If you are good with numbers, have excellent oral and written communication skills, and enjoy helping others, you may want to consider a career as a tax attorney. The following is a brief overview of this challenging career field.
What does a tax attorney do?
Tax law is a highly specialized field that is focused on helping individuals and business with their tax issues. A tax attorney may assist you if you have problems with the IRS, and they may advise you on how to avoid tax problems in your business or personal finances. Many small business rely heavily on a tax attorney to head off audits or other tax complications and to help them resolve them if they do occur.
Characteristics of a successful tax attorney
Attorneys of all types should be excellent communicators, with strong verbal skills and the ability to think critically, analyze an issue, and determine the best solution. They should be attentive to detail, willing to work long hours, and good at listening to the needs of their clients. In addition to these characteristics, a tax attorney should have a thorough knowledge of tax law.
Preparing for an attorney career
Many of those who plan for a career as a tax attorney choose to major in accounting for their undergraduate degree. Once you have completed your baccalaureate, you will need to apply to law school. In order to be accepted to study law, you will need to pass the LSAT, the Law School Acceptance Test.
Because space in legal programs is limited, and there are a tremendous number of applicants each year, getting into law school is challenging. You can increase your chances for acceptance by taking part in an internship in a law firm, working for an accounting business, and making sure you have a well-rounded resume – be sure that you can list participation on a sports team, in community service, or in other extracurricular activities as well as maintaining a high GPA.
Once you have completed your legal studies, you must sit for the bar exam and be accepted to your state bar before you can begin practicing as a tax attorney.
Tax attorneys typically work in offices, libraries, or at their clients’ places of business, as well as in the courtroom. An attorney will spend time consulting with clients, doing legal research, drafting legal documents, and arguing cases in court. Long hours and an irregular schedule are inherent in a career in the legal field. In addition to working on specific cases, tax attorneys need to be up-to-date on recent court decisions and changes in the federal tax code.
While the legal field is highly competitive, skilled and knowledgeable tax attorneys are in constant demand. An entry-level tax attorney may earn $80,000 or more per year, while an experienced attorney can expect to make well over $120,000 annually.