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The Best Tax Relief Companies

Which Tax Relief Service is Right for You?

If you're behind on your tax payments or have past years where you didn't even file a return, you probably feel the pressure mounting. Unless you've come into money recently, you're thinking there's no way you can possibly pay off your tax debt while still keeping food on your table and gas in your tank, right?

Fortunately, you've got options you might not be aware of. At the federal level, the IRS offers the Fresh Start program that lets you settle your debt for a lower amount than what you actually owe through an Offer in Compromise. The amount that the IRS will accept depends on your household expenses, current income and assets, and your payment will usually consist of a lump sum upfront and then monthly payments for 6-24 months or in full within five months.

Tuesday, June 28th

2022 Tax Relief Company Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award CuraDebt Review 5 Star Rating

CuraDebt

5 Star Rating
  • In business since 2000
  • No minimum debt amount required
  • No upfront fees
  • Monthly payments average about 20% of total enrolled debt amount
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • Tax relief services available everywhere but Illinois, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico
  • Available by phone from 9A-9P EST M-F and from 10A-3P EST Saturdays
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

CuraDebt is a one-stop shop for resolving many types of debt. Chances are good that if you're struggling to pay your taxes, you're in trouble in other ways too. This is a fantastic place to turn for not just tax relief but also credit card debt, medical bills, some private student loans, and so on. In fact, the only kinds of debt that CuraDebt doesn't address are lawsuits, utility bills, federal student loans, auto loans, and mortgage/home loans.

Wide service area and many overall debt relief options

But, even if you're "just" looking for tax relief, CuraDebt is an excellent resource. The list of situations they can address is lengthy and includes both business and personal taxes, trust fund penalties, wage garnishments, personal and business tax liens, IRA rollover issues, and much more. They work with clients nationwide, with the exception of Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.

Eligibility requirements depend on your situation

The eligibility requirements for working with CuraDebt vary, based on the type of debt relief you're seeking. Their overall debt relief services aren't available in as many states as their tax relief options, and you may need a minimum amount of debt if you're trying to solve both credit and tax problems at once. We encourage you to reach out for your free initial consultation, to find out how CuraDebt can work on your situation.

No upfront fees to pay

So, what can you anticipate in fees here? Like most tax relief services, CuraDebt doesn't spell it out on their website. You should get a good estimate during your complimentary consultation, but overall you can expect that they'll charge you fees that correspond to your total tax savings. We appreciate that their FAQ clearly states that they're usually about 20% of the total debt amount enrolled and that clients make monthly payments. This is one of the only tax relief services we found that doesn't charge any upfront fees to get to work on clients' cases.

Best Tax Relief Companies

See the results for yourself

One of the things we love about the CuraDebt site is where they display results letters. You can see client results that should impress you, like nearly $30,000 in IRS taxes owed reduced to five monthly payments of $980, or $87,000+ resolved with a "currently not collectible" status and the client paid exactly zero to the IRS. Who wouldn't want an outcome like that? Every time we evaluate CuraDebt, it's exciting to see what new victories have been added to the Results page.

Very happy clients here

It's no surprise that clients rave about the service they receive from their CuraDebt team. Time and again, people say they get prompt responses anytime they have questions, there are no hidden fees or unexpected costs during the tax relief process, and that their representative has gone the extra mile to bring them peace of mind. Can you put a price tag on that?

Another first-place finish

For another consecutive year, CuraDebt earns our highest ranking among tax relief services. There are a couple of rivals who come very close, but they're edged out by CuraDebt providing debt resolution options that go beyond tax relief. "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau and praised by clients nationwide, this is the first place you should turn for affordable, effective solutions for your tax - and other debt - issues.

Optima Tax Relief Review 4.5 Star Rating

Optima Tax Relief

4.5 Star Rating
  • Over $1 billion in tax debt resolved
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Winner of the BBB Torch Award for Ethics
  • Licensed to operate in all 50 states
  • Must have either $10,000+ in tax debt or 1+ unfiled tax returns to qualify
  • $295 investigation fee
  • Resolution fees average between $995 and $5,000
  • Thousands of five-star reviews
  • 15-day refund policy

Optima Tax Relief is a full-service provider of tax relief, tax resolution, and tax settlement. From negotiating installment agreements to getting you qualified for penalty abatement, this company offers every possible solution to getting you out of trouble with the IRS and/or state taxing authorities.

