Tax Blog

When to Hire a Tax Attorney: A Comprehensive Guide

By Kelly Hanley, Esq., Tax Attorney

As a seasoned tax attorney with over 20 years of hands-on experience, I can say with confidence that understanding when to hire a tax attorney is an essential aspect of personal and business financial planning. Whether you are dealing with the complexity of income tax laws, seeking IRS settlements, or need advice on federal tax debt relief, a qualified tax attorney can guide you through.

So, When Is It Good to Hire an Income Tax Attorney?

Some situations unequivocally call for professional help. When you need a surgical procedure, you don’t do it yourself—you go to a surgeon. The same applies when dealing with intricate tax issues—it’s best to get a tax lawyer.

Complex Business Transactions

If you’re starting a new business or selling an existing one, complex transactions often require an understanding of the tax implications. The best advice you can get is from an income tax attorney, who can anticipate potential pitfalls and plan strategies to mitigate them.

IRS Audit

No one wants to hear they are being audited by the IRS. However, if you do receive that dreaded notice, hiring an IRS tax attorney can be your lifeline. They will help you understand your rights, prepare your paperwork, and represent you during the audit proceedings.

Tax Fraud Accusations

If you’ve been accused of tax fraud, this is a situation that absolutely requires legal counsel. This is not a time to rely on internet research—instead, enlist a professional to build a solid defense.

How to Find the Best Tax Attorney Near Me

When it comes to tax matters, you want to ensure you’re receiving the best advice possible. So how do you go about finding a top-notch “tax attorney near me”?

Free Consultation

Many tax attorneys offer a free consultation. This can provide an opportunity to assess their expertise, understand how they can help, and determine whether their communication style aligns with your needs.

Expertise and Experience

Look for attorneys who specialize in tax law and have substantial experience in your area of concern. An IRS tax attorney, for instance, would be invaluable if you’re dealing with an IRS dispute.

Client Reviews and References

Reading reviews and obtaining references can also give you insight into an attorney’s reputation and track record. Remember to take note of both the good and the bad reviews for a balanced understanding.

Navigating Federal Tax Debt Relief with an IRS Tax Attorney

If you have substantial tax debt that you’re struggling to pay off, seeking federal tax debt relief is a valid option. Here’s where hiring a tax attorney can make a significant difference.

Negotiating an IRS Settlement

An experienced tax attorney can negotiate an IRS settlement on your behalf. This process involves proposing a repayment plan that fits your financial situation, or in some cases, even persuading the IRS to accept less than the full debt amount—a process known as an Offer in Compromise.

Resolving Back Taxes

If you have back taxes accumulating over the years, a tax attorney can work with the IRS to establish a resolution plan. They may also negotiate penalty abatement or penalty reduction, depending on your circumstances.

Avoiding Severe Consequences

Failure to resolve tax debts can result in severe consequences such as wage garnishments, property seizures, or liens on your property. Hiring a tax attorney can help you avoid these scenarios.

The Bottom Line: When Should You Hire a Tax Attorney?

Knowing when to hire a tax attorney is about recognizing the signs of potential or existing tax issues and understanding the value of professional intervention. Whether it’s a complex business transaction, an IRS audit, or accusations of tax fraud, it’s best not to navigate these challenges alone. Similarly, if you’re looking for federal tax debt relief, trying to resolve back taxes, or hoping to negotiate an IRS settlement, the advice and expertise of a seasoned tax attorney can be indispensable.

Not every tax problem requires an attorney. Sometimes a certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent (EA) can provide the help you need. But when legal consequences are at stake, when tax situations become complicated, or when you’re just feeling overwhelmed, remember this guide and understand when it’s time to reach out to a tax attorney. The peace of mind you get from knowing your tax issues are being handled professionally and efficiently is worth every penny.

When to hire a tax attorney?

The optimal time to hire a tax attorney is during complex business transactions, when faced with an IRS audit, when accused of tax fraud, or when seeking federal tax debt relief, such as negotiating an IRS settlement or resolving back taxes. An experienced tax attorney offers specialized legal advice and representation in these areas.

For a free consultation with an experienced tax attorney, call The Tax Defenders TODAY at 312-345-5440.

Why do lawyers ask for tax returns?

Lawyers often request tax returns to substantiate claims in legal matters. Tax returns can provide evidence of a party’s financial status, prove or disprove allegations of damages, and unveil circumstantial evidence regarding fraud. For instance, they may be used to verify a defendant’s wrongdoing leading to lost earnings or to validate a party’s financial standing in a divorce settlement. This comprehensive analysis of financial data makes tax returns a vital tool in legal proceedings.

Can a tax attorney negotiate with IRS?

Yes, a tax attorney specializes in negotiating with the IRS on behalf of clients. They possess the legal knowledge and experience to negotiate offers in compromise, remove or reduce penalties, establish payment plans, and safeguard assets from collection actions. By understanding tax laws and leveraging their expertise, tax attorneys play a crucial role in resolving complex tax issues and facilitating settlements with the IRS.

Do you need to know math to be a tax attorney?

While some tax attorneys may have backgrounds in accounting or other mathematics-related fields, advanced math skills are not typically a requirement for success in this profession. A tax attorney’s primary focus lies in understanding complex tax laws, navigating legal technicalities, and analyzing cases. Their role involves legal expertise more than mathematical prowess, although a basic understanding of numbers and financial concepts can be beneficial.

Why do people hire lawyers when dealing with the IRS?

Individuals and businesses often seek the expertise of tax attorneys when dealing with the IRS to ensure professional and legally sound negotiations. A tax attorney can skillfully negotiate offers in compromise, facilitate the removal or reduction of penalties, establish reasonable payment arrangements, and shield assets from collection actions. Their extensive legal knowledge, combined with years of experience, enables them to advocate for clients and achieve optimal outcomes in complex tax situations.

How much does a tax attorney cost?

The cost of hiring a tax attorney can fluctuate, with average hourly rates ranging from $200 to $550. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, especially for specific services, while others bill by the hour. Individual tax resolution cases typically fall within the $3,500 to $4,500 range. It’s essential to consult with the tax attorney during a free consultation or initial meeting to understand the precise fee structure, as it can vary based on experience, location, complexity of the case, and other factors.

What does a tax lawyer do?

A tax lawyer specializes in navigating the intricate tax codes across federal, state, and local levels. They serve as advocates for their clients with tax agencies, engaging in negotiations and dispute resolutions. Their role extends beyond mere advocacy, as they provide strategic planning and advice, stay abreast of the latest tax laws and regulations, assist with business transactions, and help individuals and organizations minimize tax liabilities. Leveraging their legal expertise, tax lawyers are invaluable resources for their clients, ensuring compliance and maximizing financial benefits.

Are tax attorneys worth it?

Generally speaking, hiring a tax attorney can be a wise decision, depending on the complexity and severity of your tax issue. For minor problems like owing a small amount from a personal income tax return, self-resolution might suffice. However, in situations involving substantial debts, legal disputes with the IRS, complicated business tax matters, or potential criminal charges, a tax attorney’s specialized expertise can be invaluable. Their knowledge of tax laws and ability to negotiate can lead to more favorable resolutions, making the investment worthwhile.