What Is a Tax Attorney?

What Is a Tax Attorney?

A tax attorney is a lawyer who specializes in helping taxpayers deal with IRS or other revenue service problems. The IRS isn’t the only entity that people get in trouble with — state tax departments are a big problem for people who live in states with state income tax.

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United States tax law is byzantine in structure, with more curveballs than a minor league baseball game. The tax law isn’t just complicated, it is ever-changing, with additions and retractions piling up year after year. This means that having a good tax attorney is necessary to people who are affected by small changes in tax law — like small business owners and the self-employed.

What Do Tax Lawyers Do?

Tax lawyers have a specific focus — tax law and tax relief. You can hire a tax attorney to help you get through an audit, get your fines for failure to pay taxes reduced, have liens removed from your property, etc. Tax attorneys are also adept at assisting small businesses with tax troubles and can be useful for those of us that deal with self-employment issues — the self-employed are often hit hard by tax debt and fines.

When a taxpayer gets behind on taxes or has any disagreement with the IRS or other tax entity, the taxpayer may be able to sort out the mess on his own. Due to the complexity of tax law (and the fact that tax negotiations pit one individual against the federal government) a taxpayer may find they need to hire a tax attorney to protect themselves and help them get square with Uncle Sam.

Who Uses Tax Attorneys?

What Is a Tax Attorney?Plenty of small business owners make their tax attorney a major part of their business — as crucial to the daily operation of their business as an accountant. A talented tax attorney will help you deal with potential tax problems before they cause you financial stress. Think of a tax attorney as a different kind of financial advisor.

A tax attorney may be a requirement for the wealthy — they can help set up trust funds, stock portfolios, financial accounts. If your tax attorney is worth his salt, he can make sure that your various financial accounts are legally sheltered from high taxes and government interference. You don’t want to run into a big federal surprise on April 15.

How Do I Find a Tax Attorney?

Don’t just call random tax attorneys out of the phone book — the best bet when looking for a talented tax attorney is to ask your friends who they use, or even ask for a referral from your personal attorney. This is much like finding a medical specialist — your doctor probably has the name of a good endocrinologist should you need one.

When looking for a tax attorney, find one with lots of IRS experience, experience in debt management, and an attorney who has done plenty of work with actual taxpayers. Your tax attorney should have plenty of references and produce them on demand without protest.

Make sure your tax attorney is a member of the American Bar Association as well as your state Bar. You wouldn’t go to an unlicensed doctor or send your kids to a school that wasn’t certified, so don’t trust your finances to a lawyer who isn’t part of the Bar.

When a taxpayer gets in dutch with the IRS and can’t find his own way out, it is time to consult a tax attorney. If you wait to act on your tax debt, those fines really start to add up. Waiting too long could mean bankruptcy or even jail time. This is why any money you spend on a tax attorney is an investment and not a liability.

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