Important Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Tax Attorney

By on Feb 1, 2016 in Tax Law |

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When it comes to your taxes you always want to make sure that they are completed accurately.  This is very important because there are more than 140 civil penalties that the government will use to prosecute those who handle their taxes incorrectly. Your tax return should be accurate and it should never be done in a hurry.  If your returns are done correctly, you will not have to worry about paying fines and facing legal ramifications.  If you don’t know how to do your own taxes or if you are already facing problems with the IRS, consider hiring a tax attorney. As you interview prospective tax resolution attorneys, make sure you ask the following questions to insure you get the services you need.

As you begin your interview you will need to find out if the attorney you are interviewing is actually a tax attorney.  This means that the professional deals with taxes on a regular basis.  He or she will know the laws and they are able to help you with your taxes if you are a business or an individual.  They should know American tax law inside and out and be able to answer your questions easily without having to constantly look up the answers. If the lawyer focuses on another area of practice, walk away and find an attorney that is devoted solely to tax resolution.

Ask the prospective tax attorney what services will be provided to you when you enter into an agreement.  Are they simply going to help you file your taxes, or will they be providing you with assistance if you are contacted by the IRS?  Will they be able to give you the appropriate assistance if you are audited by the IRS?  While you do not want to worry about being audited, it does happen.  It will be very important to make sure that your tax attorney will be able to help you through this process if it happens.

What are they going to charge you?  Is this a standard rate or will you be charged for additional services? For example, if you are audited, will they provide you assistance for the price that they quoted you or will you have to pay extra?  Always ask for the services and rates to be placed in writing.  Then you can go back to that agreement if a problem should arise.

Always ask the tax attorney for a list of references that you can contact.  This will be very important if you are a business because you want to speak with other business owners that have used the attorney in the past to get honest feedback.  If you find that the attorney does not have any references, or they do not want to give you any names then you may want to search for another professional.  It could be a red flag that their previous clients did not have a positive experience.

Before you make any final decisions about the attorney that you are going to use you should contact the American Bar Association.  Find out if the attorney has ever been reported for illegal actions.  The individual that you hire should be in good standing with the American Bar Association with no recent complaints.