Complete transparency on timeframes

Many consumers get frustrated when they think their tax relief process is taking too long. That's why we really appreciate how clearly Optima spells it out right from the get-go. Start with a free consultation. If you decide to use them for your case, you'll proceed to the Investigation phase: it'll take 2-4 weeks for Optima's team to initiate client protection from future action, get in communication with the IRS on your behalf, and review your options once they've researched your situation in depth. Next, the Resolution stage establishes your compliance with the IRS and works through whatever is deemed necessary to resolve your tax debt. Expect that step to take anywhere from 3-9 months on average, though current IRS backlogs may make it take longer.

Personal touch

Another reassuring feature of Optima Tax Relief is being able to put names and faces with the people who are working with you. Scroll down on their main page and you'll see quotes from some of their tax attorneys and other staff members, along with their first names and photos. That personal touch is just one of the reasons why this company has been successful in resolving over $1 billion in tax debt since 2012.

You'll need either $10,000+ in debt or one unfiled return

Ready to get started? Click on the green box that reads "How much tax debt do you have?" and select the range where your total falls. You'll need either $10,000+ in unresolved tax debt or at least one unfiled return to qualify for Optima Tax Relief's services. From there, you can either fill out the form to be contacted by one of their consultants or go directly to their toll-free number: as with most providers, your initial consultation is at no cost to you.

Best Tax Relief Companies

Stays current with tax laws

You can count on Optima Tax Relief to be on top of the most current rules and regulations for getting tax relief. Check out their blogs to see the latest in the news, tips for what to do if you've missed important deadlines, and much more. You can also check out Optima's various social media channels for real-time updates in the tax relief industry.

15-day money-back guarantee

What will it cost to use Optima for tax relief? Your fees will depend on how much work is necessary to resolve your problems, so they don't come right out with a fee schedule or even an estimate. Our research leads us to believe that you can anticipate an investigation fee of $295: that lets Optima's team get started on your case and determine the specifics required to get the IRS (or state taxing authority) off your back. However, Optima is the only tax relief service we know of that offers a money-back guarantee on those investigation fees within the first 15 calendar days after you've paid. So, if you get started here and then decide you'd rather do it on your own, you've got a little over two weeks to get a refund.

Thousands of five-star reviews

No matter where you look, you'll see plenty of positive comments about Optima Tax Relief. We discovered more than 2,000 client reviews that gave this service a perfect five-star rating, citing the company's amazing customer service and effective resolution of tax issues. The Better Business Bureau agrees, granting Optima an "A+" rating and accreditation as well. We'll point out that there were more complaints filed against Optima there than we're used to seeing (over 250 in the year prior to our evaluation), but every single one had a prompt, appropriate response from the company.

Strongly recommended for tax relief

Optima Tax Relief is one of the best options out there for the average individual. Whether you're struggling with federal or state tax debt (or both), you'll get affordable, friendly service from a knowledgeable team of experts. This provider earns our highest recommendation.

Community Tax Review 4.5 Star Rating

Community Tax

4.5 Star Rating
  • Over $800 million in tax debt resolved for 100,000+ clients
  • Need at least $3,000 in tax debt to be eligible
  • Staffed by licensed tax practitioners, CPAs and IRS enrolled agents
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Hundreds of five-star reviews
  • Investigation fees of $295
  • Resolution fees average $3,000-$5,000
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Investigation fees refunded if they don't lower your tax liability
  • Available in 48 states (excepting ND and MN) plus DC and the Virgin Islands

For all things tax-related, Community Tax has you covered. Whether you're looking for tax relief and resolution, help with filing delinquent tax returns, or basic accounting and payroll services for your business, this is a fantastic place to get started.

Refunds possible on investigation fees

Like almost every other tax relief service, Community Tax gives you a free consultation to get the ball rolling, where they'll explore your circumstances and determine if they're a good fit for your situation. There's no disclosure of client fees until you've had the complimentary call, but our investigations revealed that most people pay an investigation fee of $295 (or $795 for business accounts). One perk here (that we'd recommend confirming with Community Tax during your consultation) is that not only is there a 14-day money-back guarantee during the investigation phase, if you change your mind or just have general buyer's remorse, but you'll also get all of your investigation fees refunded if Community Tax can't lower your tax liability.

