Whether you’re facing an IRS tax audit or need to set up some estate planning, you need to hire a tax attorney. These professionals spend years in school obtaining Bachelor’s degrees, juris doctorates, and even further advanced degrees, such as Master’s degrees and doctorates in accounting, in order to represent you in court and in front of the IRS. They can handle everything from legal issues pertaining to the IRS to assisting with removing liens on your property and garnishments against your wages. While the jobs of a CPA and a tax attorney may intersect a little, a tax attorney is a highly trained professional who can assist you with legal matters.
Wondering why you’d need to hire a tax attorney? Let’s jump into the top five reasons.
What Is a Tax Attorney?
In many cases, a tax attorney starts out their future career in the same manner as a certified public account, or CPA, with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Some may major in math, pre-law, or business as well, depending on the school and the courses required to obtain a degree. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, the next step involves taking the LSAT, or Law School Admissions Test. This test is required to get into law school, where they spend three years learning the intricacies of law in order to pass the bar exam.
Once the state bar exam has been passed, a tax attorney’s path to a job isn’t quite over. They often work for a law firm that specializes in taxes in order to obtain the necessary experience, usually balancing further study at the same time. Yes, many tax attorneys have advanced degrees in accounting, such as Master’s degrees or doctorates, which further enhances their knowledge of the tax code. This helps them adhere with the requirements of their state bar association, which require continued learning in order to stay current and allowed to practice as an attorney.
How Can a Tax Attorney Help You?
Although tax attorneys are well versed in accounting, they have a specialized job. If you need someone to represent you in court against the IRS or need to correspond with the IRS in writing, then you’ll need a tax attorney. While a tax attorney may be able to handle standard accounting tasks, like bookkeeping, you wouldn’t hire them to do so. They specialize in handling the intersection of the law and accounting, not standard accounting.
Some examples of situations where you’d hire a tax attorney include if the IRS is garnishing your wages and you’d like to work out a payment plan with them instead or if the IRS has placed liens or levies on your property as a result of your unpaid taxes. A tax attorney can handle your communication with the IRS in these situations, acting as a go-between in order to ensure that the situation works out beneficially for both parties.
In addition, if you owe a lot of money in back taxes, want to offer the IRS a settlement, or work out a payment plan, then you’d seek the guidance of a tax attorney, not a CPA. They can handle many different issues that you have with the IRS, helping you work out deals or remove levies and halt garnishments.
Outside of IRS issues, a tax attorney can also prepare estate documents and set up trusts in order to keep your money safe for your next generation. They are fully prepared to handle these documents. Although a CPA may know exactly how much money is in your business bank accounts, your tax attorney can handle the succession planning for that family business.
Why Should You Hire a Tax Attorney?
As you can see, a tax attorney can handle a number of different things that a CPA simply cannot. In fact, there are many reasons why you’d need to hire a tax attorney to represent or help you. Here are five important reasons to have one on your side.
1) You’re Behind on Your Tax Returns
Dealing with years of unfiled tax returns? While you could fill them out and send them in with the help of your accountant, its best to see a tax attorney regarding the issue. They can help you work with the IRS to get those returns not only sent in and processed, but they can also assist with a payment plan that will benefit both parties. You won’t have to face the IRS on your own, which can be nerve wracking, especially when you owe them several years’ worth of unpaid taxes. Having a tax attorney represent you lets the IRS know that someone has your back, and having the attorney handle all of the communication between you and the IRS makes things easier on you. It will make an already stressful situation a little less so, which is always a good thing.
2) You Want to Set Up a New Business
Setting up a new business is more complicated than you think. You not only have to get the business incorporated correctly (you have choices between a sole proprietorship, a partnership, an S-corporation, and a C-corporation, in general), but you also need handle all of the paperwork, apply for a new EIN (employer identification number), set up business bank accounts and more. The process is very complicated, even if you’re buying an existing business and simply rebranding it as your own. A tax attorney can help you with every step of this process, as they have plenty of experience in business setup and planning.
3) You Need Help with Estate Planning
Estate planning can be complicated. Whether you want to put money in a series of trusts for your children or grandchildren, want to ensure that your estate will be parceled out the way that you want it to, or are worried about your children and grandchildren being hit with expensive estate taxes, a tax attorney can help. They can handle all of the paperwork for you, getting your estate into order. They can set up trusts and help you choose the best trustees to oversee the funds. Even if you want to set up a nonprofit with some of your estate and have a board take care of disbursing the funds, a tax attorney can assist. They are well versed in every aspect of estate planning and will make the process of succession set up as painless as possible. Plus, if you have any questions regarding your estate or the setup process, they can help with that as well.
4) You’re Dealing with IRS Wage Garnishments and Tax Liens
There are few things worse than finding out that the IRS is going to begin garnishing your wages and placing tax liens on your property. Since you more than likely ignored all of the notices that they sent you regarding the back taxes that you owe them, the IRS is now playing hardball. In fact, in some cases, if you owe enough money and avoid paying it, the IRS may even file criminal charges against you. If this is the case (or they are simply garnishing your wages or filing liens against your property), then you need a tax attorney to assist you. Your tax attorney can reach out to the IRS and handle all of the communication with them. They can also help you work out some sort of payment plan or lump sum payment that will stop the garnishment and lien attempts and even place the criminal charges on hold. As long as you adhere to the terms of your agreement, the IRS will work with you and your tax attorney to reach a solution.
5) You’re Undergoing an IRS Tax Audit
IRS tax audits, whether they involve having the IRS come to your place of business or you sending in your financial records for them to look through, can be stressful. Having the help of a tax attorney can make things easier. A tax attorney will communicate with the IRS for you, ensure that you have all of the records that the IRS wants, and help you submit those records for review. When the IRS needs more information or has questions, your tax attorney can handle them for you, acting as a go-between. Plus, it always helps to have an attorney on your side, just in case the IRS decides that you owe them back taxes.
Contact Us Today
If you need to hire a tax attorney or have any questions regarding owing tax taxes, needing representation with the IRS, or are dealing with wage garnishments and tax liens on your property, then please reach out to the tax advisors at Enterprise Consultants Group. We can answer your questions, discuss your rights, and provide actionable options. Please contact us online or at (800) 575-9284 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to see how we can help you.
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