1. Finance
  2. Taxes
  3. Best Tax Relief

Best Tax Relief Companies

Take a Financial Relief Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.

Take a Financial Relief Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.

    Author pictureAuthor picture
    Author picture
    Written by
    Author picture
    Edited by
    Companies considered
    Companies selected
    Reviews analyzed
    Features compared

    If you owe a substantial amount in back taxes, you may be feeling overwhelmed with trying to navigate the complexities of the tax code. In this case, working with a tax relief company could be ideal.

    A reputable tax relief company can negotiate with the IRS and local authorities on your behalf, potentially reduce the amount of back taxes you owe and help you set up manageable payment plans.

    Our editor's top picks for best tax relief companies

    We narrowed down the best tax relief companies for you by comparing costs, tax debt requirements, availability and customer reviews. 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.

    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.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
    • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
    • 4,338,283 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    Compare our top 6 choices for tax relief companies

    Anthem Tax ServicesAnthem Tax ServicesFortress Tax ReliefFortress Tax ReliefLarson Tax ReliefLarson Tax ReliefCommunity TaxCommunity TaxInstant Tax SolutionsInstant Tax SolutionsFresh Start Tax ReliefFresh Start Tax Relief
    # of reviews23822551882518012
    Our pick for Specialty services Business tax debt Emergency tax relief Customer service Large tax debt Small tax debt
    Debt minimum $10,000 None $15,000 $8,000 None $10,000
    Fees Flat fees Usually flat fees Flat fees Flat fees Flat fees Flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offer Yes Unclear Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews Read reviews
    All information accurate as of time of publication.

    More details on our top 6 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 or your state or local tax authority less stressful.

    Best for specialty services
    Debt minimum
    Flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offered
    50 states

    Anthem Tax Services is accredited by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and the California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

    What is most impressive about Anthem Tax Services is its additional services offered outside of tax debt relief. It also offers bookkeeping and tax preparation for individuals and businesses to avoid future tax issues, as well as specialized services for those in the trucking industry.

    Many chose Anthem Tax Services because of how confidently the tax professionals can deal with tax issues. Reviewers felt 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.”

    Anthem Tax Services helps taxpayers with offers in compromise (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.

    Best for business tax debt
    Debt minimum
    Usually flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offered
    50 states

    We like that at Fortress Tax Relief every case is personally handled by a licensed attorney who exclusively handles the resolution of back taxes. As of publication, every customer with a detailed review of Fortress on our site in the previous three years was happy with their experience.

    Fortress 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.

    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.”

    Fortress can help in a variety of ways, including officers 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.

    Best for emergency tax relief

    Larson Tax Relief

    Debt minimum
    Flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offered
    50 states

    As a family-owned business established in 2005, Larson Tax Relief specializes in emergency and long-term tax relief. At the time of publication, Larson Tax Relief had over 85 reviews since October 2022 — all five-star ratings.

    The company president, Jack Larson, is accredited by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). 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.

    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!”

    Larson Tax Relief can help with offers in compromise (OICs), levy releases, penalty abatements and installment agreements. The company is known for its tax settlement negotiations, audit representation, and taxpayer representation in tax issues with the IRS and state taxing authorities.

    There is a minimum fee of $2,500 to work with the Larson Tax Relief team, and 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.

    Best for customer service
    Debt minimum
    Flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offered
    50 states

    Established in 2010, Community Tax’s team of tax practitioners and certified public accountants (CPAs) have helped more than 100,000 clients resolve over $800 million in tax liabilities, according to the company.

    We also appreciate that Community Tax offers the most methods of contact, including phone, online chat and email. Customers can receive assistance in both English and Spanish.

    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.”

    Community Tax is a full-service tax company that helps both individuals and businesses. It can provide resolution for both IRS and state issues, including resolving delinquent tax balances. Outside of tax debt relief, it offers full-service bookkeeping and accounting services.

