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Frequently Asked Questions

We save financial lives and personal freedom by utilizing our tax code, procedure, and industry knowledge to defend taxpayers in tax disputes, and offer advisory tax services and tax preparation.

What are tax advisory services?

Tax advisory service includes analyzing financial and tax problems, formulating solutions and making recommendations designed to provide advice on taxation for clients ranging from individuals to business. At Moskowitz LLP our tax advisory services include and are not limited to, Estate tax planning, Individual and corporate tax planning (including federal, state, and local taxes); Business Structures and Succession Planning, Business Forecasting, Asset Protection Strategies, and ongoing tax and bookkeeping services.

We know how critical legal is in your tax and business affairs. The benefits of bringing Moskowitz tax advisory services include:

  • Balance business and legal risks
  • Achieve its strategic, financial, and operational objectives
  • More trust and communication in the attorney-client relationship
  • Moskowitz LLP Business Forecasting Services
Why do I need a tax attorney? Won’t my CPA do just fine? What is the difference between a tax attorney and a CPA?

Actually, it’s not even close. With a tax attorney, you have attorney-client privilege, which protects everything you two talk about regarding your situation. With your CPA, you do not. The government can demand all the records of your conversations, and your CPA can even be called to testify against you. Only a tax lawyer can get you the best possible outcome.

What’s the real cost of hiring a tax attorney?

Your first thought is often this: I owe the IRS money and now I have to pay expensive hourly fees for a lawyer on top of that? No way! At Moskowitz, there are no surprises. At the outset, we will quote you a flat fee for taking on your case and defending you—no matter how long it takes. We don’t quote hourly rates and then have you wonder how many hours we’ll spend in the future. Most important, our team and our experience will most probably save you money in the long run. And, in the end, our fee is tax deductible!

What makes a good tax lawyer?

Simply put, pride and responsibility. At Moskowitz, we pride ourselves in the work we do to help our clients—businesses and individuals—as they face a daunting challenge from the enormous resources of the government. In some cases, we are all that stands between our client and the loss of all of his or her hard-earned assets—or even prison. We take tremendous personal satisfaction in helping our clients to the best possible result.

Why Moskowitz LLP?

Many tax cases are highly complex and difficult to navigate, so it is crucial that you select the right firm for your needs. Moskowitz LLP has been helping domestic and international clients with their tax challenges for over 30 years. Founding partner Steve Moskowitz went from being a CPA to a tax attorney because he knew his clients needed more. The team at Moskowitz comprises the tax attorneys, paralegals, CPAs, tax processors, enrolled agents, and support staff that you need to give yourself the best possible chance in this situation. Our message is simple: Don’t go it alone against the IRS.

What is the Moskowitz Method?

We provide an initial consultation and full representation for a flat fee; we assign a team to you and your matter that includes a tax lawyer, a tax accountant, and a paralegal; and we provide more than 30 years of experience to get you the best possible result.

Do you charge for a consultation?

There is no charge for consultation.

Who will work on my case?

Moskowitz LLP employs a variety of tax professionals to ensure all of your bases are covered. You may be working with a Tax Attorney, CPA, Enrolled Agent, Paralegal, Investigator, paralegal, or most likely, you will work with a composed team.

How will I be kept informed about my case?

We utilize a state of the art, secure client portal that will allow you to view your matters and documents at any time. Of course, we are always available by phone, meetings, and email.

Will I have to go to court?

This depends on the type of matter we are handling for you, but, generally most cases are resolved without the need for a court appearance.

Will you work with my strategic business partners?

Moskowitz LLP partners with engineers, outside counsel, private investigators, appraisers, and fiduciaries who are subject matter experts and will bring insight to your matters.

In addition, we are happy to work with your desired partners to the extent possible. While, some other law firms and tax accountants say forget it, (if they don’t have total control they don’t want to be involved.) At Moskowitz LLP we realize that you may be paying us to bring things together, to provide a coherent comprehensive structure to create a seamless web between your operations, legal, and tax matters.

