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Best Tax Relief Companies

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Many Americans dread filing taxes because there is always a chance you could owe the government more money. While this is less common than you might think, it can still feel financially overwhelming. But if you owe the IRS $10,000 or more, a tax relief company may be able to help you.

We narrowed down the best tax relief companies for you by comparing costs, tax debt requirements, availability and customer reviews. Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

Compare the top seven tax relief companies and tax firms by ratings, debt minimums, fee structures and money-back guarantees. All of the companies featured offer free consultations, so reaching out for a clearer idea about pricing could help you choose the right company for your situation.

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Fortress Tax Relief logoFortress Tax ReliefCommunity Tax logoCommunity TaxAnthem Tax Services logoAnthem Tax ServicesVictory Tax Lawyers, LLP logoVictory Tax Lawyers, LLPLarson Tax Relief logoLarson Tax ReliefJ. David Tax Law LLC logoJ. David Tax Law LLCOptima Tax Relief logoOptima Tax Relief
# of reviews2188252338551563162
Our pick for Business tax debt Full service Money-back guarantee Pricing structure Emergency tax relief Personalization Customer experience
Debt minimum None $8,000 $10,000 $25,000 $15,000 None $5,000
Fees Usually flat fees Flat fees Flat fees Flat fees Flat fees Flat fees Flat fees
Money-back guarantee offer Unclear Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
All information accurate as of time of publication.

Compare our top 7 choices for tax relief

Even if you cannot afford to pay your taxes, you still need to file each year to prevent penalties. For individuals who owe more than $10,000 in tax debt, a tax relief company can make dealing with the IRS less stressful.

Best for business tax debt Fortress Tax Relief
  • Debt minimum: None
  • Fees: Usually flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: Unclear

Fortress Tax Relief is a firm that has helped individuals, small businesses and large businesses with tax troubles since 2003. Although based in Oregon, it can help any taxpayer from across the nation. Every case is personally handled by a licensed attorney who exclusively handles the resolution of back taxes.

Fortress can help in a variety of ways, including Offers in Compromise (OICs), abatement of penalties, IRS installment agreements and trust fund recovery penalties. For indebted small businesses, it can help with all state and federal tax issues.

Customer satisfaction is a high priority for Fortress, and it does not accept a case until one of its attorneys has interviewed the prospective client and approved the case. Initial consultations are free. It doesn’t have a minimum debt requirement, but the company advises clients that a tax debt of less than $10,000 doesn't usually procure savings that outweigh the cost of Fortress’ services.

Fortress usually charges its clients a flat fee, though some relatively rare circumstances may require an hourly fee of between $280 and $340 or so. Total costs can range from $1,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the case. The attorneys at Fortress handle no more than 100 clients at a time to give each case the focus it needs.

Fortress notes on its website that it offers some kind of a money-back guarantee, stating, “If you do not wish to continue for any reason after the initial attorney consultation, just follow the simple instructions in our intake paperwork and we guarantee that 100% of any fees paid will be promptly refunded.” But it’s unclear if this money-back guarantee has any value, given that the initial consultation is supposed to be free.

  • Work closely with an attorney
  • Available in all states
  • High hourly fees
  • Unclear money-back guarantee
Many praised the company for being responsive and for getting them out of very stressful financial situations. A number of reviewers characterized the tax relief attorneys at Fortress as capable and confident. “Unfortunately I had serious tax issues. A CFO had left me in a bad spot with the IRS. I had no idea what to do,” said one Indiana customer. “I worked with [Fortress] for over 10 years until my tax situations for my business and personal taxes were resolved. … They were able to get a significant amount of my penalties removed as well. I can't say enough about them.”

Negative reviews complained that Fortress took too long to resolve tax issues or that Fortress’ services cost too much.

Best for full service Community Tax
  • Debt minimum: $8,000
  • Fees: Flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: Yes

Established in 2010, Community Tax is a full-service tax company available in all 50 states. The team of tax practitioners and certified public accountants (CPAs) has helped more than 100,000 clients resolve over $800 million in tax liabilities.

