There are many different situations where hiring an IRS tax resolution attorney can be a big benefit, particularly if you owe a large amount of back taxes, have many years of unfiled tax returns, or are appealing a decision made by the IRS. Of course, many people aren’t sure where to start when it comes to finding and hiring the best tax attorney. You know you want someone experienced, accredited by your state Bar Association, and preferably a Legal Specialist within the field of tax resolution (added bonus if they have their LLM – Masters in Taxation) Although many CPAs and other tax professionals can assist you, an attorney specializing in the field can offer the best advice due to their in-depth knowledge (and their in-depth experience) and serve as an essential intermediary. When interviewing potential candidates, ask the following questions to determine if their background will give you the exceptional assistance you need and deserve.
How long have you been practicing in this field of law?
It’s important that the professional you hire is not just licensed or certified; you also want a knowledgeable IRS tax attorney with many years of practice under their belt – not someone who has recently graduated from law school. That experience means your attorney will have special negotiation tactics, field contacts, be up-to-date on tax code, rules, and regulations, and provide a more confident representation of your case to the IRS.
What is your Better Business Bureau rating?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest tax relief firms, which is why it’s so important for you to ask for a firm’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and conduct research of your own. Ask the professional what their rating is and verify it by searching online with the firm name and “BBB rating.” Confirm licensing information, years in business, and look for any major complaints. It is also wise to search other websites, such as Yelp, Rip Off Report, and Complaints Board.
How can you help me with my tax case?
Be sure your hired attorney has specifically worked on cases similar to your own and ask exactly how it will be handled. Action steps look different for each case: whether you are being audited by the IRS, need assistance with sophisticated business interests, or are in a financial hardship and need the IRS to stop garnishing your wages or levying your bank account. However, in every case the attorney can: protect you from intimidating or abusive IRS agents; act as an intermediary by handling phone calls, letters, and other means of communication between you and the IRS; and protect your assets from liens, levies, or wage garnishments by setting up installment agreements or requesting your account be placed on Currently Not Collectible, among other things.
How will I be kept informed of what is going on with my case and the steps your firm is taking?
With many firms, a paralegal, law clerk, case manager, or other legal assistant may be in touch to keep you informed of your case and request documentation. If you prefer regular check-ins with your attorney or another staff member, you should make it clear during your initial meeting. Your attorney should acknowledge you and you should be comforted in the fact that they will be in touch often to let you know of the status of your case. If you’ll be speaking to a paralegal, ask to be formally introduced so that you can create a relationship and feel confident in their abilities as well.
Support staff, such as the ones listed above, are well trained and consistently work with their senior colleagues to provide the best service to their clients. If you have a particularly complicated case and want to speak directly to your attorney at all times, be sure the potential candidate is aware, willing, and able to do so. If not, you may want to switch to another firm. However, any firm with good client/attorney relationships (usually the smaller ones) will be more than happy to comply.
How do you charge for services?
It is important that you ask how the IRS attorney will bill you for their services. Some attorneys charge a retainer fee. Your attorney may also bill an hourly rate, charge flat fees for documents or specific tasks, incidental fees, and administrative fees, which cover the costs of postage and copying. It is your money and you deserve to know how it is being charged and spent. During your initial meeting, request a written, detailed estimate. Flat fees for such services as: full resolution negotiation, appeals, and preparation of missing tax forms or returns, should be clearly quoted to you prior to hiring the attorney. You must be able to afford and budget the cost until your case is closed.
Contact an Attorney
If you are suffering from tax issues and need to speak to someone, call the attorneys at Ayar Law for FREE, confidential, no-obligation tax advice. 800.571.7175. Call us today before your problem gets any worse!