Hiring a tax attorney isn’t just for those in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service for offenses such as tax evasion. You may want to consult a tax attorney — an expert in the complex world of tax law — to help you understand and deal with any complex legal tax issue.
This could include the following scenarios:
- You owe more than $10,000 to the IRS.
- You want to bring a lawsuit against the IRS.
- The IRS is investigating you.
- You think you’ve committed tax fraud (or you know you have).
- You disagree with a tax decision by the IRS.
- You are starting a business and want advice on structuring your new company (i.e., sole proprietorship, LLC or corporation).
- You are involved in business overseas and need legal advice.
- You are preparing your estate plan or are filing an estate tax return.
- You are dealing with a tax issue that you don’t understand.
Tax attorneys should — at the minimum — have a Juris Doctor, or J.D., degree and be admitted to the state bar. Ideally, you should select an attorney who has advanced tax law training (with a Master of Laws degree).
To start your search for the right attorney, ask a few trusted advisers, such as your accountant or banker, for a recommendation, or check your local bar association chapter.
If you can’t afford to hire a tax attorney — and need one — you can get in touch with one of many tax clinics available throughout the United States that provide free or low-cost legal advice. You can get a full list of tax clinics through the IRS in Publication 4134.