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Tax debt is more common than you might think. At the end of 2021, more than 10 million Americans were behind on their taxes by a combined total of more than $133 billion.
So what do you do when you fall into five figures of debt with the IRS? Tax delinquency can lead to wage garnishment and asset seizure, which will further impact your finances and might even send you spiraling deeper into debt. This is when some people turn to tax relief companies as an option.
Tax relief companies are sometimes thought to be disreputable due to customer complaints about false promises, high fees, and even downright scams. While it’s absolutely true that the tax relief industry has some bad players, there are also plenty of reputable tax relief companies with proven records of success.
To help you tell the difference, we’ve rounded up the seven best tax relief companies that offered free consultations, had been in business for at least five years, and had no complaints filed with the FTC. We then took a look at the types of services offered, evaluated the company’s customer service, analyzed customer reviews, and examined the company’s pricing structure, minimum debt amounts, and any money-back guarantees.
Best Tax Relief Companies of 2023
- Best Overall: Precision Tax Relief
- Best Guarantee: Anthem Tax Services
- Best for Large Tax Debt: Fortress Tax Relief
- Best for Small Tax Debt: CommunityTax
- Best for Businesses: Enterprise Consultants Group
- Best for Spanish Speakers: Tax Defense Network
- Best Resources: ALG Tax Solutions
Best Overall : Precision Tax Relief
- Cost: All-inclusive flat-rate fee
- Accreditation: American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS)
- Minimum Tax Debt Amount: No requirement
Precision Tax Relief comes out a clear winner across all categories, including the company’s generous money-back guarantee, transparent pricing, and convenient communications channels. We found this to be the most trustworthy tax relief company that we evaluated.
Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
All-inclusive flat-rate fee
Customer service available by phone, text, email, and live chat
In business since 1967
Doesn’t handle standalone state tax debt
No tax audit representation
Limited online resources
Reputable tax relief companies are hard to come by, but Precision Tax Relief rose to the top in nearly every aspect of our analysis. First and foremost is the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee, one of the longest in the industry.
The company bases its pricing on a flat-rate fee presented during a free consultation. The only way your fee will increase is if the scope of work changes from your initial quote due to new information that was not provided during your consultation. Payment options are flexible with a choice between one lump-sum payment or a zero-interest payment plan.
Precision does not require that clients have a minimum debt amount. However, a call with their customer service department revealed that their base service fee may not be worth it for taxpayers who owe less than $10,000 with no other variables. And they only take on cases if the possible debt relief makes the service fees worthwhile for clients.
Precision Tax Relief has been in business since 1967 and offers convenient customer service options via phone, text message, email, and live chat. The company is certified by the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS), which is awarded to CPAs with a proven ability to solve a range of problems with the IRS.
The company does have a few limitations. For example, they don’t offer tax audit representation, a service many competitors provide. Precision Tax Relief also deals exclusively with federal taxes and does not handle state tax issues.
Best Guarantee : Anthem Tax Services
- Cost: Flat-rate fee on a case-by-case basis
- Accreditation: National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)
- Minimum Tax Debt Amount: None listed
Anthem Tax Services’ money-back guarantee is the only one of its kind in the tax relief industry. The guarantee has no time limit and promises to return your fees should the company fail to make any change to your IRS tax debt repayment schedule.
Offers a money-back guarantee with no time limit
Payment plans available
Accredited by NATP and NAEA
Money-back guarantee doesn’t ensure reduced total payment amount
Mixed customer reviews
Limited consumer education focus
Many tax relief companies don’t offer a money-back guarantee at all. Others offer a full refund for the first 14 or even 30 days. Anthem Tax Services, however, offers a unique, no-time-limit guarantee. If the IRS refuses to reduce either your total debt or your monthly payment amount, the company will refund any fees paid for its services.
One important note here: Anthem Tax Services’ money-back guarantee doesn’t constitute a promise to reduce your total tax liability to the IRS. It’s entirely possible the company will only be able to reduce your current monthly payment, meaning you’ll still have the same amount of debt; it will just be paid back in smaller amounts over a longer period of time. This may reduce the immediate financial burden but won’t save you any money in the long term. A longer repayment schedule will result in a larger overall payment to IRS because of interest charges over a longer time period.
