Tips & Advice
Is it important to have a tax attorney for communication with the IRS?
Yes. Communicating with the IRS can become complicated, especially for the layperson who isn't well-versed in the field of tax law. A tax attorney can help ensure an individual is taking the right approach and is staying within the law.
What are important questions to ask when selecting a tax attorney?
- What do you specialize in?
- Do you have references?
- What credentials do you have? Are you licensed to practice in this state?
- What is your hourly rate, and what is the cost of an initial consultation?
Does a tax attorney receive special degrees?
Yes. Tax attorneys must first earn a law degree. Then, they must pass the state bar exam specific to the state in which they practice. Some may choose to further their education by obtaining a master's degree in taxation law or taking the CPA exam.
How is a tax attorney different than a CPA?
Though both are experts in matters related to taxes and taxation law, there are some key differences between certified public accountants and tax attorneys.
Tax attorneys focus more on the legal side of tax law. They have a law degree and have passed the bar exam.
CPAs focus more on the financial side of tax law. They have passed the CPA exam. To take this exam, individuals must have 150 or more college credits, and typically some work experience.
Can tax attorneys help with back taxes?
Yes. Tax attorneys can help clients with back taxes.
How can businesses benefit from the services of a tax attorney?
Tax attorneys can advise business owners on legal tax issues. They can also defend them in court against the IRS.
What does a tax attorney do?
A tax attorney advises clients on tax law to ensure they are properly following regulations, and are getting the deductions they're eligible for.
When does it become necessary to hire a tax attorney?
Individuals might want to hire a tax attorney when dealing with any complicated tax law situation. By working with a knowledgeable professional, individuals will ensure they are within the parameters of the law. Some situations where a tax attorney's advice is beneficial include if someone:
- Wants to sue the IRS
- Owes the IRS $10,000 or more
- Is being investigated by the IRS
- Wants to dispute a tax decision made by the IRS
- Has, or thinks they may have, committed tax fraud
- Is beginning a business
- Is conducting business internationally
- Is preparing their estate plan
- Received a CP notice
- Didn't file a tax return
How much does it cost to hire a tax attorney?
First, clients will have an initial consultation. These might be free, though some charge a flat rate. This is usually $100-$500.
Most tax attorneys charge by the hour. It's common for hourly rates to be $200-$400, though the more experienced or sought-after attorneys may charge as much as $1,000 per hour.
Tax attorneys are experts in tax liability laws on the municipal, state, and federal levels. They also understand the taxation intricacies involved in real estate transfers, property acquisitions (both intellectual and material), income, and business transactions.