- 1 Tax Attorney
- 2 Tax Lawyer – What does a Tax Lawyer do?
- 3 Tax Specialist – What is a Tax Specialist?
- 4 Enrolled Agent vs. Tax Attorney
- 5 Dually-Licensed Tax Attorney & EA (or CPA)
- 6 CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
- 7 IRS Lawyer
- 8 Attorney-Client Privilege – What is it?
- 9 Accountant-Client Privilege – What is it?
- 10 Golding & Golding – Board Certified in Tax Law
Tax Attorney – Golding & Golding IRS Lawyers (Board-Certified in Tax)
Tax Attorney: When a person has a legal issues involving taxes, they generally require the services of a Tax Attorney. They might Google search “Tax Attorney Near Me,” or indicate their location in the search, such as “Tax Attorney Houston,” “Tax Attorney Los Angeles,” “Tax Attorney NYC,” “Tax Attorney Miami,” “Tax Attorney Washington D.C.” or “Tax Attorney San Jose” for example.
Sometimes, we receive inquiries from clients who are unsure the difference between a Tax Attorney vs. Enrolled Agent vs. CPA, so we wanted to take an opportunity to provide a bit of context to assist you.
Tax Lawyer – What does a Tax Lawyer do?
Tax Lawyer: A Tax Lawyer is a Lawyer (licensed in at least one state in the United States) that practices law related to taxes. Some Tax Lawyers are generalists – they handle common, non-specific areas of tax, such as Offers-in-Compromise, Collections, and General Audits.
Tax Specialist – What is a Tax Specialist?
Tax Specialist: A Tax Specialist is not just an attorney who markets that they “specialize” in an area of tax law. Rather, a specialist is an attorney who has earned the Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist designation (Less than 1% of Attorneys Nationwide). This type of tax has proven an advanced dedication to the area of tax law, and will usually also have earned a Master’s of Tax Law
Enrolled Agent vs. Tax Attorney
Enrolled Agent: The IRS Enrolled Agent credential is one of the lesser-known tax credentials available, but one of the most difficult to achieve. Why? Because the IRS Enrolled Agent exam is a three-part (taken over three days) exam covers a broad range of different tax-related issues.
As provided by the IRS:
An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.
Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.
Dually-Licensed Tax Attorney & EA (or CPA)
Dually-Licensed Tax Attorney: When you have a tax issue that is in a specialized area of law, and requires both Tax and Legal Knowledge.
CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
CPA: A Tax Attorney specializes exclusively in Tax Law. An Enrolled Agent specializes exclusively in Tax matters. A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant. Unlike a Tax Lawyer or EA, a CPA does not necessarily handle tax matters. Some CPAs handle, accounting and financial audits – but not tax. Other CPAs serve as CFO (Chief Financial Officers) or use their accounting skills in more financial planning roles.
Only a small percentage of CPAs focus exclusively in Tax.
IRS Attorney: An IRS Lawyer or IRS Attorney is a Tax Lawyer o that focus exclusively in IRS tax related matters. There are two main types of IRS Lawyers. A Tax Lawyer Generalist that handles offers-in-compromise, collections, general audits, etc. and an IRS Lawyer Specialist, that handles very specific area of tax law.
For example, at Golding & Golding, we specialize exclusively in IRS Voluntary Disclosure.
*An IRS Tax Law Specialist is not a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist. Oftentimes, it is an Entry Level IRS position that does not require any tax background.
Attorney-Client Privilege – What is it?
Attorney-Client Privilege: The Attorney-Client privilege is one of the strongest privileges available. The purpose of the privilege to facilitate truth, honesty, and openness between an Attorney and the Client.
It provides is a very high-level of confidentiality. Generally, unless the client is telling the attorney that he or she is going inflict death or serious bodily injury on another person) the Attorney cannot divulge the information.
Accountant-Client Privilege – What is it?
The Accountant-Client Privilege is not the same. Since the main goal of an Accountant is to prepare taxes, the privilege is not afforded the same level of confidentiality as the Attorney-Client privilege.
It is limited in scope, and does not withstand criminal investigations. In other words, if you divulge information to the CPA and then the U.S. Government pursues a criminal investigation — that information is no longer privileged or protected.
Golding & Golding – Board Certified in Tax Law
Golding & Golding represents clients worldwide in over 70-countries exclusively in Streamlined, Offshore and IRS Voluntary Disclosure matters. We have successfully completed more than 1000 streamlined and voluntary disclosure submissions.
Our Team Lead is a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist (Less than 1% of Attorneys nationwide) and Enrolled Agent, with a Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
Mr. Golding leads his team in each and every case we accept for submission.
- Learn more about the Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
- Learn the benefits of the IRS Enrolled Agent credential
- Learn more about Golding & Golding’s Case Accomplishments
- Learn more about Golding & Golding Testimonials from prior clients
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants and Financial Professionals worldwide.
Sean holds a Master's in Tax Law from one of the top Tax LL.M. programs in the country at the University of Denver. He has also earned the prestigious IRS Enrolled Agent credential. Mr. Golding's articles have been referenced in such publications as the Washington Post, Forbes, Nolo, and various Law Journals nationwide.