Tax Attorneys’ work basically includes representing a client who has been charged with criminal charges, or has appealed against the previous assessment of tax or any similar tax related assessment. A Tax Attorney’s work is essentially based on representing a taxpayer in a court of law or elsewhere, in support of an appeal against an assessment of tax liability. The Tax Attorney also represents the client in administrative matters, including preparing and implementing documentation, scheduling audits or appeals and negotiating with the IRS. Many tax attorneys in Fort Lauderdale also handle criminal matters arising from tax evasion and/or levy fraud.
Tax evasion or fraud is a crime and the person who commits the crime is held accountable for the same under the substantive criminal laws of the United States. The IRS is empowered by United States law to institute criminal proceedings against tax cheats, evasion of tax payments, fraudulently stating income and assets, making false tax claims and any violations of any of the internal revenue laws. A tax lawyer, therefore, defends his client primarily on the basis of the criminal laws of the United States. His role and responsibilities are thus dual – one to assist his client in presenting a strong defense on the criminal charges filed against him, and the second to obtain a fair resolution of the tax liability of his client through the resolution of the IRS.
A tax lawyer has to use all strategies available to him to assist his client fight back against the IRS. Such strategies include: Examination Prior to the Adjudication of the case. A Tax Attorney’s job is to prepare the case in such a way that the IRS finds it difficult to prove that the client committed any tax evasion or fraud on the part of the client. The process of examination consists of the examination of records, bank statements and other documents which may have come into the hands of the client. This examination is however not very difficult and most tax cheats manage to Dodge it.
Counseling and Legal Counseling. A Tax Attorney’s job is not done after the resolution of the case. Once the client’s tax liabilities have been determined, a tax lawyer can help his client research the options available for getting rid of the tax liabilities. He may, for instance, petition the IRS to accept a compromise resolution between the tax liabilities and the tax debts which may reduce the tax liability by a large percentage. Or he may ask the IRS to waive off the penalties and interest and to agree to a payment plan where the total of tax liabilities can be repaid over a period of time.
Counseling and Mediation. Even after the resolution of the tax matter, the tax attorney continues to work with his client’s representatives and the IRS to come up with an acceptable solution to the tax liabilities of his client. These include, discussion on the tax consequences of an Offer in Compromise (OIC) with the taxpayer. An OIC is an agreement entered between the IRS and the taxpayer to pay a specified sum, normally in small increments, for the balance of the tax debt.
Litigation. The attorney also pursues legal actions on behalf of his client, to recover money or to secure some kind of payment from the IRS. Some of the common tax lawsuits handled by tax lawyers are refund audits, Estate taxes, and federal income taxes. In a refund audit, for instance, the tax lawyer can advise his client on how to handle the refund, how to maximize his/her refund, what to do if the IRS demands additional information, and what steps to take to protect his/her financial interests in the wake of an audit. The latter includes advising his client’s estate about insurance policies, retirement plans, and other tax matters; advising him on ways to deal with the IRS before or after the audit; and preparing a report based on his/her investigations that can be used by the client in the future, especially if the IRS has decided not to investigate or to settle the case.