A tax attorney is a lawyer that deals specifically with tax law. They can help you with simple tax questions or complicated legal issues relating to your taxes.
How Do They Become Tax Attorneys?
Like other lawyers, tax attorneys go to college and have to pass the bar exam in order to practice law. Most tax lawyers have around seven years of secondary schooling. In the first four years, they earn a bachelor’s degree, and then they go on to earn their Master of Laws in Taxation or LL.M. degree.
During the LL.M. program, law students can study general tax law or they can choose to specialize. Law students might specialize in general business taxation, estate planning, international taxation, or financial services. It sounds like a lot of work to become a tax attorney, but the average tax attorney salary is over $100,000 a year. They’re also in high demand, so a tax attorney won’t have any trouble finding a job.
What Do They Do?
Usually, you would go to a tax attorney for advice about your taxes, but tax attorneys may also represent their clients in the event that they have to go to court. They also give consultations to clients who have questions about setting up a trust fund, need help investing in an inheritance, want to set up a stock portfolio, or are being audited by the IRS.
If you have questions about your taxes, the best course of action would be to ask a tax lawyer for advice before you end up having a problem. That way, they can advise you on how to avoid your issue, instead of trying to fix a problem after the fact. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
When Would I Need One?
You might seek out a tax attorney for your personal finances or help with your small business. If you are planning to bring a personal suit against the IRS or you are under criminal investigation by the IRS, you should definitely hire a tax attorney. If you have committed tax fraud, a tax attorney may be able to help you with your case.
When starting your own business, a tax attorney would be able to provide legal counsel to ensure that you file your taxes correctly. Small-businesses and people who are self-employed may find a tax attorney especially helpful.
A tax lawyer can really help you keep your finances in order. They are used to working closely with the IRS or state revenue department and the average person, or even average lawyer, is not. Tax law changes from year to year, which can lead to taxpayers making honest mistakes when filing their taxes. The results can be unfortunate, leading to penalties, legal fees, or even jail time, but tax attorneys stay on top of those changes so they can give you the best advice possible.
Tax Planning Attorneys
Tax planning attorneys help you figure out what to do when filing your taxes. They help foresee problems that might come up with your taxes, and they help you take care of them ahead of time. If you have trouble understanding something with your taxes, or are unsure of what you’re doing, a consultation with a tax planning attorney might be just what you need.
This type of tax lawyer can also help you formulate a financial strategy to help keep you out of trouble with the IRS. They don’t usually take cases to court, so if you already have a problem that will require litigation, you may want to see a tax controversy attorney instead.
Tax Controversy Attorneys
This type of tax attorney does represent clients in court cases. Tax controversy attorneys can help you when you’re already in hot water with the IRS, a tax audit for example. An audit is a review of your tax return. The IRS or state department of revenue will conduct audits. If you plan to bring suit against the IRS, are under criminal investigation by the IRS, or have committed tax fraud, you should contact a tax controversy lawyer.
Other Tax Attorneys
There are other kinds of tax attorneys that specialize in other types of tax law. Real estate tax law attorneys deal specifically with property. They ensure that their clients pay the appropriate amount of money in their property taxes. They might be called in for renegotiation purposes, but they probably won’t argue a lot of cases in court.
Bankruptcy tax lawyers address problems with the financial event of bankruptcy. Taxpayers file for bankruptcy in extreme circumstances when they can’t repay their debts. It is useful to have an attorney that is well-acquainted with bankruptcy proceedings so that everything goes smoothly if you file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy tax law attorneys help clients cope with the tax fallout that results from a bankruptcy filing. They also make sure that financial reports in a bankruptcy filing are without error.
When you think you might have trouble with your taxes, you should err on the side of caution. Reach out to a tax attorney for help so you know you’ll have everything in order.
Featured Image Source: DepositPhotos / alexrathsPosted on February 15, 2017