The 7 Most Important Questions to Ask when Choosing a Tax Lawyer

Tax Lawyer
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We have compiled a list of seven tips for what to ask a tax lawyer to ensure the services they provide meet your needs in order to reduce the high anxiety associated with hiring a lawyer.

What a tax lawyer does?

Tax law can be classified into two categories, according to the personal finance website The Balance. In order to minimize their tax burdens and avoid a tax audit, tax planning lawyers assist businesses and individuals with high net worths in structuring their financial affairs.

When starting or operating a business – and remember that the IRS considers “gig work” self-employment – or managing a large amount of money, you may wish to consult with a tax lawyer of this kind.

The other type of tax lawyer defends individuals and businesses against tax audits, investigations, and legal actions by the IRS or state tax agencies. This is the type of attorney you hire if you are having trouble paying your taxes.

Among other things, they may be able to negotiate your tax debt or other issues with a government agency, find ways to settle your tax debt, advise you on how to respond to an investigation, and defend you in court. They also assist you in communicating with the government.

What to look for in a tax lawyer?

When looking for a lawyer who handles your particular matter-whether it is personal or business-you should be able to narrow your search immediately. There are some important differences between business taxes and personal income taxes, and tax lawyers may specialize in helping either type of client.

Sam Brotman, a San Diego tax attorney, recommends using word of mouth, as well as online reviews and people you know. You can also search our network of attorneys for businesses and individuals.

When you have identified a few candidates, you should be able to interview them about their background and their assessment of your case. The following are some questions to ask:

Which types of tax work do you handle?

There are several types of tax lawyers. A lawyer who specializes in business tax planning may not have the expertise to negotiate a settlement for an individual’s tax debt. A lawyer who specializes in your specific needs is one who frequently performs the kind of work you require.

What is your level of experience with my issue?

The cost of hiring a brand-new attorney may be lower, but if you have a complex tax situation, you may benefit from hiring someone who has extensive experience in dealing with similar cases.

Which states do you have a license to practice in?

It is important that you choose a lawyer who is licensed to practice in the court(s) that will hear your case, which could be state court, federal court, U.S. Tax Court, or another court.

You can also get a glimpse into the experience of a tax lawyer by finding out where they are licensed.

How much do you charge?

As a client, it is imperative to understand what you are getting into, especially if money is an issue. A tax lawyer’s fees will depend not only on the type of case you have, but also on how the lawyer typically charges.

In some cases, lawyers charge an hourly rate; in others, a flat fee, and in some cases, a retainer, in which the attorney draws money from a special account as charges are incurred.

Ask if there are separate charges for things such as copies or the time of an administrator.

What methods will you use to keep me informed?

A tax attorney should be able to explain when you can expect to hear about your case, how they prefer to contact you, and who will handle the communication within their office.

Who will be responsible for the work?

If a paralegal or administrator handles some of the basic work, that is fine, but keep an eye out for organizations that charge you for the lawyer’s time and then have another individual handle the case.

Why do you practice tax law?

Tyson Cross, a tax attorney, suggests this question not because any particular answer is correct, but because it provides insights into the lawyer’s motivations and personality. For example, Cross enjoys alleviating “the gut-wrenching pain of real people” with serious financial problems. This answer can help you decide whether you would be a good match.