These Are the Steps You Need to Take to Find a Local Tax Attorney
Dealing with the IRS and taxes can be enough to scare anyone. There’s a lot of legal code and terminology that seems too much to wade through on your own.
You may have received a notice that your assets are being levied by the IRS to settle a tax debt. If you’re self-employed or own a business, owing back taxes isn’t uncommon. It’s hard to know how much you should set aside for taxes.
That’s where a tax attorney can help. You have someone on your side who understands the tax code and can help you work with the IRS to resolve your issue.
How can you find a top tax attorney to work with? Read on to find out.
You Need a Tax Attorney When…
Having a tax attorney on hand isn’t just for emergency situations, like when you’re getting certified letters from the IRS.
There are special situations that can require the help of a good tax lawyer. For example, if you’re getting ready to start a business, a local tax attorney can help you decide your company structure and know the tax advantages within that structure.
Is your business planning to be international? You’ll want to have a tax attorney review contracts and tax laws.
If you’re dealing with an estate, there are special tax considerations. Planning an estate or filing taxes as an estate is enough to require the services of a tax attorney.
Of course, you need a tax attorney when you’re in need of legal help with the IRS. You could be under criminal investigation by the IRS or have to appear in U.S. Tax Court. In 2017, the IRS investigated over 3,000 tax crimes.
How to Find a Local Tax Attorney
Now that you understand some of the reasons why you want to hire a tax attorney, how do you go about finding a good local tax attorney?
You could start with Google, but are you going to really get the results you need? Here’s what you need to look for to find a top tax attorney in your area.
The first thing you want to look at in a local tax attorney is the experience. The ones with more experience working with the IRS will have a great understanding as to how they work, how they operate.
They may work with a lot of cases with yours and have established working relationships with IRS agents. That can be a tremendous asset with you’re trying to resolve your case.
Professional Memberships & Credentials
The next thing you want to look for in a tax attorney is the number of professional memberships and credentials they have.
These things aren’t everything, but it does show that they take their work as a tax attorney seriously. You’ll want to make sure that at a minimum, the hold a Juris Doctor degree, they’ve passed your state’s bar exam and are licensed to practice law.
Other credentials can include membership in the state bar and membership in the American Bar Association’s tax group or the National Association of Tax Professionals.
Look for an Attorney with a Great Reputation
You’ll have to do a bit of research on this one. Before you hire an attorney, take a look at different directory websites and read the reviews of their work. This will give you a good indication of what you can expect from working with the attorney.
You can take your research even further by contacting your state bar association to see if there are any disciplinary marks against the attorney.
Interview Tax Attorneys
When you get the names of a handful of local tax attorneys, call them up and ask them questions. At the very least, you want to know how your case will be handled. Are you going to be just another client to them, or will you get incredible service?
Here are several questions you can ask the attorney.
How are services billed?
You want to know up front how the attorney bills for their services. You’re likely to see an hourly rate or a flat rate.
The attorney may also bill for office support time spent on your case and for other costs such as postage and copies.
Who will be working on your case?
You can’t expect a busy attorney to do everything for your case. There’s a good chance that they’ll have the help of paralegals or assistants to do some of the work. You want to make sure that whoever works on your case is well-qualified to do so.
What experience do they have working with a situation similar to yours?
Your situation may be unique to you, but it should be to the tax attorney you work with. Ask them for a specific time when they worked on a similar case and what the outcome was. If they don’t have an answer to your question, now is the time to ask them for a referral for an attorney who does that have experience.
How will the attorney keep you updated about your case?
You want to make sure that your attorney keeps you up to date with any changes or updates regarding your situation. Before you hire a tax attorney, get clear on how they’ll keep you posted and how often you can expect to hear from them.
Finding a Local Tax Attorney
There are many different situations where you need to hire a tax attorney. Starting a business, expanding internationally, working with an estate and IRS troubles are all reasons to hire a tax attorney.
You’ll know that all tax attorneys aren’t the same. Some will have more experience, and most importantly, more experience working with similar cases to yours.
Hiring a local tax attorney isn’t a decision to be taken lightly and you need to do your due diligence to make sure you hire the best one for your situation.
Read this to find out more about hiring a tax resolution attorney.