There is that old adage that goes ‘two things in life are for certain, death and taxes.’ However, sometimes we run into difficulty and need some sort of resolution. There are several avenues available, notably, seeking advice from an enrolled agent, getting a tax attorney or hiring a debt counseling/resolution firm, to handle your tax situation.
It can be argued that tax law is not the easiest to comprehend, especially for the average citizen and one is not always able to decide which avenue to take to address a given tax issue. It is almost a surety that a tax matter involving the courts will force a citizen to go to a tax attorney. It must be noted that an enrolled agent is not able to give assistance at the level of the law courts but in other matters, agents can prove to be a cheaper option than the tax attorney. One should not be apprehensive when considering hiring an agent because these individuals are tax resolution experts who must be licensed to practice.
Enrolled agents, like other professionals, must pass an exam to be able to practice. It must be understood that there is a limit on the number of individuals who can become agents. This is so because the Internal Revenue Service marks the test using a bell curve analysis method. Those who pass the test and find themselves in the upper quartile are considered. The Internal Revenue Service then allows these successful individuals to represent their clients before the Internal Revenue Service.
It should not be assumed that these agents are free to practice without some sort of rule book. There is a code of ethics that each agent must follow as laid down in Circular 230; a document that provides guidelines for those enrolled agents who wish to practice.
These enrolled agents are implored to defend their clients with zeal and sincerity and it should be mentioned that most of them do try to execute their jobs in a professional manner. There is still one difference between enrolled agents and tax attorneys. It is important to know the difference or differences when making a decision pertaining to who is best placed to assist you with your tax problem.
The enrolled agent is trained to do anything a tax attorney would do. The major difference is that the enrolled agent cannot go to court and defend a client. Fortunately, the law court is not the only institution where tax issues are solved and the norm is for only severe tax cases to be referred to the law courts. It should be clear that in severe cases involving criminal investigation, one should seek the services of an experienced tax attorney.
There are also some differences between enrolled agents and credit resolution firms as well. In general, credit resolution firms do not find resolutions to your tax problem. These firms are concerned with matters of credit. The enrolled agent is the one you need to solve your tax problems.