No matter how you slice it, facing problems with the IRS is stressful. Maybe you’re going through a corporate audit. Or perhaps you have an ever-growing pile of tax debt, and you can’t see a way out. Dealing with tax issues is confusing and unfamiliar to most people—making them difficult to manage on one’s own.
It’s in precisely such tricky situations that consulting with a tax expert can be so helpful. But which tax professional should you choose? Is it better to work with a tax attorney or a certified public accountant (CPA)? In today’s post, we outline the advantages a tax attorney can offer over a CPA:
- In-depth tax crime knowledge: If you are under investigation for tax-related crimes, a tax attorney will have a more thorough understanding of the law—and possible resolutions to your predicament. An attorney is familiar with the full range of settlement options you may qualify for—and knows how to make sure you qualify for them. By contrast, a CPA usually does not have such specialized knowledge.
- Confidentiality: Any time you hire an attorney, you enjoy what is known as attorney-client privilege—meaning that your lawyer may not share any information you provide to a third party. This means that you can be open about any incriminating evidence or even admit guilt to your lawyer, and this will not affect the outcome of your case. No such confidentiality rule exists if you hire a CPA.
- “Ins” with the IRS: Attempting to resolve a complex tax problem on your own can be long and onerous. A tax attorney is familiar with the inner workings of the IRS and will know which branch to contact to resolve your particular issue. A tax attorney will also know how to contact the right department and can often negotiate on your behalf directly over the phone. This can be extremely advantageous in getting your tax issue resolved quickly.
No one wants to go through a legal issue with the IRS. But if such an issue arises, hiring an experienced tax attorney can prove to be the most beneficial thing you do for your case.