How to Become a Tax Attorney
In order to become a tax attorney, one must graduate from an ABA approved law school and pass their state bar exam. If a law school student then decides that they want to be a tax accountant, they can start taking specialized courses in their second and third year of law school. Examples of available tax classes include federal, estate and businesses taxes. Law students can seek out an internship in a tax law firm.
After graduation from law school, prospective tax attorneys need to pursue a Master of Laws Degree with a concentration in tax law. In order to make themselves more appealing to law firms, tax attorneys should consider earning an accounting degree and passing the C.P.A. exam. This way a tax attorney is knowledgeable on tax law and knows how to interpret tax client's accounting records.
Tax Attorney Services
Tax attorneys can perform simple services such as helping an individual file their state and federal taxes if the person has income from various sources, as well as a variety of tax deductions. Tax attorneys can make sure the tax return includes all the necessary information to make the return accurate, as well as ensure sure their clients get the largest possible refund and if something does go wrong with the tax return, the attorney will represent the individual in court.
Tax attorneys may work internally for a corporation or they may have their own practice and work with business clients who approach them for help. Business tax accountants make sure that all the entity's income and expenses are properly documented throughout the year and that the quarterly and end of the year tax returns are filed and are accurate. Business tax attorneys will represent the client in court if the IRS disputes something on the tax return.
If an individual has neglected to file income tax, a tax attorney can negotiate with the IRS for a reduction in back taxes and penalties. Negotiations are called an offer in compromise. These offers are based on one of three situations. The first one is doubt as to whether the tax is actually owed, secondly, if there is doubt that the taxpayer could ever actually pay the full amount of the tax burden. The third situation is that paying the tax would be an extreme hardship for the taxpayer.
Tax attorneys can also represent an individual or corporation that is audited by the IRS. If it is discovered that the government is owed back taxes, the tax attorney can set up a payment plan between the IRS and the client.
When an individual decides to start a new business, a tax accountant can advise whether a sole proprietorship or an L.L.C. have better tax benefits for the business owner. The same applies if two or three people want to form a partnership. The tax accountant can explain whether a simple partnership, L.L.C. or corporate status will offer them the best tax benefits.
Tax Attorney Associations
The National Association of Property Tax Attorneys is a non-profit entity in place to educate the public regarding tax matters. Attorneys can network with other association members for advice and the organization's website provides up to the minute tax news.
The International Practice Group is ideal for corporate attorneys who work for entities with locations all over the globe. Members can connect with others all over the world for guidance on tax matters. One goal of the group is to use these international contacts to better serve their tax clients. The group provides semi-annual conferences to bring tax accountants up to date on international tax matters.
Members join an elite group of tax professionals as the International Practice Group has high standards and a rigorous application process. In order to be approved, law firms have to be of high quality and held in high regard by other law firms. The first step is filing an application with the board of directors. If the board agrees to go forward with the application process, it will conduct a due diligence visit to the applicant's firm. If the board of directors is pleased with the due diligence visit, the applicant is invited to the next semi-annual meeting where they introduce themselves to everyone at the meeting. The members attending get to vote on whether to accept the firm's application for membership.