When it’s time to file taxes, many people get overwhelmed. Whether you’re an individual filing for yourself or you’re filing for a business, you may find yourself in over your head. 

You could have a lot of tax debt piling up or you could just have a complex tax return that’s too detailed for you to take care of on your own. The good news is, there is tax assistance available. 

If you’re looking for help with your tax return, you have options. Two of the most qualified and commonly used tax professionals are certified, public accountants and tax attorneys

In order to determine which type of professional would be best for you, you’ll need to look at the specifics of your tax situation. Choosing a CPA or tax attorney will depend on your needs, your goals, and the specific of your case with the internal revenue service

Tax debt is an issue that should not be ignored. It’s important that you take the necessary measures to protect yourself. By hiring the right tax professional, you can make sure that your case is handled effectively. 

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)

A CPA, also known as a certified public accountant, is a tax professional who has been licensed by obtaining a five-year business degree and a minimum of 150 hours of education. These tax experts must pass the difficult CPA exam to be licensed and need to complete 120 hours of continuing education every three years. 

CPAs are not the basic tax professionals. They are extremely educated and have a great deal of experience in tax preparation, making them a top option for those who have difficult or complex tax situations

People that may want to consider hiring a public accountant for tax assistance include divorcees, business owners, parents, those with high net worth investments, and those with a lot of money coming in and going out each year. The more money you are dealing with, the more helpful a CPA will be for your taxes, 

Certified public accountants have the knowledge needed to help you follow federal laws while reducing your tax liabilities. They will also use their expertise to help you maximize your benefits. 

A great thing about a CPA is that they are tax professionals that you can use year after year. You will be able to build a professional relationship with your CPA, who will be available for you each year to help you file your tax return. When you use the same tax professional every year, you’re using someone who knows your situation, creating a simplified and seamless tax filing process. 

Your CPA can help you develop a long-term plan that includes both annual and monthly accounting services. When you hire a CPA, you will get the help you need in filing taxes each quarter and developing a financial plan. You’ll also be set if you end up having a tax audit done by the IRS

Tax Attorneys

Another type of expert tax professional, a tax attorney is much different than a CPA. Tax attorneys are literally lawyers who have gone to law school and obtained a law degree. In order to become a tax attorney, they had to pass the bar and have a specialty in the legal portion of tax preparation.

Both a certified public accountant and a tax attorney have the ability to help you with tax needs, however, a tax attorney is the best choice for those who have tax law trouble. These troubles could include a high amount of back taxes or federal liens and levies. If you have a tax situation involving thousands of dollars, penalties, fines, tax audits, and potential meetings with the IRS, hiring a tax attorney is likely your best move. 

Through their tax law specialization, tax attorneys are able to handle all types of complex legal tax matters, such as unfiled tax returns, settling tax debt, ending wage garnishments, removing property liens and levies, and negotiating with the internal revenue service. It’s important to find a tax attorney if you are facing any judgments or potential legal ramifications from tax issues

Amongst tax attorneys, there are a variety of specializations. When looking for a tax attorney, you are going to want to find one that fits your unique situation and needs. Whether you are experiencing issues with back taxes, trusts and estates, or another type of tax situation, make sure to seek out a tax attorney with the specific specialization. 

All tax attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in tax controversy and tax resolution. They are all trained and licensed to represent you in front of the IRS, making them a valuable and essential asset during your tax case. 

Which Type of Tax Help Do You Need?

If you’re not sure what type of tax representation to hire, take a look at your specific tax situation. 

Are your personal or business taxes more complex or difficult than you’re comfortable dealing with? Do you want to make sure that things are done well and you have minimal tax liability? Choosing a certified public accountant would be a great choice in this situation. 

Are you experiencing trouble or are you on the verge of trouble with the IRS? Have you received tax debt collection notices or do you have a tax controversy that could lead to stiff legal ramifications? In these situations, hiring a tax attorney is the best decision. 

Some people with legal tax issues hire a CPA in order to save some money. However, these tax professionals are not as effective in handling difficult legal matters, and hiring one to save money could end up making things worse with the IRS and costing you much more than you would have paid for the attorney. 

Consider hiring a tax attorney if your tax case involves tax agents and revenue officers. If you have had a revenue officer assigned to your case, the IRS is close to putting a levy on your bank account or wages. When you work with a tax attorney, they will be able to give you effective advice on how to proceed and they will make sure your rights are upheld during the process. 

Anytime you owe back taxes or are facing tax fraud allegations, it’s important to have legal representation. This makes all the difference in negotiations with the IRS and in tax resolution. 

Tax attorneys can also help with tax planning, helping you devise a tax plan that minimizes liability. The advanced dispute resolution training that attorneys undergo makes them the best option for planning when you have multiple high assets. 

However, if you are looking for basic tax planning and preparation for basic or complex situations, a CPA or an enrolled agent can help. Enrolled agents have less training than CPAs and often cost less, making them a good choice for simple tax matters. 

Keep in mind, anytime you are facing a tax dispute or legal tax troubles, a tax attorney is a way to go. 

The Difference Between Offense and Defense

You can think of CPAs and tax attorneys like offense and defense. While they are both able to help with financial decisions, tax planning, and minimizing tax liability, one works proactively and the other is reactionary. 

CPAs help you take care of your taxes accurately and on time. They are skilled in the financial side of tax preparation, helping you plan and file your tax returns to minimize liability. They will help you take care of your taxes and get them filed while offering you financial advice as you move forward. 

On the other hand, tax attorneys give you the legal advice and assistance you need when dealing with tax debt, tax disputes, and other potential problems. Anytime you are contacted by the IRS or have a tax case opened, you will want to hire someone who can guide you and represent you. 

Tax attorneys can help you if you have major tax debt or any other tax-related legal troubles. They will be able to help you find the best resolution for your situation.

Tax Attorneys and CPAs at the IRS Tax Relief Network

If you have legal tax matters or need help with your complex taxes, contact the IRS Tax Relief Network. The team at the IRS Tax Relief Network includes tax attorneys, certified public accountants, and enrolled agents. There’s someone to help you with your unique situation, giving you the advice and assistance you need.