What is Tax Law? How to Find a Tax Lawyer

Tax Law

What is Tax Law?

Tax law governs all the procedures relating to taxes and their collection. It also lays out the penalties for failure to pay as well as the potential tax breaks and relief opportunities available to those in need of them.

Governing Law

Tax law is embodied in state and federal codes. The Internal Revenue Service handles the federal tax system. State bodies handle it at the state level whereas municipal bodies handle it at the local level. You are required to comply with all of these laws, even though they change on a regular basis and can sometimes seem to conflict.

Reasons for Hiring an Attorney

Tax law is one of the most complicated bodies of law in the United States. April 15 brings with it a certain sense of dread for those who have not yet filed their taxes. Ideally, you should not only consider hiring a tax lawyer when the trouble arrives. Instead it is best to hire a tax lawyer or law firm or accountant to help you in your preparations and deductions, particularly if you are a business owner. Tax matters are much better resolved through preventative means. In most cases, litigation involving tax disputes can be easily avoided. The majority of the cases, with the exception of tax fraud, arise out of misunderstandings and lack of record-keeping. Accountants can assist you in the preparatory matters as well as the filing of your taxes. Lawyers can also assist you with this while also ensuring that you are in compliance with all of the laws at the local, state, and federal levels. If you are a business, it may be a good idea to have a tax lawyer on retainer who regularly comes in to check your books and to ensure that you are following the law and avoiding trouble.

Things to Look for in a Tax Lawyer

Tax law is one of the more common certification specialties available in the majority of states. Finding an attorney who either has a proven track record in excellent tax advice and preparation or who has been certified is best for most situations. The distinction in cost between a tax law firm and an accountant is typically not that much, particularly if you are hiring a good one. The main difference that you will find is most accountants charge a flat fee or an hourly fee whereas tax lawyers may choose an hourly fee with additional costs.

If you are in trouble with the IRS, you will need a tax attorney who is licensed to practice federally as well as at the state and local level, depending on the trouble that you are involved in and how far it extends. In matters such as tax fraud, it may be best to obtain the help of a specialist, particularly if the situation is ambiguous or you cannot manage the fines.

If you are unable to afford an attorney, you can also contact a Taxpayer Advocate is to ensure that the process goes smoothly, and, in certain cases, to make sure that your rights are protected. They do not assist with general litigation, but they do help you to make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and answer any of the questions you may have about strategies and policies. If your situation requires litigation and you cannot afford an attorney, you can seek the aid of legal clinics that specialize in tax. It is not uncommon for law firms in larger cities to offer free services for those in need. If you are having problems filing your taxes and cannot afford a tax lawyer, you can also look for VITA services. VITA is provided by the IRS for individuals in the lower income brackets and assists individuals with their income tax preparation at both the federal and state level. Often times, these sessions are hosted at law schools and legal aid clinics. You will need to ensure that you bring your Social Security card as well as your driver’s license or picture ID and tax related information such as pay stubs, insurance payments, and the like.

Tax Law Blogs

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