Low minimum debt requirement

There's a much lower threshold to qualify for tax relief with this provider than you'll see with rival programs: just $3,000 in tax debt, as opposed to the many companies that require you to have at least $10,000 in unresolved taxes. And, as long as you don't live in Minnesota or North Dakota, you shouldn't have any issues with residency requirements - Community Tax even serves residents of DC and the Virgin Islands.

Best Tax Relief Companies

Fees may be higher than the norm

Be aware that our research indicated that the resolution fees charged here may be higher than average. Your actual fees will depend on your case, but reports show many clients paying anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for this service. It'd be a good idea to get a quote from one or two of our other high-ranked tax relief companies before making a commitment to Community Tax, just to be on the safe side.

Dedicated to customer service

Overall, Community Tax has a fabulous reputation: not just an "A+" and accreditation from the BBB, but also hundreds of five-star reviews from satisfied clients. We're particularly pleased to see feedback from individuals and business owners who have used this company for many years - perhaps starting out as tax relief customers and then continuing on with CT's tax prep services going forward. Yes, there are also some complaints filed against Community Tax, but each of those one had an appropriate, timely response from a rep who took the issue seriously and made every effort to get it right.

An option worth considering

Community Tax gets one of our highest recommendations among tax relief providers. More people will qualify for the services here than with most rival companies, due to the low minimum debt threshold and the broad service area within the US. Take the time to get a comparison quote from at least one other company, but Community Tax's refund policy could be compelling enough to get you to sign on their dotted line.

Jackson Hewitt Review 4 Star Rating

Jackson Hewitt

4 Star Rating
  • In business for over 35 years
  • Weeknight and weekend availability
  • Fees may range from $500 to $5,000
  • No investigation fees on federal tax relief plans
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Available in 42 states

Jackson Hewitt is a well-known name in tax preparation, so it should come as no surprise that they're involved in tax relief services as well. The company has been in business for nearly four decades and probably has a branch location near you.

No shortage of tax relief strategies here

Jackson Hewitt offers a wide range of solutions for tax issues. These include tax liens and levies, wage garnishment, first time penalty abatement, offer-in-compromise, partial payment installment agreements, and more. You can find in-depth explanations on all of JH's services on their main Tax Resolution page.

Not available in all states

One aspect to know about working with Jackson Hewitt for tax relief is that you'll have to sign up for a consultation, either over the phone or at a location near you. Request a free consultation right on their website, or scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says "We're open late and on weekends. Find an office to book an appointment." That's not quite as streamlined as some of JH's rivals, who let you enter all of your pertinent details to get started right away and who are much more transparent without requiring a consultation first. We also had to go pretty deep into Jackson Hewitt's Product Information and Offer Disclosures to discover that their federal tax resolution services aren't available in Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, or North Dakota.

Best Tax Relief Companies

Customized tax relief plan

After you have your consultation, an expert will design a customized plan to tackle all of your issues. Jackson Hewitt reps will work directly with the IRS so you don't have to, and you can get an update on your case's progress whenever you like.

Free investigation phase for federal tax debt

Like many tax relief providers, Jackson Hewitt doesn't disclose their fees until you've had a consultation and created a personal plan. From what we gathered in our research, we feel comfortable giving you a ballpark: expect fees to start around $500, with total fees typically winding up between $1,500 and $5,000. Your "investigation phase" is free for federal tax plans, but you'll pay about $400 if you're trying to get relief from state taxes as well.

A good choice for many individuals

If you're looking for tax relief and prefer the peace of mind that comes from working with a nationally-known brand, Jackson Hewitt could be worth considering. We appreciate that their discovery phase is free with federal tax issues, and that they go the extra mile to offer night and weekend hours to accommodate a greater number of clients. JH would rank higher if they were available in all 50 states and if they were more transparent with their fee range, but it's still a solid option for taxpayers looking for solutions to complicated tax issues.

Direct Tax Relief Review 4 Star Rating

Direct Tax Relief

4 Star Rating
  • Available to serve individuals and small business owners in all 50 states
  • "A+' rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business since 2009
  • Must have at least $10,000 in tax debt

California-based Direct Tax Relief works with small business owners and individuals throughout the US on numerous tax situations: back taxes, income/payroll/sales tax, penalty abatement, preparation of unfiled tax returns, installment agreements, wage garnishment release, and much more. This is a family-owned business that gives every client personal attention during the process of determining how to move forward and how to get tax relief that's appropriate for the situation.

