Atlanta Tax Attorneys: Ways to Find the Best
Ask any attorney if they can help you with a legal tax case, and many will say they can. Technically, legal representation can be addressed by any licensed attorney, but that doesn’t mean you should hire them for tax cases. A tax lawyer Atlanta resource is both a lawyer as well as a specialist when it comes to tax laws. This is probably one of the most confusing parts of the law, aside from copyright and patent law. So, specialization is a big advantage, especially over anyone who is a generalist in legal practice.
For folks who need tax representation, a tax attorney Atlanta resource doesn’t automatically get people out of paying their taxes. Instead, the specialization focuses on the correct compliance with the tax laws, both for the client as well as by any agencies trying to regulate or enforce tax laws. Because the tax laws are so technical but also so open to interpretation, there’s room for a lot of confusion as well as legal disputes. The tax attorney’s focus is to make sure the client is represented as best as possible for the most favorable outcome of the tax law interpretation.
Tax laws work in two big areas: guidance on how to prepare tax filings, and representation of the client after the tax filings are filed and enforcement has a different opinion than what was filed. Tax attorneys come in all office sizes and company forms. Some work entirely by themselves, and others are part of a partnership with other attorneys or a legal company. Keep in mind though, a tax attorney’s representation skills are not dictated by the business form the tax attorney works under.
Case performance and expertise are the two big factors that tend to dictate the quality of a tax settlement attorney and their representation for a client. Those attorneys who have been working with real cases for a good amount of time understand both the procedural side of the law as well as the substantive challenges. The procedural aspect tends to focus on the local court rules, the filing requirements, the form and content criteria for successful filings, procedural hearings where evidence can be challenged on technicalities, and catching mistakes made by agencies in their enforcement. The substantive side deals with the actual law itself. Was there a requirement in place, whom it applied to, when and how, and what are the exact ramifications if the law is not complied with. While any attorney can read the law and take a course in tax law, those with experience practicing are miles ahead of a rest because they also know how the court behaves and how cases are actually litigated.
Remember, far more is achieved in prevention than in damage control after the fact. A good tax attorney also spends a lot of time helping clients stay on the right side of the tracks, provides advantages that can legally be used for tax benefits, and gives expert guidance on the likely outcome of different possibilities for planning. Many tax attorneys spend a large amount of their time helping client’s position for the future and file taxes correctly with very little time actually fending off tax problems or investigations. It says quite a bit about their skill in terms of the problems avoided instead of those that have to be dealt with.
Many folks believe that the time to hire an Atlanta tax lawyer is after things go wrong. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The best way to hire a tax attorney is at the beginning before anything is done with taxes and the complications are made worse. Tax attorneys in planning can help with a variety of tax situations, including estate planning, business creation, and properly utilizing tax relief and legal tax shelters.
Finally, there are technical requirements all good tax attorneys should have and clients can always ask to see them. First off, they should be licensed by the state the attorney practices in. Second, they should have proof of specialized training, usually in the form of a degree or Master of Laws, (an LL.M degree). It helps for an Atlanta tax attorney to have a certified public accountant license as well, but it is not required for lawyers. And the tax attorney should be on file with a preparer tax identification number or PTIN. This is required to represent a client to the IRS.