When Do I Need a Tax Attorney Instead of a CPA?

CPAs are a great resource for ensuring that you’re properly and accurately reporting all of your necessary tax information, as well as simplifying the filing process for you. When it comes to serious tax issues, however, CPAs may not be able to help. While CPAs are knowledgeable on tax law and can be a great resource during an IRS audit, they’re not prepared to handle serious tax litigation issues. As such, the decision of who you’ll need to work with to resolve your tax issues may be unclear. These guidelines should help clear up which professional you’ll need to bring in to protect yourself from the IRS.

What can a CPA do for me?

CPAs, similar to attorneys, spend a lot of time training to handle your taxes. Their education and training are focused on bookkeeping, auditing, and tax preparation. This qualifies them to handle you or your business’s financial records, and to prepare and file tax returns for you. 

What cases should a tax attorney handle?

Unless they’re also certified as a CPA, your tax attorney likely won’t be preparing your tax returns. Instead, tax attorneys focus on tax law, and litigating your defense in the event that you’re under IRS investigation, as well as pre-litigation issues such as difficult IRS audits, IRS Appeals, negotiating IRS installment agreements, voluntary disclosures and more. A tax attorney will be more suited to your case if you’re facing accusations of tax evasion, dealings with the IRS, or need any sort of legal representation in court.

Less Is More

If bringing in a tax attorney isn’t necessary, we don’t recommend it. While both CPAs and tax attorneys are well versed in tax law, a tax attorney is focused on the controversy aspect of your case, while a CPA is focused on ensuring your taxes are timely and accurately filed on a regular basis. Both are important to keep you and your business out of trouble – a CPA can prevent issues before they even happen by ensuring the right procedures are followed, while a tax attorney will help defend and protect you from the IRS if something does go wrong. If it comes time to push back against the IRS, you’ll need an experienced attorney’s help. We’re here to do just that. Contact us at (305) 374-5544 to schedule your consultation.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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