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Dealing with tax debt can be stressful — both financially and emotionally. Fortunately, several tax relief companies can help.
These firms work with the IRS on your behalf to resolve overdue taxes and can help you repay your debts and minimize the financial penalties that come with them.
Below, you’ll find the best tax relief companies from our partners based on hours of research into costs, expertise, customer satisfaction, customer service, benefits, and more.
In this guide:
- Compare the best tax relief companies
- Reviews of the best tax relief companies
- How tax relief works
- Is tax relief worth it?
- How to avoid tax relief scams
Compare the best tax relief companies
Tax relief services from experts with proven strategies
Best Overall: Tax Hardship Center
- Get started with a free consultation with a tax resolution expert
- An excellent rating of 4.7 out of 5 from customers on Trustpilot & 4.88 out of 5 through the BBB*
- Must have at least $10,000 in tax debt
Anthem Tax Services
- 100% money-back guarantee if your situation isn’t improved
- A great rating of 3.9 out of 5 from customers on Trustpilot & 3.73 out of 5 through the BBB*
- Must have at least $10,000 in tax debt
Optima Tax Relief
- Has resolved over $1 billion in tax debt
- An excellent rating of 4.5 out of 5 from customers on Trustpilot & 4.6 out of 5 through the BBB*
- Must have at least $10,000 in tax debt
*Customer ratings are accurate as of September 3rd, 2021.
Reviews of the best tax relief companies
For a more in-depth review of each company and the services they offer, continue reading below, or you can click on a specific company in the list below to jump to that review.
- Best overall: Tax Hardship Center
- Best money-back guarantee: Anthem Tax Services
- Best for small debt: Community Tax
- Best for experience: Optima Tax Relief
Best overall: Tax Hardship Center
Tax Hardship Center offers various tax relief solutions to individuals and businesses, including offers in compromise, partial payment agreements, installment agreements, penalty abatement, and tax audit representation. In addition to tax relief services, the company can also help those in need of tax preparation services.
How it works
The company’s website outlines a three-stage process for getting your tax debt under control.
- You’ll have a free consultation with a tax resolution expert. You don’t need to schedule an appointment; just call when you’re ready.
- The company and its team of experts will communicate with the IRS on your behalf to investigate the situation. The team will conduct a financial analysis and, when ready, review case options with you.
- The final step is to establish filing compliance with the IRS and reach the best resolution. The company will advise you on the steps needed to remain in good standing with the IRS moving forward.
In terms of costs, there is an upfront $495 fee to initiate an investigation into your situation. If this investigation shows that the company can help put you into better standing with the IRS, you’ll move on to the next stage, which comes with additional costs. Unfortunately, since no two situations are the same, there is no fixed pricing listed on the company’s website. However, the average client pays around $3,750 for tax relief services.
Tax Hardship Center has received excellent ratings from its customers. These ratings include a 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot and a 4.88 out of 5 on the BBB as of September 3rd, 2021.
Additionally, the company has received an A+ rating (the highest offered) from the BBB. This rating represents the BBB’s opinion on how likely a business is to interact with its customers. If you’re worried about having your questions answered or dealing with complaints, this rating is encouraging.
In addition to strong customer reviews, Tax Hardship Center has several other benefits. First, the company’s CEO is an “enrolled agent,” the highest credential the IRS awards. You’ll also work with licensed tax professionals so you can trust the expertise of the team.
Second, you can take advantage of a free consultation to discuss your situation and see how Tax Hardship Center can help. If you aren’t a good fit or you don’t like the process, you can pass on working with them at no loss to you.
Third, all clients enjoy a 14-day money-back guarantee. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you’ll have two weeks to work with the company before having to commit fully.
Best money-back guarantee: Anthem Tax Services
Anthem Tax Services offers tax relief and tax preparation services to individuals and businesses. These services include but are not limited to offers in compromise, installment agreements, tax resolution services, penalty abatement, and levy releases.
How it works
While the company doesn’t outline the steps it takes to resolve your tax issues, its process is similar to others.
- Take advantage of a free consultation with a tax expert to discuss your situation and hear how the company can help.
- Agree to let a team of experts from the company investigate your situation further by reaching out to the IRS on your behalf.
