Every citizen fully well knows that taxation is the crucial thing you have to deal with at some point. Or else, you'll have to deal with law, and such perspective is not good at all. So, there is such expert as tax lawyer - the person that is about to help you solve any issue concerning tax matters. Or, which is better, to avoid such issues timely.
What Is a Tax Attorney?
This is an expert with at least Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and admitted to the state bar. Among other qualities are the following:
- Analytical non-standard thinking;
- Ability to express thoughts correctly and succinctly;
- Ability to persuade and press the point;
- Diplomatic skills;
- Willingness to solve any complex issues that may appear with IRS.
The qualities mentioned above are significant because tax lawyer is the one who will advocate your interests and help you avoid any conflicts with the law.
What Does Tax Attorney Do?
1. Preventive services.
This is the kind of services you can request to avoid any legal problems with IRS or to get any advice concerning taxation or tax service rights and obligations. A tax lawyer may explain and show samples of various claims, applications, complaints and any other summons. Preventive services include:
- Tax legislation advice;
- The best possible tax plan development;
- Setting up the mechanism of timely tax payments;
- Reaction to tax service claims.
A tax lawyer will help your business pass-through tax audit process successfully up to verification of auditors’ full powers and grounds for documents withdrawals.
2. Resolving tax disputes.
Sometimes IRS may decide to send you an audit notice due to a simple misunderstanding. Yes, some facts may be misunderstood or not checked thoroughly enough, and there may be some controversial points as well. In consequence, you may be obliged to pay heavy taxes. Most often it is easier to pay than to argue, but since there are professional tax attorney services, you may feel free to request it.
What Do Tax Attorneys Do: Particular Cases
There are various situations when you might need tax lawyer services. Let’s review some of them.
- Let’s say you decided to launch a company. Whatever you choose, either incorporation model or sole proprietary, tax payments will be an integral part of business process. Of course, your staff accountant will handle all the financial issues, and you can request audit services on a regular basis, but only tax attorney is qualified enough to consult you on all taxable and non-taxable matters.
- Now imagine that you’ve got an audit notice from IRS. Oops! You may hardly be aware of all pitfalls that waylay there. The one who is aware is the tax lawyer. Such professionals are experienced in communication with IRS, and they know how to deal with it. Fortunately for you, the tax lawyer may explain any necessary facts in such a way that you will come off clear.
- What does a tax attorney do if you decide to get some real estate and want to get a mortgage? This person gives you valuable advice!
- Do you think you should get a tax credit? Ask professional tax lawyer to help you get the most advantages out of it!
- If you ever get in trouble with tax court concerning any deduction or want to get debt relief, call the tax attorney.
What Does a Tax Attorney Do VS What Does CPA Do?
Of course, professional tax lawyer has solid skills and experience in the tax code and is competent enough to prepare the taxes. The point is that they should not do it. E.g., a CPA has found a mistake while preparing taxes, so you will need to file an amended return. This is where CPA competence ends in your case, and tax attorney comes in handy. The expert will help you develop the ultimate scheme to minimize risks, avoid penalties from IRS or at least reduce them. If there was an overpayment, the lawyer would help you get a refund. Sometimes it happens that you need to pay a solid amount of back taxes. In such situation, a tax attorney will negotiate with IRS to reduce this amount and save your money.
Negotiations - this is the situation when CPA is not enough, and the only attorney can help. The point is that attorneys know lots of things that CPAs do not. They can and know how to deal with IRS; their practice includes so many different tax precedents that they will always find a proper solution to your particular problem.
Sometimes the circumstances make CPA testify against you during the court case while an attorney will never act like this because of the client confidentiality. This is one of the greatest benefits and significant distinctions between CPA and tax lawyer. Even if you have committed a tax crime, the lawyer will protect you and do best to help you avoid penalties or punishment. CPA will hardly ever act in such a way. It is recommended to hire both CPA and a tax lawyer to get the most out of their expertise. One will prepare the taxes; another will give useful and correct advice or defend the client in court if necessary. Take no chances - better safe than sorry!
How to Find an Appropriate Tax Lawyer
If you are in search of a true expert, here are several steps to consider:
1. Define your needs
Tax attorneys specialize in various areas and issues, so one should pick up professional that suits special needs, either it concerns back taxes, loan matters, audit, etc.
2. Review references
Ask your friends and colleagues to suggest some expert if they had such experience. Moreover you can use cpacatalog.com, when choosing this or that specialist, and ask them to provide references.
3. Request free consultation
Most attorneys won’t refuse to have a conversation before you hire them. This is the kind of interview that helps understand whether this professional is right in your case.
4. Get information from Bar Associations
As every tax attorney should always be admitted to the state bar, one can contact local bar association and check whether this or that attorney is reputable, disciplined and licensed to practice.
In some situations hiring a tax lawyer is a must and this is not the point one should cut corners on. If you are under audit or investigation, have debt or just need highly-qualified advice to avoid any problems with tax court, hire a tax lawyer with no doubt. Of course, you can try to negotiate with IRS yourself, yet there is no guarantee you’ll win this challenge. Unlike tax expert who knows what to do and what to say when it comes to a court case with IRS. Delegate all tax issues to a professional attorney both to save time and money and to save your business or even your freedom and spotless reputation!