Do you owe the government taxes? Are you being audited by the Internal Revenue Services? Are you being accused of committing a tax crime? If you answer affirmatively to one or more of the aforementioned questions, then you’ll be certainly needing the services of a tax attorney. How can you be certain that you need tax attorney’s services? Well, you have to consider several things.
First, if you think that the tax problem will not complicate things if ignored then, the answer is in the negative. However, if it will worsen when ignored, you’re better get yourself an attorney before it’s too late to do so.
Keep in mind that you could be subject to penalties or worst imprisonment for a number of income tax violations (See actor Wesley Snipes and others). Tax penalties include fines, liens, levies, accumulated interests, and others already mentioned. Moreover, in criminal cases failure to pay taxes or employing tax fraud can put the taxpayer to jail.
So, you have decided to hire the services of a tax attorney. How are you to choose the right one? Remember that attorneys may either have a field of specialization or opt to become a general practitioner.
Moreover, in choosing a tax attorney, be sure that s/he is an expert on taxation. However, it should not end there, you must also consider the reputation and past records of whichever attorney you leaning towards. Be sure that s/he is of good standing in that particular area of law.
Also consider the attorney’s fees. As you know, legal services are not cheap. In fact, if you insist on remedying your tax trouble yourself, the cost might multiply.
Attorney’s fees may vary according to place, achievements, and the like. Hence, before you ponder on other considerations, think of this aspect first. You might get frustrated if you have chosen an ideal lawyer, yet cannot afford his/her legal services.
Talk to several tax attorneys. Ask them about their fee arrangements. To help you further, here are some common fee arrangements you can expect from certain tax attorneys:
- Flat or Fixed Rate. This arrangement covers a set of fees for a particular legal service.
- Hourly Rate. The fee is based on the time spent by the lawyer on your legal problem.
- Contingent Fee. The fee is dependent on the amount of recovery secured by the lawyer. A fixed percentage of which will serve as attorney’s fees. Nevertheless, you will still be responsible for particular expenses like filing fees, court costs, telephone charges, copies, and more.
Another factor to consider is time. Time is one essential factor in tax problems. Time is always of the essence. Penalties will accumulate if your tax burden is not remedied at the earliest possible time. Further, you may also lose your chance at appeal, if you let the grace period lapse.
You should also consider your personal preferences in choosing a tax attorney. Do you prefer seasoned lawyers? How about the gender? The personality of the lawyer must also be taken into consideration. S/he must be easy to talk to and confide in. This is because sensitive and confidential matters must be communicated to a tax lawyer so that s/he can give you the appropriate legal measures to apply.
If some things regarding tax burdens are hidden from the attorney, it will rebound to the disadvantage of the client. All these factors must be contemplated when choosing a lawyer that can work with you efficiently. In the end, it is essential to pick someone whom you can trust to do the best possible legal remedy for you.