Tulsa, Okla. (PRWEB) January 17, 2008
With the turn of the new year, most Americans start worrying about taxes. Clifford N. Ribner (http://www.cnribneratty.com), a tax attorney in Tulsa, Okla., discusses why people shouldn't consider representing themselves if they're targeted by the IRS.
"The number of things that can go wrong when taxpayers try to represent themselves is legion," Ribner said. "I've had dozens of situations where clients have come to me after attempting to represent themselves, and most of my job became undoing the damage they had done."
The first problem many people run in to, according to Ribner, is that they don't understand that everything they say to any IRS employee is being memorialized. It is possible that IRS personnel could mistake what a person says, which could even result in an indictment for making a false statement to a federal officer.
"Without knowledge of the law, taxpayers can easily make seemingly innocent statements that IRS personnel interpret very differently, even if those IRS agents are acting in good faith," said Ribner. "Unfortunately, that is not always the case."
Ribner recommends that when people have even an inkling that they could have trouble with the IRS, they immediately consult a tax attorney.
"Tax law is an incredibly complex field of law," Ribner said. "Every action can have serious repercussions. If you don't know the law -- which very few do -- you won't know you've made a mistake until it's too late. A tax lawyer can handle all communications with the IRS for you, so you can avoid speaking with the IRS entirely."
He suggests that people looking for a tax attorney find one with real training in tax law -- such as having earned an LL.M. in Taxation -- and preferably with years of litigation experience under his belt. He also says that people should look for references, either from other lawyers or judges, or published peer-reviewed ratings like Martindale-Hubbell, or both.
According to Ribner, since tax lawyers know the protections available to taxpayers, they can ensure that people being targeted by the IRS receive the full defense they're entitled to. He also reminds taxpayers that a good tax attorney will be honest about whether or not a certain problem really needs an attorney.
"Everyone's situation is different, but it's rare that you won't save money by using a tax lawyer to interface with the IRS," Ribner said. "When people don't need me, I tell them so. Sometimes I'll charge them a relatively nominal amount for a brief education on how they should conduct themselves with the IRS. I never do that unless I have first determined that there's no possibility of criminal exposure for those people with their specific tax problems."
For more information about what you need to know when faced with an IRS controversy, visit Ribner online at http://www.cnribneratty.com
Clifford N. Ribner is a tax attorney with more than 28 years of specialized tax law experience. His practice in Tulsa, Okla., is limited to taxation, and he has helped many clients over the years in their battles with the IRS.
Press release provided by Xeal Inc. (http://www.xeal.com)