The world of tax and legal issues can be complicated and confusing for the average person. And while you know you can turn to an accountant for help with your finances and an attorney for help with legal issues, you may not know that a tax attorney can help you with problems that fall into both categories.
What does a tax attorney do?
A tax attorney is an attorney who specializes in local, state, federal, or even international laws. They can inform you of your tax liability in complicated situations, help businesses make the best choices to lower their tax liability, and help individuals and businesses when they find themselves in court because of tax issues.
Many specialize in issues with the Internal Revenue Service and can help with audits, settlements, and courtroom hearings.
Reasons your business might need a tax attorney
A tax attorney’s depth of knowledge can benefit for-profit businesses, non-profit businesses, and the average person.
If you’re thinking of starting or expanding a business, a tax attorney can advise you on tax laws and how to stay compliant wherever your business takes you. They can also offer advice about how to structure your business to be most beneficial for you.
And if you’re buying or selling a business, you’ll want to make sure that all the ends are tied up as far as taxes are concerned before the business ownership is transferred. A tax attorney can make sure there are no loopholes that may come back and catch you off guard in the future.
Reasons you might need one
If you’re inheriting property or money, they can help you determine the best way to handle the estate tax and make sure you do it correctly to avoid trouble with the IRS later. And, when you’re writing a will, a tax attorney can help you plan the most beneficial way to get your money to your heirs. Since they are experts in tax law, they are familiar with all the intricacies of inheritance laws.
If you have to go to court for tax issues, a tax attorney can advise you on how to handle the litigation and represent you in court. A tax attorney could also help you with an audit or even work alongside a CPA to prepare complicated tax returns.
Who else could help you with your tax issues
An attorney can cost a lot of money. And, while it could be money well spent in certain situations, you could take a few other steps before you pick up the phone.
If you’ve received a letter from a tax authority about a tax return that an accountant or other tax preparer filed for you, check with your preparer to see what services they offer. Many tax preparation firms will stand by their work and offer to help you with any errors they made on your returns. At the very least, it’s worth a call to see if they can help you. If they can’t help, they may already work with a tax attorney that they can recommend and work with to help get your issues settled as quickly as possible.
Average cost of using a tax attorney
Speaking of money, how much could you expect to spend on a tax attorney? While costs vary wildly, a tax attorney usually costs around $200 to $400 per hour. The cost could go up to $1,000 per hour depending on where you live and the complexity of your issue. They may charge a lower rate for an initial consultation, though.
While the cost seems steep, their advice could save you thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties, and interest. Whether they are helping you figure out the best way to structure your business or working through issues with the IRS, it’s probably well worth the cost to get the expert advice they offer.
A tax attorney differs from a CPA, and they are both important professionals to have on your side when it comes to your finances and taxes. If you’re a business owner or plan to become one, meeting with a tax attorney can help you make sure you comply with tax laws wherever you do business. They can help you with your estate plan as you’re drawing up your will and help you if you’ve inherited money. And if you have to go to court for tax matters, there’s no one more knowledgeable to represent you than a tax attorney.