Tax law attorneys litigate tax matters in the US Bankruptcy Court, the US District Courts, the US Court of Federal Claims, US Administrative Law Judges, US Tax Court, and other state-level courts. However, most IRS tax issues are resolved through administrative proceedings at the audit level or the Office of Appeals and do not require litigation.
Attorneys Represent Clients in Tax Matters
Attorneys represent clients in almost every type of tax matter, such as income, gift, estate, state sales, and employment taxes. Some attorneys also represent tax return preparers. We have Non-filers also need tax law representation, as do US citizens with unreported foreign bank accounts and delinquent tax returns. Tax lawyers represent clients in state and federal criminal tax investigations, as well, including those involving income, employment, and sales taxes, allegations of tax evasion, failing to file, non-payment of taxes, and aiding and abetting the filing of false returns.
Clients who owe state or federal taxes turned to tax lawyers for help with installation agreements, offers in compromise, and general dealings with state and federal tax authorities. These attorneys represent and advise clients on their options for discharging income taxes through a federal bankruptcy filing.
When all administrative efforts to resolve a tax dispute have been exhausted, a taxpayer must determine whether to pay the tax or litigate the dispute. As many people don’t know how to proceed, arriving at this decision can be challenging. Tax lawyers assist taxpayers by counseling them about their options and by creating a plan for litigation. For instance, a significant consideration and advantage taxpayers have before they begin litigation is deciding where the petition should be filed. Indeed, a taxpayer in a civil tax controversy has the choice of three available forums.
To ensure that the proper forum is chosen, the critical features of each court should be considered. Factors that might persuade a taxpayer to select one court over another may include:
- Whether the taxpayer has to pay the disputed tax before filing
- Whether a jury trial is available
- The precedents’ of each particular court
Because of what’s at stake, clients must be educated, counseled, and comfortable with the specific features of each court before filing a tax petition.
The Internal Revenue Code contains numerous provisions for criminal offenses. Among the most noteworthy are the criminal statutes regarding tax evasion, false statements, submitting false documents, willful failure to file or pay a tax, aiding and assisting, and attempts to obstruct. The government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction on most of these offenses.
Taxpayers may be charged with a felony or misdemeanor depending on whether they made a willful “attempt.” If some conduct confirms that a taxpayer made an affirmative “attempt” to evade paying taxes, then the crime can be prosecuted by the federal government as a felony.
If you have been notified of a personal or business tax matter by the Internal Revenue Service, you are well-advised to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced tax attorney before you answer their communications. A lawyer can provide you with the most relevant and appropriate tax advice regarding your tax issue.