Things to Consider When Hiring an Attorney to Help With a Tax Audit
Everyone dreads getting a letter or call from the IRS saying that they're going to audit a tax return. But, not everyone is familiar with just how to go about dealing with an IRS audit to get the best possible results. In many cases, hiring an IRS audit lawyer may be a good idea. Taking a number of factors into consideration will help a taxpayer determine whether to hire an IRS audit attorney and just which attorney to hire.
Type of Audit
Some simple tax audits that don't involve a large amount of money can be handled by the tax payer. This is often the case when it is just a correspondence audit with the IRS asking for answers to simple questions or for proof of deductions to be mailed back. On the other hand, in an office or field audit, it may be a good idea to have representation. This is especially true if tax liens or frozen assets are involved, the matter is very complicated, or the IRS is saying that it may be a case of tax fraud.
When considering hiring an attorney to help with an IRS Audit, it's always a good idea to do a cost-benefit analysis. This means figuring out how much it would cost to hire an attorney versus how much you might have to pay the IRS if the audit doesn't go your way. For example, if hiring an attorney is going to cost $4,000, but the IRS is only questioning $1,000 of deductions, it makes more sense to try to deal with the audit on your own. However, if the amount at stake is a lot more than the potential fees of the tax lawyer or if there's a chance of being sent to jail, the attorney fees are worth it to increase the chances of avoiding those consequences.
Look for Experience
Don't hire just any attorney. Look for one that has dealt with a number of IRS cases and has a history of getting good results. Don't go for attorneys that guarantee things will go your way, as this isn't possible. Make sure to ask about all potential fees and costs, and don't choose someone that makes you uncomfortable. An experienced lawyer will be more familiar with all of the many parts of the tax law and be more likely to find loopholes to help you than a lawyer that hasn't had a lot of audit experience.