Anthem Tax Services charges a flat-rate fee determined on a case-by-case basis. This fee can be broken down into a payment plan for those who can’t afford to pay upfront. The company is accredited by both the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA).
We noticed a handful of customer reviews for Anthem Tax Services complaining about a lack of regular communication and updates. While reviews are still overall positive, with the company earning four out of five stars on most review sites, this is something to keep in mind. It might be a good idea to ask upfront about what you can expect in terms of communications and updates from your case manager. You can contact Anthem by visiting the company's website or calling 844-377-6553.
Best for Large Tax Debt : Fortress Tax Relief
If you have a large tax debt, standard percentage-based fees will vastly overcharge you, in general, compared to the amount of work required for your case. Fortress Tax Relief’s hourly-based fee structure gives you the best opportunity for savings with a major IRS tax debt.
No percentage-based fee structure
Offers a monetary customer service guarantee
Handles state tax debt in all 50 states
Minimum tax debt of over $10,000
Not accredited by any industry organizations
Limited business services
It’s common for tax relief companies to calculate fees based on a percentage of the overall tax debt you currently owe to the IRS. With large tax debt, this can quickly add up to an exorbitant amount that doesn’t reflect the number of hours required to resolve a higher-debt case. For example, a $20,000 debt probably won’t take twice the amount of work to resolve than a $10,000 debt.
Fortress Tax Relief offers a unique approach by generating quotes based on the estimated time required. Hourly fees for an attorney vary, but typical EA hourly rates range from $100 to $200 per hour. For consumers with large amounts of tax debt, this means you’ll probably pay significantly less than you would with percentage-based tax relief companies. (Still, it never hurts to get a few quotes from different companies just to make sure.)
There are a few other perks to working with Fortress Tax Relief, including its comprehensive customer service guarantee. If you have an active case, customer service will return your phone calls and emails within two business days. If the company fails to meet this promise more than once, you'll receive a $100 account credit for each subsequent occurrence.
While Fortress Tax Relief provides individual state tax debt services in all 50 states, its business services are relatively limited. The company is also not a member of any of the common industry accreditation organizations.
Best for Small Tax Debt : CommunityTax
- Cost: Flat-fee upfront (possible ongoing charges)
- Accreditation: IRS-approved continuing education provider
- Required Tax Debt Amount: $10,000 ($7,500 in some circumstances)
CommunityTax doesn’t have the lowest minimum debt requirement in the tax relief industry, but it deserved the Best for Small Tax Debt title due to its ample resources and services aimed at those with lower amounts of debt. If your tax debt is under $10,000, you may find all the help you need for free through CommunityTax’s generous free online resource library and mobile app.
Offers a 14-day money-back guarantee
IRS-approved continuing education provider
Community Tax Assurance Program with mobile app
May accept cases under $10,000
Pricing less straightforward than competitors
Chat support lacks functionality
Generally speaking, you can typically settle tax debts under $10,000 by yourself without much issue. However, if you need some professional assistance to resolve a small tax debt, CommunityTax may accept cases as low as $7,500, among the lowest of all competitors. The company will take on cases if it believes the cost of the services is worth it to the prospective client. It also offers many resources and services that are particularly valuable to those with small tax debt.
CommunityTax’s website is a trove of free resources that include guides and links to relevant IRS resources. This is a great place to start to see if your small tax debt requires professional help at all. You might even find the free information available through CommunityTax's website is enough to navigate the debt on your own.
In fact, CommunityTax is an IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider, which means it is authorized to provide continuing education programs to tax professionals. Due to this, we have confidence not only in the information available through the company’s website but also in the knowledgeability of CommunityTax case managers.
In addition to free resources, CommunityTax offers a $39 per month program called the Community Tax Assurance Program (TAP). The program includes access to a mobile app that performs tax account monitoring, as well as access to your IRS transcripts and annual 1040 tax returns.
