For years, I’ve retained a family lawyer who has helped me with all kinds of issues—contracts, divorce settlements, even a personal injury lawsuit. Now I’ve been presented with a big tax bill by the IRS. Why shouldn’t I let my attorney handle this, since he has handled everything else?

There is something to be said for your loyalty to this attorney, who clearly has helped you through some hard times. But, if he is being completely honest, he probably will admit to you up front that there is a lot he doesn’t know about tax law, and that you may be better off hiring a tax lawyer.

More likely, though, out of his own sense of loyalty (and his need to retain you as a loyal client), your family attorney will meet the IRS head-on and try to convince them to reduce or eliminate your tax bill. Allowing him to do this will be a serious mistake, because:

  • Only a tax lawyer is familiar with all the loopholes and exceptions in the unbelievably complicated U.S. tax code.
  • Your attorney may not recognize a bad deal when he sees it, and may happily agree to a 10 percent reduction of your bill when a tax lawyer could have gotten you at least 25 percent.
  • If your IRS revenue officer is in a bad mood that day, he may refuse to seriously engage with your lawyer, and even increase the size of your penalty.
  • You may end up paying legal fees twice: once for your family attorney who was clearly overmatched, and again for the experienced tax lawyer you wind up hiring.


The bottom line is, if you have the funds to retain a family attorney, you also have the funds to hire an experienced tax lawyer who can go toe-to-toe with the IRS. Intrigued? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) to find out what we can do for you!