Tax attorneys are legal professionals who represent clients facing the IRS and help with tax planning. They are one of the best options for help when it comes to tax troubles.
Finding a qualified tax attorney to handle your case can be challenging when you’re unsure of where to start. Learn when it’s best to get legal tax representation and how you can determine which tax attorney is a good fit for you.
When to Hire a Tax Attorney
Tax issues can be stressful, and while you can resolve some problems on your own, there are some situations when it’s best to get professional help. It’s best to consider hiring a tax attorney for complex tax issues. For example, if you want to appeal a tax audit, a tax attorney will be your best option for the legal representation you need.
Other examples of when you should consider hiring a tax attorney include:
- If you’re facing criminal charges from the IRS for acts like tax evasion, failure to file returns, deceptively claiming deductibles or other instances of tax fraud.
- If you need an individual to communicate with the IRS on your behalf.
- When you want to dispute taxes or negotiate tax relief.
- When you’re planning to start a business.
- When you need help planning your estate.
There are numerous reasons to hire a tax attorney, and this list is far from extensive. Explore your tax attorney’s services to learn more about how they may be able to help you.
5 Questions to Ask a Tax Attorney
When hiring a tax lawyer, it’s best to vet a few options to ensure you’re partnering with an attorney capable of handling your situation. When vetting your options, it’s important to ask the tax attorney questions to give you an idea of their experience and what they can do for you. When you first meet with a potential tax lawyer, consider asking questions like these before you decide to retain their services.
1. Are You Experienced in Tax Law and Have Experience Dealing With the IRS?
When hiring a lawyer to help you with tax troubles, it’s important to have a tax lawyer with actual tax experience. When dealing with the IRS and the U.S. tax court, you want someone by your side who knows the ends and outs of the tax law and how they can apply it to your situation. An experienced tax lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the IRS and help use current tax laws and tax court rulings to support your case.
Make sure to ask your tax attorney:
- How many years they’ve been practicing
- How often they go to tax court
- If they are up to date on all the current tax laws.
Another good question to ask a tax attorney is if they were an accountant before they were a tax attorney. An accounting background means your tax lawyer will be more educated on bookkeeping methods, how your accounting could be causing your tax problems and how to change it.
Our office has several tax attorneys that were previously accountants. With accounting knowledge, your tax attorney can better prepare and defend your tax return if need be.
2. How Far Will You Take My Case?
This is an important question because it can affect if your case gets resolved and how much money you should anticipate spending.
Every tax lawyer differs in what they may do for your case. Some tax lawyers may only go so far as a bank levy or wage garnishment. Others may file the Offer in Compromise paperwork and leave you on your own to appeal the decision if it’s denied. Some tax lawyers’ services fall short of tax court or assistance if you end up being audited. Some may submit the necessary paperwork for a resolution but not help you substantiate it when the IRS asks questions.
The fact is, your case could go a number of ways. You need to make sure that your tax attorney will help you in any of these cases. Most of our tax cases take months of appeals, submitting paperwork and financial statements, with countless hours on the phone negotiating with the IRS.
It takes a good amount of work to get an IRS resolution, and you need an attorney that will go the distance. Otherwise, chances are you will spend a large amount of money on attorney fees and still have a tax problem in the end.
Make sure to get a signed document from your tax attorney of what they will cover and what services they will provide to you so you have documentation of what they promised they could do for you. It’s important to hire a tax attorney that will work with you all the way to a resolution, as the IRS will take collection action against you until your unpaid taxes have been resolved.
3. Have You Handled a Similar Case Before?
While a tax attorney may have adequate experience, this may be the first case like yours they’ve ever seen. Be sure to explain your situation and ask if they’ve ever handled a similar case. If they have, this is ideal, and you’ll be able to learn more about the specific ways they can help you. If they haven’t, you may want to consider one of your other options. It’s important that you feel confident that the tax attorney you hire can succeed with your case.
4. Does Your Firm Deal With Tax Issues Only?
Because owing taxes can be such a complicated and challenging process, it’s important that your attorney and their team are exclusively dedicated to dealing with tax problems. If they deal with multiple areas of law, they’re less likely to be fully educated and up to date on all the current tax issues and codes. It is important to choose a tax firm dedicated to tax law that can effectively help you achieve tax resolution.
Additionally, a firm that exclusively handles tax issues will more likely be able to put the necessary focus into your case rather than shifting its focus to other types of law throughout the process.
5. Do You Have Good Relationships With Other Attorneys?
Typically, when attorneys primarily practice tax law, they’ll refer non-tax cases to other attorneys better equipped to handle the case. Attorneys usually have referral systems within their practice and will have specific attorneys they’ll refer potential clients to for different issues. When another attorney refers a case to a tax attorney it means that they trust them, have likely referred clients to them before and are confident they will properly represent the client.
Ask your potential tax attorney if they receive referrals and who they receive them from. Some tax attorneys will receive referrals from both attorneys and CPAs.
Get the Tax Help You Need From Polston Tax Resolution & Accounting
Finding the right help for your tax troubles can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to make sure you hire the best tax lawyer possible.
At Polston Tax, our firm is dedicated to helping taxpayers overcome their tax issues. We’re constantly educating ourselves on the latest tax court decisions and tax laws so we’re as prepared as possible to help clients like you. The sooner you get help for your tax problem, the better — make sure you get the best representation to resolve your issue as fast as possible.
Call us today at 844-841-9857 or schedule your free consultation online.