The process with Community Tax starts with professionals hearing your case and then providing you with a free tax analysis. Once you agree to work with Community Tax, it will get your documents from the IRS (or relevant state tax authority) and launch a full investigation. Next, you will be presented with the findings and start moving into the resolution phase to fix your current tax issues and prevent future delinquencies from occurring.

Community Tax offers many tax solutions, including OICs, installment agreements, stair-step agreements, penalty abatements and more. It also offers a Tax Assurance Program for $39 per month that can help clients stay compliant and in good standing with the IRS.

Community Tax offers a free consultation and a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you pay for a service and Community Tax can't offer the service it anticipated providing, you’ll be refunded. Community Tax charges flat fees, but it does not publish its fees on its website.

  • Available in all states
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
  • Lack of transparent fee structure
  • Tax Assurance Program is relatively pricey
Many praised Community Tax for excellent customer service and for giving them peace of mind. At least one reviewer was able to work with Community Tax to resolve an IRS bill over $100,000. One North Carolina reviewer said: “The reps I worked with were very open and they were good to me. They were very communicative and they answered my questions. Also, the payment was straightforward. I paid it all upfront, and it was simple over the phone. My experience was good and working with them got me caught up with the IRS.”

Others felt that the process took too long and cost too much money to be worth it. A few reviewers complained that they had to stay on top of the communication and updates with Community Tax.

Best for money-back guarantee Anthem Tax Services
  • Debt minimum: $10,000
  • Fees: Flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: Yes

Anthem Tax Services offers tax litigation and preparation help in all 50 states. It is accredited by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and the California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

Anthem Tax Services helps taxpayers with OICs, installment agreements, the Fresh Start program, wage garnishment, IRS tax levies and penalty abatements. Anthem Tax Services is also available for tax preparation services to keep you out of trouble with the IRS; these services include bookkeeping and corporate tax preparation.

For truck drivers, Anthem Tax Services has dedicated tax preparation and relief services. It specializes in helping owners, operators and drivers in the trucking industry. Anthem Tax Services works to negotiate a lower tax debt with the IRS for truck drivers who owe a lot in back taxes.

What is impressive about Anthem Tax Services is its money-back guarantee that does not have a time deadline. If it does not save you money or rework your payments, it will give you your money back. This guarantee does not apply to bookkeeping, tax preparation services or the minimum deposit paid by clients.

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Accredited with NATP and NAEA
  • Fees not published
  • No money-back guarantee for tax preparation
Many chose Anthem Tax Services because of how confidently the tax professionals can deal with tax issues. Reviewers felt like they were kept in the loop and that they were finally able to find a solution for their tax penalties. One Georgia customer said: “Dealing with tax issues is frustrating. I felt like I was caught in a revolving door trying to negotiate with the IRS. … Anthem does not eliminate your tax debt, because if owed, a debt should be paid. However, Barrie worked out a plan for us, and when IRS made a mistake and wanted to penalize us, Barrie fought for us.”

Negative reviewers felt that Anthem Tax Services overpromised and oversold its services, leaving customers frustrated when things took longer than expected. Many were disappointed by how much they still owed the IRS after the resolutions were made.

Best for pricing structure Victory Tax Lawyers, LLP
  • Debt minimum: $25,000
  • Fees: Flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: No

Victory Tax Lawyers is a law firm specializing in tax controversy, resolution and litigation in all 50 states. It has helped both individuals and businesses resolve tax issues and has saved its clients over $21 million. The debt amount minimum is $25,000. After a free consultation, the firm will only work with cases that need help. It tries to work in the most economical and efficient way for each customer.

The small team of Victory Tax Lawyers consists of two licensed tax attorneys, two law clerks, a paralegal, a billing manager and an executive assistant. There are no salespeople at VTL, meaning you have a direct consultation with the attorneys. The attorneys know exactly which cases can be resolved, so clients are not overpromised services.

VTL provides help with OICs, tax liens, tax levies, penalty abatements, IRS hardship, payroll tax and more. It charges on a flat-fee basis; costs vary depending on the severity of the case. It will offer clear pricing after your case is reviewed. You may have to pay higher fees than you would with other tax relief services because you are working directly with attorneys.

