Getting behind on your taxes is never pleasant, but it’s incredibly common. In 2018 alone, more than 14 million taxpayers owed the IRS back taxes.
When this happens, taxpayers face scrutiny from the IRS, audits, fines, and sometimes even criminal charges.
A tax attorney can help represent your case and interact with the IRS for you. However, understanding when it’s time to get legal help can be tougher than you might think.
Here are a few instances where getting legal help is in your best interest.
- You’re Getting Audited
No matter how many times you’ve filed taxes in the past, it never gets easier. Even the simplest return can be incredibly complicated.
This leads hundreds of people to make mistakes on their returns every year. While some of those mistakes are minor, others can be large enough that the IRS audits your finances.
Dealing with an IRS audit is something no one should try to do on their own.
If you’ve received notice that the IRS is auditing your accounts, hire a tax attorney as soon as possible. They’ll be able to communicate with the IRS on your behalf and will do everything they can to reduce any fines or penalties the IRS may assess.
- You Own a Business
If your personal tax return seems complicated, just think how difficult it will be to file your business’s taxes!
For business owners, a tax attorney will be able to make sure you’re filing everything correctly and receive the deductions you qualify for. They’ll also be able to double-check your hiring paperwork so your payroll and employee tax documents get issued on-time and correctly.
They won’t be able to help you file your returns. You’ll still need to hire an accountant and get them to help you claim deductions, fill out tax documents, and stay on top of quarterly payments.
- You Owe a Lot of Money
Getting behind on your taxes isn’t something to feel ashamed of. It is, however, something you’ll want to get help dealing with.
The IRS will pursue you for taxes that you owe. If you only owe a few hundred dollars, they’ll likely be flexible. If you owe a lot, you can expect the IRS to come knocking.
Hiring tax relief attorneys can help you negotiate the amount that you owe the IRS and can represent your interests in court if needed. Experienced attorneys may be able to get the IRS to forgive a large portion of your debt.
Keep in mind that all situations are unique and what your attorney may be able to do for you may not be what others have experienced. The best thing you can do is schedule a consultation.
- You Hid Income in the Past
No one likes paying taxes. The more money you make, the more money you owe the IRS at tax time.
It makes it tempting to lie about how much money you make or to fail to report a good chunk of your income.
Unfortunately, the IRS has a way of finding out that you hid income in the past. If they do, you could face criminal charges.
A tax attorney will be able to represent your case and argue on your behalf. Keep in mind that they may not be able to get the charges against you dropped completely. Every situation is unique.
- You’re Self-Employed
When you’re self-employed, there are all sorts of challenges you’ll face. Taxes are some of the biggest ones.
A tax attorney will be able to make sure you’re on the right track and are submitting things correctly. Even better, they’ll be able to make sure you’ve formed your business in such a way that you’ll be able to enjoy tax savings every year.
If you haven’t, they’ll be able to recommend a simple restructuring process that will let you take advantage of tax savings for years to come.
- You’re Planning Your Estate
Most people want to set aside money for their loved ones or set up funds to support their favorite causes when they pass away. While a clear will is always an absolute must, there’s more to leaving money to those you care about than you might think.
You need to understand the tax risks associated with your accounts. You will also have to work to find a way to reduce the amount of taxes your loved ones will pay when they receive the money.
Hiring a tax lawyer will help you figure out the best way to set up funds to reduce the amount of taxes your loved ones will owe. They’ll also be able to double-check the way your accounts are set up currently so you can maximize your contributions and save on your personal taxes.
- You Have Assets You Don’t Want the IRS to Take
If you’re facing a tax levy, the IRS can seize assets to settle your debts. Without the help of an experienced income tax attorney, you may lose assets that you’d rather the IRS not know about in the first place.
When you hire an attorney, they’ll be able to review your assets and potentially find ways to keep them out of the IRS’s hands.
They’ll also be able to review the ways you store those assets to find better and more tax-secure options.
Don’t Wait to Hire a Tax Attorney
If you’re getting audited or just have questions about the amount of money you owe the IRS this year, don’t wait. Schedule a consultation with a tax attorney immediately.
The sooner you do, the sooner they’ll be able to review your case and find a solution.
Just make sure that the attorney you work with has experience representing cases like yours. This way, you’ll get the best representation possible.
Looking for more tips to help you save money on your taxes year after year? Check out our latest posts.