Hiring a good tax attorney is essential – how do you know where to start looking for one, though? What are some questions to ask your tax attorney and certifications/qualifications you should consider?
Why hire a tax attorney instead of a CPA?
Most people assume that all tax issues are handled by CPA’s. While it’s true that CPA’s handle most tax issues, in many cases a better alternative is a tax attorney – somebody well-schooled in both state and federal tax laws.
Usually a tax attorney is going to have more specialized knowledge about how the IRS and state tax offices work and how to settle cases with them. If your tax liability is not significant a tax attorney is probably overkill – you should just consult with a CPA. If you are facing thousands of dollars in tax penalties, however, an attorney may help you settle your case for a lot less than you owe.
Another advantage of working with a tax attorney is that the relationship is protected by an attorney-client privilege – the IRS cannot require your tax attorney to testify against you – a CPA may be required to.
What is a Tax Attorney?
Tax lawyers handle cases that deal with the taxing of an individual by the government. The IRS is responsible for enforcing the internal revenue laws, and a tax attorney should be called upon when dealing with the IRS. A tax lawyer will give a client legal advice for their dealings with the IRS. A good tax attorney has a vast knowledge of the internal revenue code, which makes up all federal tax laws.
Where to look
Finding a tax attorney shouldn’t be difficult – looking around on the internet or even yellow pages you should find a lot of options. Remember, though, that you are seeing advertisements – just because you have seen an advertisement does not say anything about the quality of the representation you can expect.
The best way to find an attorney specializing in tax law is to get a referral from somebody else that has been in your situation. This doesn’t mean to go talk to your friend who was convicted of a DUI last year – you don’t need a criminal defense attorney, you need a tax specialist.
If you don’t know somebody who has been in your situation you need to get on the internet and look around for a real person who has – they are out there. Also, when you get a referral from somebody, make sure they had no prior relationship with the attorney they are referring – a lot of times people will exaggerate how good their close friends or family really are.
A tax attorney assists individuals and companies with preparing and filing their income tax returns with the federal, the State, and sometimes with a local government. A tax lawyer will also assist with determining tax liability, particularly for companies that have to pay various forms of taxes including payroll taxes, and may have to defend their clients against claims of unpaid tax by one of the respective governments.
FACTS ABOUT TAX LAW
Tax lawyers deal with a very touchy issue in the government, tax. Tax lawyers can give accurate legal advice about the tax laws if they are called upon for such information. Tax cases can be very serious matters when they involve big companies and corporations that deal with large sums of money. In such cases, a tax attorney should be present to sort through all of the bureaucracy that is involved in tax cases.