What’s The Difference Between A Tax Attorney And A Tax Resolution Specialist?

If you’ve ever had a run-in with the IRS, we don’t have to tell you that finding the right kind of professional support is key. The IRS is a powerful agency that can make your life difficult in a hurry. When that dreaded notice comes, do you call a tax attorney or a tax resolution attorney? There is a distinct difference between these two types of tax professionals. Read on to find out why someone specializing in resolution is the best choice for solving your tax problems.


If the IRS is on your trail, contacting an attorney who specializes in taxation might seem like a good solution. Many such attorneys, however, focus on tax planning as opposed to resolving IRS problems for their clients. It is important to make this distinction, because once you are on the radar of the IRS, the time for tax planning has passed and you must quickly go into damage-control mode.

In a nutshell, your average tax lawyer can help you with many corporate and personal tax matters and can set you up properly from a tax planning perspective. A tax resolution specialist, on the other hand, is equipped to actually solve your most pressing tax dilemmas such as a pending audit, a tax payment that is in arrears, a levy notice that demands an immediate response, or any other urgent tax issue that shouldn’t be tackled on your own.

Not Every Tax Attorney Is Skilled at Resolution

It can’t be overstated that not all tax attorneys have experience in tax controversy and resolution. Professionals whose main area of expertise is transactional tax planning have their place, but they do not deal with the IRS on a daily basis like a tax resolution specialist does. A resolution expert has the right tools and knowledge to interact effectively with IRS agents and get to the bottom of what needs to be done to get your life back to normal.

A Liaison Between You and the IRS

Even if your tax infraction is relatively minor, having professional support can help to minimize fees and penalties, and reduce the overall burden of facing the IRS alone. Having an expert to act as an intermediary between you and the IRS simply makes sense.

The IRS is a formidable agency with a reputation for being aggressive and difficult to deal with. Your tax resolution specialist will completely take on all communication with the IRS, relieving much of your stress during this process.

What Services Does a Tax Resolution Attorney Offer?

Your tax resolution attorney acts as your primary “go-between” with the IRS. They will respond to phone calls and correspondence on your behalf, prepare and submit any required documentation, and represent you during hearings and audits. Acting as your trusted representative, they take on all of the required interaction with the IRS to ensure that every communication is productive and to your best advantage.

If you disagree with an IRS assessment that you have received, your tax resolution expert can guide you through the dispute process. They can also work directly with the IRS to establish a workable collection plan to reduce any outstanding tax debt.


Anyone who is a true expert in tax resolution should have a CTRS designation — this stands for Certified Tax Resolution Specialist. A true tax resolution expert should also have a Bachelor’s degree in law or accounting.

While it might be tempting to save money by going to a less qualified professional, you really need to do your homework to make sure you are hiring someone who completely understands the intricacies of tax resolution. Having a competent expert in your corner can result in a more affordable tax payment deal and lower penalties, putting more money back in your pocket.

Are All Tax Resolution Specialists Attorneys?

A tax resolution specialist can be a Certified Professional Accountant, an Enrolled Agent, or an attorney. CPAs and Enrolled Agents are just as effective as an attorney when it comes to dealing with complex tax controversy matters. As noted earlier, the most important thing to look for is the CTRS designation, which ensures that your resolution specialist meets the very strict requirements for working in this field.


Perhaps you’ve done your own taxes for years and even have some background in law or accounting – why spend the extra money hiring someone to deal with the IRS for you?

While it is your prerogative to represent yourself before the IRS, this can be a risky choice that might cost you in the long run. Unless you are truly an expert in this field who has dealt with the IRS before, you could very easily miss a loophole that a trained expert would spot right away. A tax resolution specialist can pinpoint mistakes made by the IRS, take advantage of minute details in tax law, and negotiate terms that are in your best interest.

Determining How Much Trouble You’re Actually In

Receiving a notice from the IRS can send chills down anyone’s back, but a tax resolution specialist can help you put in perspective exactly how worried you need to be. There is often a fairly straightforward solution to many tax issues, and your specialist can help you determine the best avenue to take for a quick resolution to your tax woes.

Unfortunately, there are some situations that require a greater amount of effort to bring to a resolution. For example, perhaps you haven’t filed taxes for years, or the IRS is claiming that you owe a very large amount of money. Perhaps you’re facing a full audit and don’t know what to do next! These problems are not insurmountable, but they certainly require timely and highly skilled support.

Defending Your Rights as a Taxpayer

Whatever your particular tax dilemma may be, remember that the person you hire to support you during this difficult time will be working hard to ensure the best possible outcome for you. There is no tax situation, however daunting, that a qualified resolution expert has not dealt with before, so just remember that you are in good hands.

Planning for the Future

Once you have developed a relationship with a tax resolution specialist, you will find that this is a very useful contact to have moving forward. A skilled professional in this field can help you avoid further difficulties with the IRS, identify tax practices that could cause you problems, and provide valuable advice on how to ensure long-term tax debt relief.

Most importantly, a tax resolution specialist is constantly keeping abreast of the latest changes in tax law and can help you stay one step ahead of the IRS permanently. Whether you are paying taxes as a private individual or as a business, there are countless tax rules and regulations that can be difficult for most people to keep track of.

If you have received a notice from the IRS, there is no need to face this challenge on your own. Contact us today at Geaux Tax Resolution in Mandeville, LA so we can help you to solve any tax problems you have and make sure you don’t have to deal with the IRS again!

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