Hiring the right tax lawyer is hard work; Perhaps made easier by the IRS’s website

Finding the right IRS tax attorney can be difficult. Most are competent, ethical, hard-working professionals dedicated to helping beleaguered taxpayers who owe back taxes, have unfiled returns, and/or are the subject of IRS wage garnishments, IRS levies and/or IRS liens. But, like most professions these days, tax lawyers can be generalists and specialists and everything in-between.

For example, there are tax lawyers whose clientele are mostly fat cats with off shore account type tax troubles. Then, of course, there are the bread and butter guys who are generalists handling largely typical type tax problems affecting most American taxpayers. There are other tax attorneys whose clients may consist largely of gamblers, marijuana dispensaries, on-line merchants and/or larger foreign companies wresting through U.S. tax law issues.

The point being, you need to understand the nature of your tax problems before attempting to interview any tax lawyers, and before ultimately finding and hiring the right tax lawyer. That’s where the IRS may be able to help. The IRS’s website (www.irs.gov) contains a plethora of information which may be useful in understanding your tax problems clearer. There are online services to order your tax records, or to estimate your withholdings. If you wish to check the status of a refund, the IRS’s website can help. Answers about extensions and what to do if you have unfiled returns are all contained within the agency’s site.

Understanding the nature and extent of your tax problem should help you make better choices in hiring a tax attorney. But that’s not all. Do your homework and check out whether the tax lawyer is a member of the Better Business Bureau. Look online or call the State Bar Association(s) in which the tax lawyer is admitted to see if he/she is in good standing and if there is a record of public discipline. Even the IRS’s Compliance Office may be able to offer helpful selection information.

Talk to the tax lawyer you are interviewing directly, and ask direct questions. Remember, you are trying to find the right tax attorney to help you. That means you must be comfortable the tax attorney is giving you direct, understandable answers to your questions. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be able to ask more specific questions about your back taxes owing and/or perhaps IRS wage garnishments, or whatever the nature of your tax problems. Just get the right help for you, and start with understanding the nature of your problems with the IRS from the IRS. Sound simple, well at least try. It could end up saving you a lot of money and heartache.


Segal, Cohen & Landis
9100 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 601E
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 285-3999

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