  • Certified attorneys
  • Free consultation
  • High debt minimum
  • May charge relatively high fees
Many reviewers had been burned by a tax relief service previously and received limited help. Most reviewers agreed that VTL was able to solve their tax dilemma and was quick to answer questions. One California reviewer had accumulated around $78,000 in back taxes and was afraid of having to pay a high amount. “I reached out to Victory Tax Lawyers. … He put me at ease as I felt no judgment from him at all. … Just a couple of months after signing up with them I received a letter from the IRS stating that my payments would be $168 per month, and my total debt had been cut in half,” they said.

There are no negative reviews of the firm, and the only criticism brought up in current reviews is that the service is pricey (but worth it).

Best for emergency tax relief Larson Tax Relief
  • Debt minimum: $15,000
  • Fees: Flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: Yes

Larson Tax Relief was established in 2005 and specializes in emergency and long-term tax relief. This family-owned business can represent clients in all 50 states. The company president, Jack Larson, is accredited with the NAEA and NATP.

There is a minimum fee of $2,500 to work with the Larson Tax Relief team. The team usually advises debtors to use its services only if they have $15,000 or more in tax debt. Anyone can request a free consultation to find out approximately how much it would cost to get help with tax issues.

Larson Tax Relief is so confident you will want to work with it that it offers a 15-day money-back guarantee. This allows clients to meet the team before making a financial commitment. Customer support is easy to connect to, with an online chat that gives an average response time before you start talking.

Not only does the company post client testimonials, but it also posts redacted results of its interventions with tax authorities, so you can see the real resolution paperwork sent by the IRS to Larson Tax Relief’s customers.

It can help with OICs, levy releases, penalty abatements, installment agreements and more.

  • Accredited tax professionals
  • 15-day money-back guarantee
  • High minimum fee
  • Moderately high debt minimum
Customers recommended Larson Tax Relief because of its exceptional customer service and because they felt that the company cared about them and their tax issues. Many were thrilled to find peace with the IRS.

One California client said that they felt comforted working with Larson Tax Relief, saying: “Great communication skills and always calm. Never did feeI I was alone with my taxes with them. Without asking they are on it with emails and phone calls to confirm all documents are taking care of with all parties. I can live with less stress!”

Most of the negative reviews of the company indicated that things took too long and that it cost a lot of money to see results.

Best for personalization J. David Tax Law LLC
  • Debt minimum: None
  • Fees: Flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: No

J. David Tax Law is a tax firm. This means only an experienced tax attorney will handle your case. In most cases, the firm can get IRS or state wage garnishments removed within 48 hours. J. David Tax can represent clients in every state.

Working one-on-one with a tax attorney can cost more than going with a tax relief company. To make the fee worthwhile, this is best for clients with $20,000 or more of debt. The firm offers a flexible fee payment plan so that representation is affordable for all customers; however, the pricing or fee structure is not posted on the website.

J. David Tax can offer help with tax levies, wage garnishments and federal and state tax liens. It also offers help with OICs, penalty and interest abatements, innocent spouse relief, payroll tax, sales tax and more.

Not only can you request a free consultation, but you can also see if you qualify for the services within one minute. The firm is accredited by the NATP and the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS). The website language can be switched to Spanish, which leaves the impression that the firm helps Spanish-speaking clients.

  • Flexible fee payment plan
  • Access to an accredited tax attorney
  • Not transparent on pricing
  • No money-back guarantee
Reviewers recommend J. David Tax Law because they felt the firm was experienced and thorough. Many reviewers trusted the team and felt the team was quick and responsive to cases. A reviewer from Florida said: “I recently had the pleasure of working with the incredibly professional team at J. David Tax Law for a wage garnishment and IRS debt settlement issue. I was quite anxious about my situation, but their lawyers provided me with clear and concise advice from start to finish that made the process much more manageable.”

