So you want to find the right tax attorney?
Before you put your hand in your pocket and spend your hard earned cash, stop and consider your options.
Your first port of call should be your CPA or enrolled agent. These are specialists in dealing with the IRS. The CPA is able to interpret the tax code and apply it to your financial situation. If you have gone to a CPA and he did a good job you should not need a tax attorney.
Your CPA should be able to direct you in the direction of a good tax attorney, as he will better be able to brief your attorney on the technical elements of your tax affairs.
How do you find the right tax attorney? Get word of mouth recommendations, internet searches, look for tax court cases and get the representing attorneys details. Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney questions of previous cases he handled with the IRS and look them up.
When you go to the attorneys office, check them out. How many staff does he employ? Is the office tidy?
Personally assess the tax attorney. Does he/she look shifty, do they maintain eye contact, does the attorney look convincing. If he can’t convince you to be his client, he probably won’t be good at convincing a judge or jury.
If your not convinced and things seem suspect,move on and shop around. There are a lot of tax attorneys out there, take your time to pick one you think will best serve your interests.
Get a quote from each attorney you visit. Don’t go for the guy with the highest fee, or the guy with the lowest fee. You best bet is to hire an attorney whose fees lie in the middle range of fees.
Remember your court case is going to be against the IRS, they are expert on tax and you are taking a case against them. You will probably lose the case and gain nothing from hiring a tax attorney.
A word of caution sometimes the attorney will get a bad reputation with the IRS, and employing a legal hotshot over a CPA would tend to imply the person has been dishonest and needs a attorney, so they will fight tooth and nail agaist you in court so the IRS can cover their litigation costs.
Best bet is ‘prevention is better than cure’ go to your CPA every year and file your tax returns correctly. This should reduce greatly the chances of you ever needing a tax attorney.