It’s a time of year that many Americans dread, avoid, and put-off: tax time. No matter how organized you keep your expenses, there’s a certain amount of stress that arises every time Uncle Sam comes knocking.
Some situations, of course, cause more stress than others. If you’re facing an IRS audit or have some sort of complicated income situation, you might want to seek some extra help. Ditto if you’re starting a new business.
A tax lawyer can help ensure that you’re doing everything properly. Tax laws can be quite complicated, but an experienced lawyer can walk you through the process with ease. How do you find the best attorney for you? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Start With Some Research
If you really want to find a tax attorney that will be a good fit for you, you’ll need to put a little bit of work in. Doing some research can help you find the right person and save you from trouble down the line.
First and foremost, you should ensure that a tax attorney is the best person to help you with your current problems. Tax attorneys can work for high rates, and there may be other professionals who can help you with basic tax issues for less.
If you’re simply looking for help planning or filing your taxes, you might not want to hire a tax attorney. If you need basic filing assistance or specialized advice, you might want to hire a different tax professional. If you have questions about cannabis tax planning, for example, that doesn’t mean you need to hire an attorney.
But if you the situation you’re in presents a high amount of risk (audits, new businesses) then you might want a tax attorney on your side.
A good place to start is by asking friends and colleagues if they have any personal recommendations. Many people have worked with tax attorneys before, and they might be able to point you towards a person they think is a very strong choice.
If your friends and family don’t have recommendations, try asking your accountant, banker, or other lawyers if you’ve worked with any. It’s more likely that these people will know and be able to recommend solid tax attorneys.
In a worst-case scenario, you’ll be able to search online and find solid options. But it’s nice to be able to get a personal recommendation that you can trust.
What Qualifications Should You Look For?
What makes a good tax attorney? How can you be sure the candidates you’re looking at will do a good job? There are a few ways to narrow the field down.
You’ll want to make sure the lawyer you’re considering is board certified. There are programs at the national and state level that certify lawyers to work. Lawyers working without board-certification should not be trusted.
The seal of board-certification should make you feel more confident that the tax attorney you are considering knows what they’re doing. It can be a smart idea to pick an attorney who has been certified for at least a few years. This amount of time means they’ll probably have a number of cases already under their belt and can use that experience to help your particular case.
Depending on your particular situation, you may want to find an attorney who has other qualifications. Some tax attorneys are also certified as public accountants, which may be helpful depending on your personal needs.
Some lawyers have had extra schooling and obtained extra degrees in the area of tax law. While it isn’t essential to take on this extra schooling, you may find that you want to hire a lawyer that has this extensive knowledge and schooling.
You can also go to a board’s website and search the records on the attorneys that you are considering. Here, you’ll find a list of any previous complaints or punishments made against the candidate in question. Finding an attorney with a clean record will help you feel more confident in your choice.
Conducting An Interview
Once you’ve whittled down your list to two or three prospective attorneys, it’s time to get in touch. Try to set up a consultation with the lawyers remaining on your list. Then gather the assorted documents you’ll need to explain your situation to an attorney.
When you sit down with an attorney, walk them through your needs and questions. Once they understand the situation, ask them about their experience with similar cases. Have them outline what they’ll be able to do in your particular situation.
When sitting with these people, gauge their attitude and level of commitment to your case. Trust your gut when it comes to the flow of communication: you might be seeing this person a lot, so you probably don’t want to hire someone you don’t get along with.
A competent and worthwhile attorney will be engaged in your discussion. They will likely ask you many questions and try to really understand your case. If an attorney fails to do this, they might not be a strong option. If you can find an attorney who feels invested in you and your case, you likely have found the right fit for you.
Hiring The Best Tax Lawyer For You
Tax laws can be complicated and navigating different legal situations can be highly stressful. Having a strong tax lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
Need more legal advice, tips, or tricks? Check out our blog for more.