1. "Freezing Penalties/Interest" We heard this myth from a tax-lien calling outfit in Colorado. Somehow they could set up an installment agreement that freezes future penalties/interest. Ladies and gentleman, that is called "Bankruptcy Chapter 13." Not something that an accountant is going to do for you. However - your tax professional can remove penalties and interest if the case is made correctly.
2. Having Access to Special Offices of the IRS. It seems like a good lark. We can help you because "we know the IRS staff people really well and have special access to certain offices..." While knowing people at the IRS some times smooths the cases through, we are treated pretty much equally by IRS and State agencies and really can't "schmooze" some special outcome due to "knowing someone." However - WATAX.com once did get a referral from an IRS agent who respected our work.
3. "The Offer in Compromise Is Program for Everyone" If you have the ability to pay the IRS back thru liquidation of assets and/or payments, you are NOT going to qualify for an Offer in Compromise.
4. "Get Penalties Off First" Penalty waivers are achieved by demonstrating good behaviors such as filing and paying your most recent tax years and coming to a payment plan with the IRS. However, you can't ask for penalties off UNTIL you have built some "good will" with the IRS.
5. "Having Equity in House is an Offer in Compromise Deal Breaker" Pre-2008 Crash, this was probably true: home equity was a deal-breaker for getting an Offer in Compromise. But post-recession, lending terms are much stricter and if you can get two "loan denials" showing you can't tap your equity - this could mean you qualify for an OIC much lower than your home equity.