Taxes is one of those complicated things you have to deal with. The best way to do it is to get the right tax strategy with a professional. Finding the one for you may be tricky – so here are five questions you need to ask before you hire anyone.
1. What can they do for me?
Make sure your lawyer is going to help you. There are plenty of law firms who will treat you like a second-rate client – and that’s how you end up paying more than necessary in taxes.
Look for a lawyer (or law firm) who wants to work with new clients – and, even better, a client like you.
2. What are their qualifications?
Lawyers need to have a law degree and a license to practice. That’s the bare minimum. And that’s for common legal trouble.
You want a tax attorney who knows their way around everything tax-related. Professionals who can deal with that sort of thing have a Master of Law in Taxation. Lawyers who are CPA-certified are the best in the business – but a rare breed.
3. Have they worked for anyone I know?
The best way to find a lawyer is through referrals. You know you’re in good hands when your accountant vouches for who you’re hiring.
Although it’s not the same, you can also search online for referrals. You will have to do a more exhaustive search when that happens – but it still is better than hiring someone you know nothing about.
4. Are they local?
Tax laws and regulations change from state to state. Look for someone who is up to date with local and national tax-related changes. For those who need a Los Angeles tax lawyer, hiring someone from New York or Florida may not cut it – no matter how good they are.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to search locally. Working through different time zones can also be troublesome enough to keep your tax solutions local.
5. Are they the right match for me?
Qualifications, location, referrals, and anything else you can think of must take a back seat. What kind of work they do is the real deal-breaker (or requirement, depending on how you look at it).
Ask your tax attorney if they know how to handle your tax issue.
Otherwise, you may hire a lawyer who’s not ready to help you – no matter how experienced in other areas. You want the best attorney for you.