How do you know if you should hire an Enrolled Agent, CPA or Tax Attorney?
When Would You Need a Tax Attorney?
The Internal Revenue Service has its fingers in a lot of pies and not all of them pertain to individual tax returns. Estates must file returns and businesses must do so, too. You might need the help of a tax attorney when handling any of these types of situations:
You anticipate having a taxable estate when you die. As of 2017, this means that you expect the total value of your estate will exceed $5.49 million, or $10.98 million if you’re married, although this threshold tends to go up annually. Your heirs would have to pay an estate tax of up to 40 percent of the balance over these amounts as of 2017. A tax lawyer can help you devise estate-planning strategies to help you stay below the exemption threshold and avoid a huge portion of your estate going to taxes.
You’re starting a business. What type of business entity should you set up? Do you want to incorporate? Can you function as a sole proprietor? Any business setup you choose will have tax ramifications. Legal counsel can advise you about the structure and tax treatment of your company, including some non-tax issues you might not otherwise have considered.
You engage in international business and you need help with contracts, tax treatment and other legal matters.
You plan to bring a suit against the IRS, you’re under criminal investigation by the IRS, or you want to seek independent review of your case before the U.S. Tax Court. In these cases, you’ll want someone who is familiar with a courtroom. Although certain non-attorneys can represent clients in court, you might be best off with someone who is well versed in the law. This is especially true if you’ve committed tax fraud, such as claiming deductions or credits you weren’t actually entitled to. Your relationship with your attorney and anything you say to him or confide in him is typically privileged. This means he’s under no legal obligation or duty to divulge it to the court. This is not always true of accountants.
At RMS Tax Consulting LLC, we are Enrolled Agents, specialists in tax collection and tax audit laws and procedure. We know what cases need what type of tax professional. We work with expert Certified Public Accountants (CPA’s) and an attorney specializing in tax law, wills, estates, trusts and asset protection. We also work with an attorney who is also a CPA. We sometimes refer cases to them. But they start at $250 to $350 an hour to consult. Most of the time, an Enrolled Agent licensed to practice before the IRS is your most cost effective choice.
Call Richard Schickel at 520-668-3243 to get your free case consultation.