How to choose a tax lawyer

By Vincent Gaemers in Business

When it comes to taxes, the laws and regulations can be extremely complex. Whether you're an individual or a business owner, it's important to have a knowledgeable and experienced tax lawyer by your side to help you navigate the tax system and ensure compliance. But with so many tax lawyers out there, how do you choose the right one for your needs? In this article, we'll go over some important factors to consider when selecting a tax lawyer.

Consider Your Tax Needs

One of the first things you should consider when choosing a tax lawyer is your specific tax needs. If you're an individual, you may only need help with preparing your tax returns and filing them on time. On the other hand, if you're a business owner, you may need help with more complex tax issues such as tax planning, compliance, and audits. Make sure to choose a tax lawyer who specializes in your area of need, as this will ensure that you receive the best possible representation and advice.

Look for Experience

When it comes to taxes, experience is key. You want to choose a tax lawyer who has a proven track record and a solid understanding of tax laws and regulations. Look for a tax lawyer who has been in practice for several years and has handled a variety of tax issues for clients like you. You can also check their reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get a better understanding of their level of expertise and success rate.

Check Their Qualifications

In addition to experience, it's important to make sure your tax lawyer is fully qualified to handle your tax needs. Look for a tax lawyer who is licensed to practice law in your state and is a member of professional organizations such as the American Bar Association or the National Association of Tax Professionals. This will give you peace of mind that you're working with a professional who is up-to-date with the latest tax laws and regulations.

Consider Their Availability

Tax issues can arise at any time, so it's important to choose a tax lawyer who is readily available to assist you. Make sure the tax lawyer you choose is responsive and able to answer your questions and concerns in a timely manner. You may also want to consider a tax lawyer who offers flexible scheduling, so you can meet with them at a time that works best for you.

Ask Questions

Before you choose a tax lawyer, it's important to ask questions to make sure they're the right fit for your needs. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • What is your experience in handling cases like mine?

  • How do you approach tax planning and compliance for your clients?

  • What is your success rate with tax audits and disputes?

  • Can you provide references from previous clients?

  • What is your fee structure and do you offer a free consultation?

If you are filing for Tax practitioners in SA specifically, consider the following questions as well:

  1. Are you a registered tax practitioner with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and a recognized controlling body, such as the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT)? [2]

  2. With which recognized professional body are you registered? [4]

  3. How much do you charge and what does your fee entail? [4]

It is important to note that it is unlawful for tax practitioners to charge a contingency fee (percentage of the refund), and practitioners engaging in such conduct should be reported. [4]