Exploring this Job
Get an internship or part-time job in a law firm or company that offers tax law services. This is a good way to work with tax lawyers and learn about the types of issues and clients they deal with on a daily basis. Prepare a list of questions about the job and conduct an informational interview with a tax lawyer. Ask your school's career services office for help with locating internship and employment opportunities. Keep up with tax law issues by reading articles posted on the Internal Revenue Service's Web site, https://www.irs.gov; use 'tax law' as the keyword search for recent postings and past updates. Get involved in a professional association for access to events, educational workshops, and publications. For example, the National Association of Tax Professionals (https://www.natptax.com) provides the TAXPRO Journal as well as other resources for tax professionals.
Tax attorneys are employed by corporations and businesses, law firms that offer taxation services, and government agencies. They analyze tax issues that clients are dealing with and come up with solutions to help them comply with tax regulations. The tax problems may be federal, state, local, or international. Tax attorneys keep up with tax regulations and have strong knowledge of the tax documentation and forms that are required by the Internal Revenue Service. They apprise clients of any changes to tax laws that may affect their businesses and their individual taxes.
Tax attorneys may specialize in tax rules and policies that pertain to transfers of estates or acquisitions of intellectual and material properties. They may represent clients by making court appearances to litigate on their behalf if the tax disputes cannot be resolved otherwise. Tax attorneys may also specialize in personal wealth management, advising clients on how to manage their tax obligations, create and amend wills and trusts, and oversee the distribution of assets to the client's beneficiaries. They attend audit hearings to negotiate tax reductions and fines and the removal of liens.
Many tax attorneys also specialize in issues that relate to the Internal Revenue Service, representing clients during IRS audits. They work closely with IRS agents as well as other tax professionals, such as accountants, to gather and review documentation, and file required tax forms. Clients' tax disputes with the IRS may also require tax attorneys to represent their clients in court hearings and file administrative appeals in U.S. Tax Court, the Court of Appeals, and, if necessary, the U.S. Supreme Court.