Tax law is a governmental assessment upon property value, transactions, licenses granting a right and/or income, estates of the deceased, and duties on imports from foreign countries. Included in this are contributions that a government imposes upon individuals as a means of service for the state.

Federal, state, and local governments have tax laws that come from constitutions, laws and regulations. Tax lawyers understand how to implement and defend the payment or non-payment of these taxes. A good tax lawyer will help their clients to understand tax laws and how they are apply to their particular financial situation. Tax lawyers are educated in tax law and can advise their clients on legal matters, as well as to guide them on ways they can organize their finances to be most beneficial to their tax situation. A tax lawyer can be called upon to help with disputes that may occur with local, state, or federal taxes (albeit some tax lawyers may only be able to help with one or two of these). Tax lawyers can help individuals and organizations such as businesses, corporations, non profits, schools, etc. – any person or entity that is supposed to pay taxes may need the help of a tax lawyer at some point in time.

Kinds of Taxes

There are many different kinds of tax laws and taxes in the United States. The following are some of the more common kinds of taxes that people often have problems with that warrant the need of a tax lawyer:

  • Income tax
  • Estate tax
  • Business tax
  • Capital gains tax
  • Environmental taxes (to promote environmentally sound activities)
  • Gift tax (taxes on gifts)
  • Import tax
  • Property tax
  • Vice tax (also known as sin tax)

Tax Courts

There are multiple courts and agencies that a tax lawyer may dispute tax issues in. These include branches of federal, state and local courts. An example of different branches within one of these systems is a federal tax dispute over income. Federal income taxes are governed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A federal tax dispute over income may end up in the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. District Court or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

State taxes are governed by that state’s state tax board. State tax disputes may be heard before a state tax tribunal or an administrative hearing officer within a state’s Department of Treasury.

Typically, local tax disputes involve going before a local administrative body to determine which party involved in the dispute claim is correct.

Tax attorneys and lawyers should know where a particular tax issue needs to be disputed. A tax attorney is qualified to use court and administrative procedures for bringing and responding to claims on behalf of their clients.  

If you are involved in a tax law dispute, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with tax attorneys now.

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