A Tax Attorney is a lawyer who specializes in the law of taxes. Tax attorneys often work with both individuals and businesses to prepare tax returns, represent clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, and provide advice regarding how best to minimize a client’s taxes. A tax attorney may be hired by a law firm or may practice independently.
In the private sector, a tax attorney can be employed by a variety of organizations, including large law firms, accounting firms, and government agencies. For example, the IRS hires a large number of tax attorneys to audit and investigate cases of suspected fraud or other serious criminal activity. In addition, many states require that tax attorneys obtain a license to practice in the state where they will be working. To acquire a license, most states require that a candidate complete a law degree program and pass a bar exam. Some states allow tax lawyers to be certified as a specialist in their field by passing an additional exam.
Depending on the organization, LA Tax Attorney can also be responsible for a variety of other duties. For example, some tax attorneys are employed by the federal government in the Tax Division, where they prosecute criminal cases that involve violations of federal tax laws, such as those related to financial fraud, health care fraud, organized crime activities, and narcotics trafficking. Moreover, tax division attorneys have the unique opportunity to brief and argue cases in courts of appeal across the country, an experience that is difficult to find in the private sector.
Another area of employment for tax attorneys involves working directly with the public at local and community level offices. These include Low Income Tax Clinics (LITCs), which assist individuals who have a moderate or below-moderate income with their tax problems. These individuals may receive notices from the IRS ranging from an error on their tax return to an overdue tax bill. Having an experienced tax attorney to help them navigate these situations can be invaluable.
The final area of employment for a tax attorney involves working on legislative and regulatory issues within the government. For example, the IRS writes its interpretations of the tax code through Treasury Regulations (both proposed and final), Private Letter Rulings, Revenue Procedures, and General Counsel Memorandums. In addition, 13 separate Federal Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court write opinions on tax law matters as well.
If you are interested in becoming a tax attorney, it is important to start preparations early. You should be sure to get excellent grades in high school and take college preparatory classes, such as Honors or Advanced Placement courses. You should also focus on getting strong scores on standardized tests like the SAT and ACT to increase your chances of gaining admission to law school.
When you are ready to start your legal career, you should begin by obtaining an undergraduate degree in business or economics. You should then attend law school to earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Some tax attorneys earn an additional master’s in taxation (LLM) degree as well to further specialize in the field of taxation law.
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