    Best for large tax debt
    Debt minimum
    Flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offered
    50 states

    Founded in 2009, Instant Tax Solutions has a team of tax attorneys alongside other agents to handle tax debt issues. We like that you can request a free consultation to get a quote and that there’s the option of a payment plan if you cannot afford the full fee upfront. Additionally, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and no-questions-asked policy if you don’t like the service.

    Overall, reviewers who used Instant Tax Solutions were happy with the results and how the company treated them. Cynthia from Texas said: “They will treat you with respect as they put the weight of their experience and knowledge to your benefit. You will find them to be thorough, communicative and effective.”

    June from Arkansas also reviewed the company on its customer service, saying: “I reached out to Instant Tax Solutions and they were good. When I called, I always got ahold of them. If I didn't, they called back within a couple of hours.”

    Instant Tax Solutions can help you with filing back taxes as well as with establishing an offer in compromise (OIC), installment agreements, penalty abatement or innocent spouse relief. Additionally, Instant Tax Solutions can protect you from wage garnishments, liens and asset seizures.

    Best for small tax debt
    Debt minimum
    Flat fees
    Money-back guarantee offered
    50 states

    Fresh Start Tax Relief is a small tax firm that has been helping customers since 2018. As a women-owned business in California, Fresh Start helps businesses and individuals with at least $10,000 in tax debt, although it will consider clients with as little as $5,000 of tax debt if they have several years of unfiled tax returns.

    While Fresh Start does not offer a money-back guarantee, it does offer a 20% discount for clients who refer a new client.

    Reviewers appreciated how Fresh Start’s customer service handled delicate tax situations with care and respect. Customers also appreciated the option for a payment plan.

    Dawn from California said: “Regarding payments, they said, ‘This is going to be what we charge you. You can make it in three payments.’ They're not asking me to go out and finance and be charged APR as interest through their company.

    Fresh Start Tax Relief offers assistance with a range of tax issues, including offers in compromise (OICs), filing tax returns and delinquent taxes, handling tax levies and liens, setting up installment agreements and managing state debt relief.

    The company doesn’t promise a timeline of how fast tax issues are resolved, but it says many are fixed within two to six months.

    Read tax relief company reviews

    • Featured
    • Best Rated
    • Most Reviewed
    • Highest Rated

    Take a Financial Relief Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.

      Tax relief buyer’s guide

      Owing the state or the IRS can be overwhelming, but you don't have to tackle the nuances of the tax code alone. Tax relief companies offer several resolution options, including offers in compromise (OICs), installment agreements and penalty abatement, among others.

      In this guide, you’ll learn how tax relief services work, which options are available to you and how a tax relief company can help you negotiate with the IRS and potentially reduce your overall tax liability.

      What happens when you owe back taxes

      When you owe more taxes than you can afford or don’t pay the full amount, you will owe back taxes. If you owe the IRS or local taxing authorities, you will need to make arrangements to repay or reduce the debt. You will not be able to reschedule the debt, but you can set up a payment plan.

      “Most of the time, the IRS sends letters to taxpayers due to proposed reductions to their tax refunds or additional amounts owed,” said Kevin Matthews, an accounting professor at the George Mason University School of Business.

      “Not addressing these notices can be risky, as the IRS usually will make the reduced credit or additional expense stick, leaving the client with a bill that they shouldn’t have to pay. Furthermore, they can levy money if the amount is not paid, and/or the IRS can also put a garnishment on payments or wages received to get their taxes paid.”

      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 (CPAs) and enrolled agents, who serve as intermediaries between their clients and the government. These tax experts work with the IRS or your local tax authority to find ways to resolve your tax debt.

      If you didn’t file a tax return, misfiled your return or were unable to pay taxes, you 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. Tax relief companies can help reduce the amount you owe to the IRS or state tax agencies.

      When you work with a tax relief company, its professionals negotiate a tax relief program for you. Some IRS tax relief programs remove improper tax liabilities. For example, innocent spouse relief shields one spouse from the tax, interest and penalties that result from the other spouse's erroneous tax return. Other services, like the release of wage garnishments, stop the IRS from seizing your wages or assets to pay back taxes.

