I am often asked by new clients how a tax lawyer can make a difference in an IRS dispute. Here is my answer:
- Once you retain a tax lawyer, the IRS must stop calling you. The IRS is required to conduct all negotiations – telephone calls, meetings, etc. – through your attorney. This valuable “buffer” allows time to determine the most accurate responses to IRS inquiries, not “on the spot” responses that cannot be taken back.
- Your tax lawyer will have prior relationships with IRS collectors and auditors and understand how to keep your head out of the mouth of the bear.
- Your tax lawyer will understand IRS laws that protects your wages, bank accounts, and property from IRS garnishment or seizure.
- Your tax lawyer will know when to advise you if bankruptcy is the best way out, the differences between Chapters 7, 11 and 13, and be able to represent you in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
- Your tax lawyer will keep any statements made by you to him or her protected by the attorney/client privilege. They generally cannot be revealed to the IRS or anyone else.
- Your tax lawyer will represent you before IRS Appeals and U.S. Tax Court to seek judicial review of audit or collection cases.
- Your tax lawyer may have previously worked for the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel or the Tax Division of the U.S. Justice Department, and will bring that background and experience to the table.
Determining whether to hire an attorney to help you out of an IRS jam is an important decision. If the nature of your case requires it, the right attorney can offer significant advantages.