When Do You Need a Tax Settlement Lawyer?
You typically need a tax settlement lawyer when you have a dispute with the IRS or other tax authorities. This could include situations where:
- You owe a significant amount in back taxes and are unable to pay the full amount.
- You are facing serious penalties or interest that have accrued over time.
- You are being audited by the IRS.
- You’re dealing with complex tax issues such as business or international taxes.
- You need to negotiate a settlement with the IRS, such as an offer in compromise or an installment agreement.
- You believe the IRS has made a mistake in assessing your tax liability.
Here are a few more scenarios where you might need the services of a tax settlement lawyer:
- Criminal Investigation: If you are being criminally investigated by the IRS or charged with a tax crime, you will certainly need a tax attorney to represent you.
- Tax Evasion Accusations: If the IRS accuses you of tax fraud or evasion, it’s crucial to hire a lawyer. These are serious charges that could result in hefty fines or even jail time.
- Complex Estate Planning: If you need to make a complex estate or trust plan, particularly if your estate exceeds the federal estate tax exemption limit, a tax attorney can help you navigate the process.
- Starting a Business: A tax attorney can provide valuable advice on the tax implications of starting a business, including the structure and tax treatment of the company.
- Bankruptcy Due to Tax Debts: If you are considering bankruptcy due to overwhelming tax debts, a tax attorney can help you understand your options and the tax consequences.
- Sale or Purchase of a Business: The sale or purchase of a business can have major tax implications. A tax attorney can help structure the transaction to minimize tax liability.
- Disputes with State Tax Agencies: Not all tax disputes involve the IRS. You might need a tax lawyer if you’re having an issue with your state’s tax agency.
- Tax Advice for Non-Profit Organizations: If you run a non-profit organization, a tax settlement attorney can help you understand the complex rules around tax-exempt status.
- International Tax Issues: If you have income or assets in another country, you will likely need a tax attorney to help navigate international tax laws and treaties.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Tax Settlement Lawyer in the U.S.?
On average, a tax attorney might charge anywhere from $200 to $500 per hour. Some may also offer flat fee arrangements for certain services. For more complex cases or ongoing representation, the cost could potentially reach into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
What to Look For in a Tax Settlement Lawyer?
When hiring a tax settlement lawyer, consider the following:
- Experience: Look for a lawyer who practices tax law and has experience handling cases similar to yours. They should be familiar with the intricacies of tax law and IRS procedures.
- Credentials: Ensure they are licensed to practice in your state and are in good standing with the state bar association. Additionally, they should ideally have an advanced degree in tax law (LLM in Taxation) or be a certified public accountant (CPA).
- Communication: The lawyer should be able to explain complex tax matters in a way you can understand. They should also keep you updated on your case’s progress.
- Success Rate: Ask about their success rate with tax settlements. While past success doesn’t guarantee future results, it can give you an idea of their capabilities.
- Fees: Make sure you understand their fee structure. Some attorneys charge by the hour, while others may offer flat fees for certain services.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Tax Settlement Lawyer?
Before your consultation, gather all relevant documents related to your tax situation. This may include:
- Past tax returns
- Correspondence with the IRS
- Records of tax payments or penalties
- Financial statements
- Any other documents that may help the attorney understand your case
Prepare a list of questions to ask during the consultation, such as their experience with similar cases, their proposed strategy, and expected fees.
Where to Find the Best Tax Settlement Lawyers in the U.S.?
LegalMatch is an excellent resource for finding experienced tax settlement lawyers. You simply fill out a form detailing your legal issue, and LegalMatch will match you with attorneys in your area who are qualified to handle your case. You can then review the profiles, reviews, and fee structures of these attorneys to decide who you want to contact.