Trouble With Business Taxes? An Attorney Can Help
New Jersey businesses can rely on them for the most up-to-date compliance knowledgeBy Benjy Schirm, J.D. | Last updated on January 27, 2023
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Calling Upon an AttorneyA common misconception is that only the wealthy can afford tax attorneys. “We represent clients of all different sizes and situations,” Pearlman says. And with that comes some important choices on the front end of the process. “Sometimes you have to quantify an issue with a cost-benefit and risk analysis. We have to tell some clients it may not be worth going down that route. I try to be very pragmatic in my practice because often it is based on dollars. If the cost of them retaining me to fight or plan around an issue is going to exceed the benefit for them, it’s not a value gained.” Even if a client is struggling to pay taxes and the IRS is demanding more money, there are ways to make representation with a tax lawyer available. “I will work with my clients to make sure that the fee is manageable. There are a lot of opportunities for clients to do their own grunt work of gathering the information and contacting their financial institutions that will allow for a more economical choice,” says Pearlman. Anytime you’re challenged by a state or federal tax authority or may have tax problems, “that’s a good time to talk with a tax attorney,” she says. “They will want to do so before responding to the authority. We work in conjunction with accountants but, depending on the issue and who has it, it may be better to retain an attorney.” For an individual taxpayer, they can often start dealing with an issue with their tax preparer and a CPA or an accountant. “But there may come a time when attorney-client privilege is necessary or when an accountant doesn’t feel comfortable with the issue,” Pearlman adds. Businesses tend to be more proactive in tax planning than individuals. “It may be related to a capital event or transaction, or when there are acquisitions, or the sale of a business, or a purchase or exiting of an investment. It is beneficial to map out all of the possible ramifications of a transaction so they aren’t surprised. And certainly to see if there are any planning opportunities in order to mitigate any adverse effects,” she says. In any of these events, seeking out a law firm and speaking with a reputable and experienced tax attorney can help you to lessen any damages and better plan for the future. If you want more information on this area of tax law, see our tax overview.
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