Choosing a professional representative is an important decision when dealing with a tax or other legal matter. Usually when you bring in a tax lawyer to handle your matter, you are dealing with an issue that is fairly serious. As such, it is important that you choose a tax lawyer that you feel comfortable with and that you trust with your personal financial information. Although naturally I would recommend myself for any tax matter listed on this website, I wanted to provide some helpful things to think about when choosing from the many tax lawyers that practice in your jurisdiction. Following these helpful hints will ensure that you pick a good one.
Regardless of any other qualification of your tax lawyer, you want to ensure that the person you choose is someone that you can maintain a good working relationship with. Obviously, there is a great amount of trust between you and your attorney, especially if your matter involves criminal or potential criminal issues. What is perhaps most important is that you are able to maintain a good working relationship with the individual on the other end of the desk (or phone in my case). Tax matters can involve many hiccups and a good deal of planning to ensure that you get the result that you are seeking. You will be working hand in hand with your representative to solve these issues and ability to work together is probably the most important aspect of the attorney/client relationship. I have turned down large, lucrative matters due in large part to my inability to work with a particular client. I have also fired clients for non-responsiveness or for not producing items in a timely manner. You need to take the same attitude with your representative. If you get an uncomfortable feeling in the first meeting, do not hire them or the situation will likely get worse. Remember, this person is performing a service for you and your satisfaction with that service is paramount.
Tax lawyers are like any other profession. We get good and are more skilled at the things that we handle on a daily basis or that we have had significant experience handling in the past. If you asked me to do planning work on a large estate, although I could probably accomplish the task, it might take me more time or I might not do as good a job as a tax lawyer who frequently deals with estate planning issues. You may be satisfied with my service, but you could probably do better with another representative (which is why I do not offer estate planning services on the website). As such, you want someone who knows the knows the ins and outs of the particular matter you are retaining that person for and who is current in the area of tax law (or other law) that you are seeking them out for.
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IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, I must inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this website is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter contained in this website.