      How much does the IRS or state agency usually settle for?

      How much the IRS or state agency will settle for depends on how much you owe and how much the IRS deems you can afford. In some cases, the IRS will not settle or accept an OIC, and the taxpayer will be responsible for their full tax debt.

      In 2022, 36,022 OICs were proposed to the IRS to settle existing tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS accepted 13,165 offers, amounting to more than $234.3 million of settled debt that taxpayers were no longer responsible for.

      Tax debt relief services

      Most tax relief companies or attorneys offer the following services to help you reduce or manage your tax debt.

      Offers in compromise
      An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer's tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. Depending on your circumstances, an 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 eligibility requirements set by the IRS 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
      Innocent spouse relief
      If your current or former spouse has tax debt that you should not be responsible for, you can request innocent spouse relief. 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.

      To apply for innocent spouse relief, you must file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first attempted to collect the tax from you.

      Installment agreement
      An installment agreement is a payment plan set up with the IRS where you pay your tax debt in monthly installments over a certain period of time. Unlike an OIC, you will pay the total amount of tax owed, plus any penalties and interest that have accrued.
      Penalty abatement
      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 if:

      • You were penalty-free for three years before receiving the penalty you’re attempting to have waived.
      • You filed an extension request or if you paid or plan to pay the amount due.
      • You paid off the penalty before requesting the penalty abatement.
      Currently not collectible
      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.

      IRS Fresh Start program
      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.

      How to choose a tax relief company

      When choosing a tax relief company, you need to be cautious of scam companies that overpromise, overcharge and underdeliver results. Another red flag is a company that asks for full payment upfront before any work is done.

      Due to the uniqueness of each person’s tax debt situation, many companies do not publish service fees online. However, after a free consultation, the company should be very transparent about how much it will charge and when.

      When considering if a tax relief company is a good fit for you, do the following:

      • Check a company’s track record: How long has the company been in business? How many customers has it helped? Is it an accredited company by NATP or NAEA? Read unbiased reviews on several different sites to get a feel of how customers are treated and if their tax debt was resolved in a reasonable amount of time.
      • Get a customized plan: A tax relief company should take the time to sit down with you for a free consultation and give you a customized action plan and estimated timeline. You want to work with individuals who treat your case like it's one of a kind.
      • Know who is working on your case: There are many different titles in the tax profession, but not all of them are equipped to handle every type of tax debt. Tax attorneys are able to handle difficult cases, whereas a public accountant might not have experience in dealing with tax debt issues. Understand who will be working on your case and what makes them qualified to do so. For more extreme cases of tax debt, a tax attorney may be a better fit than an enrolled agent.

      » MORE: How to choose a financial advisor

      Are tax relief companies worth it?

      Consider these pros and cons of working with a tax relief company.


      • Expertise: Tax relief companies often have tax professionals on staff who understand the intricacies of tax laws and IRS procedures.
      • Saves time: Dealing with tax issues yourself can be time-consuming. A tax relief company can handle the paperwork and communication with the IRS.
      • Better negotiation: Some companies use tax lawyers to get better deals or to appeal in cases where the IRS rejects a negotiation.


      • Cost: Depending on the company and your tax situation, fees could cost thousands of dollars.
      • No guaranteed results: While tax relief companies can help negotiate with the IRS, there's no guarantee that they'll be able to reduce your debt or arrange an affordable payment plan.
      • DIY option: Many of the services offered by tax relief companies can be done by individuals on their own for no cost.

      Other tax relief services

      Some tax relief companies will offer additional services that can help individuals or companies stay compliant with future taxes. Some services include:

      • Audit defense: Many tax preparation companies provide assistance in the event that your tax return is audited by the IRS or state taxing authority. When you opt for audit defense, the company will represent you in front of the IRS and ensure you don’t get into further trouble.
      • Bookkeeping: Bookkeeping involves recording all financial transactions, including purchases, sales, receipts and payments. A good bookkeeping system helps to track income and expenses, which ensures accurate financial records come tax time.

