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How Can An Income Tax Attorney Help You?
Doug Smith

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What makes a tax attorney different from other financial advisors? Tax accountants and advisors generally prepare your federal income tax returns and file them for you. They may even assist you with tax planning for the coming year. You need an attorney who is an expert in the tax code when you have taxing disputes or problems with the local or state government, or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If there's some kind of disagreement about the numbers on your Form 1040 (or not on the form!), then you need an experienced tax lawyer.

The IRS is one of the most feared government agencies by American citizens. Most people prepare their tax returns, submit paper or e-file copies, and hope to go unnoticed by the IRS. However, based on some arcane criteria only they know, the IRS will perform tax audits on certain taxpayers. That is when you need legal counsel that understands the tax code. If you are audited, your tax professional can interact with the IRS on your behalf, saving you much aggravation.

Tax payers that owe large amounts of money to the IRS, especially money that they cannot pay, can also take advantage of an income tax lawyer's expertise. These legal tax experts can negotiate your tax burden with the IRS, and often come to a compromise which can decrease your taxes owed substantially. Such compromises are called "offers in compromise" or "offer in lieu" and can help destitute citizens reduce their tax debt to a manageable level. Sometimes your legal tax consultant can reduce your debt to pennies on the dollar!

The IRS has unlimited power to seize your assets if you cannot pay, or at least it seems that way. Legal tax experts can help decrease or reverse IRS seizures, garnishment of your wages, payroll taxes, levies and liens, and of course, IRS audits. Give your lawyer as much information as you have well ahead of any audit or hearing. This will allow you the best representation and hopefully a satisfactory compromise of the taxes you owe.

Should you really be hiring a tax barrister if you owe lots of federal income taxes to the government? The answer is yes, if you think about it. If you don't hire an attorney to help with your taxing problems, the IRS might take all your property, and most of your future paychecks, to settle your tax bill. Hiring a tax professional can not only help reduce your taxable burdens, but also hopefully keep your house, car, and most of your paycheck while you pay a reduced tax amount.

It shouldn't be difficult to find attorneys specializing in tax disputes. If you cannot find one on your own, check the phone book or internet. If you already have a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), ask if s/he is also an attorney, which is an ideal situation.

The American Bar Association (ABA) can suggest a good lawyer in your area. The Martindale-Hubble Law Directory lists tax lawyers. If you find yourself headed for tax court, a good tax attorney might cost hundreds per hour, but just might be able to save you many thousands of dollars in tax bills.

Copyright 2008 by Doug Smith.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Unauthorized Duplication Prohibited.  Not Intended to be Professional Advice.

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