Why Should I Hire a Tax Attorney?

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McFarlane Law, PLC
8655 E. Via De Ventura, Suite F-100
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Phone: 602-388-1832
Fax: 480-483-6673

So you are in a situation where you feel you need to hire a tax professional for assistance in dealing with the IRS or some other governmental agency. Why hire a tax attorney when you can hire a national tax problem resolution outfit or Joe’s Tax Help? As you may guess, national tax help resolution marketing companies are generally ineffective, inefficient in their processes, and most of the time cannot and do not obtain the result you seek or the best result you may obtain from hiring a seasoned, experienced tax attorney. For more on our thoughts about national tax problem assistance outfits, go to the heading ” National Tax Assistance and Tax Problem Resolution Advertisers Are Ineffective” lower on this page.

The reasons to spend the buck and hire a tax attorney far outweigh even the best resolution you may happen to achieve — and the detriments you face are significant tax liability, the denial of your rights, the rejection of your requests for relief — and the list goes on.

A well-seasoned tax attorney will be able to efficiently resolve your tax problems. Knowledge of administrative agency procedures, policies, and the continual changes in tax law is essential to reaching a favorable resolution to your tax problems.

Remember that the government has its troops of tax law and procedure specialists, and the taxpayer needs assistance so as not to be overwhelmed by rules, precluded due to IRS procedures, or bullied into a settlement that is not reasonable or correct.

The tax attorneys at McFarlane Law, PLC keep abreast of the fast and ever-changing landscape of IRS administrative procedures, policies, the Internal Revenue Manual, tax law, Tax Court cases, and other administrative directives and written determinations.

Hiring a tax lawyer provides the ability to protect important confidential information from being communicated to the IRS. This includes excluding oral and written evidence in certain circumstances.

While a taxpayer or tax return preparer may handle an audit, if issues are contested, an administrative appeal is necessary. At that stage, a tax lawyer is recommended.

Familiarity with Tax Court rules, procedures, and case law precedent is essential. Although the Tax Court was established “to provide special procedures for handling small claims.” While small claims Tax Court procedures are less complicated in many respects than those of other courts, they still remain formal in nature and daunting to even non-tax litigators. The rules and procedures constitute a difficult barrier to the taxpayer who represents himself or herself. Because of numerous nuances, potential pitfalls, and other non-obvious practices, a taxpayer needs representation, or at least instruction, before the Tax Court. Lack of representation puts the taxpayer at a disadvantage, as the government is represented by counsel in each case.

At McFarlane Law, PLC, we understand Tax Court. Mr. McFarlane is a former IRS litigation attorney who has extensive experience representing businesses and individuals in Tax Court. He has tried all types of tax issues, including innocent spouse cases, horse business matters, trust fund recovery penalty cases, early withdrawals from qualified retirement plans, lien and levy appeals, and estate tax and gift tax issues.

Even if you or your client choose not to engage a tax attorney for your Tax Court case, McFarlane Law, PLC offers prepetition filing consultation with a tax attorney. This is important as we can identify the issues, structure a response based on facts, and fashion a “reasonable cause” defense to the proposed assertion of penalties. Further, Tax Court cases often involve substantiation issues and factual disputes (as opposed to legal issues). Taxpayers must meet the burden of proof to prevail with such factual and substantiation issues. We can assist in developing a strategy to meet that burden of proof.

A well-seasoned tax attorney has effective negotiation skills after years of successfully interacting with all levels of the IRS, state agencies (such as the ADOR), and local governmental agency personnel.

Established relationships create an atmosphere to resolve tax problems. Having worked for many years at the Department of the Treasury, and having represented the IRS for many years in the 1990s, Mr. McFarlane has an insider’s knowledge of IRS policy and procedure. Mr. McFarlane has worked hundreds of cases with the Appeals Officers, with the Revenue Agents, and with the Revenue Officers and Special Agents in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and across the country. While McFarlane Law, PLC does not market itself as a national tax law firm, we have assisted taxpayers with several such issues.

TV tax problem marketers and national chains are removed from the necessary personal aspects of the case: they do not meet the client; they do not meet the IRS agents or officers; and they cannot be as responsive as your local tax attorney.

The government has many attorneys at its disposal at all levels — from audit to Tax Court to collections. No matter the state of your case, you will be better off hiring an attorney who can fight for your rights, and who can insulate you from direct contact with the IRS agents, officers and District Counsel attorneys. If the government has its attorneys and tax experts, you need one too, or you will be at a distinct disadvantage. The consequences can be both increased taxes, penalties and interest, and/or even criminal sanctions.

Revenue Agents, Revenue Officers and District Counsel attorneys are trained to extract information from taxpayers and third parties. Even upon your first contact, you should not speak to the IRS agent or IRS Revenue Officer without first speaking with a tax attorney. There are criminal aspects to many IRS issues. Even if potential criminal actions are not the issue, there is still significant damage a lay taxpayer can inflict upon himself or herself by disclosing information that otherwise might be handled more effectively. And, if the person presents himself or herself as a Special Agent, you need not answer any questions nor allow him or her into your home without a warrant. Rather, you should tell those persons that you will cooperate after you contact your attorney, and then immediately call your tax attorney!

Is It Worth Your Nickel to Seek the Advice of a Seasoned Tax Attorney?

Because each of the attorneys at McFarlane Law, PLC has decades of experience handling every conceivable issue and problem with the IRS, we are specially qualified in tax problem resolution to represent our clients. Mr. Bredemann is a CPA and tax attorney, and Mr. McFarlane is a former litigation attorney with the Department of the Treasury. We handle matters before the U.S. Tax Court, the IRS Office of Appeals, and administrative level activity such as audits and collection and payment matters. Please call us if you have, or think you might have, a tax problem.

National Tax Assistance and Tax Problem Resolution Advertisers Are Ineffective

“If it’s too good to be true, it is.” You may have seen ads on television, come-ons from “national tax resolution” outfits or self-appointed “tax specialists” that promise to reduce your tax debts for pennies on the dollar. These outfits ask for a significant amount of money upfront, pass you around from one low-level assistant to another, from one office to another, and are generally ineffective in resolving your tax problems. You then end up visiting a tax lawyer who can untangle the expensive mess and properly deal with the IRS. Most national tax problem resolution firms, once they obtain your retainer, may shuffle your case to clerical staff in another state. If you call the firm with questions, you may never talk to the same person twice.

At McFarlane Law, PLC, located in Phoenix, Arizona, we render effective assistance to your tax problems. Because we have practiced federal tax law in Arizona and throughout the country for many years, we have established relationships and a notoriety with the local and national IRS administrative personnel and appeal officers. We know the IRS Revenue Agents who may determine your tax liabilities. We know the Revenue Officers who collect tax debts in Arizona and across the country. As a result, we can actually obtain the results that many tax problem resolution outfits only promise.

Personal Attention From a Qualified Tax Attorney

We operate differently than national tax problem resolution businesses, some of whom have an attorney “on staff,” but really have uneducated assistants handle your case. At our firm, every case is handled personally by one of our two firm partners: Richard W. Bredemann, who is both a lawyer and a certified public accountant (CPA); and Stephen J. McFarlane, a Tax Court litigator and former IRS prosecuting attorney with an LL.M. degree in tax law.

Some of these national firms do not even use attorneys to handle tax issues. They might represent that they are attorneys or say they have a staff of attorneys and CPAs, but they are tax businesses — not law firms.

Contact our Scottsdale tax attorneys for a free consultation.

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