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How Much Does a Tax Attorney Make?

By Edited Jan 5, 2016 1 0

When individuals choose to become an attorney, they have several different options for the type of law they want to choose to make their specialty. Individuals that are interested in taxes, accounting or finances often choose tax law to become their specialty and become tax attorneys.

Tax attorneys are responsible for providing assistance to individuals and businesses when they encounter problems with their taxes. Generally this occurs when they are audited or investigated by the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Tax Revenue at their state level. Some simply hire a tax attorney to serve as a consultant and provide them with advice on what to do rather than representing them in court. Businesses and wealthy individuals often keep tax attorneys on retainer year round so they can help them navigate through yearly changes to tax laws and avoid any pitfalls or problem areas.

Tax attorneys are no different from other types of lawyers as they are required to attend law school and successfully complete the bar exam. In addition, some tax attorneys choose to get some type of education or training in accounting to familiarize themselves with the practice in addition to the laws. However, this is not a requirement, and most experts recommend having both a tax accountant and a tax attorney rather than just allowing one person to handle everything.

Tax attorneys are generally better compensated financially than an accountant. On average, tax attorneys make approximately $90,000 per year. However the amount a tax attorney makes depends on a variety of different factors. An individual considering a career in this field needs to take into account these factors when determining their earning potential as a tax attorney.

Experience has a major impact on how much a tax attorney earns. New, in-experienced tax attorneys generally make less than those who have been working in the field representing clients for several years. Most people start out with relatively low wages and gradually increase these throughout their career.

The clients they represent also impacts the earnings of a tax attorney. Individuals who specialize in providing legal representation regarding taxes for major corporations often earn more than tax attorneys who represent private individuals, especially if they cater to the middle class or low-income citizens.

Another factor that affects how much a tax attorney earns is their geographic location. Tax attorneys that work in major metropolitan cities across the United States earn more generally than individuals who work in medium-sized cities or rural areas. However cost of living is often cheaper in less populated areas making it sometimes more profitable to live in one of these areas and earn less than what opportunities in a major city provides.

Place of employment is also a factor for how much a tax attorney makes. Individuals who own their own law firm have a higher earning potential than those that work as an associate in a law firm owned by someone else. Owning their own law firm allows the tax attorney to set their own rates and fees while also earning the profit off of the firm rather than simply being paid a salary.

If you are interested in becoming a tax attorney, it's important to find out exactly how much they earn prior to beginning any training or education in this field. Visit the website of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to review labor market data and statistics. Find out exactly how much a tax attorney earns and how that differs based on geographical areas, years of experience and other factors. Contact your state department of labor for salary and earning information in your state or city.

Network with attorneys who specialize in this niche field and ask them how much they earn. Explain to them you're interested in a career in this field and would like more information to ensure it is the right choice for you. Many are willing to take a few moments to answer your questions as well as give you pointers on anything to do or be aware of as you train to become a tax attorney. Ask one to serve as a mentor, as they can be an invaluable resource if you choose to pursue this type of career.

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