When a taxpayer has problems with the US Internal Revenue Service, or a state department of revenue, he may be able to solve it himself. With the intricacies of US tax law being what they are, however, he may find himself better served in hiring a tax attorney.
A tax attorney specializes in working with taxpayers to solve their problems with the IRS or state revenue department. In fact, they generally focus only on tax issues and relief. An attorney can help a taxpayer in trouble make it through an audit, have fines reduced, liens removed, and can navigate through the minefield of small business and self-employment tax issues.
Many small business owners consider their tax attorney to be as vital as their accountant. This is because a good attorney can help head off tax problems before they even begin. He or she can see potential trouble spots for a business and can advise the owner how to avoid them.
US tax law is not only labyrinthine in structure, it also changes nearly every year. A tax attorney should keep up with the latest changes and can advise clients accordingly. He or she may also be helpful when setting up trust funds, stock portfolios and the like, so a taxpayer doesn't run into unexpected surprises on April 15.
A person looking for a tax attorney shouldn't call the first one listed in the phone book. He should look around, ask friends, or even his personal attorney (if he has one) to recommend a good tax specialist. As a prospective client, the taxpayer should look for an attorney with extensive experience in dealing with the IRS, resolving debt management cases, and in working with real live taxpayers. He should also ask the attorney for references. The taxpayer should also make certain that the lawyer is a member of the American Bar Association and the state bar association. A client should also make sure he knows what his attorney's rates are and make arrangements for payment early on in the consultation process.
If a taxpayer finds himself in over his head where the IRS is concerned, he should certainly consult an attorney. Tax fines tend to snowball, and it is always in the taxpayer's best interests to get problems solved while they are still relatively small ones. Waiting until the last minute to seek help could be extremely costly, and might result in jail time for the taxpayer, as well as higher legal fees. Money invested in the services of a tax attorney can be considered a wise investment for a taxpayer.