When Do You Need a Tax Attorney?

It is very important to handle tax issues correctly from the start.  Mistakes can cost you a great deal of money, time and hassle – and in some cases may even land you in prison.

Attorneys handle a wide variety of legal issues, but since tax is not even a required course in most law schools, it is advisable to find a tax attorney – preferably one with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation – to assist you with the following tax matters:

  • Tax Audits. Whether you are being subjected to a civil or criminal investigation, the sooner you consult with a tax attorney the better.  Tax audits by the IRS, FTB, SBE, EDD and Worker’s Compensation Board have become increasingly obtrusive and invasive in recent years-it is crucial to have a tax attorney who can put in place an effective defense strategy for you from the outset.
  • Tax Evasion / Fraud.  Even the most seasoned criminal defense attorneys may not be up to the challenge of defending you against criminal tax charges. You face several years in prison for each count of tax evasion, so don’t take chances with a lawyer who does not handle these types of cases on a regular basis.
  • Buy-Sell Agreements and other Business Matters. A business or tax lawyer experienced in preparing and litigating buy-sell agreements can save you a tremendous amount of money in the long run. If you are starting a new company, consider working with a tax attorney from the outset-this will ensure that you have consistent, sound legal and tax advice and that your lawyer can react immediately in the event of a tax audit or other financial issue affecting your company (e.g., lawsuit, theft or embezzlement, etc.)
  • Cross-border transactions.  Without proper tax and legal planning, cross-border transactions may result in unnecessary taxes that will negate their benefits. A tax attorney can ensure that you have a truly integrated global tax strategy that will result in sustainable growth for your company.
  • Foreign Investments.  If you have foreign investments, or are a foreign investor with financial interests in the U.S., you should retain an attorney familiar with residency for tax purposes, holding structures and tax treaties, among other things.
  • Estate Planning and Administration. If you have a large estate, make sure that your attorney is familiar with complex estate planning strategies and knows how to prepare an estate tax return (for starters).
  • Offers in Compromise. Tax attorneys are familiar with the guidelines and tax strategies necessary for a successful and reasonable settlement with the IRS. A tax attorney will not only be able to determine whether you are eligible to file an Office in Compromise because you can’t afford to pay your tax bill, but he or she may also find a legal reason that you shouldn’t owe the tax assessed or convince the IRS that it would be “unfair” for you to be forced to pay.

A Full Service Tax Team in San Francisco

Proper tax planning and tax representation that ensures overall better communication with tax authorities is key to reducing or eliminating the stresses that accompany most personal and business activities. Moskowitz LLP is a full service tax practice comprised of tax attorneys, an international and domestic tax preparation team, enrolled agents, paralegals and a highly skilled support staff. Our firm provides expert tax representing and  planning advice for individuals and businesses.  For more information call us at (415) 394-7200 or complete our contact form.