What Is an IRS Lawyer?

IRS Lawyer

Sometimes referred to as a tax attorney, an IRS lawyer specializes in tax law to help clients with unfiled returns, settling back taxes, and other tax matters. IRS lawyers are the professionals whom taxpayers should turn to when they face complications with the IRS, rather than a CPA or tax preparer.

Among tax attorneys, there are different specializations. Rather than trouble with the IRS, a person may require help with the taxes involved with an estate or trust. It is essential to understand that IRS lawyers and Certified Public Accountants are not the same professions.

What Is a Certified Public Accountant?

A CPA has a business degree rather than a law degree. Further, CPAs rarely handle taxes at standard tax preparation chains. Instead, they have a deeper knowledge and training than typical tax preparers. These accountants help prepare taxes, especially with complex situations such as divorce and high-net-worth investments. CPAs help make sure their clients adhere to the latest tax laws and regulations, all while lowering their tax bill as much as possible.

CPAs may have a professional background in matters such as tax settlements. But, they may also have gaps in their knowledge of specific tax programs, unlike IRS attorneys. Lawyers who focus on taxes keep up with the latest tax codes and laws, which can change from year to year.

Private citizens and business owners alike may benefit from working with both a CPA and an attorney. CPAs help clients develop long-term tax plans and stick to those plans over the years. Together, accountants and attorneys help clients avoid financial and tax issues while helping them with protecting their money. They may possibly even aid them with making and keeping more money during tax season.

What Situations Call for an IRS Lawyer?

While IRS lawyers help clients who are in hot water with the IRS, they also help with several other scenarios.

Taxable Estate

Depending on an estate’s total value, it could become taxable. Heirs are the ones who must pay the estate tax. An attorney could help them devise a way to remain below the taxable limit and retain as much of their inheritance as possible.

Starting a Business

Those just starting a business should consult with a legal representative who can help them choose the right business entity. Different business entity types have different tax obligations; business owners should know and understand those obligations before going operational. It is a bad idea to learn the latest tax obligations and bookkeeping requirements through trial and error. Ignorance of the law is not a good defense for not adhering to the law.

Tax attorneys can also assist with certain non-tax issues related to operating a business. Companies that operate internationally should consider bringing in a legal tax professional to help with tax treatment and contracts.

Tax Audit 

When a person learns that the IRS wants to conduct an audit, the taxpayer should hire an IRS attorney immediately. Attorneys communicate with the IRS on the client’s behalf, help negotiate a proper settlement, and remain with the client during the audit. With a legal defendant’s help, taxpayers do not have to worry as much about overpaying when their audit concludes. It is always in a taxpayer’s most favorable interest to respond to warnings and letters from the IRS as quickly as possible. Otherwise, this government agency may threaten to charge the person with tax evasion.

Legal Complications

Touching back on the IRS, a person may wish to sue the agency or conduct an independent analysis of a case before the U.S. Tax Court. Taxpayers may need access to programs to help them lower or settle a tax bill. An IRS lawyer can help taxpayers qualify for such programs.

The IRS may accuse someone of tax fraud or tax evasion for refusing to pay taxes, file tax returns, or divulge a source of income. These criminal charges often come with prosecution fees, fines, prison time, and interest payments. Whenever a taxpayer learns about potential criminal charges, turning the situation over to a legal advocate can prevent self-incrimination once the IRS starts a formal investigation.

One advantage of working with a tax attorney rather than an accountant for legal matters is that legal defendants do not have an obligation to share client information with the court. This does not always apply to accountants.

Are IRS Lawyers More Effective at Intervention or Prevention?

Much like CPAs, IRS legal representatives help clients with financial decisions, tax planning, and lowering tax bills. That means they can both prevent tax complications and intervene when legal complications arise. Those who are not sure of the specific degree of help they require should at least consult with a well-experienced tax attorney to help them decide.

Does the IRS Grow Suspicious When a Person Hires an IRS Lawyer?

Some taxpayers may be under the impression that they may look guilty if they secure legal representation. On the contrary, IRS agents usually do not mind working with legal representatives. This is because they do not have to break down the basics for tax professionals. This can speed things up with cases involving complex questions or a substantial sum of money.

Sometimes, IRS agents tell taxpayers that they do not need to secure legal representation, or that the agent may further complicate matters if the person hires a lawyer. According to tax law, IRS agents must end an interview when a person states that she or he wants to speak to an attorney, enrolled agent, or CPA. When an agent attempts to talk a person out of securing legal representation, that agent may infringe on a U.S. citizen’s rights and violate the law.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer

Do any of the above scenarios sound similar to your current predicament? Do not take any chances with your business, estate, tax issues, or legal rights. Reach out to an IRS lawyer to understand your situation and develop a sound legal strategy or response. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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