      Alternatives to tax relief programs

      Before you call a tax relief service, make sure you fully understand where you stand with the IRS, especially if this is your first year of receiving a letter.

      For minor tax debt cases, you might be able to tackle the problem on your own. Here are some alternatives to try before using a tax relief program.

      • Set up an online payment plan with the IRS: You can apply for a short-term or long-term payment plan through the IRS if you cannot pay your whole tax bill upfront. For those who owe under $50,000 in tax debt, the IRS can approve you for a payment plan of over 180 days to help.
      • Take out a loan: If possible, it can be less expensive in the long run to pay your tax bill in full by taking out a personal loan or a home equity loan. This avoids the extra costs of penalties and interest charged by the IRS. 
      • Amend your tax return: If you believe there's an error on your tax return that has led to an inflated tax bill, you can file an amended return. If the IRS agrees with the changes, this could reduce your tax liability.

      » MORE: Best tax software and services

      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.

      Using a tax resolution company does not guarantee results or money-saving benefits. It is important to get a clear understanding of how much a tax resolution company will charge and how long it estimates the process to take before you begin.

      Additionally, knowing upfront about how to cancel services and refund options can help you avoid potential problems later on.

      How do tax relief customers rate the experience?

      We analyzed three years of consumer ratings on our site and calculated an overall satisfaction for tax relief companies of 4.5 stars.

      More than 4 in 5 of the reviewers in our analysis were happy or satisfied with the tax relief experience, while only 18% were upset. Companies that we chose as our top picks in this guide all have an overall satisfaction rating of 3.9 stars or higher.

      Other key takeaways from our analysis of tax relief companies on ConsumerAffairs include:

      • The quality of staff is important to tax relief customers. Our analysis found that reviewers talk about staff more often than other aspects. Three in 4 mentions of staff are positive, correlating with high overall satisfaction more than any other factor. Dealing with tax debt is a personal and stressful situation, so having an honest and supportive team is crucial.
      • Tax relief customers are most likely to comment negatively about the cost of service. We recommend using a free consultation to fully understand how long you will be paying a tax relief company to resolve your tax debt.

      We also examined 1-star reviews on our site from several tax relief companies. The most common complaint was that many individuals paid $3,000 to $10,000 for tax relief and had no results. Another common complaint was how long it took to see results — some individuals said it took up to two years to get a resolution.


      Are tax relief companies legit?

      Yes, legitimate tax relief companies do exist and they can help taxpayers lower their tax debt or create an affordable payment plan. Be wary of scam companies that promise results that seem too good to be true, charge high upfront fees and have a lack of transparency about their 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.


      To make our selection for the top tax relief companies, we collected 17 individual data points from 20 tax relief companies and tax lawyers. We also analyzed over 2,000 customer reviews and overall ratings from ConsumerAffairs readers who have been tax relief company customers.

      Customer ratings and experience are most important to us when we’re choosing companies to recommend to people seeking a tax relief company. However, companies with no recent positive ratings on ConsumerAffairs also made our list of top picks because they excel in the other most impactful factors we measured.

      • Fees and fee transparency: We considered which companies listed their fees or had reviews that reflected positively on fee transparency. Additionally, more weight was given to companies that offered free, no-pressure tax debt consultations.
      • Availability: The majority of our top picks can help customers across the nation, even if there are limited physical locations.
      • Customer service: We considered whether the company offered customer service via multiple channels (in-person locations, telephone and live chat) and which languages it offered assistance in as well as the number of positive reviews it had from ConsumerAffairs readers.

      Not sure how to choose?

      Get buying tips about Tax Relief delivered to your inbox.

        By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. Unsubscribe at any time.

        Thanks for subscribing.

        You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.

        Read tax relief company reviews

        Want your company to be on this guide?

        Yes, continue