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How to pick a tax attorney and control legal costs

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When do you need a tax attorney?  It is advised to seek a tax attorney if you are being audited by the IRS, if the IRS is pursuing criminal charges against you, if you wish to disclosure an undisclosed foreign bank account, if you wish to remove a tax lien or levy, if you wish to enter into an offer in compromise or an installment agreement, or any other complex issues related to taxes. If you are being audited by the IRS, it is important to have a tax attorney to negotiate a settlement with the IRS. With the help of an attorney you can settle your debt for less. This can be done through an offer in compromise or an installment agreement. If the IRS is pursuing criminal charges against you, a tax attorney is needed. Criminal charges occur when you are accused of tax fraud or tax evasion. While you may not be able to avoid all penalties, a tax attorney can help you stay out of jail and reduce your penalties. These problems can cause a lot of stress and worry. Thus, it is very crucial to be able to choose the right attorney.

Experience –Tax attorneys should have advanced training in tax law. Most will have a master of laws (LL.M) in taxation. It is best to have a former IRS tax attorney who specializes in taxation because they will have very valuable experience and contacts with the IRS and your tax problems. Ask attorneys you are considering about their experience, specifically in cases like yours.

Ability to communicate – It is very important that your tax attorney has an ability to communicate intelligently and persuasively.  You should be looking for someone with the skill to actually negotiate a decent settlement. How much a client will benefit will depend onthe attorney’s experience to communicate. You should also look for a tax lawyer who can communicate well with the client. The attorney should be able to explain all of your options in a way that is understandable to the client.

Personality – Pay attention to the personal chemistry between you and your lawyer. No matter how experienced and well-recommended a lawyer is, if you feel uncomfortable with that person during the first meeting or two, you may never achieve an ideal lawyer-client relationship. Seek a lawyer whose personality is compatible with your own. Also look for personal rapport, confidence, and accessibility.

Availability – It is extremely important for an attorney to be available to conference at your convenience. You should be able to contact them for emergency phone calls. Their availability shows how serious they are taking your case and how much comfort they wish for the client to have during the process. Your lawyer should be able to meet deadlines, research and analyze your case, and return your phone calls.

Credibility– The credibility of a tax litigation lawyer may be seen in several contexts. This reputation can be built on charisma coupled with referral from past satisfied client. The client should be able to freely ask about past experiences and seek references from the tax attorney.

Fees – Make sure that you are fully aware of all the costs and fees your attorney will charge you throughout the process. Attorneys have a range of fees depending on location, size and prestige of the firm as well as the lawyer’s reputation and experience.  Beware of comparing one attorney with another on the basis of fees alone. The lowest hourly fees may not indicate the best value in legal work because an inexperienced attorney may take twice as long to complete a project as an experienced one will.

Published by Valentine Belonwu

My name is Valentine, founder of this site, an entrepreneur working as a moderator at Bizsugar a small business community news site. Connect with me on Google+ at Valetine Belonwu

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