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Potential benefits of legal representation during a tax audit

| Jun 20, 2018 | Audits

When Georgia residents or businesses receive a notice from the Internal Revenue Service or other tax agency, they likely reach out to their accountants for advice and help. Representation from an attorney could also be beneficial, especially in situations that involve tax disputes or an audit. In some ways, the legal profession is better suited to adversarial encounters.

A party confronted by a tax problem could discuss the issues with an attorney and obtain the attorney-client privilege. This protection allows people to have frank discussions with their representatives, which could enable attorneys to develop effective strategies. Attorneys also have the ability to research a tax controversy from multiple angles and strive to protect clients from prosecution.

Attorneys possess training in the development of legal arguments and the management of negotiations with hostile parties. These are not the core strengths of the accounting profession. With legal help, a party could become informed about options for complying with tax agency demands or protesting accusations. In general, legal advisers complement the efforts of accountants when someone faces questions or accusations from tax authorities. A person in this situation could look for an attorney knowledgeable about tax law and willing to answer questions in detail.

After choosing an attorney, a person could gain insights about how to prepare for a tax audit or challenge the results of one. An attorney could interpret notices from the IRS and explain the potential consequences if the person is found to have filed taxes inaccurately. Services that an attorney could provide include being present during the audit and providing advice before the person gives statements to IRS agents.

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