Tax Relief Firms – Is it a Law Firm, Accounting Firm, Or Something Else?

The tax relief industry has experienced significant change over the past several years. As the economy worsened and Americans faced increased financial pressures, many people and businesses sought relief from the strain by not paying their taxes. In response, an enormous number of tax companies started sprouting up to absorb the unprecedented demand for tax services. Tax gurus on late-night TV and radio advertise, they’ll “settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar.” Despite being tax geeks ourselves, we couldn’t make sense of which tax companies are good and which are bad.

Tax Relief Firms – Choosing the Right One For You

Under the broad umbrella of “tax relief firms,” there are three types of professional firms: Law firms, CPA Firms, and Hybrids. The first two types are self-explanatory, and since there’s really no industry-standard name for the latter category, calling them a “hybrid” is probably acceptable. But which of the three categories is right for you?

Law Firms

As you know, a law firm is made up of ONLY lawyers. A law firm may employ assistants, like paralegals, but a tax attorney is ALWAYS the person ultimately responsible for any tax work performed. All tax attorneys employed by a law firm are subject to the ethics rules and disciplinary action of their state bar. A tax attorney may generally represent any client in any state on any U.S. federal income tax matter.

The pros to employing a law firm are that you can feel comfortable that (i) an attorney is the one ultimately responsible for your tax matter, (ii) you have a clear method to file grievances (i.e., with the sate bar) if the attorney screws up, and (iii) lawyers are subject to strict ethics rules so they should work according to the highest of standards. The cons are that law firms generally are more expensive than the other two types of tax firms. Additionally, some law firms (or attorneys) do not focus solely (or even primarily) on tax related work, so they may lack some of the skill and expertise needed to fight the IRS. Just ask your attorney what other types of work he or she performs, and that will give you a sense of whether tax (and specifically, tax relief) is his or her specialty.

CPA Firms

At CPA firms, you will obviously find CPAs (i.e., certified accountants), but you may also find tax attorneys. Like law firms, it’s nice to know that at CPA firms, there is a professional behind the scenes who is ultimately responsible for any tax work performed on your behalf. The pros and cons of CPA firms are similar to those of law firms, except the method of reporting grievances with CPAs isn’t as well defined (but exists nonetheless) as it is for attorneys. CPA firms are generally a little less expensive than law firms.

“Hybrid Firms”

The hybrid firms include tax relief firms that are not law firms or CPA firms. Tax relief firms in this category employ a mix of tax professionals, including tax attorneys, CPAs, and so-called “Enrolled Agents.” Enrolled Agents are tax professionals certified by the IRS. They are neither attorneys nor CPAs, but are tax professionals that the IRS has concluded (either through examination or experience) that they are qualified to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Many tax relief firms fit in the “hybrid” category. Lots of the tax firms that advertise on the internet and radio are made up of tax attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents and thus are hybrid tax relief firms. The pros are that these companies generally charge less for tax relief work and are very good at performing tax services and working with IRS since tax controversy work is their specialty. The cons are that unlike law firms and CPA firms, these hybrid firms are largely unregulated, so there’s no clear channel (like, for example, the state bar for attorneys) to file grievances. Since they are unregulated, many of the hybrid firms are just plain bad and if they rip a client off, there’s little recourse, except the traditional routes of going to the BBB or other quasi-regulatory bodies.

Tax Relief Firms – Is it a law firm, a CPA firm, or a hybrid?

Here’s how you can determine whether a certain tax relief firm is a law firm, a CPA firm, or a hybrid firm. First, don’t assume anything just because an attorney or CPA works at the tax firm. As explained above, this is meaningless. Second (and the most obvious), just ask! A tax relief firm should have little problem telling you how it’s organized.

Getting a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer

There is nothing worse than having to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a very serious matter which can destroy the lives of many people and render them completely helpless. Before moving forward with this article it is important to describe bankruptcy and what it entails. Bankruptcy is also referred to as insolvency and is a legal state of being unable to repay debts owed to creditors.

Bankruptcy is applicable to both individuals and organizations. When bankruptcy happens to an organization, many creditors will normally file a bankruptcy petition in an effort to recover a portion of the money owed to them by the company or organization. This results in the organization seeking the services of a bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy lawyer is someone who is conversant with bankruptcy law and will be able to defend you against the petition filed by the creditors. Bankruptcy lawyers are quite expensive and you will have to prove to them that you can pay them before securing their services.

