Often our new clients will tell us that they have met with a tax attorney and declined their services because the cost was too high. While a good tax attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case, you don’t always need to incur the costs of one. Sometimes a CPA is the right person for the job.
If you have lots of unfiled tax returns, you want to hire a CPA to prepare them. That is an area of expertise for CPA’s, and many tax attorneys do not prepare tax returns.
If you have an unorganized pile of papers that you need organized for your taxes, CPA’s specialize in that as well.
If you want to file basic appeals or settle tax debt through one of the established programs, hire a tax attorney.
Tax attorneys are trained to be advocates. Anything you say to them is covered by attorney-client privilege. You can tell your tax attorney you’ve committed a crime, and even a judge can’t call them up to the witness stand to testify against you. That’s not so with CPA’s–CPA’s are considered servants to the public, so while we keep your information as confidential as the law allows, our records can be subject to subpoena in a court.
Wait a minute, you ask–could my tax case go to court? Could I go to jail? The answer is yes, but you probably won’t. The overwhelming majority of taxpayers who file late returns and get behind on taxes never go to court. However, if the IRS is investigating you for fraud, hire a tax attorney. If the IRS is suing you in a civil court to take your assets, hire a tax attorney. If you have been audited, and are not satisfied with what the appeals officer told you, your case will end up in US Tax Court, and you will need to hire a tax attorney.
In short, you may need a tax attorney if your case is big enough or you’re worried about criminal prosecution, but if not you will spend less on fees if you hire Kansas City Tax Mediation. Let’s get through this together.