Published: November 1, 2023

How a Certified Tax Representation Consultant Can Help Solve Your Tax Problems

hire a certified tax representation consultant

When you have tax problems, there are three tax pros who can help — tax attorneys, Enrolled Agents (EA), and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). All of these professionals are licensed to represent individuals and businesses in front of the IRS, but how do you know which one is right for you? 

We have guides to help you understand what CPAs, EAs, and tax attorneys do, but once you narrow down to the right type of tax pro, you still have a few more decisions to make. When deciding on a tax pro, you need to find someone who has dedicated training and experience in the tax resolution industry. 

The best answer may be a Certified Tax Representation Consultant (CTRC). Here's what you need to know about this certification. 

What Is a Certified Tax Representation Consultant?

A CTRC is a tax professional who has completed training focused on tax resolution topics. These pros take courses on five specific aspects of tax problems. Then, they pass a five-part test. Once certified, they must attend seminars or take additional courses every three years to keep their licenses active. 

Why Hire a Tax Pro With CTRC Credentials

As you know, CPAs and tax attorneys complete extensive education and pass grueling tests to get licensed. Enrolled agents must work for the IRS for a certain amount of time or pass a difficult three-part test to get licensed. When pros already have this level of training, why should you insist upon an additional certification? Because the training for an EA, a CPA, and a tax attorney doesn't necessarily focus on solving tax problems. 

For example, to become a CPA, you generally must earn an accounting degree, take some master's level accounting courses, and pass the CPA exam. During this process, you will learn all about accounting strategies and taxation, but you will only touch on certain types of tax problems. This is true of the process of becoming an EA or a tax attorney as well. 

If you hire a professional with CTRC credentials, you can rest assured that they have completed additional training focused on tax resolution processes. Tax resolution is a very specific sector of the tax industry — some CPAs and attorneys work for decades without ever dealing with these types of tax problems. Hiring a CTRC ensures that you get a well-trained professional to handle your case.

Certified Tax Representation Consultant Training

To become a CTRC, tax pros must take courses on the following five topics. Then, they must pass a multiple-choice test. 

  • IRS Audits — An audit can be a grueling process, and if you want the IRS to accept your tax return as filed, you need a professional who has been trained to handle the audit process from initial contact through appeals.
  • Innocent Spouse Relief — This IRS program provides relief for taxpayers who have a tax problem that was caused by their spouse, ex-spouse, or late spouse. It has very specific rules, and tax pros need the right knowledge to guide their clients through these delicate cases. 
  • Offer in Compromise — Tax resolution firms spend a lot of money marketing this IRS relief program, but less than half of applicants get accepted. If you want to settle your tax debt for less than you owe, you should look for a pro who has extra training or experience in this area. 
  • IRS Collections — The IRS has to follow very specific guidelines when attempting to involuntarily collect a tax debt and to protect your finances, you need a professional who understands this process inside and out. A CTRC knows how to avoid, appeal, and resolve collection actions such as liens, levies, and garnishments. 
  • Payroll Tax Issues — Dealing with tax credits, fees for late payments, and other payroll issues can be exhausting. CTRCs have special training in this area and can help with amending returns, dealing with payroll return audits, contesting personal liability for trust fund recovery penalties (TFRP), and more. 

To become certified, tax pros must complete all five parts within a single year, and then, they must complete additional education every three years to keep their certifications active. 


Who Certifies CTRCs?

CTRCs are certified through the Tax Rep Network, LLC. TRN was founded by a tax attorney named Eric Green. Green worked as a tax consultant for two of the biggest accounting firms in the world: Deloitte & Touche and KPMG. Then, he founded his own law firm. He has extensive experience resolving complicated cases, and of significant note, he has helped thousands of people avoid criminal exposure for tax problems. 

Green leveraged his knowledge and experience to create a certification program for tax professionals. He also hosts a network where pros engage with tax education and consult with each other on cases. As a result, when you hire a CTRC, you get someone who has an extensive network of other pros that they can check in with when facing a new type of case. 


When you're looking for tax pros, you will probably see both the Certified Tax Representation Consultant (CTRC) and the Certified Tax Resolution Specialist CTRS designations. So, what's the difference between a CTRC and a CTRS? It's more than just a new letter at the end of the acronym. 

First, let's look at the similarities. Both professionals complete training focused specifically on tax problems. Then, CTRSs take a two-part test and CTRCs take a five-part test. If they pass, they get the certification. 

CTRSs have existed for longer, and they are certified by the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS). The CTRC is a bit newer, and as noted above, they are certified by the Tax Rep Network. 

One of the most significant differences is that CTRCs must recertify every three years. They have to complete additional classes or go to a workshop with several days of discussions and hands-on training. CTRSs, in contrast, only need to recertify every five years. 

How to Find a Certified Tax Representation Consultant

To find a CTRC, look for a tax pro in your area who has the CTRC badge on their website. Don't want to sift through countless websites? Then, start your search on TaxCure. 

Using TaxCure, you can search for tax professionals who have experience with your specific tax concern. For example, you can search for tax attorneys who have experience with your state revenue department, and then, you can narrow down your search based on the type of problem you're having such as audit, unfiled returns, or tax liens. Finally, as you look through the list of results, keep an eye out for pros who are certified as tax representation consultants. 

Want to Become a Certified Tax Representation Consultant?

Are you a tax pro who wants to expand your business? Are you interested in training that can enhance and improve the services you offer to clients? If so, the CTRC designation may be perfect for you. Check out the CTRC page or look at our other pro guides for help on expanding your practice, marketing your business, and increasing your tax resolution education.

Get Help With Tax Problems Today

Is the IRS trying to collect unpaid taxes from you through wage garnishments or tax levies? Are you dealing with a tax problem caused by your current or former spouse? Do you want to settle your taxes for less than you owe? Facing a payroll tax problem from your business? Dealing with an IRS audit? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider looking for a Certified Tax Representation Consultant

CTRCs have advanced training in each of these areas. They can help you find a creative, effective, and efficient solution to your tax problem. To get help now, start searching for a CTRC on TaxCure today.

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