The Attorney That You Do Want v. The Attorney That You Do NOT Want
The attorney that you DO want.
The attorney that you DO want should be an experienced tax attorney to represent you in an IRS tax whistleblower case. An experienced tax attorney can put your whistleblower case together to assure its acceptance by the IRS. It is the duty of your attorney to justify his/her fee by submitting the case to the IRS in a manner that will maximize the potential for a reward up to 30% rather than the minimum 15% reward. Your attorney must be able to understand your case and to write an “audit plan” for the IRS and to write legal memoranda of tax advice in a form with which the IRS is familiar. An experienced tax attorney can make your case stronger by knowing what the IRS is looking for in a whistleblower case and by providing all relevant information in a format usable by the IRS. Cases under the Tax Whistleblower Reward Program are quite complicated, worth a lot of money, and worth the time and effort of finding an “experienced tax attorney.”
The Former IRS Attorneys of the Tax Whistleblower law firm, llc SUBMITS, SUPPLEMENTS AND APPEALS irs Tax Whistleblower Reward Cases . . . In fact, it is the only kind of case that our law firm will take.
The attorney that you DON'T want.
I DON'T want an Attorney that (fill in the blank).
I don’t want an Attorney that is simply a “qui tam” attorney. There are some attorneys who have a practice that specialize in whistleblower cases in other areas of the law where fraud is committed against the Federal Government. However, tax law is a very specialized area of the law. The IRS is unique. An attorney who simply fills out paperwork and puts a label on the documents (Form 211) to be sent to the IRS may not be doing you a service. A "tax whistleblower" should consider staying away from non-tax attorneys unless that attorney has the knowledge, experience, and qualifications in tax.
I don't want an Attorney that is a salesman first. Attorneys are advocates. They are very persuasive and can talk potential clients into almost anything, including representing them. They will tell you why they are great and should be your representative. Be cynical. Be careful and look at the attorney’s background (experience, qualifications, and knowledge). There are four things you should look for in hiring an attorney:
1. Does the attorney have the “right” experience in the area in which you need assistance?
2. Is the attorney an educator? (i.e., Does he/she teach others?)
3. Is the attorney a member of the bar association in that area of the law for which you are looking?
4. Is the attorney published? Does he/she have published court opinions, does he/she write articles and books?
Remember: You want an attorney . . . not a salesman.
I don’t want an Attorney that wants to be my friend. Attorneys know how to bond with clients. If it is a local attorney, it is likely that you will eat lunch or play golf together. He/she will want you to like him/her, and you will. You will be entertained and flattered that the attorney wants to spend time with you. But, remember, it just comes down to dollars. The attorney wants your case. But you should want the best attorney for your tax whistleblower matter. You do not want a friend.
I don’t want an Attorney that lacks serious tax experience and litigation experience. Tax experience and litigation experience is a rare combination. Many attorneys have worked for tax departments of large firms and were part of a litigation team, but that does not qualify them as an experienced tax whistleblower attorney. You want an attorney to represent you who has significant trial experience trying tax matters. Stay away from those attorneys who may be tax planners for individuals, estates, and businesses. You should look for an attorney who has the experience to litigate your case on behalf of the IRS -- after all, that is what you are trying to sell to the IRS.
I don’t want an Attorney that hides behind others. Make sure the attorney is who they say they are. If the attorney represents to you that he or she is an “experienced tax attorney”1 . . . make sure that he or she in fact is. Writing wills and trusts does not make an attorney an experienced tax attorney. Having handled an IRS examination does not make an attorney an experienced tax attorney for purposes of being a tax whistleblower’s representative. Drafting a few pleadings or tax memos as part of a team in a large law firm does not provide the experience and qualifications one needs to represent an individual in a tax whistleblower case. Giving tax advice (e.g., a tax planner) is not enough. Being a general whistleblower (qui tam) attorney is not enough to be considered an experienced tax whistleblower attorney.
You want to find an attorney with years of experience practicing only in the area of tax law and in litigating tax cases. The ideal situation is an attorney who knows the IRS from the inside and the outside. If you Google “tax whistleblower,” you might notice that all the tax whistleblower attorney sites state that they are experienced tax attorneys. However, look at each attorney’s credentials carefully. Many inexperienced attorneys falsely market themselves as experienced tax attorneys. If an attorney says it often enough (“I am an experienced tax attorney”), there will be those who believe it. Be careful.
I don’t want an Attorney that is selling the firm or others. This is simple to spot. If the attorney works with an experienced tax attorney, be careful because that does not qualify the attorney as the experienced tax attorney. An attorney who lacks tax experience, qualifications, and knowledge will hide behind the experience of others. They will tell you they have former IRS auditors to work the case. Remember, you are hiring the attorney; you are not hiring some employee of the attorney whom you are unlikely ever to meet. If you find yourself in this situation, you will likely be unable ever to determine the experience, qualifications, and knowledge of these other individuals in the firm. Always look at the experience, qualifications, and knowledge of the attorney with whom you will be working. After all, it is the attorney who is licensed to practice in court or before the IRS, not others in the law firm.
I don’t want an Attorney that sells a "title". Recognizing that they do not have the tax experience to compete for potential tax whistleblower clients, some attorneys unilaterally label themselves as “whistleblower attorneys” or “tax reward attorneys,” etc., without the credentials to qualify such labels. Their website is likely also to have a clever name. Do not be fooled by the marketing. Attorneys should be evaluated on their tax experience, qualifications, and knowledge. Remember, there is, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, at stake. The attorney you select may make the difference between a case that is not accepted by the IRS and a case that is awarded a reward under the Tax Whistleblower Reward Program. The attorney you select may also make the difference between an award equal to the minimum 15% or the maximum 30% reward. Therefore, this decision should be made only after careful consideration of the merits of the attorney's representations of his background, experience, and qualifications.