One reviewer was disappointed that the firm did not reduce their tax debt as much as they had hoped, and that they didn’t work with the same attorney throughout the whole process.

Best for customer service Optima Tax Relief
  • Debt minimum: $5,000
  • Fees: Flat fees
  • Money-back guarantee offer: Yes

Optima’s founders met in business school at the University of Pennsylvania, and they founded Optima in order to provide solutions for individuals with unmanageable tax liabilities. Optima offers a full range of tax relief solutions, including tax negotiation and settlement, IRS audit defense, and assistance with tax levies, liens, wage garnishments and back taxes.

While each tax case is unique, Optima estimates that it can help resolve many tax issues in two to six months. For individuals with a tax debt of $5,000 or more, you can request a free consultation with Optima and see if you qualify for help. Optima does not post clear pricing on its website.

Alongside tax relief services, clients can enroll in one of Optima’s protection plans. These plans help you prepare and file taxes and stay protected from the IRS. There are three tiers offered, ranging in price from $29.99 per month to $69.99 per month.

Optima has a 15-day money-back guarantee for anyone who does not like the service within the first two weeks. Clients can cancel during this time without any penalties or obligations.

  • 15-day money-back guarantee
  • Protection plans available
  • Pricing for tax relief services not posted
  • Protection plans are pricey
Several reviewers said that Optima was professional and that they liked the outcome of their situation. One Indiana customer said: “My experience with Optima Tax Relief has been extremely positive. They treated me with respect and advised me on everything I needed to complete for each step of the process.”

Negative reviews included clients who said Optima took three to four years to resolve their tax issues. Others warned against the upfront fees charged before services were rendered.

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    What is tax relief and how does it work?

    Tax relief is any reduction or removal of liability in taxes owed by an individual taxpayer or business entity. Tax relief companies employ tax experts, including tax attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents, who serve as intermediaries between their clients and the IRS. These tax experts work with the IRS to find ways for clients to resolve their tax debt.

    People who owe a tax debt often seek tax relief to reduce the amount they owe to the IRS or state tax agencies. Those who didn’t file a tax return, misfiled their return or were unable to pay taxes may end up owing a tax debt that accrues penalties and interest. Many people facing this tax burden do not have enough liquid assets to pay the full amount at once and require assistance.

    When you work with a tax relief company, its professionals negotiate a tax relief program for you. Some IRS tax relief programs, like innocent spouse relief, remove improper tax liabilities. Others, like the release of wage garnishments, stop the IRS from seizing your wages or assets to pay back taxes.

    The IRS offers several tax debt relief programs. Taxpayers can apply for tax relief from the IRS directly or hire a tax relief company to help negotiate on their behalf. If you owe a tax debt of more than $10,000, it may be smart to hire a tax relief professional who has experience negotiating with the IRS.

    Tax relief companies use different types of contracts. Some tax relief companies require clients to sign a contract, while others don't require signatures on any paperwork and let clients start and stop work at their discretion. Any contract you sign with a legitimate tax relief company should clearly define the scope of the work, the payment schedule and how you’re billed.

    Tax debt relief programs

    Here are some of the common programs that a tax relief company or attorney can offer:

    Depending on your circumstances, an offer in compromise (OIC) may be the smartest way to handle your tax debts. An offer in compromise shrinks your tax liability based on what the IRS determines you can realistically pay.

    In order to qualify for an offer in compromise, you must meet the IRS’ eligibility requirements and complete its online application. To determine what percentage of your tax bill you can pay, the IRS has you take a means test to assess the following aspects of your situation:

