Hiring a Tax Lawyer
Most people think that having an accountant or a CA is enough to tackle their tax liabilities. However, a tax attorney is a must have for those who have large amounts of taxes to file and returns to claim. A salaried person or an entrepreneur would understand the hassles that taxes bring along with them. Tax laws are complicated and nobody wants a run in with the Income Tax Department.
However, if you do have a run-in with the Income Tax Department, a tax attorney is the person to turn to. You may argue that you can deal with the situation with the help of your CA. However, in case of a criminal investigation case related to tax filing, you will have to reach out to a tax lawyer for help.
Benefits of Hiring a Tax Lawyer
You might wonder what the benefit of hiring a tax lawyer is. There are several benefits of engaging a tax lawyer. Here are some:
1. Stay Updated on Tax Laws
It is but natural that in today’s hectic world where every individual is busy running around their business, it is not possible for everyone to stay updated on the tax laws and associated nuances. Not staying updated brings with it financial losses that may occur during filing your returns. With the help of a tax lawyer, you can take care of this problem.
2. Keeping a Sound Tax Record
A tax lawyer can help you keep your track record clean. You will be reminded of liabilities and compliances by the lawyer, thus ensuring that the Income Tax Department has a clean record of you. This helps when you are seeking newer job opportunities outside the country or acquiring new businesses.
3. Handling Off Shore Wealth
If you have purchased a business outside the country, a tax lawyer can help you clarify your tax liabilities to keep your record intact.
How to Find a Tax Lawyer?
Most people do not know that there are lawyers who specialise in tax laws. If you are looking for a tax lawyer to help you in a complication, here are some easy and quick ways through which you can find your lawyer:
- Search Online: Most lawyers register themselves online as digital platforms are the first places where people look for new contacts or resources. You can look for tax lawyers near you online. Make sure you check for reviews from previous clients to understand the track record of the lawyer. Create a shortlist of the lawyers who you think can help you. Set up a personal interview with each one of them to understand the mode of operation, financials etc.
- Ask for References: Ask your friends and family if they would know someone who can help you out with your situation. Do meet the lawyer in person and ask the right questions in order to an informed decision.
- Check with the local bar association: In case your online searches do not yield favourable results and your friends are unable to help you find a contact, you can always reach out to the local bar association.
Once you have found your lawyer, make sure you meet him or her in person to decide if this is the person you want to represent you. It is crucial that you have an open and thorough conversation with the lawyer to understand if he fits the bill and for you to have a comfortable working relationship with him.
Questions to Ask a Tax Lawyer
1. How Many Years Have You Been Working as a Tax Lawyer?
It might seem awkward for you to ask this question. However, it is important that you understand the experience of the lawyer. You do not want someone who has no experience in the field to be representing you in court or advising on crucial legal matters related to taxes. So go ahead and ask your question. Analyse the answer and make a note in your mind on how convincing it is!
2. Who will Work on My Case?
If you are meeting an independent lawyer who practices himself, this question is not much relevant. However, if you are speaking with a legal firm the possibility is that the first person you consult is not the person who will be handling your case. In this case, make sure you meet the person designated to handle your case and have this conversation with him. If it is a team that is assigned to you, make sure you meet everyone in person and understand how equipped and qualified they are to handle your case.
3. What will be the Billing Procedure?
Understand how the lawyer intends to bill you. Most solo lawyers will bill you on a flat rate basis. However, if a legal firm is involved, the charges will be larger and will have several components. You must ask, in this case, what the components will be. Do ask if the retainer is to be paid at the start and if any portion of it is non-refundable.
Once you have met all the lawyers you have shortlisted, compare and analyse which offer suits you the best. Look for a deal that offers you the best deliverables at the lowest charge.
Another important factor you must take into account is how the lawyer intends to keep you informed about the developments of the case. Understand if he intends to send you fortnightly or monthly updates on the case.
With these factors in mind, you can easily find a tax lawyer who suits your requirements and can help you to the best of his ability. You might find the job of finding the right lawyer arduous in the beginning, but the effort you put in worth the pain. A good tax lawyer can help you keep your record straight with the Income Tax Department and keep you and your business safe. So go ahead and look for the lawyer and make an informed decision while picking your candidate.