When You Know You Need A Tax Attorney

It most often comes as a piece of registered mail, a request from the IRS that you make an appointment (within 10 days) to discuss your tax return. Did you “forget” to include the rental income on your beach house? Maybe that “business” trip to Cancun wasn’t all about business. Even if your conscience is clear, an IRS investigation isn’t something to take lightly. If you have understated your income or padded expenses, that is tax evasion, and it’s best to face the IRS with a tax attorney at your side.


The best time to hire a tax lawyer is before you are audited

You know you need a tax lawyer when you are in trouble with the IRS, but you can save yourself that trouble by engaging a tax lawyer before legal issues arise. A tax attorney will provide valuable, tax-saving advice at startup by helping you structure your new business to take advantage of provisions in the tax code. A tax lawyer’s expertise extends beyond state and national borders; unless your business is limited to one state, you will want this professional to advise you on laws in the jurisdiction where you conduct business. Your tax lawyer can also assist with estate and succession planning.
If you already have problems with the IRS, a tax attorney is uniquely qualified to help. As specialists in the field, these professionals understand the inner workings of the IRS and can help clean up any issues. If you owe back taxes and are unable to pay, a tax attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement and help you develop a payment plan. A tax attorney is also very useful if you want to appeal an IRS decision or sue the IRS.


The special relationship you have with an attorney

Unlike the relationship you have with your accountant, your conversations and correspondences with a tax attorney are privileged. Under the concept of attorney-client privilege, your lawyer cannot be compelled to testify against you in court or in the course of a federal or state investigation. This allows you to be completely open and honest with your lawyer so that your issues may be resolved without subterfuge.


What to look for when looking for a tax attorney

When you’re looking for a great tax attorney, you want to find someone who is experienced and has excellent credentials. Your lawyer must be licensed to practice law by your state’s bar association. Seek a tax attorney who has experience dealing with the IRS. It is also helpful to check with friends and business associates for referrals. Professional associations, such as the National Association of Tax Professionals are also a good resource when seeking a qualified tax lawyer.


Gillian Burdett is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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