What does a tax attorney do?
Simply put, a tax attorney is a legal professional who specializes in tax law. They can use their specialized knowledge and experience to provide legal advice and representation in a variety of tax-related matters, including:
- Tax planning and compliance for businesses and individuals.
- Representation for IRS audits, appeals, and negotiations.
- Representation for tax disputes and lawsuits.
- Estate planning and wealth management.
- Business tax advice, filing, and strategy.
Tax attorneys can also help you understand complex tax laws and regulations, identify potential tax issues, fix past mistakes, and develop strategies to minimize your tax liability. For filing taxes, even complex business returns, a tax attorney is not usually required.
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When do I want to hire a tax attorney?
You may want to consider hiring a tax attorney in several situations ranging from a pending court date to a notice from the IRS that you do not understand. Tax attorneys can help with a range of tax-related legal issues, including:
IRS audits or investigations: If you are being audited by the IRS or are facing an investigation or criminal charges related to taxes, a tax attorney can help protect your rights and interests, negotiate with the IRS, and represent you in court if necessary.
Complex tax filings or planning: If your tax situation is particularly complex due to owning a business, having significant investments, or dealing with multi-state or international tax issues, a tax attorney can provide expert guidance and help you navigate the complexities of the tax code.
Tax planning and strategy: If you want to minimize your tax liability or plan for the future, a tax attorney can help you develop a tax strategy. This can be helpful for small business owners, as well as individuals planning for retirement, or with other financial goals, like buying a house.
Estate planning and wealth management: If you have a significant estate or want to plan for your heirs’ tax liability, a tax attorney can help you structure your estate plan in a tax-efficient manner. They may also be able to provide helpful advice on modifying your estate plan as you age or your circumstances change.
What are the benefits of hiring a tax attorney?
Dealing with taxes and the IRS can be stressful and overwhelming, but hiring a tax attorney can provide peace of mind that your tax issues are being handled by a legal professional who has your best interests in mind. Tax attorneys specialize in tax law and have extensive knowledge of the tax code and regulations and can protect your legal interests. They can also provide expert advice and guidance on a variety of tax-related matters, tailored to your legal and tax issues, from IRS audits to business compliance and your personal estate planning.
Additionally, a tax attorney can help you develop a strategy for your business or personal taxes that aligns with your financial goals and circumstances. This strategy can help you minimize your tax liability and plan for the future.
If you are facing an IRS audit or investigation, a tax attorney can help protect your rights, negotiate with the IRS on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.
What can a tax attorney do that a CPA cannot?
Both tax attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs) have extensive knowledge of tax laws and regulations. There are several things, however, that a tax attorney can do that a CPA cannot do:
Provide legal representation in court: Tax attorneys are licensed to practice law and can represent clients in court if necessary, while CPAs cannot. Tax attorneys may also be able to advise you and your business on additional tax-related legal matters that can arise.
Provide legal advice: Tax attorneys are legal professionals who can provide legal advice and guidance on a variety of tax-related legal matters for individuals and businesses. CPAs can only provide accounting and tax preparation services, and may be limited in the type of tax advice they provide to clients.
Help with complex tax issues: Tax attorneys are particularly useful for complex tax issues such as business reorganizations, mergers sales, and acquisitions, as well as various state and international tax issues. While CPAs can assist with these matters, a tax attorney's legal expertise is often necessary.
Attorney-client privilege: Any communication between a tax attorney and client is protected by attorney-client privilege, which means that the communication is confidential and cannot be disclosed without the client's consent. This privilege does not extend to communications with CPAs and can be important if you are facing legal penalties or consequences.
Tax attorneys and CPAs have their own unique strengths and areas of expertise. CPAs and tax preparers tend to excel at filing taxes and bookkeeping. Tax attorneys are particularly useful for legal representation in court, protecting your rights, providing advice on tax-related legal matters, handling complex tax issues, and maintaining attorney-client privilege.
If you are facing a tax issue that requires legal representation or advice, or want to plan for the future, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice. If you would like affordable and convenient tax preparation and filing services, get matched with a tax pro and let Rocket Tax™ do your taxes for you.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.