TAP is designed as a preventive solution to keep taxpayers from falling behind on payments with better education and preparation. If you’re struggling with a small amount of tax debt, this program could help you continue to stay out of debt after you’ve resolved your current financial situation.
Although we were impressed by CommunityTax’s 14-day customer service guarantee, we found the company’s fee structure to be less transparent than some competitors. We were advised that depending on the scenario, some customers pay a flat fee upfront while others might incur ongoing charges. We also noticed a trend in some customer reviews of issues with CommunityTax’s handling of state tax debt.
Best for Businesses : Enterprise Consultants Group
- Cost: Free consultation and IRS transcript analysis
- Accreditation: National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP)
- Required Tax Debt Amount: None listed
Small business owners will find that Enterprise Consultants Group is a one-stop shop for business tax needs. From payroll taxes to tax audit representation, we’re confident that you’ll find the best business services here.
Full range of small business services
Accredited by NATP
Consultation includes free IRS transcript analysis
Few online resources
State tax services mostly California-specific
Most tax relief companies offer services for both individuals and businesses, but they’re generally more cut out for individual tax debt. Enterprise Consultants Group is the exception. The company offers the most well-rounded catalog of business services we could find among all tax relief organizations.
Services tailored to small businesses include tax-related issues such as payroll tax resolution and tax accounting, in addition to business licensing, registered agent services, and other needs requiring an accountant or lawyer.
Enterprise Consultants Group offers a free consultation, which is standard among tax relief companies. However, the group includes a free IRS transcript analysis for individuals and businesses. This is something most competitors charge for, so it’s a great value with no commitment.
Enterprise Consultants Group is accredited by the NATP and holds additional law-related credentials. However, it doesn’t offer a guarantee, and we were disappointed by the lack of resources on its website. We also found that most of its state tax services were tailored toward individuals and businesses in California, where the company is headquartered. This doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t handle a case involving state tax debt from another state, but it’s certainly something to ask about during a consultation.
Best for Spanish Speakers : Tax Defense Network
- Cost: Fees vary
- Accreditation: American Institute of CPAs (AICPA),American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)
- Required Tax Debt Amount: $5,000
Tax Defense Network offers bilingual tax assistance to those who speak Spanish and may be struggling to communicate with the IRS. With the company’s long-standing good record, we’d recommend it as a trusted intermediary for Spanish speakers with tax debt.
Offers tax relief services in English and Spanish
In business since 2007
Website only available in English
Dealing with the IRS on your own can be overwhelming, but even more so when English isn’t your first language. If you know a native Spanish speaker struggling with tax debt, Tax Defense Network can help. The company has bilingual tax professionals on staff and a dedicated customer service line for assistance in Spanish.
Tax Defense Network requires a minimum debt of $5,000, which is typical for a tax relief company. This makes it a fair choice for situations where the debtor is struggling to communicate with the IRS due to a language barrier.
Having started in 2007, Tax Defense Network is a well-established tax relief company with an overall positive record.
Best Resources : ALG Tax Solutions
- Cost: Fees vary (provides low-cost options)
- Accreditation: American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
- Required Tax Debt Amount: American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
ALG Tax Solutions offers a complete library of free educational resources designed to empower consumers and prevent future tax debt. We appreciate the company’s commitment to helping customers find the best solution for their personal situation, regardless of whether that solution includes paid tax relief services. This earns ALG Tax Solutions its place as the tax relief company with the Best Resources.
Online library with free eBooks, calculators, and resources
Offers services tailored to individuals, self-employed, and businesses
Low-cost tax help evaluation available
One of the best indicators that a tax relief company has your best interests in mind is an education-based approach. With educational resources, tax relief companies can empower their customers with the knowledge and skills required to prevent further tax debt. This is exactly what ALG Tax Solutions does with its online resource library.
ALG Tax Solutions’ free resources include online calculators, eBooks, and other useful tools. For example, the company offers a free online meter called the IRS Letter Decoder which shows you how serious a notice from the IRS is simply by entering a code found on the letter. ALG Tax Solutions was founded in 2011.