I don’t have any paperwork, can you still help me?

For a variety of reasons, many of our clients come to us with little or no business or tax records. We have a proven system that allows us to help you gather information from third party sources, (examples such as the IRS, under the Freedom of Information Act, banks and vendors, etc.) and if your records are hopelessly lost we can help you prepare documents based on reasonable estimates, industry standards, and other methods. If you don’t know where to begin, rest assured that we do. And, we will make it easy for you.

What are some common reasons why people get into tax trouble?

After over thirty (30) years of tax law practice, Moskowitz LLP knows why people get into tax trouble. The most common reasons:

  • Books and Records are a Mess. This is the number one reason people get into tax trouble. Every person has the best of intentions from the beginning, but life responsibilities or failing to understand just how critical it is to have good records (regardless of if you are an employee or self-employed) often leaves books and records a mess, creating confusion and mistakes. This often results in missed tax deductions, and should you get audited, trouble substantiating the tax positions you took on your tax returns.
  • I’m too busy. When a person’s life is out of control and too overwhelmed to complete the tax paperwork. Typically, that person believes they will get to it ‘next week’ but never does. Then the problem snowballs and suddenly they are even more overwhelmed. The problem then snowballs until the IRS or State of California (or other taxing entity) catches the problem and contacts them – often with tax liens or bank account levies.
  • Life disruption. Life events such as death, illness, cancer, divorce, or disaster derail some people from performing their tax duties and responsibilities.
  • Don’t have the money to pay the tax. When people know that they cannot pay the tax, they often simply try to ignore the issue and hope that it goes away.
  • Unfortunately, the IRS and State taxing agencies will catch on to them within a relatively short amount of time, and then there are penalties and interest tacked on to the balance that they already could not pay.

    Misunderstanding the tax laws and taking exemptions, deductions, and credits that they are not qualified to claim. Resulting in a tax investigation, tax audit, tax bill and/or penalties and interest.

What is a tax audit?

With millions of tax returns filed every year, the Internal Revenue Service has developed electronic processes to easily identify tax returns with omitted income, mistakes, and intentional tax wrongdoing. This software and statistical approach hunt and identify reporting irregularities, and criminal tax investigations and tax audits follow the leads.

What do I do if I’m facing an audit?

First, consult with a tax attorney to review your return and potential exposure. It is important to first consult with a tax attorney because ONLY with an attorney do you have attorney client privilege. Anyone else you speak to can be compelled to give evidence against you. Once you determine your potential exposure and develop a strategic plan to resolve the tax audit. Further, seeking professional help from a tax attorney will ease your stress knowing that your tax audit will be handled correctly and minimize your risk for tax bills, tax penalties, and tax investigation.

Moskowitz LLP realizes no taxpayer wants to be on the receiving end of an IRS tax audit. Statistics have shown that higher-income individuals are more prone to being audited by the IRS because of the complexity of their returns and likely additional tax penalties and interest to be assessed.

What if I am being pursued in a tax collection matter?

Our lawyers are as aggressive as they can be within the bounds of the law. We want you to maintain your livelihood and personal life while we work to help resolve the tax problem. We know when and how to go over an auditor’s head to obtain a due process hearing or go to Tax Court; we also know when it is in the best interests of our clients to move forward through the tax collection process. For clients that owe money to the tax authorities, we are highly skilled at structuring payments that are minimal and manageable over a period of many years. Remember, our goal is to keep you in the business of living your life.

What do I do if I’m facing a criminal tax investigation?

A criminal tax investigation has the potential to ruin your business, your career, and your personal relationships. Our legal representation generally begins with trying to stop the investigation. If the investigator persists, we do everything in our power to convince the government to drop your case. If the government refuses to drop the case, we use our unique and extensive experience in both tax law and criminal law to provide you with the best possible representation in court – all while preparing for the civil case which is sure to follow.