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The Longo Firm, LLC, is a personal injury firm based in Colorado Springs, CO and Scottsdale, AZ. Attorney Stephen Longo believes all injury victims are entitled to strong represen...

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Serving Laredo, Webb County, and surrounding communities, John R. Solis, Attorney at Law has been helping victims and families fight for compensation for over two decades. We hand...

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Since 1974, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has proudly represented more than 25,000 Mainers in personal injury claims including car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle a...

Tax Lawyers

What does a tax attorney do?

Tax lawyers specialize in the complex, highly technical field of tax law. 

Broadly speaking, a tax attorney’s practice consists of tax planning, that is, structuring assets and transactions to minimize tax liability; tax compliance, that is, preparing documentation and reporting tax matters appropriately to government authorities; and tax controversy, that is, dealing with audits, refund requests and other disputes. Tax attorneys who work at law firms tend to focus on planning and controversy work; compliance is more the domain of accounting firms and in-house counsel at businesses.

Taxes, of course, exist at all levels of government, so tax attorneys need to be familiar with local, state and federal law. Some of the areas where a tax attorney might focus include:

Depending on the area of focus, a tax attorney may primarily represent individuals or organizations. On the planning side, a tax attorney may advise on business transactions, estate tax planning, real estate, and qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) for clients going through a divorce or separation. On the controversy side, attorneys negotiate with the IRS and state and local tax agencies, create installment agreements and settlements, push back on liens and levies, and represent clients in tax appeals and civil (and sometimes criminal) litigation.

While tax law obviously involves numbers, a tax attorney’s work is often more qualitative than quantitative. A good tax attorney looks at their client’s financial situation holistically and recommends the right steps to achieve favorable tax treatment, rather than simply calculating the exact tax savings.

How much does a tax attorney cost?

For certain routine tax matters, an attorney may charge a flat fee. Most tax work, however, is done on an hourly rate, which typically ranges from $200 to $400 per hour. Highly experienced tax attorneys, or large firms in major cities, may charge significantly more, as much as $1,000 per hour.

How can I choose the right tax attorney?

Again, tax law is a highly specialized and technical field, so tax attorneys generally have additional training beyond the Juris Doctor degree (J.D) that all lawyers need to practice law. Most have a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in taxation. Some may also have a background in accounting as a certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent (EA), but keep in mind that a background in preparing returns and handling accounting matters is not necessarily required to understand the legal implications of a tax situation.

When you need a tax attorney, look for someone who has experience handling tax matters like yours. It’s also important that you are comfortable talking to your tax attorney and can build a strong rapport. Effective tax attorneys know how to make their clients feel at ease when discussing stressful and sensitive financial matters and act with integrity on their clients’ behalf.

If you’re dealing with a tax crisis, you certainly need a lawyer sooner than later. Even if you aren’t currently in a tax fight, talking to a tax attorney ahead of time can help prevent problems down the road. Find an experienced tax attorney in your area who can help with your matter.

Attorneys

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Springfield accident victims know. When they get hurt, they need the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone on their side. Don’t go up against the insurance company on your own; get a la...

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The Law Firm of Pajcic & Pajcic specializes in serious personal injury, wrongful death & malpractice cases. We are there to help individuals and families who are facing catastroph...

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At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we're known for the quality of our legal work in personal injury cases, our courtroom experience, and our service to clients. We have achieved many si...