When to Consult a Tax Lawyer
A lawyer with expertise in tax law is known as a tax attorney. Tax attorneys assist clients in structuring their finances to minimize taxes, adhere to tax laws, and resolve issues with the IRS or other tax authorities. Some focus on particular topics, such as commercial, international, or inheritance taxes.
Tax lawyers frequently work for law firms or accountancy businesses. Some people might be solo practitioners, which means they run their own companies and are self-employed.
In many circumstances, tax attorneys at law firms advise clients on how to act to receive favorable tax treatment. In addition to representing clients in tax court or other venues, they might prepare contracts or other legal documents that are required to make it happen.
Clients typically receive more assistance from tax lawyers at accounting and consulting businesses in following tax regulations.
When to Consult a Tax Attorney
Employing a tax attorney may be especially appropriate in several circumstances.
- Estate planning. A tax attorney can assist you with estate planning and the documentation needed to reduce estate taxes, transfer assets to heirs, create trusts, and other measures.
- Launch a business. A tax lawyer might be able to offer advice on developing tax-wise business plans for beginning, purchasing, selling, or growing.
- A tax dispute. A tax lawyer can assist you if you have a tax issue, want to sue the IRS, the state, or a local tax authority on a tax matter, or if you need a hearing before the U.S. Tax Court.
A tax lawyer might be able to assist you in pursuing options like the following if you have an unpaid debt with the IRS or another tax authority that you want to negotiate or contest:
- In-Compromise Offer
- Tax bills can be paid in installments.
What to Search for in a Tax Lawyer
Here are three items to look out for:
- A legal permit. To practice law, an attorney needs a license. You can check on the website of your state’s bar association to see if a tax attorney is authorized to practice law in your state.
- Signs of specialized training or advanced education. In the majority of states, obtaining a legal license also requires completion of law school. A master’s degree in taxation may be held by some tax attorneys (called an LL.M). Some tax lawyers are also certified public accountants, as evidenced by their possession of CPA licenses.
- A tax identification number for the preparer (PTIN). Anyone who files tax returns for pay must have a PTIN issued by the IRS. Your tax return’s preparer must sign it and supply a PTIN.
How Much Does a Tax Lawyer Charge?
Legal work generally isn’t inexpensive. Tax attorneys typically bill between $295 and $390 per hour. The amount can change lower or higher depending on the attorney’s level of experience.
37% of taxpayers who hire lawyers for tax preparation spend between $0 and $5,000, and another 14% spend between $5,000 and $100,000. A quarter of the work is completed for free, and 4% is completed on a contingency basis (where the attorney receives a portion of the damages if any are awarded).
Obtaining Free Legal Assistance
By going to a low-income tax clinic, also known as a LITC, in your area, you might be able to receive free or inexpensive assistance from a tax attorney.
These clinics represent clients whose income falls below a set threshold. And who have IRS tax issues that need to be resolved. In audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and court, LITCs can represent you. LITCs can also be used to resolve account issues or reply to IRS letters. Contact us to find out more.