Tips on how to hire a good bankruptcy lawyer?
The increase in bankruptcy petitions has resulted in an increase in demand for bankruptcy lawyers. This has led to an increase in the number of lawyers who are looking to make a quick buck at the expense of debtors who do not know any better, while offering very poor legal services in return. It is important to ensure that the bankruptcy lawyer you have chosen is up to the task and will give you the required help you need throughout the entire process. Some of the tips you can use when trying to identify a good bankruptcy lawyer are given below.

Investigation: Many people often panic when they declare bankruptcy and will select the first bankruptcy lawyer that they come across. This is not a wise move because you need to conduct a thorough investigation. This investigation should involve a thorough background check of the lawyer and should be done before the bankruptcy claim is made. This will also give your lawyer enough time to prepare for the case.

Word of mouth: A good bankruptcy lawyer will be well-known, especially in the business world, so it is very important to ask around and gather information about companies that have filed for bankruptcy and who represented them. It is also important to know the outcome of the cases. You are bound to get information that is helpful. Experience should be your main focus in the search for a good lawyer who can adequately represent you.

The courts: A bankruptcy court is a good source about bankruptcy lawyers. You should always take some time off and visit a bankruptcy court so as to see and experience a bankruptcy case. This will give you an idea of how a good lawyer should conduct the trial when defending someone.

The panel of lawyers: The best place to find out about the best and most respected lawyers is by visiting the bankruptcy lawyer’s panel. The reputations of these lawyers precede them and you are likely to find a very good lawyer who deals with bankruptcy issues and is experienced in the field. Visiting the office of the lawyer may also give an indication about the lawyer’s reputability.

Attending free consultation sessions: Free consultation sessions are the platforms that make it possible for you to ask as many questions as possible about bankruptcy and where to find good lawyers. It is also the beginning of a good working relationship between you and the lawyers because you might get good contacts which will help you in the future. A bankruptcy lawyer will make the difference in the outcome of your case so you should ensure that the lawyer you choose is able to swing the final result in your favor.

Is a Lawyer Required for Every Workers Comp Claim?

The overall purpose of the workers compensation laws in Pennsylvania is to provide a means to ensure workers are fairly compensated for the expenses associated with workplace injury, without identifying blame for an accident. As such, many workers can obtain immediate medical attention after an injury at work as soon as the employer is notified of the accident. It is common for a worker who requires basic medical attention for relatively minor injuries to receive full care without ever completing a claim form or paying a bill.

Unfortunately, not all workplace injuries are straightforward. Many involve serious injuries that require extensive time away from work. When injuries are significant to severe-or in cases where claims are not considered valid-injury victims need the help of a Pennsylvania workers comp lawyer.

When a lawyer may be needed

The following are just a few examples of cases when an injured worker may need experienced legal assistance to help with a claim:

Denied claims. Your employer or the insurance company may deny your claim if they believe it to be invalid. In fact, state law does define claims to be invalid under certain situations-such as if they believe your injury was intentionally self-inflicted, or you were engaged in illegal activities (use of illegal drugs is a common allegation). Although the burden of proof is on the parties making these allegations, you need an experienced workers comp attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

Reduced claims. While the fact of your accident may not be denied, your employer or the insurance company may only approve a portion of the expenses cited in your claim. Skilled workers comp lawyers can help you collect the evidence required to prove the full value of your claim and either negotiate a fair settlement or appeal the decision.

Occupational injuries and illnesses. Not all workplace injuries are the result of a specific accident. Many employees-from office workers with repetitive stress injuries to laboratory workers exposed to toxic chemicals-develop their conditions over time. State workers comp law provides a complex set of schedules that identify covered conditions. You typically need a skilled attorney to navigate the rules and develop a case that proves your claims to be valid under the law.

The bottom line is that anyone experiencing problems with a claim or uncertain of how to proceed should seek advice from an attorney specifically experienced in Pennsylvania state law. In many cases, an initial consultation is free, after which many attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. You pay no legal fees unless you receive compensation for your case.

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