Hiring a Lawyer for Back Property Tax Debt

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Whenever you are contacted by a taxing authority about a problem with your taxes, it’s usually a good time to hire a tax attorney. While most tax attorneys spend most of their time dealing with the IRS, they also practice in other areas, such as property business tax owed to local and regional taxing authorities. It’s generally unwise to try to take on any difficult tax question without irs tax debt help of expert tax law attorneys.

A generalist can’t possibly keep up with all the rapid changes in today’s technology and information age. Laws are too complex for the generalist, so you usually want to hire a lawyer with specialized knowledge of the legal issues facing you. A property tax attorney already knows the property tax law, saving you the bother of trying to analyze the intricacies of tax law, which can be extremely tricky. A tax attorney can be expected to pay careful attention to calculating what you owe.

Pay Property Taxes or Face Foreclosure

In most states, your home can be foreclosed if you don’t pay your property taxes. If any taxes are delinquent on your property when you sell it, all the delinquent taxes must be paid before the sale can be completed. The taxes are still due and payable at the end of each calendar year even if foreclosure occurs and regardless of who owns the property. Suits to collect property taxes can be filed up to 20 years after the taxes became delinquent. Property tax liens are both constitutional and statutory, and are given an automatic priority over the mortgage company’s lien.

A tax lawyer has to be a skilled negotiator and knows how to deal with the taxing authorities, sometimes negotiating a manageable tax resolution. Competent tax attorneys will not back down in their negotiations and are not intimidated by government authorities. Any communication you have with your attorney is considered privileged and will be kept confidential. Attorneys also are required by the ethical standards of their respective state bars to be honest in their communications.

Here are some tips for hiring a tax attorney:

  • Ask family and friends for recommendations.
  • If possible, interview the attorney in person. Make sure the attorney is a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers, the organization that does property tax assessments in the U.S.
  • A good attorney will usually provide at least three references, and it is a good idea to check them out.
  • Make sure the attorney you hire is the one who will work your case – some attorneys use other attorneys or law students to handle their paperwork and research.
  • Look at the attorney’s case record to see how he or see does in the courtroom.
  • Make sure the fees you pay cover all the services you require, and no additional fees will be charged. Most property tax attorneys require an initial fee to take the case, and then are paid on a contingency basis, which is based on the outcome of your case.  
  • This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Tax laws in particular change frequently. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. If you need help with a Tax Problem please click here to consult with a Tax Lawyer in your area.
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