A tax lawyer helps you resolve tax issues with the IRS and several state tax agencies. They use their knowledge of the tax and legal code to ensure that you get the best possible results and that you don't face an unfairly high tax liability. They can also represent you in court. Representation by a tax lawyer rather than an accountant offers significant advantages, including attorney-client privilege.
Statements you make to your tax lawyer generally cannot be disclosed to the IRS or to anyone else. While there is limited privilege as a client of a federal accountant, it doesn't apply if the IRS decides to initiate a criminal tax lawsuit against you. IRS criminal tax investigators are trained to contact a taxpayer's accountant if they suspect tax fraud. It's not unusual for a customer's accountant to be forced to testify as a witness against their own client.
Nor does the federal accountant's client privilege apply, even in non-criminal cases, to state tax audits or to an investigation conducted by another federal agency, such as the SEC or the INS. In a recent year, more than 30,000 taxpayers filed petitions in tax courts after losing their audits and appeals. There are three other federal courts where you can challenge your tax liability, but only in a tax court can you challenge without paying first. Going to the Tax Court is a long and complicated process.
You could represent yourself, but we think that would be a big mistake on your part. It is essential that you hire an experienced tax lawyer to represent you and guide you through the litigation process. Tax lawyers at law firms tend to advise clients on what to do to obtain favorable tax treatment in a variety of situations. They can draft contracts or other legal documents needed to make this happen, and they can represent clients in tax courts or elsewhere.
You may be able to get free or low-cost help from a tax lawyer if you visit a low-income tax clinic, known as LITC, in your area. If you want to take your case to the next level, it's time to meet with a specialized tax lawyer at Bryson Law Firm, L. Courts, including the Tax Court, the Federal Claims Court, district courts, bankruptcy courts, 13 different federal appellate courts, and the United States Supreme Court, write rulings interpreting tax law. You can check if a tax lawyer is licensed to practice law in your state by searching the website of your state's bar association.
The tax professional may work in the background or may accompany you to meetings with an appeals officer or an IRS lawyer. Once Congress drafts the law, IRS tax lawyers will issue their interpretations of the law, including Treasury regulations (both final and proposed), tax rulings, private letter resolutions, private letter resolutions, general counsel memos, technical memorandums, technical advice memorandums, and actions on decisions. Once you file a petition with the tax court, the IRS will know that you are serious and will often settle with less than the claimed tax owed. Tax lawyers help people organize their finances to optimize their tax situations, comply with tax regulations, and resolve disputes with the IRS or other tax authorities.
Taking your case to the Tax Court is the last resort you can resort to if you are not satisfied with the IRS ruling on your tax debt. Only 5% of all tax disputes in normal cases go to a district court or the claims court rather than a tax court. A tax lawyer can help design fiscally intelligent strategies for starting, buying, selling, or expanding a business. If you don't agree with the IRS ruling on your tax bill, it may be time to take your case to the Tax Court.