Get to know the team

One thing we love about Direct Tax Relief is how they list all of their staff on their About Us page. Let's face it: it's pretty common to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or fearful when dealing with the stress of tax problems, and it can be very reassuring to have names and faces for the team you're choosing to help you with them.

$10,000 minimum tax debt requirement

You'll find the process here to be pretty standard. Call or send a message to get a free consultation, where a certified tax resolution specialist (one of the people shown on the About Us page) will gather information about your situation and find out if Direct Tax Relief can be of assistance. Be aware that you need to have at least $10,000 in tax debt to be eligible.

Fees are average for the industry

If you decide to hire Direct Tax Relief, you'll pay an upfront fee for the service. There's no disclosure of that amount or even a range on their site, though we found client reviews that mentioned initial investigation fees around $300. Your costs will be determined during your consultation, and we'd expect that DTR's are in line with most of their rivals: anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000, based on the amount of tax debt being resolved and the complexity of the case.

Best Tax Relief Companies

95% success rate

Once you've retained Direct Tax Relief to represent you, they'll stop pending wage and bank garnishments, while protecting your wages, assets and bank accounts from future seizures. Finally, they'll work on your behalf to negotiate a resolution with the IRS and/or state tax agencies to arrive at the best possible outcome for your situation. Although they don't show any case studies to prove it, DTR claims a 95% success rate in settling tax debts.

Solid reputation

Direct Tax Relief enjoys an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. We're pleased to report that there were only two complaints filed there in the three years prior to this evaluation. There aren't a lot of super-current client comments to consider here, but overall people say that this is a reliable, effective provider of tax relief services - successfully negotiating debts of $50,000+ down to $9,000 or less (though, of course, your results may vary).

Tax relief you can count on

There's no real "wow" factor with Direct Tax Relief - but who needs glitzy advertising or slick sales tactics when it comes to a serious matter like tax debt? We don't. You'll get straightforward, trustworthy help from the representatives at DTR, and we encourage you to see what they can do for you.

Tax Relief Inc Review 4 Star Rating

Tax Relief Inc

4 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 35 years
  • Available to residents of all 50 states for both federal and state tax issues
  • Personalized attention

Illinois-based Tax Relief Inc. hasn't wasted time trying to become a nationally-recognized, big name in resolving tax issues. Instead, the company has focused all its energy on providing knowledgeable, effective service to clients both personal and corporate, making Tax Relief Inc. the best provider you've never heard of. This service welcomes clients from all 50 states and can provide guidance for both federal and state tax problems, wherever you live.

Full spectrum of tax relief solutions

There are no surprises in what Tax Relief Inc offers: services include help with Tax Liens and Levies, Delinquent Returns, Tax Offer-in-Compromise, Discharge of Property, Lien Withdrawal, Garnishments, Outstanding Payroll Taxes, Tax Penalty Abatement, Subordination, and general Tax Appeals.

Simple, standard process

How does it work? You'll set up a free initial consultation to go over your situation and help your rep at Tax Relief Inc. to determine if their services are a good fit for your needs. If so, they'll design a customized plan to get you back on track. First, they'll acquire Power of Attorney rights on your behalf, which allows them to work directly with the IRS, SSA, and other state/federal authorities - so you don't have to. You'll get open communication at every step of the way, from audits to appeals, and Tax Relief Inc. will complete and submit all of the necessary documentation for you.

Best Tax Relief Companies

Zero complaints - really?

Not only has Tax Relief Inc. maintained its "A+" rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau since our last review, but they've also had no complaints registered there in the last three years. That's impressive.

Not many client reviews

The downside to being a lesser-known service, though, is that you don't have as many client reviews to consider when deciding which tax relief service to use. Like most providers, Tax Relief Inc. doesn't disclose their fees before the free consultation, and we couldn't even take the "sneaky" route by seeing what their clients said about it. We can assume by their flawless BBB track record that there's nothing exorbitant or shocking here, but a ballpark would still be preferred.

Little company, big service

Expertise, reputability, and comprehensive service: Tax Relief Inc. offers all of that and more. This service would make a quick jump in the rankings if it had more client feedback and fee estimates available, but it still earns a solid four-star rating. If you don't find what you're looking for with one of our highest-rated tax relief services, definitely circle back to Tax Relief Inc.

