While it’s true that there are people who do their own taxes, they are the exception and not the rule. The taxation system in the US is very complex. There is no shame in requiring help from a tax professional, especially if there are discrepancies in your records and you run into trouble with the Internal Revenue Services. But what kind of tax professional do you need?
Types of Tax Professional That Can Represent You
Tax Attorney – a tax attorney is a lawyer who specializes in personal and business tax laws. Unlike a general practice lawyer, a tax attorney is specifically trained and knowledgeable in the ins and outs of taxation. He or she will be able to provide advice in tax-related matters and will also be able to represent and defend you in court.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – a CPA is an accountant who specializes in business taxes. Unlike bookkeepers and accountants, a CPA is licensed to practice accounting in the state and can represent you before the IRS.
Enrolled Agent – an enrolled agent is a tax professional that is qualified to prepare taxes and can represent a taxpayer before the IRS. While not necessarily accountants, they are duly recognized and regulated by the IRS, whereas CPAs are regulated by the state.
Which One Should You Seek If You Have IRS Troubles
Keep in mind that CPAs and Enrolled Agents can only represent you before the IRS. When, not if, the dispute reaches the tax court, the only tax professional that can represent and defend you in San Diego is a tax lawyer. This is why if you need help preparing your taxes, you can consult with a CPA or an enrolled agent. However, when there’s trouble, you have to go straight to a tax attorney and save yourself a lot of headache and unnecessary costs down the line.