Need help organising your finances? Tax lawyers are there to give you a helping hand.
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We all know that taxes can get complicated, especially when it comes to running a business. Luckily, tax lawyers know the ins and outs of local and national tax legislation and can help you out when you need assistance.
If you think you might need the help of a tax lawyer, read on. We've put together this guide to help you understand what a tax lawyer typically can and can't do, when you should use one and how to find a free consultation.
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What is a tax lawyer?
A tax lawyer knows all there is to know about tax and is someone who can help you stay compliant with taxation law in Australia. As specialists in their subject, they provide expert advice on taxation, tax audits, tax disputes, taxation planning and tax debts. As well as giving advice about taxes, tax lawyers can also help you to write up complicated legal documents that deal with tax issues and even represent you in court if necessary.
When should I use a tax lawyer?
If you're ever unsure about your rights and obligations when it comes to tax, it can help to enlist the help of a lawyer. By seeking legal advice early, you can minimise the risk of running into any tax-based problems later down the road.
Essentially, a tax lawyer is useful at any time when you need advice or assistance with any problems you might have concerning tax. The main times you may want to consult a tax lawyer include as follows:
- Buying or selling a business
- Setting up a new business
- Providing tax advice before you lodge your tax returns
- Carrying out international business
- Being audited by, or negotiating tax debt with, the Australian Tax Office (ATO)
- If you need legal representation for tax matters including fines, bankruptcy and criminal proceedings.
Tax lawyers vs tax accountants: the key difference
While tax lawyers and tax accountants both deal with taxes, they play very different roles in assisting businesses and individuals. Typically speaking, an accountant can help you with tax preparation and tax returns, ensuring you stay in compliance with the law while paying a minimum amount of tax. Also, a tax lawyer can offer focused assistance on the legal consequences of not paying the right taxes or remunerations if you've paid too much.
It's important to note that tax lawyers are not accountants. Typically, they will not tell you how to pay your tax or help you with your tax returns. Instead, they can advise you on your rights and responsibilities when it comes to paying your personal or business taxes and represent you in court where necessary.
Do I need to hire a tax lawyer for my business?
It's often recommended to speak with a tax lawyer if you own your own business. Australia's tax system can be complicated, after all, and many people face difficulties when it comes to knowing what you should and shouldn't be doing.
Consulting a tax lawyer can help iron out these misunderstandings to make sure you're paying the right tax. Doing this before any problems arise can help to mitigate risk and save you from fines from the ATO later down the line.
Additionally, tax laws vary depending on the industry and countries that you're operating in. The law expects you to understand all of your tax obligations and comply with them. However, navigating the world of business tax isn't always so easy. A tax lawyer is always great to have on hand to advise you as to what your tax obligations and rights are.
How much does a tax lawyer charge?
Traditionally, tax lawyers charge by the hour. However, hourly rates range hugely depending on a lawyer's experience and what they're dealing with. Recently, there's been a new wave of online legal marketplaces that make pricing up your legal needs much easier. Using a website like Lawpath or SprintLaw, you'll be able to compare fixed-priced quotes from several lawyers before choosing the right one for you. Plus, you can expect no surprises on the bill at the end of the job.
More on where to find a free consultation for a tax lawyer
Once you've decided that you'll be needing the help of a tax lawyer, the first step is to find a consultation. Luckily, there are plenty of websites online that will provide you with a free quote for a tax lawyer in Australia. Here are some of the leading brands to consider:
- Lawpath. You can get free tax lawyer quotes from Australia's largest lawyer marketplace by signing up on the Lawpath website.
- LegalVision. Submit a tax inquiry on the LegalVision website to get free fixed-fee quotes for a lawyer.
- SprintLaw. Get in touch with the team at SprintLaw to receive a customised quote for your tax needs.
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