Enterprise Consultants Group Review 4 Star Rating

Enterprise Consultants Group

4 Star Rating
  • In business since 2007
  • "A" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Free initial consultation
  • Fees start at $395
  • Minimum tax debt of $10,000 required
  • Total fees average around $3,000
  • State tax relief services available in 25 states
  • Federal tax relief services available in all 50 states
  • Works with both individuals and businesses

Founded in 2007, Enterprise Consultants Group is a team made up of tax attorneys, IRS enrolled agents and other professionals that fight to get you or your business favorable results with your tax problems. The company works with clients in all 50 states on federal tax issues (minimum of $10,000 in IRS debt required), and in 25 states for state tax issues.

Impressive range of practice areas

There are many practice areas covered by the professionals at Enterprise Consultants Group. These include, but aren't limited to, Payroll Tax Resolution, Wage & Bank Levy Removal, FBAR & Offshore Disclosure, Offer-in-Compromise, Revenue Officer Representation, IRS Passport Revocation or Denial, IRS Tax Lien Removal, and much more.

Honest recommendations

To get started with Enterprise Consultants Group, you'll need to set up a free, confidential consultation. During this initial meeting, they'll use cutting-edge software to eliminate guesswork and get a true picture of your tax relief options based on current IRS and/or state guidelines. We appreciate that ECG doesn't try to shoehorn prospective clients into using their service: if their analysis shows that you'll have better options with another provider (or by taking a DIY approach to your tax issues), they'll make those recommendations at no charge.

Transparent three-step process

But, if you do choose to become an ECG client, you can expect a three-step process. First, they'll work to remove your accounts from any active collections and prevent any future ones. Next, they'll negotiate and settle your tax debt as much as allowed by law, then work out repayment terms that fit your budget. Finally, they'll help you stay on top of your future tax liabilities by making a plan for the coming years.

Best Tax Relief Companies

More details, please?

We had hoped that, since our last review, Enterprise Consultants Group would have come out and been more forthright with their typical fees, giving prospective clients an idea of what to expect when using their services for tax relief. Unfortunately, we still didn't find anything on the ECG site that would spell that out - or even provide a rough estimate. Doing some research, we found that most clients pay in the neighborhood of $3,000 in total fees, with a minimum fee of $395.

Solid reputation despite slight BBB change

And, although their Better Business Bureau rating has slipped a tad since our last evaluation, we're hardly concerned about the change from an "A+" to an "A" while maintaining accreditation and only 10 complaints filed with the BBB in the last three years. We still found plenty of praise from happy clients who appreciate the attention received from Enterprise Consultants Group reps, the regular updates, and the reassurance that they were getting knowledgeable legal help that would have a positive outcome.

Could be right for you

Using Enterprise Consultants Group is a good choice if you need tax relief. You may want to compare their services with a few of their rivals, just to make sure you're getting the best value for your client fees, but there's no reason to think you won't get competent, friendly help here.

97tax Review 3 Star Rating

97tax

3 Star Rating
  • One-time fee of $97
  • In business since 2017
  • "B+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • 3 main services: IRS Payment Plan Applications, State Tax Payment Plan Applications, Tax Lien Removal Applications

In business since 2017, 97tax is a tax preparation service based in Brandon, FL. The company can easily be reached via phone during standard business hours of Monday through Friday, 9a-4p EST, email, or online form.

Limited tax relief strategies on offer

97tax is relatively limited in what they offer. Their main service helps you apply for an IRS payment plan: you pay a one-time fee of $97 (hence the company's name), and they take care of getting the application filled out and submitted correctly. This is part of the IRS' Fresh Start program for individual taxpayers who owe up to $50,000; installment plans can be set up for up to a six-year period. Applying for this program stops the IRS from filing additional tax liens, but it won't remove any current liens or wage garnishments and it won't stop a pending or completed tax levy. If you're concerned about getting your application done properly, you may find the peace of mind worth the one-time fee, but some clients have felt cheated when they realized that they could fill it out and submit it for free by themselves.

Straightforward process

Still interested? Fill out the preliminary qualification form with your name, phone number, email address, and the amount you currently owe the IRS. If you qualify, your payments will automatically be broken down into a 72-month installment plan, but you can change the repayment term to anywhere from 3-72 months. Once you've answered a few additional questions and paid your one-time application fee, 97tax will create your IRS application within 24 hours and send it to you via USPS, along with a prepaid mailing envelope to the IRS address that corresponds to your location.

