Regardless of who you may use for tax representation, it is important to be aware of the so-called Atax relief@ 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 swindlers.  Many 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 interests.  

If 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.  Also, GoogleJ 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 disgruntled clients.  

You 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 investigate grievances.  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 still Ahow 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 need.


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