- If the team determines you have options to reduce your tax debt, they’ll reach out to you to discuss your options.
- Once an option is chosen, a filing will be made to the IRS to reach the best resolution.
To get started, you’ll be charged an upfront $250 fee to start the investigation into your tax troubles. This investigation will determine what services are needed to resolve your tax issues. Since everyone’s situation is unique, there is no fixed pricing model listed on the website. The company should keep you updated along the way on any pricing adjustments.
Anthem Tax Services has pretty good ratings from its customers. These ratings include a 3.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot and a 3.73 out of 5 on the BBB as of September 3rd, 2021.
The company has also received an A+ rating (the highest offered) from the BBB. This rating represents the BBB’s opinion of how likely a business is to interact with its customers. This can include complaints, amongst other things.
The standout benefit of Anthem Tax Services is the 100% money-back guarantee. This guarantee promises to return anything you paid if you don’t save money or have your debt reworked. The guarantee doesn’t include bookkeeping and tax preparation services or the minimum deposit.
Another benefit includes working with an experienced company with accreditation from the National Association of Tax Professionals, California Tax Education Council, National Association of Enrolled Agents, and more.
Lastly, the free consultation is a great way to decide whether or not the company is right for you.
Best for small debts: Community Tax
Community Tax is a tax resolution firm for individuals and businesses. It can help you establish payment plans, installment agreements, offers in compromise, and more. The company also offers accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation services.
How it works
According to the company’s website, there is a three-step process to get your tax debt resolved.
- Have a free consultation with an experienced professional who will hear your case and provide a free tax analysis discussing your potential options.
- An investigation will occur where the team assigned to your case will reach out to the IRS or state on your behalf. This allows the team to gather a record of your account to determine the best path forward.
- Once you and your team choose how you’d like to resolve the issue, the resolution stage begins. This included submitting a proposal to the IRS or state to resolve your tax debts.
To start working with the company, you’ll pay $295 as an upfront fee to initiate the investigation. Any additional costs should be communicated to you by the company and will vary depending on the services you require. On average, clients pay between $1,500 and $4,000 for tax relief services with Community Tax.
Community Tax has received excellent ratings from its customers. These ratings include a 4.4 out of 5 on Trustpilot and a 4.33 out of 5 on the BBB as of September 3rd, 2021.
In addition to the ratings above, the company has received an A+ rating (the highest offered) from the BBB. This rating represents the BBB’s opinion on how likely a business is to interact with its customers.
All clients of Community Tax enjoy a service guarantee that refunds you your investigation fee if the company determines that it can’t help you resolve your tax debts. You can discuss this with someone from the company during your free consultation.
Anytime you consider a third party to help you with financial issues, it’s essential to review that company’s credibility. With Community Tax, you’ll have access to a team of tax attorneys, licensed professionals, and other experts.
Best for experience: Optima Tax Relief
Optima Tax Relief specializes in resolving and reducing IRS or state tax debt for individuals and businesses. The company has resolved over $1 billion in tax debt to date through its tax resolution services. These services include negotiating an installment agreement, penalty abatement, wage garnishment release, and more.
How it works
The company’s website outlines a four-step process for getting your tax debt resolved.
- Have a free consultation with an expert from Optima Tax Relief to discuss your tax troubles and learn more about the company and its services.
- The investigation stage includes initiating client protection, establishing communication with the IRS or state, and determining your options. This process can take two to four weeks.
- Once you and the team agree on a resolution to pursue, the team will establish IRS compliance and achieve the best resolution for you. This can take three to nine months.
- Your case is closed, and you adhere to any agreements to remain in good standing with the IRS or state.
Like other tax relief companies, Optima Tax Relief charges an upfront fee of $495 to begin the investigation phase. This is the only disclosed fee on the company’s website, as each client’s situation requires its own unique services.
Optima Tax Relief has received excellent ratings from its customers. These ratings include a 4.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot and a 4.6 out of 5 on the BBB as of September 3rd, 2021.
The BBB has also given the company an A+ rating (the highest offered). This rating represents the BBB’s opinion on how likely a business is to interact with its customers.
