Most people who find themselves in the middle of a tax crisis have a difficult time trying to figure out whether they need an attorney who specialized in tax issues, or a certified public accountant (CPA). Some people decide to go with a CPA because they make the assumption that because they maneuver numbers for a living that they will be able to manage whatever issue they have.
Other people choose to hire an attorney because they feel that the attorney has the legal expertise they need. In both scenarios where people make the decision to hire an attorney or a CPA they often discover that at the end of the day, they need both.
A Wide Array of Services
Oftentimes, when people hire a CPA and an attorney they find that the services provided by each professional overlaps. It is important to note, that both a CPA and a tax attorney can assist you with the number of tax issues however, they each have limitations in regard to how they can maneuver independently.
Attorneys who are also CPAs are able to provide their clients with a full spectrum of services because they have both a legal and an accounting background.
They Have You Covered
You have to take into account the essential roles the tax attorney and the CPA play in order to gain a better understanding as to why a lawyer with a CPA is so coveted by small business owners and others. Most people are in contact with their CPAs on a regular basis. These professionals help business owners manage tasks like maintaining their financial records and helping them prepare their taxes.
Tax attorneys on the other hand are generally used for very complex and specified tax issues, however independently, they do not prepare taxes and perform some of the other essential services businesses need that a CPA is qualified to do.
Dually licensed Attorney CPAs can consult and advise on issues pertaining to the best ways to structure a business, to reduce tax liabilities to help minimize the possibility that you could have issues with the IRS at some point.
They can also represent you in court because they are litigators who are also knowledgeable about the financial state of your business, and its potential tax liability.
An Attorney Client Privilege
If you are ever in a situation where you are summoned to appear in Tax Court you need all of the advantages you can get. Most people wave their attorney-client privileges without ever realizing they have done so. Most people who own a business consult with their CPA about their tax and accounting issues before consulting with an attorney.
If you consult with your CPA about a tax matter which requires you to appear in a court of law, whatever you discuss is not covered under the umbrella of client-attorney privilege. CPAs are not granted attorney-client privileges however, attorneys who also have this CPA designation are.
There have been scenarios where attorney’s have brought in a CPA to work with them and their clients to sort out complex tax and accounting issues. Even in situations like these if the advice that is being sought and then rendered by the accountant rather than the attorney the privilege is waived, because once a third party is brought in, the claim and the right to confidentiality is dissipated.
Securing your right to keep your communications confidential is paramount, especially accounting or tax discrepancies arise. An attorney who practices in the Dual role of lawyer and CPA protects your attorney client privilege.
Relieves Unnecessary Stress
Having an attorney who is also a CPA it’s cost-effective and reduces stress. It is important to keep in mind that an attorney who is a CPA receives copies of tax bills and notices just like you. If you grant your lawyer who is also a CPA the power of attorney, it affords them the ability to discuss and if necessary, repair your accounts on your behalf.
This not only saves you the time and aggravation of seeking the assistance of a CPA to help you figure out what your issues are, it also alleviates any stress you might endure, in terms of having to worry about responding to correspondence in a timely manner, and in a manner that would satisfy the court. Contact Birk Law Firm to see how they can help.
You should be mindful of the fact that when an attorney and a CPA have to team up to work together on a case, the strategies for how to approach issues in many cases will be different. It is important to understand the individual roles that both an attorney and a CPA play, and how hiring an attorney who is a CPA resolves many issues the two professionals would have if they had to work as two separate entities.
Remember, separately an attorney’s main objective is to adhere to the laws that govern taxes, estate planning, and business transactions. The CPA on the other hand, focuses on the fundamental outcomes of business endeavors, estate planning, and taxes.