Dealing with tax issues can be stressful because a lot is at stake. You may feel overwhelmed if you get an audit notice without doing anything wrong. Especially, the ones who evade taxes need legal support. So when you get an IRS audit or face any other tax issues, your first concern should be to hire a professional to represent you.
However, finding an attorney you can trust is easier said than done. You need someone who can get you out clean and resolve the problem once and for all. While you meet a tax attorney initially, you need to measure them up to make the right choice. Here are a few questions that you should ask them to ensure they are the right fit for your case.
Q1: What is your experience with tax cases?
When you onboard a legal professional, you would want someone who specializes in tax laws. Obviously, you cannot expect to win the case with a divorce lawyer handling it. The first question you need to ask should be about their experience and track record with tax cases.
Someone with substantial experience in this domain will make a partner that you can trust for handling the situation. Verify whether they have won cases similar to yours because it improves your chances to get a favorable outcome.
Q2: What are the types of tax laws that you specialize in?
Just knowing tax laws does not make a lawyer perfect for your case. You need to be sure that they specialize in the stream that you want. For example, if you are struggling with payroll tax issues, a lawyer who specializes in business tax laws would be an ideal choice. Since they understand the nitty-gritty of the laws involved, the probability of securing a verdict in your favor by hiring them improves to a considerable extent.
Q3: Who will work on my case?
As a client, you have the right to know the skills and qualifications of the professional who will handle your case. The question is important if you are considering collaborating with a large firm that has multiple partners. You would want to have someone with the right credentials such as a licensed attorney or CPA. Ask to meet with them personally rather than having to deal with a representative. Make sure that they do not assign a paralegal for your case. Even while dealing with a solo attorney, do check their credentials before you hire them.
Q4: How will you keep me informed at all stages of my case?
Good communication is the most desirable trait for any legal professional. After all, you would want to be well informed at all stages till your case reaches a final verdict. Experts at Travis W. Watkins Resolution & Accounting Firm suggest that you should surely ask about the mode of communication that a firm follows before onboarding them. Ask about the process they follow and whether they will be available when you need them. Waiting can be stressful, particularly when the IRS is involved. Someone who offers round-the-clock support via mail or phone is a good choice.
Q5: How do you bill your services?
Another fact that you would obviously want to know about the attorney is their billing method. Don’t hesitate to ask because the answer will determine whether you will be able to afford them or not. Ask them if they charge flat fees or follow an hourly billing model. Also, clarify the facts related to retainer costs, admin support costs and incidentals such as postage and copying. Ensure that you know everything about costing because this will help you find a professional whose services come within your budget.
Q6: Do you see any red flags in my case?
Every tax case is different and the complications depend on the circumstances that you face. For example, the complexities of an IRS audit will differ from those of real estate ownership issues or complicated business interests. It is always good to get an honest assessment from the attorney. Do ask if they see any red flags and major challenges in your case. Also, get an idea about the approach they will take to address such problems. Having a lawyer who is confident about handling your case will keep you stress-free throughout.
When you meet a potential lawyer for your tax case, do have this checklist of questions ready. Seek clear answers to them because you are going to trust the lawyer with one of the most critical aspects of your life.