If you are looking for a company with a lot of experience dealing with tax debt, Optima Tax Relief may just be for you. The company is one of the most searched-for companies in the space. Its customer review scores are based on thousands of responses. To date, its team has helped resolve over $1 billion in tax debt.
In addition to its experience, Optima Tax Relief offers a free consultation and a 15-day money-back guarantee.
How we chose the best tax relief companies
In our most recent evaluation of tax relief companies, our team compared four of our partners to determine what they were the best for and how they stood out in the industry.
Here are the six categories that we reviewed to score each company:
- Availability: This score factored in the services offered, which states the company worked in, and any minimum debt requirements.
- Cost: Since most costs for tax relief services vary by situation, this score focused on the upfront fee to initiate an investigation and begin the process of resolving tax troubles.
- Expertise: Simply put, companies listed on this page had to have plenty of experience dealing with tax debt and the IRS to be eligible. We spoke with representatives from each company to determine how knowledgeable those working with clients are with dealing with tax debt to ensure you’re in good hands. We also considered time in business for each company.
- Customer satisfaction: One of the most important factors for us to consider is the satisfaction of prior customers. When a company has strong customer ratings across several platforms, it’s usually a good indicator of a reliable company.
- Customer service: The ability to communicate with the company you work with is vital. We looked at the different methods of communication offered to clients.
- Benefits: Each company aims to offer benefits that help it stand out from its competitors, whether through consultations or money-back guarantees.
Once we scored each company, we then determined which was the best for different situations. If a company wasn’t the best for anything, it was not included on this page.
How tax relief works
Working with a tax relief company usually starts with a free consultation. You’ll chat with a representative, give them details on your tax issues, and the company will do a quick analysis of your situation to determine which tax relief service can help you.
Next, the company will contact the IRS or your state tax authority to get the updated records of your account. They’ll review this, determine the best solution, and walk you through the process and costs before moving forward.
Finally, they’ll work to resolve your tax debts. This might include using any of the following relief options:
- Offer in Compromise: This is a way of settling tax debts without paying off the full amount. Check out our guide on how to negotiate an Offer in Compromise with the IRS.
- Installment agreements: These agreements let you pay back your tax debts in smaller increments without incurring interest or penalty. Setting up an installment agreement can halt wage garnishment as well. Check out our guide on how to set up a payment plan with the IRS.
- Penalty abatement: If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to have any IRS penalties waived or reduced.
- Innocent spouse relief: This can keep you from being penalized for your spouse’s tax mistakes.
- Fresh Start program: The IRS Fresh Start Program lets you spread your debts off over a five-year period. It requires a minimum debt of at least $50,000.
Tax relief firms can also help you qualify for Currently Not Collective status, which puts any collections efforts by the IRS on hold — at least temporarily.
>> Read More: What is tax relief?
Is tax relief worth it?
Tax relief assistance comes with potentially high fees, so it’s usually best reserved for people with high amounts of debt. For example, according to the Tax Hardship Center, the average client pays $3,750 for its services. Consumers already struggling financially may find fees in this range hard to bear. You’ll want to be sure the savings will outweigh the fee before moving forward.
If you’re not prepared to pay the fees for help from tax professionals, you can work with the IRS directly to file for Currently Not Collectible status, set up an installment plan, or apply for any other relief programs. The Federal Trade Commission has detailed instructions on many of these options, as well as how you can apply online.
You can also use the IRS’ Taxpayer Advocate Service for help, or contact the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasures for state-related tax assistance.
It’s also recommended you speak with a financial advisor who can review your situation before you decide to work with a tax relief company.
How to avoid tax relief scams
Not all companies offering tax relief are reputable. In fact, scams are common in this industry. Before you pay for professional tax relief services, take steps to verify the company you’re using is legitimate and trustworthy.
- Talk with a specialist on the phone to confirm their experience and skills
- Check their reviews and ratings, especially with the Better Business Bureau
- Avoid paying any upfront fees until you’ve verified their capabilities
- Beware of too-good-to-be-true claims
When in doubt, consult a local CPA or accountant for guidance. They can point you toward legitimate solutions for your needs.
Recap of the tax relief companies above
Author: Aly Yale