A tax attorney, EA enrolled agent, CPA certified public accountant, provide tax audit representation to taxpayers who have never been audited in cooling down their anxieties and eliminating fear when the Internal Revenue Service checks in to conduct the audit. The first-time clients to be audited are not aware of what to expect during the inspection or what exactly is to be reviewed. An audit defense attorney, EA, CPA would, therefore, be needed to step in since they have vast experience and know what to expect during the tax audit. The fear will be dealt with if a competent EA, CPA, lawyer is hired. It is in the best interest for taxpayers seeking representation is to hire an EA, attorney, CPA so they do not put their case at risk. This is because an attorney, CPA, EA exhibits confidence and knows how to go about answering questions asked by the taxman. A competent representative, power of attorney, being present will let the client be at ease.
Audit representation by tax lawyers, CPAs, EAs are also required because in most instances if the audit reports and tax returns are not found to be proper, the issue would most likely head to appeals or tax court. The tax representative, power of attorney, would have known beforehand of what the battle in appeals or court would be, and it would be easy preparing an audit defense since they have all the information at hand. This is unlike getting the services of your tax preparer, as you have to be present. Despite them having vast knowledge on the tax issues and preparation of returns, conflicts of interest might arise in cases where the taxman needs clarification. The preparer, CTEC, will have to disclose what is professionally expected of tax returns and jeopardize the client. The preparer would also fear for his reputation if he is seen to defend a false tax compliance report. Preparer might also have fears of being accused of conspiracy. In case there are still questions, and the case is headed to court for criminal charges on tax evasion, the CPA professional will likely become the first witness to be called. Preparer, of course, will not be the best person to give evidence expected to mitigate the offense. A tax lawyer is therefore relevant and preferred in criminal cases.
A tax audit representation is also required since most of the time the IRS makes a lot of errors or exceeds its authority and mandate while conducting the audit. The taxpayer will, therefore, need the services of an EA, CPA, lawyer to challenge the validity of the claims made by the auditors through tax appeals, litigation process or protests. A tax attorney is more aggressive in challenging such matters since they possess the legal knowledge and knows how a case is built based on the evidence available. An attorney will also efficiently navigate through the judicial system and protect the legal rights of the taxpayer from being infringed. These abilities are most important especially if the findings were to lead to potential criminal convictions.
An EA, CPA, tax attorney is also required for representation so that there cannot be oversharing or too much exposure of information needed by the IRS. Overexposure of information might be grave and possess legal danger. Self-representation might also lead one to destroy records in an attempt to destroy self-incriminating information. An attorney will advise against such and instead guide on how best that can be rectified.
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About Mike Habib, EA NTPI Fellow®:
Mike Habib is an IRS licensed Enrolled Agent who owns and operates a specialized tax services boutique firm serving clients in various metro areas such as Los Angeles, Whittier, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Orange County, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Palmdale, Bakersfield, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Fort Worth, Baltimore, Charlotte, El Paso, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Milwaukee, Denver, Louisville, Jefferson, Las Vegas, Reno, Hempstead, Tucson, Nashville, Davidson, Portland, Tucson, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Anchorage, Atlanta, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Mesa, Kansas City, Cleveland, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Miami, Oakland, Tulsa, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Colorado Springs, Arlington, Wichita, Birmingham, Montgomery, Tampa, Orlando.