What Are The Fees For A Tax Lawyer?
A good tax lawyer can be expensive, but the cost of hiring a lawyer to deal with tax issues is reflected in the value of the help and advice that a lawyer who specializes in taxation can provide. Tax lawyers can help in the preparation of tax returns or in the start up of a new business or investment, or support clients who have run into difficulties with the IRS or with their state department of revenue.
It is customary for tax lawyers to charge their fees on an hourly basis, so the overall cost of hiring a tax lawyer will depend upon the amount of work that is required. A more complicated problem that takes a lot of time and work to solve will cost much more than a simple problem. However, the benefits of hiring a tax lawyer will be greater when the problem is a difficult one. An average hourly fee for a tax attorney will be between 200 and 400 dollars.
A minor tax problem will only require a few hours of work. Tax attorneys may charge a fee of approximately 700 to 1500 dollars in order to perform basic payment option negotiations with the IRS. This might be in order to negotiate a hardship deferral or an offer in compromise. However, if the negotiations take longer than expected to complete, the costs may rise.
The typical charges when legal representation is required during a tax dispute will be higher. In a relatively simple case, the lawyer's fee will be between about 2000 and 4000 dollars. However, if the case is more complicated, clients should expect to pay fees of between 5000 and 15000 dollars. When a dispute leads to a trial, the costs can be substantially higher than this.
Clients will usually be required to pay a retainer when they first hire a tax attorney. A retainer is a prepayment, which will be based upon the lawyer's estimate of the number of hours that they will be working for the client. The retainer will be used to pay the bill as the work progresses. If the retainer has been used up, the client will need to make an additional payment to cover the rest of the costs.
In some cases, a tax lawyer may offer a free consultation during which the client will be able to discuss their case with the lawyer. Other tax lawyers do not offer this service, and they will charge their usual hourly fee even during the first consultation.
Tax lawyers also differ in their approach to charging for expenses. Some lawyers include their expenses in their hourly fee, but others will charge for expenses separately. Clients should ensure that they know whether there will be a separate charge for expenses, and they should ask for an estimate of these costs when they hire their tax attorney. The expenses that may need to be paid may include court costs or filing fees of between 5 and 250 dollars as well as other expenses incurred by the lawyer during their work. These may include costs for messengers, postage, copying and for the work done by paralegals.
Taxpayers who cannot afford to hire a tax lawyer in order to help them with an IRS audit, a collection dispute or an appeal may be able to obtain low cost or free legal assistance from a Low Income Tax Clinic or from a Legal Aid Office. More information about coping with taxes and the legal issue that can arise during their payment can be found on the Net4Tax.com website.