Do I Need a Lawyer to Deal with the IRS During Tax Time?

It can be stressful when you have to face the IRS for an audit or negotiations. However, you can rest easy as there are different options when it comes to approaching your situation. Although everyone’s situation is unique, it’s important to weigh your options when it comes to making a decision to either represent yourself or hire a professional to represent you. While a tax attorney comes at a cost, they have years of experience dealing with difficult tax issues and they have the expertise to guide you in the right direction. Below are some examples of situations when you might need the services of a tax attorney.

When Being Audited

Having some form of legal representation during and after an audit by the IRS can be used to your advantage. After an audit of one or several tax returns, there may be some disputes. If you have an attorney working on your behalf, they may be able to help you settle for less debt than you actually owe. They can also help in negotiating a penalty abatement or requesting that you get a payment plan.

During Negotiations

For the average person, the complex tax language and other complexities of the IRS can be quite difficult to understand, and knowing the right thing to say and when can be a challenge if not properly represented. Poor communication can make the situation worse and even attract further penalties. This is why having an attorney well-versed in complex tax laws is to your advantage.

After Receiving an IRS Notice

An IRS notice is sent out to notify you of various issues, such as an error on your tax return or tax debt reminders. Knowing how to proceed after receiving such a notice can be quite confusing and you may benefit from hiring the services of a tax attorney.

When Criminal Charges are Filed

Certain incidences require the IRS to intervene and conduct an investigation. These can include:

  • Tax evasion;
  • Tax fraud;
  • Mathematical errors on your return; and/or
  • Claiming too many business-related expenses.

Citizens get charged with tax evasion or fraud when they refuse to pay their taxes or refuse to reveal where their income is acquired. These charges not only take up your time appearing in person before a representative of the IRS, but also accrues interest on all owed taxes and fines. Legal representation may be your best chance at getting a reduced prison sentence and/or avoiding hefty fines.

There are a number of factors that determine if you need to file including age, marital status, as well as your annual income. Filing a tax return can be prepared and filed either by yourself or through the employment of a tax professional. It is important to note that an extension is only for the time that you should file; however, it does not affect the date of paying the due taxes, if any, as well as the penalties for not filing or paying the taxes on time. Failing to pay taxes on the due date can attract penalties and interest. The interest on unpaid tax usually accrues from the day of the tax return acceptance to the day of payment.

A federal income tax return is part of life and can help when you are applying for a loan or for a number of government benefits. It is important to approach your finances the right way as to avoid subsequently finding yourself in legal trouble. Contact the attorneys at Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. at (239) 649-6555 or visit

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