The Importance of Having a Tax Attorney: When you file taxes, the last thing you want to think about is whether or not your tax account is being handled appropriately by your accountant. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who can’t say that their accountant was up to snuff.
Tax attorneys are an excellent resource for those who have complex tax situations, need advice on specific deductions or other areas of the tax code, or want to make sure they’re not selling themselves short when filing their returns.
These professionals have years of experience in the arcane world of taxes and can help you get more money back from the IRS. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’re looking for a good tax attorney.
Ask Friends and Family for Tax Attorney
Before you do anything else, ask your family and friends for suggestions. The people you’re close to probably have good ideas about who they’ve used in the past. If you’re having trouble getting a solid list from your friends, check out online review sites, like Yelp, for tax preparation and accounting firms.
Keep in mind that online reviews can be biased and unreliable, so don’t just go with the first firm with five stars. But they can be useful if you’re at a loss for where to begin your search.
Check the Yellow Pages
The yellow pages are pretty much just a relic of a bygone era, but they can be a useful tool when you’re looking for a tax attorney. Check out the ads in the tax section, and pay attention to a few things. First, make sure the firm has a tax attorney (or attorneys) listed, not an accountant.
Second, make sure the firm is in your area. You want to work with someone who understands your local laws. Make sure you’re also comfortable with the size of the firm. A large, national firm might be able to offer you a better price, but small local firms might be able to give you more attention.
Nail Down Your Tax Objectives
Before you start looking for a tax attorney, make sure you’re clear on your tax goals. Are you hoping to reduce your tax bill with deductions? Do you want to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to? Or are you hoping to get money back from the government? Once you’re clear on your objectives, you can use that as a filter for finding a good tax attorney.
If you’re hoping to reduce your tax burden, make sure the attorney has experience with that specific area. If you’re hoping to make sure you’re not overpaying on your taxes, make sure the attorney knows the ins and outs of the tax code. Make sure you’re hiring someone who specializes in what you need.
Hire a Tax Preparer
A tax preparer is someone who helps you fill out your taxes, but doesn’t advise you on your taxes or represent you in a tax audit. You can just walk into a tax preparation office, fill out the right forms, and walk out with a completed tax return.
Tax preparers can be a good option if you’re not in a complicated tax situation and want to make sure you don’t miss any deductions or credits you’re entitled to. Now, before you get the wrong idea, tax preparers aren’t bad people. People who work as tax preparers are generally just trained to know what questions to ask and what forms to file. However, they don’t have the experience and specialized knowledge that a tax attorney has.
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Hiring a tax attorney can be expensive, but it’s worth it if you need serious help with your taxes. Look for an attorney who specializes in your area of concern and who has experience with the tax code in your state. If you need help with credits or deductions, consider hiring a tax preparer, but remember, they aren’t able to give you advice or go to bat for you in an audit.