Five Times You Need a Tax Attorney

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Taxes are a reality of life on both the federal and the state level. This means that having a tax attorney can be absolutely essential whether you are doing estate planning, looking into bankruptcy, in discussion with a real estate lawyer about a commercial property investment, or simply need to understand how to minimize your tax burden. We probably all know that we need a tax attorney if we get in trouble with the IRS or with state tax bureaus, but there are some other times when it can be very smart to proactively engage the services of a tax lawyer. Here are a few of them:

  • You anticipate having a large estate when you die. As of 2017, if your estate is valued at over $5.49 million, or approximately double that if you’re married, this is taxable by the federal government at up to 40%. If you are thinking that the money you’ve socked away to leave to your children has already been taxed, both when earned and as it gained interest in the bank, you’re quite right. A tax attorney can help you decide the best strategies to stay under the threshold of exemption and avoid putting an enormous burden upon your heirs.
  • You work in international business. If you do any kind of international business, the tax realities can become very tricky very fast. Not only do you need to understand taxes in your own country, but you need to understand taxes in the countries where you do business, the concept of double taxation, how tax treatment works, exemptions that you might be eligible for, help with contracts, and all kinds of other legal matters that could adversely affect your ability to do business internationally. Having a tax attorney to help you right from the beginning allows you to avoid the problems before they start.
  • You plan to start a business. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when you are considering starting a business. What kind of entity should your business be? Will you be the sole proprietor, or will you be sharing authority with someone else? Will you want to incorporate? How is the business connected to your personal finances or the finances of your family? These are all questions that can have important ramifications when it comes time to pay taxes. The tax structure of your company is something you need to think about in advance, and a tax attorney is the right one to give you the help you need to make the right decisions.
  • You’re buying commercial real estate or a second home. If you already have a primary home and want to invest in a vacation home, a property to rent out, or possibly in commercial real estate, you probably already have a real estate attorney. Just be aware that your real estate attorney may not be expert at navigating all of the tax issues that can come up when someone begins investing in real estate. Even waiting a year to sell your home after you move, and meanwhile renting it out to a family member, can result in an enormous and unexpected tax burden. Prepare for this in advance by getting a tax attorney to give you the right advice and protect you from the unexpected.
  • You need to bring a lawsuit against the IRS. If you think that you’ve been unfairly treated by the IRS, or if you are currently under criminal investigation by them, or if you need an independent review before going to tax court, you need more than just an accountant. You need someone who is familiar with how tax realities work out in a court of law. This is especially the case if you have been accused of tax fraud or if the IRS has become aggressive with you.
  • /ul> The IRS It is no fun to work with, and neither are state tax authorities. It can make all the difference to your finances next year if you plan ahead for tax realities. The best way to do this is by getting the advice of a tax attorney.

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