Income tax attorney selection: four important questions to ask

If you need help with a tax situation, a tax attorney can be one of the best people you can turn to.  A tax attorney will be familiar with tax laws and can have experience in a variety of tax matters, such as income tax, property tax, and tax settlement.  But every tax attorney and law firm is not the same.  How can you be sure to select the right law firm for you?  Asking the following four questions can help you to make the right decision.

What is the name of the tax attorney who will be assigned to my case, their supervisor, and the owner of the firm?  If you are considering a law firm with a number of tax attorneys, it is important to nail the firm down as to which attorney will be working on your case.  A law firm may be able to advertise that they have a broad array of experience in working many different types of tax cases because they do have at least one attorney who specializes in each tax area.  But if the attorney assigned to your case is not one who has experience with the issues you need help with, that broad experience of the law firm as a whole may not give you any direct benefit.

In addition, once you know the attorney who will be assigned to your case, you should also get the names of the attorney’s direct supervisor as well as the owner of the law firm.  In the event your attorney is not responding quickly enough or helping you to your satisfaction, having the names of the attorney’s supervisor and the owner of the firm will give you a place to turn to for help in resolving the matter.

What experience do they have in dealing with and success in addressing my specific tax issue?  As noted above, once you have the name of the attorney assigned to your case, you need to be sure they have experience with your situation.  You should also evaluate their success in handling those types of cases.

For example, if you are meeting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning an audit of your federal income tax, your attorney should have experience in meeting with the IRS about an income tax audit; your attorney should not simply be one who is responsible for submitting income tax returns.

Likewise, if you are looking for an attorney to submit an offer in compromise on your behalf to the IRS for your federal income tax, you should find out how many offers in compromise the attorney has submitted, how many were accepted, and what percentage of the original tax owed did those people save.

How much will it cost and how do they structure payment for their services?  It is important to ask about the cost of a firm’s services to be sure you can afford them.  You may be tempted to look for an attorney or law firm that will charge you the least amount of money.  However, with attorneys, as with many other things in life, you sometimes get what you pay for.  You should only consider the amount an attorney charges for their services while considering the experience the attorney brings to the table.  Paying a little more to hire an attorney with the right experience to actually help you will likely be worth the extra cost.

In addition, be sure the attorney does not expect to be paid everything up front.  A significant portion of the work should not be paid until their services are complete, or the attorney should structure the payment so that you pay for services as you use them.

Does the attorney offer guaranteed results?  With attorneys, a guarantee is actually something you do not want.  While you want an attorney with a good track record in handling situations like yours, if an attorney guarantees you results, you should seek a different attorney.  No attorney can or should promise guaranteed results.

How can I get help in finding a tax attorney who can help me?

If you complete the short form found below, a tax attorney who has experience in handling tax issues like yours will get in touch with you.  This initial conversation will be free of charge, completely confidential, and leave you with no additional obligation.  However, if you like what the attorney has to say and believe they can help you, you can then hire the attorney to help you address your tax issue.

Enhanced by Zemanta

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.