ALG Tax Solutions also offers a standalone service called a tax help evaluation, a relatively low-cost option in which a tax professional reviews your tax documentation, conducts a full financial review, and provides recommendations for how to proceed. There’s no obligation to sign up for further tax relief services with ALG Tax Solutions after completing this service. In fact, the professional who reviews your case may even recommend steps to resolve the situation on your own.
One drawback to working with ALG Tax Solutions is that the company only provides assistance for federal IRS taxes. State tax services are available for individuals and businesses. ALG Tax Solutions offers no guarantee on its services.
Precision Tax Relief distinguished itself from its competitors in multiple ways, helping it earn our selection as best overall. Its pricing comes in the form of a flat rate that is clearly stated upfront, and the company also offers one of the longest money-back guarantees we found at 30 days. Customers also can communicate with company representatives in multiple ways—phone, text, email, and live chat.
Compare the Best Tax Relief Companies
|Company||Cost||Accreditation||Minimum Tax Debt Amount|
|Precision Tax Relief Best Overall||All-inclusive flat-rate fee||American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS)||No requirement (but not justifiable for taxpayers who owe less than $10,000)|
|Anthem Tax Services Best Guarantee||Flat-rate fee on a case-by-case basis||National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)||None listed|
|Fortress Tax Relief Best for Large Tax Debt||Hourly fee structure||Not accredited||$10,000|
|CommunityTax Best for Small Tax Debt||Flat-fee upfront (possible ongoing charges)||IRS-approved continuing education provider||$10,000 ($7,500 in some circumstances)|
|Enterprise Consultants Group Best for Businesses||Free consultation and IRS transcript analysis||National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP)||None listed|
|Tax Defense Network Best for Spanish Speakers||Fees vary||American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), and National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)||$5,000|
|ALG Tax Solutions Best Resources||Fees vary (provides low-cost options)||American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)||None listed|
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Tax Relief Services Legitimate?
Tax relief companies, also known as tax settlement firms, are for-profit organizations that offer to negotiate with the IRS to reduce your overall debt or monthly payment. Legitimate firms won't offer to do anything you couldn't do on your own; their value comes from their experience with the process. The IRS clearly describes its collection process, so be sure whatever promises a tax relief company is making to you matches that procedure.
Are Tax Relief Programs Worth It?
It depends on how much you owe, your comfort level in negotiating with the IRS, and the amount of time you have. Most tax relief programs won't handle debts worth less than about $10,000 because the fees you pay for the service are more likely to exceed any negotiated savings on small debts. Even if you owe more than $10,000, you have to decide if the fees are worth having a third party negotiate on your behalf.
Who Is the Most Reputable Tax Relief Company?
Six of the seven tax relief companies on our list are accredited either by the IRS or a reputable third party. Determining the most reputable company depends on perspective, but looking at which organizations endorse a company's services is a good way to determine if it is legitimate. Even if a company claims to be accredited or otherwise endorsed, it's best to double-check that information via a neutral source.
How Do I Get My Tax Debt Forgiven?
You are unlikely to get a tax debt entirely forgiven, but you can ask the IRS for an offer in compromise. This typically is what you are paying a tax relief company to do on your behalf. It means that you are asking the IRS to reduce your debt because you don't have the assets to pay or because paying the debt would cause undue economic hardship. Tax relief companies can help you put together the best argument to win this kind of case.
Does Tax Relief Affect Your Credit Score?
A debt to the IRS and using a tax relief company to help settle that debt have no direct impact on your credit score. Tax debts and even liens that may be placed on your property due to tax debts are not reported to the major credit bureaus. However, a lien on your property, for example, is a public record, and lenders could discover them that way. In addition, borrowing money to pay your tax debt could indirectly affect your credit score.
For this analysis, we began by evaluating 23 tax relief companies and scoring them based on a number of criteria. We only evaluated companies that offered free consultations, had been in business for at least five years, and had no complaints filed with the FTC.
We then took a look at the types of services offered and evaluated the company’s customer service. We analyzed customer reviews using various websites, taking into consideration any relevant certifications or accreditations. Finally, we asked about the company’s pricing structure, minimum debt amounts, and any money-back guarantees.