If you’re reading this, then chances are you already have some tax debt and are looking for the best solution that will save you time and money. Whether you are at the beginning of your search or are already well into it, you might have an idea that there are many different solutions being offered by many different people.
So what solution is right for you and who should you trust with your tax problem? There are a few different options to consider – Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Enrolled Agents (EA) and Tax Attorneys. Let break down the differences between these three options:
|Can represent taxpayers in front of IRS?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Required to hold a higher education degree?||Yes (7-9 years)||Yes (4-5 years)||No|
|Area of focus||Tax law||Accounting, auditing and income tax||Income tax prep|
|Fee options||Hourly, flat fees, unbundled services or pro bono||Hourly||Flat Fee|
|Able to litigate?||Yes||No||No|
|Services best used for||Tax preparation/filing, tax resolution, tax litigation||Tax filing and audits||Tax filing|
From the chart above, there are some apparent differences. CPAs and EAs are great for tax filing and tax compliance. However, neither are trained in the art of aggressive negotiation or to look outside of the rule book to argue on behalf of their client.
Unlike CPAs or EAs, tax attorneys can investigate whether the IRS has violated its Collection Statute Expiration Date – something which happens more than people might think (read more here). Depending on your tax problem a CPA or EA may be a good fit. However, if you owe the IRS money, or haven’t filed taxes in a few years, then it best to use a tax attorney.
If you’d like to learn how to find the right tax attorney for you, download our free legal guide: Finding the Right Expert for Your Tax Problem. There you will learn what traits a good attorney should have and what interview tactics you should be using when in the final steps of the selection process.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys, please click here.