Payment plans in a few states

97tax also has state payment plan services for residents of California, Illinois, Georgia and New Jersey. On the State Payment Plan page, click on your state to see what the requirements are, and follow the same process you'd use to create an IRS payment plan application.

Removal of tax liens too

Finally, if you've already got an IRS tax lien and think you qualify to have it removed (because you've paid off your tax debt), 97tax can help you apply. You guessed it: it's a one-time fee of $97.

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Easy tracking of progress

Whichever service you use, 97tax lets you track your order in real time by entering your order number and phone number on their website. Just be aware that you've only got a one-hour window to change your mind and request a refund - because 97tax gets right to work on your order once you've submitted your request.

Not many complaints

We were surprised to see that 97tax only earned a "B+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, due solely to the fact that there were 19 complaints filed against the company in the three years prior to this evaluation. That's really not very many, and all of them had been resolved appropriately - which is likely why 97tax still received the BBB's accreditation despite the less-than-perfect rating.

Great service if you know what you're getting

For clients who understand 97tax's services, they tend to be completely satisfied with the work done on their behalf. Most say that it's worth it to them to pay under $100 to ensure that their IRS or state payment plan applications are done accurately and submitted to the correct IRS address, and they praise 97tax's representatives for being helpful and knowledgeable.

Good track record, limited services

There are a lot of tax relief services that 97tax doesn't offer, like Offer in Compromise or other negotiated solutions, and that keeps this provider from earning a higher ranking. However, if all you need is some hands-on help with applying for a state or federal payment plan or to remove an IRS tax lien, 97tax is affordable and straightforward.

Fidelity Tax Relief Review 2 Star Rating

Fidelity Tax Relief

2 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Flat-rate fee determined by complexity of case
  • Free initial consultation

With Fidelity, you'll find most of the tax relief options offered by the biggest names in the business: installment agreements, offer-in-compromise, penalty abatement, removal of liens or levies, and so on. If you're not sure what those mean, don't worry: you can find easy-to-understand explanations on their Services page.

First consultation is free

Of course, not every tax relief strategy is appropriate for your unique situation: when you schedule a free initial consultation with a Fidelity Tax Relief specialist, they'll ask questions to learn more about you and give you an overview of what approaches might be applicable. On the Fidelity Tax Relief homepage, you can take a 30-second qualification form to determine if you're eligible for their services - but even answering those questions won't really amount to much other than letting you schedule a phone consultation.

Not exactly keeping current

Fidelity Tax Relief leaves us feeling a little "meh" : at the time of this review. Their toll-free number went to an autoresponder bot (though we did eventually get connected to a live person), their website copyright was a year out of date, and their most recent blog posts were four months old. That's not a huge red flag, especially since the company has an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, but it gives the impression that they're not quite on top of things here. We didn't find anything related to this service after the end of 2021: no posts to their social media channels, no client reviews (positive or negative), just"silence. See why we were surprised that they're still answering the phones?

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Fees are a mystery

Another reason we don't love Fidelity Tax Relief is their lack of transparency with respect to fees. They explain that they charge a flat fee that includes tax attorney research, re-filing, and any other needed services - but with zero indicator of even a range of fees to expect. Despite all of our digging, we found no disclosures from clients or anyone else, either. You literally have to contact Fidelity for a consultation and hope for the best.

Better options elsewhere

IRS regulations are constantly changing, and to get effective and legal tax relief, you need a service that keeps up with the times. By all appearances, Fidelity Tax Relief doesn't keep up with its own website and social media channels, let alone the IRS. You've got a lot of tax relief options to choose from, and we strongly suggest you take a look at Fidelity's higher-ranked rivals for more on-the-ball service.

Tax Defense Partners Review 1.5 Star Rating

Tax Defense Partners

1.5 Star Rating
  • In business since 1998
  • Available to residents of all 50 states
  • Must have at least $10,000 in federal tax debt to qualify
  • Services also available for state tax issues
  • Fees starting at $500
  • Free consultation

Tax Defense Partners specializes in tax debt resolution. Available to residents of all 50 states, the services offered here include tax liens, IRS payment plans, installment agreements, penalty abatement, and much more. All of their professionals are Certified Tax Resolution Specialists, and many of them are also licensed CPAs and IRS Enrolled Agents.

