Should we hire an attorney to reduce the amount of back taxes owed to the IRS? 4 Answers as of May 19, 2011

Should we go ahead and hire a tax attorney who advertises that they can cut down the amount of back taxes owed, for a fee plus a percentage of the amount owed? Is this standard practice, or a scam?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
If the lawyer is reputable, a contingent fee is not a scam.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/19/2011
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
I would be very careful here. Some of these advertisements are less than reputable. Usually, there is no magic in this area and often times promises of taxes that can be saved are overstated. Charging a percentage although allowable is right on the edge if not over the edge as being reasonable. I can only tell you that as a matter of policy my firm does not include percentage formulas as part of its billing methodology. Your better course of action would be to get a recommendation from your accountant or friends or in some other way get a better feel for that attorney. For example, at my website, I provide client recommendations to give the public an idea of what my clients think of my service. Once you have a recommendation and have researched the lawyer by looking at their website, then call them and spend some time getting to know them to see if you have a comfort level with the attorney.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/18/2011
Meyer & Yee, LLP
Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
Our office would not do this. A flat fee or an hourly rate plus an upper limit estimate. Anyone who gives a guarantee of a certain percentage reduction is suspect. Only people who legitimately qualify for relief should be accepted as clients.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
The Schreiber Law Firm
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
I do it for a fixed fee so the client knows exactly what they will be paying. Of more concern, many take your money and do not do much, if anything or just file an Offer In Compromise whether you qualify or not. I would want to know how many offers the attorney has filed in the past and of those, how many have been accepted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
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