Will the IRS Be Suspicious if I Hire a Tax Attorney?

An IRS agent might be annoyed or frustrated if you hire a tax attorney to represent you during an audit or some other interaction with the agency. However, the agent should not be suspicious. Your decision to hire a tax lawyer will level the playing field with an agent who is inevitably more familiar with tax laws.

The tax lawyers at Ayar Law in Farmington Hills, Michigan, understand and appreciate the instinct that a person would not “lawyer up” if they didn’t do anything wrong. The intricacies of the tax laws, however, can challenge even the most sophisticated individuals. Hiring a tax attorney to represent you in interactions with the IRS is an intelligent response.

Can the IRS prevent or discourage you from hiring a tax attorney?

One of the core principles of the IRS’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights is that “[t]axpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in dealings with the IRS.” The details of those principles include:

  • You can select a tax relief attorney of your choice to represent you (e., the IRS cannot reject your choice of a tax attorney if they are licensed to practice before the Agency).
  • If you ask to have an attorney represent you, the IRS must suspend any interview until you have retained your counsel.
  • You have a right to a full and clear explanation of all tax laws and rules that may apply to your situation.
  • The tax system, as applied to your situation, must be fair and just.

It is a violation of a taxpayer’s rights for any IRS agent to tell you not to hire a lawyer.

Will hiring a tax lawyer cause more aggressive prosecution of criminal tax charges?

Depictions of criminal prosecutions in popular culture often imply that a defendant will get a better deal by cooperating with prosecutors. That depiction is generally inaccurate, and you should never waive or forfeit your right to legal representation if you are facing a criminal tax investigation.

Tax prosecutors face a very high burden when they set out to prove that someone is criminally liable for tax fraud. Further, the prosecutor’s tactics are limited by laws, regulations, and due process considerations. If a criminal defendant has not retained legal counsel, the prosecutor may be more aggressive if there are no defense attorneys to ensure that they are not overstepping their bounds. In every case, criminal defendants will experience more equitable treatment when an experienced lawyer is representing their interests.

Should you hire a tax lawyer even if your case is simple?

If you believe you owe the IRS less than $50,000, you are not self-employed, and you are confident that you do not have unreported income, you might be able to handle the IRS without legal representation. Alternatively, you should strongly consider hiring a tax lawyer if:

  • The IRS claims you owe more than $100,000 in back taxes
  • You are self-employed and earn your income from a small business that you solely own or control
  • Your finances and earnings are complex (g. they include a combination of salary and passive income)
  • The IRS has named a specific agent to handle your case.

Finally, if you are aware of unreported income, potential tax fraud situations, or may owe more than $1,000,000, you should immediately retain qualified tax attorneys to manage your case.

Call Ayar Law for Representation in an IRS Investigation

We represent taxpayers in IRS investigations. Our attorneys can make those investigations more balanced, fair, and equitable without raising IRS alarms or other suspicions. If you are at risk or are currently facing an IRS investigation, please call our offices at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation.