm
Thank you for posting the 6 tips for hiring a good tax attorney/professional. My father in law had a major tax situation after his business collapsed and he tried to handle the situation on his own in the beginning. He quickly learned that he needed to look in to some professional help to get him out of the mess in was in. It was such a relief after he learned about all his settlement options and finally accepted one and has been paying off the balance since.

Daniela Adams
20th November 2015 4:02pm
I agree with you on getting a professional help. Last year I did my own taxes, and it was extremely challenging. That was my first time doing it, and I almost missed the deadline. Now I know that getting professional help gives you peace of mind and assurance that your taxes will be filed properly.
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rafael ramos
16th April 2016 11:30pm
i haven't filed my tax returns since 2001 and the irs has placed a lien on my condo purchased in jan. 2001..amt of lien is about $50,000.. i need your help insolving this debt...respectfully r.ramos

Linda Dean
10th May 2016 6:48pm
I owe back taxes from 2014 because I took money out of my annuity to work on the house. I had no idea how much it was going t cost. The amount ended up throwing me over the $81,000 mark for my social security and medicare, now I don't have enough coming in monthly to pay for food, I am so afraid, I don't know what to do. I owe aprox 17,000 to the fed and 6,000 to the state. How much do you think they would take a month? I'm 65 and own my own home. My Rx's are going up, my ... Read More

Jasper Whiteside
28th October 2016 4:06pm
It would be a good sign to me to see that the attorney is bringing up specific things about the case that are different from another case. I would also be comforted if they were to ask me a lot of questions. This would show me the personalized attention that the article is referring to instead of a one - size - fits - all approach.
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