Tax Attorney vs. Enrolled Agent

Tax Lawyer Counting MoneyMany taxpayers believe that in order to resolve complicated tax matters they need a tax attorney.

In fact there are three types of professionals that are authorized to represent delinquent taxpayers before the IRS; tax lawyers, Certified Public Accountants and IRS accredited Enrolled Agents.

Of the three options, in most cases, the best and most cost effective option is an Enrolled Agent. Enrolled agents are trained exclusively in all matters pertaining to tax debt and representing taxpayers before the IRS. Enrolled agents must pass an extensive exam that is administered by the IRS and they must regularly obtain continuing education credits to renew their license.

Tax attorneys and CPAs generally cost 3-5 times more than an enrolled agent. Even if the tax lawyer specializes in taxation they are not required to obtain comprehensive training on current tax laws, so typically they won’t.  

Unless you face criminal charges or intend to sue the IRS, a tax attorney will not offer better service than an enrolled agent but they will charge you as if they did.

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