    • Your income
    • Your physical assets
    • Your expenses
    You could qualify for innocent spouse relief if your spouse or former spouse omitted or improperly reported items, including capital gains, on your joint tax return. Innocent spouse relief only applies to tax debts on your spouse’s individual income from employment or self-employment, and you must request relief within two years of the date the IRS attempted to collect the amount from you. If innocent spouse relief doesn’t fit your tax situation, there are two other forms of joint tax relief:
    • Separation of liability relief provides for the separate allocation of your taxes from a spouse you’re no longer living with or your former or legally separated spouse. If your spouse incorrectly reported something on your joint tax form, you’re only required to pay the tax amount allocated to you by the IRS.
    • Equitable spouse relief provides an allocation or deduction of tax debt if your spouse understated their income, took deductions or credits that they were actually ineligible for or misrepresented their assets’ value. Those who aren’t eligible for innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief may be eligible for equitable spouse relief if they filed a joint return and it would be unfair for them to be held liable for their spouse’s understated or unpaid tax debt.
    An installment agreement is a tax repayment plan offered by the IRS that lets people pay their unpaid taxes in monthly installments. The IRS offers long-term installment agreements and short-term payment plans; both plans have different requirements.
    Tax penalty abatement waives a penalty the IRS has issued to a taxpayer. These penalties are often given for failing to file taxes on time or missing a tax payment. You might qualify for penalty abatement if you were penalty-free for three years before receiving the penalty you’re attempting to have waived. You might also be eligible if you filed an extension request or if you paid or plan to pay the amount due. Because failure-to-pay penalties grow over time, you should pay off the penalty before requesting the penalty abatement. If it is granted, you receive a rebate.
    CNC status, also called a hardship extension, can be used to stop an IRS lien, levy, seizure or termination of an installment agreement. The IRS declares a taxpayer currently not collectible only if the taxpayer has no way to pay their debt while still paying basic living expenses.

    Once you receive CNC status, the IRS reviews your case annually to determine whether your financial situation has changed. Any refunds you qualify for may be kept by the IRS and applied to your outstanding tax debts.

    The IRS Fresh Start program is a streamlined installment plan that makes it easier for individuals and small businesses to pay back taxes while avoiding tax liens, interest, penalties, garnishments or seizure of assets. It began in 2011 for taxpayers who owe less than $50,000 and earn less than $100,000 per year, but the IRS expanded the program to include more flexible terms.

    To qualify for the IRS Fresh Start program, you must be current with your tax filings for the present tax year, and you must be able to repay your tax debt within five years or less, among other requirements.


    Do tax relief companies really work?

    Tax relief companies help lower the amount of tax debt their clients owe, give guidance on audits and negotiate payment agreements with the IRS. However, some scam tax relief companies trick clients into paying high fees by promising to resolve tax debts and not performing any services.

    Can a tax debt be forgiven?

    Taxpayers can have their IRS tax debts partially forgiven under some circumstances. The IRS forgives an outstanding tax liability only when it can’t collect more than your present financial circumstances reasonably allow you to pay. Put another way: The IRS can’t force you to pay back taxes if it creates a financial crisis for you. Keep in mind that IRS tax debt forgiveness programs typically do not erase tax debts, but they do reduce their burden.

    You can get your tax debt partially forgiven through an offer in compromise or another IRS tax debt forgiveness program, such as Fresh Start.

    Who qualifies for tax relief?

    If you fall behind on tax payments and are unable to pay your taxes in full, you may qualify for tax relief. Tax relief companies often require minimum tax debts before they help with back tax issues — $10,000 is the standard minimum debt requirement. It’s best to call several tax relief companies and speak to representatives to learn more about whether you qualify for back tax debt relief.

    How much does tax relief cost?

    Generally, the price of tax resolution services varies based on the complexity of the case. Tax relief companies might charge as little as $250 for penalty abatement or upward of $10,000 for an OIC case.

    After a free initial consultation, tax relief agents usually charge a $400 to $600 setup fee. Tax relief companies vary on how they bill clients after this, however. Tax resolution fees can be based on billable time, your debt level or a flat fee.


    To select our picks for the top tax relief companies, we first looked at customer reviews and ratings. To narrow down the 21 companies considered for this guide, we excluded those without at least 10 verified reviews on our site over the last year and with an overall satisfaction rating below 3 stars, leaving 16 companies.

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team then considered multiple factors, including cost, pricing structure, tax debt minimums and maximums, availability, tax solution offerings, accreditations, and customer reviews. The companies below are highly recommended by existing customers and meet our criteria for availability and customer experience.

    Not sure how to choose?

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