Tax lawyers are involved in advising their clients (such as private individuals, companies, or the government) on the best way to mitigate their tax liability.
Tax attorneys help people arrange their finances to optimize their tax situations, comply with tax rules and handle disputes with the IRS or other tax authorities. Some specialize in areas such as estate, international or business taxes.
What does a tax lawyers do?
Tax lawyers who act for private clients will be engaged in client meetings, advising on potential tax liability (for example, in the buying or selling of assets) and the best way to mitigate that liability.
Tax lawyers who act for companies often work with other teams of lawyers as one aspect of a larger deal, as virtually all commercial transactions will include tax ramifications. Typical deals might include advising on the tax implications of a mergers and acquisitions, property deals, restructurings and all manners of finance such as funds, equity and debt.
HMRC is the government body with the remit to bring proceedings against a company or individuals. They may also be involved in defending cases brought against the government. HMRC lawyers are involved in advising on the application of the new laws on taxation, which are frequent.
6 Types of tax laws
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Steps to Becoming a Tax Lawyers
- Earn a bachelor’s degree : You must hold a bachelor’s degree to qualify for admission to an accredited law school. As such, your educational journey will begin with a four-year undergraduate degree. You can major in any field but may find it useful to choose a relevant subject such as pre-law, business, finance, or economics.
- Go to law school : Upon completing your undergraduate degree, prepare for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Most law schools require applicants to submit LSAT scores. You can pursue a career in tax law with a juris doctor (JD) or master of law (LLM) degree, but some states do not require you to possess a JD to take the bar or practice professionally. However, most LLM programs require applicants to hold JDs as a precondition for acceptance.
- Build your tax specialization : Some law schools offer JD and LLM programs in tax law. However, students may prefer the versatility of generalist law degrees and choose other academic routes to build their taxation specialization. Options include a master of science in taxation degree or state-based board certification as a tax law specialist.
- Pass your state bar examination : For individuals wondering how to become a tax attorney, remember that lawyers in all practice areas must hold licensure. These licenses are issued at the state level by organizations known as bar associations. To earn licensure, you must “pass the bar,” which requires a passing grade on a rigorous exam testing your knowledge of law and legal proceedings.
- Establish your career : Once you hold a license to practice law, you can begin seeking suitable entry-level positions in the public or private sector. Tax attorneys work for all levels of government. However, many work in private practice or with law firms offering representation to clients involved in tax disputes.
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