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What is a Tax Lawyer?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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A tax lawyer represents individuals, businesses, and organizations in tax-related matters. These lawyers are well educated in tax law and often advise their clients on how to handle their finances in a manner that is consistent with local and national tax laws. They may also help individuals and businesses after the fact, such as when a mistake has already been made in a tax-related situation.

One type of tax lawyer is called an income tax lawyer. This type of attorney works with taxpayers who are required to pay taxes to a local or national agency based on their income amounts. He may help a taxpayer understand tax law and make sure that the amount he is paying is correct, assisting him with staying on the right side of the law in terms of deductions and credits as well. An income tax attorney may be particularly helpful when a person has several income sources or is self-employed, with income amounts that may be difficult to prove or keep track of. Sometimes income tax lawyers do more than simply advise taxpayers; an income tax lawyer may provide representation when a tax agency decides to investigate a taxpayer's return.

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A business tax lawyer is a type of attorney who focuses on the needs of businesses and organizations. This kind of lawyer typically has extensive knowledge of business taxation laws, as businesses may be subject to taxes that differ greatly from those paid by an individual. This is particularly true of corporations and partnerships, as taxes for these types of businesses can be very complicated.

Sometimes businesses and individuals need even more specialization from a tax lawyer. For example, they may need international lawyers to handle unique situations that arise from living or doing business abroad. An international tax lawyer is well-versed in international tax law and can help his clients understand how to handle paying taxes while living in another country. Besides income tax situations, these attorneys can also be helpful for dealing with things like foreign tax credits, foreign currency transactions, and tax treaties.

Some tax attorneys may work for law firms or open up their own law offices. Others may work for government agencies while some choose to work for private organizations. When lawyers are hired by government agencies and privately or publicly owned businesses, they may be kept on as salaried employees or called on periodically for consultations.

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Logicfest
Post 2

@Markerrag -- You'll also find a fair amount of accountants getting law degrees just so they can specialize in tax law. As you said, a lawyer can make a heck of a living doing this and that may be why you see so many accountants heading off to law school. The accountants already know they like that kind of work, so why not expand their knowledge, earn a law degree and have the potential to make more money?

Markerrag
Post 1

This is a highly specialized field, but it can be a lucrative one. It is not the most exciting field out there, but those who are good at it can make a comfortable living and not have to deal with running off to court constantly.

There is a master's degree out there (earned through an LLM for people who have completed law school) that will give attorneys wanting to go into this field a leg up on the competition. And, yes, the competition for these jobs is pretty fierce.

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