Tax Lawyer or Accountant: Which Is Better for Tax Advice?

Should you hire a tax lawyer, or can you save some money and talk to your accountant if you need professional advice on your income taxes?

The answer to that question depends upon your specific needs. But if your taxes aren’t simple and straightforward, you may be better served by hiring an experienced tax attorney.

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Both Professionals Can Provide Advice on Your Taxes

When it comes to filing routine returns or offering tax advice about which credits or deductions to claim, both accountants and attorneys are up to the job. And if that’s all you need, you might be able to save yourself some money by seeing an accountant instead of a tax lawyer.

Technically speaking, you could even stick with your accountant if you need to respond to a claim or audit against you. The U.S. Tax Court doesn’t require you to have attorney representation.

Why a Tax Lawyer Has the Edge over an Accountant

But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. When it comes to taxes, you need an expert on your side — and an accountant may not be your wisest choice.

Complicated tax relief cases that may have legal ramifications are often beyond the scope of an accountant’s expertise. A professional tax lawyer, with years of specialized training and experience in legal research and case law, is better equipped to offer solutions to complex issues and to deal with situations that could lead to litigation.

So while working with an accountant may be a good strategy for financial planning, hiring a tax attorney is your best bet for expert advice on taxes.

How a Tax Lawyer Can Protect Your Interests

Any civil case with the IRS has the potential to turn into a criminal case. It’s a scary thought, right? Even scarier is the thought of heading into a criminal investigation with an accountant as your tax advice professional.

You’ve no doubt heard of the attorney-client privilege — anything you say to your lawyer is protected and cannot be disclosed in court. Accountants can only offer this same protection in civil matters.

So if you’re working with an accountant on an audit and the case later becomes a criminal matter, information you’ve shared with them won’t be protected — it could be used against you in court.

The Froisland Law Firm can protect your interests and offer expert tax advice to meet your individual or business needs. After a decade of representing northern Utah clients with IRS settlement offers, audits, court litigation and other tax-related issues, I have the background and experience to address all your unique concerns. To learn more about how a tax lawyer can help you, contact my Salt Lake City area office today.