$10,000 minimum tax debt requirement

To get started with TDP's services, you'll either call their toll-free number or request a free consultation through the form on their website. The initial conversation is complimentary and will give you a chance to go over your financial situation. Be aware that Tax Defense Partners requires you to have at least $10,000 in federal tax debt to be eligible for their services.

Call for more information on fees

How much will you pay to get tax relief here? That also depends on the particulars of your case, and TDP doesn't even give you a rough estimate of what to expect. However, in looking through client feedback, we'd say it's safe to expect a minimum fee of $500 but more likely in the $1,500-$3,000 range. You'll know what your flat-rate fee will be prior to signing up for a TDP tax relief plan.

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No recent updates

How about reputation? Despite the fact that TDP proudly displays an "A+" rating and accreditation badge from the Better Business Bureau, their listing at the time of this review was being updated. That's not usually a good sign. Considering that their blog had no new posts after Fall 2020 and their social media channels went quiet after October 2021, and we didn't see any new client reviews after that time, it makes us think that the BBB update is not going to trend in a positive direction.

Reputation on the decline

It gets worse. In our last evaluation, we pointed out how Tax Defense Partners wasn't responding quickly (or at all) to client complaints. Not only have the complaints continued to come in, but we see even less evidence of a response from TDP reps. Is it any wonder that their average across client ratings works out to be a disappointing 2.1 out of 5 stars? More than one person talked about high employee turnover leading to TDP dropping the ball in their case, with costly delays and added stress as a result. Another mentioned that TDP subcontracted them to a third-party tax relief service - and hooray for that partner doing a good job, but that also means that people should just skip Tax Defense Partners and use a different service from the get-go.

Choose a more reliable tax relief partner

Who knows, maybe Tax Defense Partners took a hit like many other businesses did a few years back, and their reputation will rebound. If you're considering using Tax Defense Partners for your tax relief, we'd recommend that you check their BBB listing at the very least before making your decision. However, with so many providers who are clearly at the top of their game - and who make it much easier to know what to expect before even making a phone call - there's not much reason to use Tax Defense Partners except as a very last resort.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

All this sounds great, but are you confident that you can accurately determine your eligibility, wade through the 32 pages of the IRS document explaining the program, and get it approved?

That's where tax relief services come to the rescue. These companies take the hard work out of your hands, securing power of attorney to step in and interact with the IRS on your behalf. The process typically has three stages: a free consultation to explore your specific situation, an investigation phase to determine the extent of your tax problems, and finally the resolution.

How much does it cost? You should anticipate fees ranging from $200-$500 for the investigation, and some of the top tax relief services will refund them if they determine they can't reduce the amount you owe. The resolution stage carries the largest cost, from $500 to $5,000 based on your total owed amount and the complexity of your case. It might seem like a lot to pay, but if you could reduce $100,000 in owed taxes down to just $10,000 (or less), wouldn't it be well worth the expense?

With so many companies offering tax relief services, how can you decide which one is the best fit for you? Keep these factors in mind as you look at your options:

  • Minimum Debt Required. It's pretty common for tax relief providers to require you to have at least $10,000 in federal tax debt to qualify for their help. If you don't have quite that much, or if your tax problems are at both federal and state levels, your options may be more limited.
  • Fees. What will you pay to get tax relief? Most companies don't come right out and tell you how much it will cost until you've had an initial (free) consultation. Make sure that the fees and payment plans they recommend will give you a good value at the end of the process.
  • Refunds/Guarantees. It's pretty rare to find a guarantee or refund policy, but some tax relief services offer them. That can provide some reassurance that you're not just throwing money out the window when you pay $300-$500 for the investigation phase of your case.
  • Client Feedback. This is one of the most important criteria. Can the company show you success stories? How much tax debt have they successfully resolved? How many five-star ratings have they earned from satisfied clients?

To help you get out from underneath your tax burden, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular tax relief services available today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to get the assistance you need quickly and stress-free.

