If you find yourself having problems with taxes, you may need to hire a tax lawyer. You don't necessarily have to owe back taxes; you may wish to hire a tax lawyer if you are facing an audit for a previous year. Many people only think of a tax lawyer in terms of helping them when they need an Offer in Compromise to reduce the amount of back taxes, but there are many other situations that may warrant the assistance of these specialized lawyers. There is no denying the fact that you will pay more money by hiring a lawyer than working directly with the IRS, so you may want to consider reserving this steps for those times it is necessary to appear in tax court and require someone with the expertise to present documentation on your behalf.
There are a number of reasons a taxpayer may feel the need to have representation from a tax lawyer other than just clarification of tax laws. A tax lawyer is essential for businesses, but individual taxpayers only need these specialty lawyers when they are unable to obtain the answers they need from the IRS or are unable to reach a compromise with the taxing agency regarding their assessment of taxes you owe. Individuals may find a tax lawyer helpful for any number of the following reasons (and more) :
• Negotiation for tax settlement (Offer in Compromise)
• Back taxes
• Returns you have not filed
• Removal of a tax lien
• Representation on your behalf in tax court
• Removal or reduction of penalties and interest
• Tax relief
• Assistance with IRS tax levies
• Questions concerning payroll taxes
• Installment payment agreements
No one can tell you whether you need a tax lawyer; that is a decision you must make on your own as a taxpayer. While it is more financially feasible to work directly with the IRS, this may not be possible in all circumstances. On the other hand, hiring a tax lawyer is probably less expensive than hiring a 3rd party agency to conduct negotiations on your behalf. That doesn't mean tax lawyers are inexpensive by any means, but it could cost substantially more to hire a third party tax mediation agency.
If you feel the IRS is trying to charge you more taxes than you feel you owe or is trying to disallow what you feel are justifiable deductions you may want to hire a tax lawyer. Private citizens rarely know all of the tax laws, so it is essential to talk to someone who knows all of the ins and outs of those laws when we need the information. An accountant or CPA would also have the information you need, but only a tax lawyer has the expertise necessary to justify your claims in tax court. This is essential in cases where they may be attempting to charge you penalties and interest deductions you took; a tax lawyer can negotiate for their removal under the premise that you made an honest mistake and believed the deductions were allowed. It is essential to verify the credentials of any tax lawyer you are considering hiring before you make a final decision.