Questions to ask any tax audit lawyer
Before choosing a tax attorney to represent your case with the IRS, consider asking essential questions. These questions will help you determine if the lawyer is the right person for you. Asking the right questions will aid your decision on choosing the right legal representative.
Consider selecting someone that directly communicates with you and provides necessary answers. An ideal tax audit attorney will communicate your legal rights and keep you informed about the process you will encounter during your case.
While there are a couple of questions you should always ask, we'll discuss a few beyond the basic to prepare your interview.
Where are you licensed to practice?
After contacting a tax attorney about your case against the IRS, ask about their practicing license. If a they do not have a license to practice in a state, federal, or U.S. Tax Court, find someone who does. Most taxpayers who have issues with the IRS also have state tax problems, so knowing your attorney’s license credentials is essential.
What kind of tax work do you handle?
Hiring a legal professional who specializes in cases similar to yours is essential. For example, hiring a legal professional for IRS tax audit representation who actually specializes in tax planning for real estate will not be the ideal solution if you are going through an IRS audit.
How will you keep me informed?
Most taxpayers who have issues with the IRS are usually anxious for updates. An experienced tax attorney should explain everything surrounding your case thoroughly and discuss how to contact you. Get to know their communication methods and consider choosing one that suits you best.
Why do you practice tax law?
Ask the lawyer why they practice tax law. While tax attorneys can provide different answers to this question, you get to know their personality and motivation. After considering the response from the tax professional, you can decide if working with them will help your case.
What are your credentials, and are you admitted to the state bar?
Ask a potential lawyer or tax attorney for proof of their credentials before hiring one to fight your case. An experienced tax attorney or certified public accountant (CPA) should have a degree and a license to practice law in your state bar. Spend time online reading reviews about the firm and checking for their registration with the Tax Law Association and National Association of Tax Professionals.
Do I still have to pay legal fees if I lose?
While many tax lawyers bill taxpayers hourly, some work on a contingency fee after addressing your tax concerns and questions with the IRS. Suppose the professional works with a contingency arrangement. Then the tax attorney receives compensation from your settlement arrangement. If the professional does not accept payment based on a contingency arrangement, you make payment hourly or agree to a fixed price.
What are the state and locality requirements where I am required to file?
While localities and state tax rules differ, federal income tax rules do not change from one state to another. The filing requirements for your state may vary from other states, and your tax attorney should know it.
Taxpayers need unique guidance whether you have an individual or business tax problem. Hire an attorney with adequate local, state, and federal file requirement knowledge for a quick resolution.
What documentation do you need from me?
IRS audits do not require the entire contents of your home or business office to resolve issues, and a reputable attorney knows it. Ask the potential tax attorney this question to get an insight into IRS audit knowledge.
An experienced lawyer should provide you with 1098, 1099, W-2 forms and other forms of expenses and income verification. Your tax attorney should explain any special forms, circumstances, schedules and indicate which are necessary for your case.
How many tax audits have you handled?
This question gives you a deep insight into the attorney's experience and success rate. Visit their website for verifications and contact a few clients to verify their claims. The number of cases a tax attorney has handled in the past will help you determine who's best for your case. A tax attorney with a few similar cases may not be the best professional for your case, especially if you have issues requiring special attention.
Have you worked with auditors at local IRS agency locations?
This question helps you understand the tax attorney's familiarity with the Internal Revenue Service agents and auditors' procedures.
A professional with experience working with auditors at local Internal Revenue Service agency locations can ensure quicker resolutions. Working with auditors at IRS agency locations also increases their knowledge of audit procedures.
Have you handled correspondence audits as well as in-person audits?
Correspondence audits are the most basic type of IRS audit, and having a lawyer without this experience handle your case is not in your best interest. The experienced tax attorney should have familiarity with an office audit and visiting the IRS office to resolve issues.
Hire a legal professional with a solid familiarity in managing various tax auditing processes with the Internal Revenue Service agents. Your tax attorney should be able to resolve technical tax issues involved with both office (in-person) and field audits.
Can you represent me at every stage of the tax audit?
This questions is for every taxpayer as the case with the IRS can take different turns. Having a tax attorney that is not willing to fight your case to the end will do you no good, especially if an appeal is necessary for tax court.
What should I do after receiving a notice of tax audit?
Asking a potential tax attorney what to do after receiving a tax audit notice from the IRS can give you an insight into their knowledge. An experienced tax attorney knows the tax codes, laws, and audit strategies. They should be able to list IRS audit red flags so you should test their knowledge with this question.
Remember that the IRS website is available to every taxpayer and offers information about how to prepare and respond to a tax audit letter. Crosscheck the lawyer's response to help you decide if the tax professional is the best for you.
What kind of information do you need to answer the IRS questions?
The IRS agent questions can be intensive and challenging for unprepared taxpayers.
Ask a potential tax attorney for the necessary information to answer the revenue agent questions. Their answers should reveal their interest and experience handling a case like yours.
Do I need to give the IRS field agent specific information?
Whenever the IRS sends taxpayers an audit letter, they require information to verify details on their return for accuracy. Ask your tax attorney if you need to give them field-agent-specific information.
An experienced tax attorney should have built relationships with many agents. They should also be able to swiftly provide answers to most of your questions.
Contact an expert tax audit defense lawyer
An IRS tax audit is challenging for many taxpayers who struggle with the real threat to their finances. While most people can go through an audit without retaining a tax attorney, there's no reason to fight alone — in fact it’s not recommended.
Hire a law firm with a wide breadth of tax audit experience and works with the IRS on a daily basis. The tax attorneys at Brotman Law have successfully handled all types of tax audit cases with the IRS.
Do I need a tax attorney for an IRS audit?
You need a tax attorney if you’d like a quicker resolution to your IRS audit which can be time-consuming, challenging, and intensive. An IRS audit letter alarms most taxpayers, but retaining a tax attorney will provide a well-prepared response with documentation supporting your case.
How can I find an IRS attorney near me?
While based in California, Brotman Law offers IRS audit help to clients nationwide with representation for both IRS audit and collection cases. Googling “lawyer,“ “tax audit help” or asking a trusted CPA could also provide you with the names of competent tax attorneys – just remember to vet them before signing a retainer.