When you find yourself in need of an attorney, it’s a given that you need expert guidance. This is especially true if you need a tax attorney, since there will be many complex issues that you will be relying on your attorney’s guidance to help you navigate through in a safe, common sense manner. However, before choosing a tax attorney, it’s important to know which questions you need to ask before making your final selection. If you find yourself in need of a tax attorney to assist you with various issues, here are six questions you should undoubtedly ask the attorney.
1- Do You Offer Free Consultations?
For many people, one thing that always holds them back from seeking expert legal advice is the cost of a consultation. Because of this, more and more attorneys today in various fields now offer free consultations to potential clients. Therefore, before choosing a tax attorney, the first question to ask is if they will provide you with a free initial consultation. If they do, you’re off to a good start.
2- What Tax Laws Do They Specialize In?
Since tax laws are very complex, it’s crucial you work with an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in the specific tax laws that will apply to you and your financial matters. While some tax law attorneys deal in a variety of tax laws, others choose to specialize in certain areas, such as income taxes or corporate tax law. So before making your choice, always ask this question.
3- What Are Their Legal Fees?
Needless to say, before you start working with a tax attorney, be sure you know exactly how much they will be charging you for their services. By doing so upfront, you’ll be able to avoid any potential misunderstandings when it comes to billing. It’s also important to know the type of fee agreement the lawyer uses, since some choose to charge by the hour, while others may charge you a flat rate for their services. In either case, get the fee agreement in writing before you ever start working together.
4- Are They Licensed in Multiple States?
While some lawyers are licensed only in one state, others can practice in multiple states. This is an important question for you to ask, especially if you have assets in more than one state. Since tax laws vary from state to state, having an attorney who is licensed in multiple states can be beneficial if unexpected issues arise in other parts of the nation.
5- Does My Case Have Significant Problems?
Before you choose a tax lawyer to assist you with your problems, make sure you ask specific questions about your case. After all, it will do you no good at all if you hire an attorney who has little knowledge of your specific situation. For example, it’s always good to ask the attorney if they believe your case has significant problems before you ever decide to do business together. In doing so, you’ll know what to expect from the beginning and know you have an attorney who can spot problems well before they become an unexpected surprise.
6- Do You Practice Other Areas of Law?
In some instances, it may be to your benefit to have an attorney who works not only in tax law, but other related areas as well. This can be particularly beneficial if your attorney also practices probate or commercial law, since these areas often intertwine with many complex tax issues. However, on the flip side, be careful if tax law is only a minor area of your attorney’s practice. If this is the case, you may want to look elsewhere, especially if your problems are quite complicated.
By asking these six important questions during your first meeting with an attorney, you’ll gain a much greater understanding of whether they have the skills and knowledge needed to help you with your tax situation. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with their answers, always be prepared to look elsewhere, since tax problems can lead to fines or even jail time.