Do I need an attorney if I have back taxes? 5 Answers as of July 12, 2011

I need to file 5 years of back taxes, where do I start and with whom?

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David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
Yes, or a Certified Public Accountant.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/12/2011
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm | Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C.
This really depends on the complexity of your situation and the amounts in question. A tax attorney can surely assist you in the preparation of the tax returns and represent you in negotiations with the IRS and other taxing authorities.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 7/12/2011
Law Offices of Sanford I Millar, A Professional Corporation
Law Offices of Sanford I Millar, A Professional Corporation | Sanford Millar
If a taxpayer has an obligation to file tax returns, (income or other) and fails to timely file without obtaining a valid extension then the taxpayer may face civil penalties for failure to file and failure to pay taxes. If the taxpayer has failed to file intentionally and with the intent of evading tax then the taxpayer faces potential criminal charges. If a taxpayer has multiple unfiled years, then he or she should retain counsel. Counsel should then do an appropriate interview with the client to determine the nature and amount of unreported income. The lawyer should also engage an accountant to prepare draft returns. Once the drat returns are prepared the lawyer should discuss a voluntary disclosure with the client depending on the amount, nature and source of the unreported income. Additional investigation may be required and further steps as well.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
Tomas Ayuban
Tomas Ayuban | Tomas Ayuban
Depending on the circumstances, there may be criminal exposure as well as civil exposure. Because of this, you should consult with a qualified tax attorney to advise you on how best to proceed. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/12/2011
The Schreiber Law Firm
The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
First, you need to have the returns prepared. You do not need an attorney to file the returns, however, being several years of not filing may create an issue of being seen as a tax evader. If you work through an attorney, anything you say about your back tax issues is subject to the attorney client privilege whereas anything you say to a tax preparer or a CPA is not.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/12/2011
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