I am an attorney and also a CPA. I have thirty years of experience successfully helping people who are in tax troubles. I apologize for the conduct of many of the firms that nationally advertise with enormous budgets. Many people come to my office after paying many thousands of dollars to these firms. I want to give you some simple things to look for when choosing someone to represent you.
When you listen to the ad remember settling for cents on the dollar can be 99 cents. Go to the Google website or other search index and type in their name and attorney general or their name and complaints. If there are results you should consider calling another company. When you meet the company's intake person ask if they themselves will be representing you and are they an attorney, a CPA, or an enrolled agent. The intake person is not qualified to represent you if they are not one of these professions. How will that person know the right questions to ask to understand your needs. Someone who is not present at the meeting will have to fill in the blanks.You need them to take the time to fully understand the reasons behind your situation. Many firms will have a "national office" or "regional office". Often the IRS will not know who is representing you. I have represented quite a few people that were represented by firms that were actually taking their money and not even notifying the IRS that they had been hired. Face to face meetings with the IRS are expensive when your representative offices in Denver, Colorado and you live in Dallas, Texas. Strong representational skills are less persuasive from a distance.
When you meet a qualified professional and are interviewed thoroughly you will have some comfort. Ask if they will be the person representing you. Obviously, large companies need many people to handle volume business. The person at the meeting should be responsible for your case. Offer to pay the company with Paypal or a credit card. A check can not be disputed. A credit card can be disputed if the services are not rendered. Every company will have had some successes for their clients. Check the Better Business Bureau. Ask another professional if they have clients that used the company and what was their experience. You need to feel that the company cares about your problems. If you feel like a number and not an individual do not hire them. Remember it is your tax case not theirs. There are many people with the proper experience and credentials to help you. I hope you the best success with your tax issues.
William Kunofsky CPA
attorney at law