A number of tax payers will find they have received an IRS audit or similar situation and are asking if they need a tax attorney for representation. Whether you need this type of specialized attorney is a good question for a number of reasons. This article discusses the decision and some of the issues and concerns involved with whether you need a tax attorney or a tax professional. Additionally, it will outline many of the differences between the two.
When it comes to taxes there are more than a few people you come into contact with. There is the CPA or certified public accountant, a preparers and other professionals. Knowing which one you need when is a daunting task. Not all questions will have an answer here. The Internal Revenue Service has a wonderful site to answer many questions with more detail for anyone seeking more advice.
Tax attorney versus tax professional
There are some advantages to hiring an attorney versus a professional. A professional is generally an accountant or CPA (certified public accountant). An attorney can give their clients several things not found with a professional such as; legal representation, attorney client privilege, advocacy and legal representation.
Legal representation for tax payers
Legal representation is important. An attorney has tools of training and education with respect to examining, investigating and researching the law as it relates to your specific case. This is the main part that differentiates an attorney from a professional.
A court of law is where many tax controversies work themselves out. For many taxpayers a court proceeding is better served using an attorney. The IRS or Internal Revenue Service Code for tax purposes along with treasury regulations that are laws are better interpreted by attorneys that specialize in this kind of law versus a professional.
Attorney client privilege
Conversations between a client and an attorney fall under attorney client privilege. Anything that a client says to his attorney cannot be used against him or revealed to anyone else such as the IRS, a state taxing authority or in a court of law.
This same protection will not hold true for conversations that take place between a client and their professional.
Advocacy for tax payers
When dealing with these kinds of special issues or problems there is a fair amount of negotiation that takes place. Using an attorney means using a trained professional in the art of negotiation. They will negotiate and advocate for their clients using the law. They will stand before the IRS, court of law or other platform and be the voice of their clients.
Professional attorney skills with the knowledge of the court system and unique laws make an attorney the ideal advocate for any tax payer facing these special kinds of troubles. A professional will support you with the documentation you will need, but an attorney is a representative which speaks on your behalf. Most CPAs do not go beyond supplying documents.
The answer for whether you need a tax attorney is yes. If you are facing IRS audits, tax payment problems, tax issues or any other related or similar problems related to taxes an attorney is better equipped to represent a client for a number of reasons. Having a tax attorney provides a tax payer with legal representation, attorney client privilege and advocacy which are things you cannot receive from a tax professional.