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When Should You Lawyer Up When Dealing With the IRS?

If you receive a notice from the IRS regarding small mistakes and omissions with your income tax return, you can probably deal with the IRS directly or by giving your tax preparer a quick call. However, if there is any chance your case could go sour, you need to call a qualified and experienced tax attorney, and pronto. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re asking yourself whether it’s serious enough to merit calling a tax attorney, it probably is.

Maybe these two true life stories will help:

In January 2014, Beanie Beans founder Ty Werner was convicted of evading $5.5 million in taxes owed on the $27 million in interest accrued from millions of dollars stashed away in a Swiss bank account. The sentence? Two years on probation and some hefty fines, which were small change for a billionaire like Werner.

Unrelated, and a couple of months earlier, Daniel Thody, a defense contractor was found guilty to five counts of tax evasion for failing to report $15,000 and $50,000 in taxes from $1.8 million earned as a contractor for the Department of Defense. He faces up to 25 years in prison, 5 years for each count.

Which one do you think hired a tax attorney and which one thought representing himself would be the smarter option?

Three good reasons you should lawyer up when dealing with the IRS:

1. Taxpayers with Legal Counsel are Treated Better. It’s unfair, even illegal, but it’s also human nature. IRS agents are flesh and blood and if they can get away with bullying someone into their interpretation of the law, they probably will. A tax attorney can ensure the IRS is playing by the rules and treating you fairly. IRS investigators are much more careful about asking inappropriate questions or wasting your time with unnecessary requirements, if they know they are dealing with a tax attorney.

You don’t have to worry about an IRS agent getting upset with you for hiring a tax attorney either. The good ones prefer dealing with tax professionals because they don’t have to waste their time and patience explaining you the ABC’s of a tax audit or the basic IRS guidelines for a criminal investigation. In fact, hiring an experienced tax attorney is generally seen as a sign of good faith to resolve your tax issues.

2. The IRS Has Serious Muscle. The IRS is a behemoth of an agency, one of the most powerful organizations on the planet. From 2008 through to 2014, over 50 bankers from Switzerland, India, Israel and other countries have been indicted for helping rich Americans squirrel billions of dollars into offshore accounts.

If you think this is just posturing, you may want to talk to former banker Raoul Weil. In October 2013, he was picked up in Italy while on vacation with his wife and extradited to the United States. He is now on trial for conspiring to help thousands of Americans hide $20 billion in numbered accounts at UBS.

In 2013, the IRS also cracked the code of silence of Swiss financial institutions and got UBS, the largest Swiss Bank, to divulge confidential information on American tax evaders, and pay a $780 million penalty.

3. Only a Tax Attorney Can Represent You in a Criminal Investigation. When it comes to tax planning, business budgeting and asset management, a CPA is – all things being equal – more useful than a tax attorney is. But when you have a dispute with the IRS, especially if you’re accused of tax fraud or tax evasion, a tax attorney is the only intelligent choice. Tax attorneys are the only ones who can represent you in a court of law and provide you the legal advice and analysis you need. Anything discussed with your tax attorney is protected under the attorney-client privilege. Unlike CPA’s and accountants, attorneys cannot be subpoenaed to testify against a client in a criminal procedure.

What Should You Do?

Tax attorneys know how the IRS operates. So they know what to say, what not to say, and what buttons to push when negotiating your case. Hiring a tax attorney sends the IRS a clear and powerful message. You’re taking the investigation seriously; you’re not going to let IRS agents push you around; and you want to work with the IRS to avoid criminal charges.

Tax problems are usually a serious matter and must be handled appropriately so it’s important to that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your particular situation. The tax attorneys at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Los Angeles, San Diego San Francisco and elsewhere in California are highly skilled in handling tax matters and can effectively represent at all levels with the IRS and State Tax Agencies including criminal tax investigations and attempted prosecutions, undisclosed foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets, and unreported foreign income.

Description: Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. resolve your IRS tax problems to allow you to have a fresh start.

    Request A Case Evaluation Or Tax Resolution Development Plan

    Get a Tax Resolution Development Plan from us first before you attempt to deal with the IRS. There are several options for you to meet or connect with Board Certified Tax Attorney Jeffrey B. Kahn. Jeff will review your situation and go over your options and best strategy to resolve your tax problems. This is more than a mere consultation. You will get the strategy or plan to move forward to resolve your tax problems! Jeff’s office can set up a date and time that is convenient for you. By the end of your Tax Resolution Development Plan Session, if you desire to hire us to implement the strategy or plan, Jeff would quote you our fees and apply in full the session fee paid for the Tax Resolution Development Plan Session.

    Types Of Initial Sessions:

    Most Popular GoToMeeting Virtual Tax Development Resolution Plan Session
    Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
    Fee: $350.00 (Credited if hired*)
    Requires a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device compatible with GoToMeeting. Please allow up to a 10-minute window following the appointment time for us to start the meeting. How secure is GoToMeeting? Your sessions are completely private and secure. All of GoToMeetings solutions feature end-to-end Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. No unencrypted information is ever stored on our system.


    Face Time or Standard Telephone Tax Development Resolution Plan Session
    Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
    Fee: $350.00 (Credited if hired*)
    Face Time requires an Apple device. Please allow up to a 10-minute window following the appointment time for us to get in contact with you. If you are located outside the U.S. please call us at the appointed time.


    Reduced Fee Face-To-Face Tax Development Resolution Plan Session (Irvine Office Only)
    Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
    Fee: $350.00 (Credited if hired*)
    Session is held at our main office. 15615 Alton Parkway, Suite 450, Irvine, CA 92618.


    Standard Fee Face-To-Face Tax Development Resolution Plan Session (Any Location Outside Our Irvine Office)
    Maximum Duration: 60 minutes - Session
    Fee: $600.00 (Credited if hired*)
    Session is held at any of our offices outside our Irvine office or any other location you designate such as your financial adviser’s office or your accountant’s office, your place of business or your residence.


    Jeff’s office can take your credit card information to charge the session fee which secures your session.

    * The session fee is non-refundable and any allotted duration of time unused is not refunded; however, the full session fee will be applied as a credit toward future service if you choose to engage our firm.