of who you may use for tax representation, it is important
to be aware of the so-called Atax
organizations which make promises they simply cannot keep
or have no intention of keeping.
There are some reputable organizations, but,
unfortunately, the vast majority are run by con artists or
of the principals involved have criminal records, or have
been previously involved in telecommunication schemes,
credit repair agencies, or similar dubious businesses.
Most of their operating budget is spent on enticing
new victims, not on effectively representing your
you are inclined to hire one of these tax relief
organizations, or anyone for that matter, it is always
wise to use a minimum of due diligence.
For example, you could contact the local Better
Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, State Attorney
General, or other monitoring organizations to see if there
are outstanding complaints.
the name. Most
of the larger tax relief organizations which are not
legitimate have websites devoted solely to complaints
against them. We
have first-hand knowledge about the problems associated
with these organizations since we represent many of their
should have a higher degree of confidence if you are
dealing with a licensed tax attorney, certificate public
accountant, or enrolled agent.
If you have problems with a tax attorney or
certified public accountants, there are state oversight
boards or governmental agencies that handle complaints and
Most states or boards also have mediation services.
Even these credentials do not necessarily mean the
person is competent, however.
Prior to the late 1990s, the tax representation
field was a niche area
handled only by a few tax attorneys and certified
public accountants. Since
then, it has grown exponentially and, unfortunately, many
of the practitioners do not have the necessary background
or experience to effectively handle your tax problem.
Even if someone has been a tax attorney or
certified public accountant for years, a good question is
many years have you specialized in the tax controversy
area?” or “how many years have you been admitted to
the United States Tax Court?@
These are better indicators of experience you may