Ideally, every taxpayer should file his/her income tax returns before April 15th every year. The tax filing process is not exactly a cakewalk and you could encounter some problems, even if you are not at fault. Tax filing procedures and timelines that are not adhered to can sometimes result in penalties, from a fine to even prison time. If you are not sure about the tax filing process, it is wise to hire a good tax attorney to help you out of your predicament.
Don’t try to fix the problem on your own by calling the IRS and explaining the issue. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents are trained to investigate and collect evidence used in criminal proceedings. They may seem helpful but remember that any statement you make may be used against you in a court of law.
A qualified tax attorney is your best bet to get out of a tax mess. Some other situations where you might need a tax attorney are: IRS audits, tax issues with payroll, Innocent Spouse claims on tax, failure to file IT returns, wage garnishments, seizures, liens, levies, or unpaid taxes.
Tax attorneys are also well-equipped to assist you on a personal basis with estate planning. They can also supply established businesses long-term strategies in the light of existing tax laws.
Keep This in Mind when Looking for a Tax Attorney
On the subject of tax proceeding representation, keep in mind that we are talking about a legal attorney, not accountants or CPAs who may be unqualified to give legal advice.
Ask friends, business associates or, better still, your family attorney for recommendations. You can also contact the local or state bar association and request for names of tax attorneys in your area.
Tax law is a specialized field, meaning that those practicing it are required to successfully obtain a certification. The basic law degree is known as Juris Doctorate (JD). Those who hold additional degrees in tax law will have LLM or LLM in Taxation besides the JD notation after their names. Check if the attorney is licensed to practice in the U.S. Tax Court as well as the Federal Appellate and District Courts.
Be wary of an attorney who makes grand promises to solve your problems in the first meeting itself. Look for someone who is practical and realistic. It is advisable to engage the services of a tax attorney with many years of experience and a good track record.