Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA December 1, 2013 5 min read

What Types of Matters Should You Retain IRS Attorneys For?

Continued From Part One

3) Independent Contractor Issues

This category piggybacks off of technical tax matters, as matters that involve independent contractors can often be the most costly and the most difficult for taxpayers to resolve. For example, even IRS attorneys can be heavily tested in an independent contactor audit. When performing an independent contractor audit, the IRS and many state revenue agencies will use a multi-factor test with as many as twenty different variables. The variable (pardon the pun) nature of an independent contractor audit is something that overwhelms many practitioners, let alone an individual taxpayer. Most IRS attorneys are extremely familiar with this multi-factor test and can help you strategize in an audit. In addition, both independent contractor audits and IRS collection issues are often high dollar cases if they involve multiple attorneys and multiple years. It is best to not leave anything to chance and to retain an IRS attorney to represent you in your independent contractor matter.

4) Foreign Tax Matters

Do yourself a favor: consider hiring or at least consulting with an IRS attorney for any foreign tax issue. Foreign tax issues possess many complexities that IRS attorneys are able to walk you through, but that are not likely apparent upon first glance. For example, your foreign tax matter will likely have tax consequences in the United States as well in the foreign country that is involved. IRS attorneys can help you with both structuring any foreign tax issue (in order to minimize your potential tax liability) and with any reporting requirements concerning your foreign tax issue that you may otherwise be unfamiliar with. Also, as any IRS attorney will tell you, foreign taxes and foreign assets are hot topics within the IRS because of their potential for abuse. As such, IRS attorneys are highly recommended for dealing with foreign tax matters properly.

5) Collections Matters that Concern Going Corporations and Businesses

One of my favorite sayings of IRS revenue officers that I know (which you’ll find throughout my website) is that the IRS is not a bank. As such, when a balance due is owed to the IRS, the IRS will often take aggressive action against a taxpayer to secure payment. With an individual taxpayer, there are certain limitations on these actions as most taxpayers that have balances due do not have a plethora of assets for the IRS to seize or secure. However, this changes with business taxpayers, particularly those that are still in business. Going businesses make particularly attractive targets for the IRS because they 1) usually have a variety of business assets that the IRS can seize to satisfy the tax liability and 2) going businesses generate cash which can also be used to pay the liability. As such, this is another area where I would recommend that the taxpayer hire an IRS attorney. IRS attorneys can often make the difference, particularly in matters where the IRS has been particularly aggressive.

In conclusion, these are just some of the matters where it is helpful to seek the assistance of an IRS attorney to resolve your matter. IRS attorneys can utilize their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the taxpayer, often times saving thousands of dollars in additional tax owed, As with all decisions, you must be careful to weigh the cost/benefit of representation, but these are all instances where I would strongly recommend hiring an IRS attorney.

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Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law

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