The Best Tax Relief Companies Compare Tax Relief Companies Compare Tax Relief Company Reviews What are the best Tax Relief Companies Best Tax Relief Company Reviews

Tax Relief Company FAQ

Tax relief is a means of reducing what you owe to the IRS and state in back taxes. Your debts can be negotiated and payment plans may be established to help you pay it in a more manageable amount and timeframe.
You'll probably need to owe at least $10,000 in state and/or federal taxes to be eligible for tax relief. There usually aren't any other requirements.
You could work directly with the IRS to work out a 3-year payment plan, but that usually only applies if you've filed all of your previous years' tax returns and you owe less than $10,000 in taxes. Using a tax relief service eliminates the guesswork and walks you through the entire process from start to finish. Plus, you don't have the stress of meeting with the IRS: your representative at the tax relief company does all of that for you!
Most services offer a free initial consultation, to determine which of their plans (if any) are the right fit for your situation. Once you've chosen a tax relief strategy, the provider will probably charge up to 20% of what you saved in debt as a service fee, but that varies from one company to another.
Your representative will go to work on your behalf, using a variety of methods to work with the IRS and state taxing authority. These may include Offer in Compromise, Penalty Abatements, Tax Lien Subordination and more. Some services will assign you a dedicated representative who will keep you updated on your case's progress.
As you'd expect, it depends on the complexity of your situation. However, a general rule of thumb is between two and six months for a tax relief plan to be fully executed.
Some tax relief services offer their customers a satisfaction guarantee - but it's often a very small window of time compared with how long it takes to see a significant change in your tax debts. It's a good idea to look at the reputation of any service you're considering, to see what previous clients have said about the effectiveness, and reliability of the programs offered.
Most of them are. It's not difficult to find tax relief partners that have been helping consumers for decades. That being said, there are opportunistic scammers who would like nothing more than to convince you that they're legit and then take your money without offering any tax relief whatsoever. You should research the provider before signing on the dotted line, which includes looking up their rating from the Better Business Bureau.

What is Tax Relief and How Do I Qualify?

At some point in time in your life, you may find yourself in need of tax relief. Maybe you've lost your job and are struggling to make ends meet, or maybe you've experienced an unforeseen medical issue that has drained what little bit of money you managed to put aside in savings.

Whatever the reason, tax relief exists to help those who need it most. That relief extends to monies owed to the Internal Revenue Service.

The Internal Revenue Service itself has established numerous tax-relief programs designed to assist taxpayers who have become delinquent in what they owe the federal government.

One of the most popular tax-relief programs the IRS offers is called an Offer in Compromise.

An Offer in Compromise, also known as an OIC, allows taxpayers to settle their debt for less than the full amount that is owed if they can prove that paying in full would cause a financial hardship for them. The Internal Revenue Service has loosened the eligibility requirements for the OIC program, so that more people can take advantage of it.

Qualified candidates for this option must meet specific criteria as determined by the IRS, and must provide documentation supporting their ability to pay, income level, current expenses and asset equity. Anyone who currently is in the process of bankruptcy does not qualify for this option. According to information provided by the IRS, it received nearly 60,000 requests for Offer in Compromise agreements within the last four years.

Another popular course of action is for taxpayers to enter into what is known as an installment agreement with the IRS. Taxpayers who agree to an installment repayment plan are seen as being in compliance, and the IRS is less likely to take a harsher course of action to recover back taxes. The only downside to an installment plan is that interest continues to accrue on the total amount owed while taxpayers are making payments, similar to what happens when a person makes only the minimum payment on a full credit card balance.

Another option - which is reserved only for those who truly qualify - is called the Currently Not Collectible program.

In order to qualify for this program, taxpayers must be able to prove to the Internal Revenue Service that paying any owed taxes would create an extreme hardship for the taxpayer. The taxpayer must show that they are unable to pay the taxes owed now or in the future. If this is an option you wish to pursue, it is best to seek out the help of a qualified tax professional to guide you through the process.

The IRS has a form specifically for this purpose, called the 433-F. Following a review of the information provided on the form, the IRS can grant the Currently Not Collectible status, which will be reviewed every year. After 10 years, if the IRS still deems the taxpayer to be qualified for this status, it will become permanent, and annual reviews will cease.

Contacting a qualified tax relief agency can be a great first step to identifying the best course of action to take for individuals who find themselves in need of tax relief. They have the knowledge and experience to determine the best course of action unique to each individual.

Compare Tax Relief Companies

Select any 2 Tax Relief Companies to compare them head to head

best-tax-relief-companies
  • CuraDebt
  • Optima Tax Relief
  • Community Tax
  • Jackson Hewitt
  • Direct Tax Relief
  • Tax Relief Inc
  • Enterprise Consultants Group
  • 97tax
  • Fidelity Tax Relief
  • Tax Defense Partners
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