The tax lawyer is primarily concerned with issues surrounding the collection, processing, collection and payment of income tax. Tax evasion or tax fraud is an area of criminal law in which state or municipal government bodies, including state and federal government agencies, utilize a body of laws and processes to check and collect taxes from an individual in a criminal context. A tax lawyer represents the tax authority on behalf of the tax authority in court proceedings, and is the professional who has the most knowledge of the local tax laws. Tax lawyers are highly educated, as well as adept at representing their clients in tax-related criminal proceedings. Tax lawyers also deal with issues surrounding estate and gift taxes, mortgage taxes, and payroll taxes.
When taxpayers are delinquent in paying their taxes, they may face criminal prosecution. In some cases, taxpayers may be able to work out resolution agreements with their tax authority where they pay part of the amount with interest and penalties, and the remaining part is expected to be paid by the end of the applicable tax year. In other cases, taxpayers may be prosecuted for tax evasion, fraudulent, bankruptcy, tax evasion, perjury, bankruptcy or wage garnishment. A tax lawyer will often represent a client in an effort to resolve their tax problems, negotiate resolution agreements, or for other non criminal tax issues. In addition to representing a client in court proceedings, a tax lawyer may also be asked to draft tax legislation, assist the audit process, draft tax forms, provide legal advice concerning tax issues and prepare tax reports. Many tax lawyers also specialize in complex tax litigation.
Attorneys can be obtained from any number of sources including: state Bar Association, state licensing boards, private law firms and through the U.S. Department of Justice. It is always recommended that tax lawyers take courses and obtain certification from reputable law schools and law firms. Attorneys who have passed the bar exam are typically CPA’s who have either had law school classes or passed the bar exam. Passing the bar exam assures future clients that the attorney has met the bar’s standards for qualifying to practice.
One might need a tax attorney to help resolve a levy. When a levy is placed against a person’s property, assets, or finances, they might need to request assistance from a tax lawyer. In these cases, the tax attorney might need to petition the courts to stop, or at least temporarily lift, the levy. The court usually grants an injunction if it finds that there is a valid cause for the levy. The tax attorney might then petition for a temporary restraining order that would prevent the levy from going into effect while the case is pending.
Tax attorneys are also employed by large law firms and by those involved with the government in special ways. For example, tax lawyers are employed by the Internal Revenue Service to represent taxpayers who believe that they are being audited. Similarly, tax lawyers may be employed by the Department of Defense to represent plaintiffs claiming injury as a result of personal carelessness. Tax lawyers with a JD degree are most often employed in these roles. Taxation experts with other degrees such as MBA are more likely to work in other types of law firms, with taxation being the most common of their areas of expertise.
Law firm workers such as tax lawyers must often deal with internal issues concerning client confidentiality. This means that tax lawyers must ensure that confidential tax information does not end up in the wrong hands. While tax attorneys cannot give out information about a person’s tax matters, they can offer legal advice to individuals and corporations on the best course of action in resolving their tax matter. These professionals often work with solo practitioners, but they can often also be found working in groups.