Why Hire Attorney and CPA Jerry E. Smith?
Jerry E. Smith has the unique background of being both a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a lawyer. This experience allows him to understand the intricacies of the tax environment. He has been working with individuals to help them better their financial situations for over a decade. He can help you evaluate your options and choose the path forward that is best for you.
What Is the Difference Between Hiring a CPA and a Lawyer?
Most CPAs are focused on providing tax preparation or consulting services. They help you plan for your future before tax issues arise. A CPA is great at helping individuals with straightforward needs that are unlikely to develop any complicated tax issues.
A tax lawyer can help with those more complex issues and can be hired either before problems arise or after. Tax attorneys can provide legal representation in court and other legal processes. A tax lawyer will not help you prepare your taxes, under normal circumstances.
Is Hiring a Tax Lawyer Expensive?
We offer a free consultation to provide a more accurate estimation.
In most instances a tax lawyer can save you more money and stress than what they will charge. Don’t let cost deter you from contacting us. There are many factors that will determine how expensive a lawyer is.
There are many different issues that a tax lawyer can help with. The more complex the issue, the more costly the attorney services. A simple payment plan is likely to be less expensive than a complex audit defense. Some issues may only take a few days or weeks, while others could take substantially longer. The more time the tax lawyer must dedicate to your case, the more expensive the services will be.
What Is Tax Resolution?
Tax resolution is the process of working with the IRS to find a solution to your tax problems. While failure to pay taxes is a common problem, it is not the only problem taxpayers face. Here are some other issues a tax attorney can help you with:
- Audit Representation – Getting a notification from the IRS that you are being audited can be a scary experience. There are many reasons for an IRS audit or Indiana audit. You don’t have to navigate this tricky situation alone. Just because you have been selected for an audit doesn’t mean you did something wrong. A tax lawyer can ensure your rights are upheld and the result of the audit is fair and reasonable.
- Back Taxes – Significant debts can accrue with back taxes and penalties. They may be too large to pay in one payment. Fortunately, the IRS allows for the creation of payment plans to assist you in getting caught up. A tax lawyer can help ensure that your debt computation is accurate and help develop a plan that you can pay.
- Non-Collectible Debt – This is a classification the IRS can put on your debt if the agency believes you do not have the ability to pay because of a hardship. This means that you do not need to choose between putting food on the table and paying the IRS. If the IRS categorizes your debt as Currently Not Collectible, then the IRS will stop trying to collect that debt from you.
- Bankruptcy – Sometimes the best option when you cannot pay your taxes is to file for bankruptcy. There are many types of bankruptcy. We can help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you and which type makes the most sense.
- Innocent Spouse Relief – Sometimes people can be affected if their spouse is experiencing tax problems. People are individually responsible for taxes when it comes to individual income tax or self-employment tax. If you are being impacted by actions your spouse took, such as improperly claiming deductions, you may be eligible for relief.
- Offer in Compromise Program – The IRS has a well defined program to help you get caught up on your taxes. It is called the Offer in Compromise Program.
- Business Taxes – Tax problems are not limited to just individuals. If a business fails to pay taxes on their employees’ behalf, the IRS can take action against them. The same goes for sales tax or business income tax. This can result in costly penalties.
- Tax Appeals – When the IRS makes a decision that you do not agree with, you have the right to appeal that decision. The appeals process is not suitable if you cannot merely repay your debt — there are other solutions to that problem.
- Tax Liens – When you owe the IRS or the state money, they can put a lien against property you own, such as your house or car. To help avoid the loss of that property, the lien must be removed by adequately dealing with the tax debt. A tax attorney can help you avoid foreclosure or the loss of your property.
- Tax Penalty Relief – If you try to comply with the tax rules, you may be eligible for tax penalty relief, meaning the IRS will waive the interest and fees assessed to you.
- Transcript Errors – Tax departments make mistakes, too. You can request a copy of your tax transcript to analyze its accuracy. If any errors are found, it may be advantageous to file an official appeal to protest the IRS actions against you.
- Unfiled Returns – Life events can sometimes get in the way of timely filing your tax returns. If you do not file your return, the IRS will often guess what you owe based on historical information. A tax lawyer can help you get caught up and create a tax plan for the future.
- Wage Garnishments – If you owe the government money, they can garnish your wages to collect that debt. This means a portion of your paycheck will automatically be sent to the government to pay down the debt. This can create undue burdens if this hampers your ability to adequately provide for yourself and your family. A tax lawyer can help you avoid wage garnishments or get them removed by creating a viable tax plan.
Taxpayer Bill of Rights
A tax lawyer can help ensure that you understand your rights and that those rights are not infringed upon. They can help ensure that your tax problem has a fair outcome. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights outlines what you should expect from the IRS. A tax attorney can help make certain these rights are not infringed upon:
- The right to be informed
- The right to quality service
- The right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax
- The right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard
- The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum
- The right to finality
- The right to privacy
- The right to confidentiality
- The right to retain representation
- The right to a fair and just tax system.
4-Step Process of Working with an Indiana Tax Attorney
- Analysis – Before any decisions are made, it is important to understand all the facts about your case. We will discuss the issues you are facing and try to uncover all of the necessary information that could lead to different outcomes.
- Diagnosis – We will thoroughly review the information we have gathered to fully understand what the problem is that we are trying to solve. While at first this may seem rather straightforward, there are sometimes underlying issues that need remediation.
- Strategy – Once we understand what your needs are, we can begin to formulate solutions for those problems.
- Resolution – Sometimes there are multiple paths forward, and we can help you understand all those options. Once you have decided what makes the most sense, we can help you implement that strategy and get you on the path to a better financial future.
Tax Resolution for Businesses
We offer services to help both individuals and businesses. Businesses can face many tax problems, to include payroll taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes. We can help your business gain control over its tax problems by analyzing your unique situation and developing a plan of action.
Attorney — Client Privilege
Communication with an attorney is confidential. Your attorney cannot testify against you. This confidentiality encourages you to share all information with your attorney so they can better help you find an adequate solution.
Dealing with the IRS, state government, and court systems can be tricky. You do not want to inadvertently make matters worse for yourself. A tax attorney can act on your behalf and help ensure that you deal with these entities in a fashion that is beneficial to you.
Tax Fraud – Criminal Charges and Jail/Prison
Only the most serious tax matters could lead to criminal charges. If you are being investigated by the IRS, then you need to hire an attorney. If you know you have done something with taxes that could lead to criminal charges, you also need to hire an attorney even if you are not being investigated yet. Tax fraud is not to be taken lightly. Criminal charges can have serious consequences that can lead to fees and incarceration.
The most common types of tax fraud are:
- Failure to pay income taxes (tax evasion)
- Making false tax claims
- Refund fraud
- Abusive tax schemes
- Payroll fraud.