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What is an IRS Tax Attorney?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2018
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In the United States, an IRS tax attorney is not only expected to be an expert on all matters regarding US state and federal taxes, but also a master negotiator. If a situation arises that requires the services of an Internal Revenue Service attorney, knowledge alone is not sufficient; the client’s primary concerns at this point are normally avoiding incarceration or reducing the monetary amount demanded by the agency. Negotiation skills, therefore, are very important. A tax attorney does not regularly assist in less-than-serious IRS debt matters that don't end up in court.

To prevent his clients from going to court, a tax attorney should be up-to-date on current IRS laws and guidelines, which change frequently. He should use this knowledge to keep his clients informed and ensure their compliance. Since the laws change so often, regular meetings with clients generally are required. Business clients, especially, who have significant investments or have been audited or flagged for questionable practices in the past, will need extra attention.

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An IRS tax attorney’s success also depends on his ability to listen, analyze and advise on a variety of tax issues. His clients’ financial futures and peace of mind rely on these attributes. A client may tell tax attorney one thing but be doing something else, either surreptitiously or not. A good attorney must read between the lines, evaluate the facts along with the implications of a situation and be extremely careful to give advice that does not break any part of the thousands of IRS laws.

In order for an IRS tax attorney to do a good job, he must be cognizant of more than just the Internal Revenue Service laws. In order to give complete and comprehensive counsel to his clients, he has to be well versed on laws and regulations regarding real estate investments, gift and property matters as well. He should also be knowledgeable about foreign, local, US state and federal taxes and their effects on his clients’ overall financial and IRS tax situation.

If an IRS tax attorney is faced with a client issue outside his realm of expertise, he should educate himself on legal precedents, pertinent rulings and successful tactics and strategies used in the past. Armed with this information, he is better able to successfully defend his clients in court and best negotiate the fines and penalties. It is not common for a tax lawyer’s clients to be totally absolved or have all fines waived, but settlements that cost clients a fraction of what was originally demanded are quite frequent.

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