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Tax Attorney or CPA? Which is Right for You?


Posted on November 16, 2015

Calling a tax attorney is a big step. We’re happy you are at least considering making the call. We want to ease your pain and not make it more difficult. We want to explain what happens when contact a tax attorney.

What Happens When I Call A Tax Attorney?

If you have a tax problem that entails an IRS notice, seized assets, unpaid liabilities or the inability to pay your taxes, a tax attorney might be able to help. When you call our office, we’ll ask you a series of questions to ensure that your questions are best handled by our office. Some tax questions can be answered by a tax preparer rather than a tax attorney which would save you time and money.

If you are passed through to an attorney, one of our attorneys will spend a few minutes on the phone discussing your issue. The attorney might suggest you schedule a consultation with them and ask you to prepare some documents for that meeting. The first meeting is usually an hour. You can ask billing questions at this time.

If you are still questioning why you might need a tax attorney versus a tax preparer, here are some reasons people choose to have legal representation by a tax attorney.

Why Should I Hire A Tax Attorney Instead of A Tax Preparer/CPA?

Confidentiality – Attorney-Client privilege allows you to ask your attorney anything and it cannot be used against you if legal proceedings ensue. If you ask the same damaging questions of a CPA or tax preparer, they might be forced to share those questions with the court in the future.

Expertise and Experience – This is not your attorneys first call asking what to do in this exact situation. You however are experiencing stress, panic and financial strain from this for the first time.

Sometimes you will need both. Your tax preparer might refer you to a tax attorney or your tax attorney might suggest you get some work done by the tax preparer. They know their boundaries, even if you are still a little fuzzy.

What Is The Difference Between a Tax Attorney and a Tax Preparer?

A tax attorney’s expertise lies in studying case law, legal writing and research. They understand tax litigation, liability issues and working with the IRS.

An accountant’s expertise lies in financial planning and financial strategy, tax regulations and tax codes.

If you are still hesitant about contacting a tax attorney, consider the consequences. Those taxes aren’t going to pay themselves. You are under no obligation after your first call to Sheehan & Associates. We want to help you and as we always say: Call Us Before the IRS Calls You!

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