Tax attorneys must complete a rigorous course of study before they are allowed to practice as a tax attorney. Most take an undergraduate degree in a relevant field such as business or accounting before completing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Law at a local community college. Some even go on to receive a Master of Arts (MA) in Taxation, which offers specialized training for serving in tax-related law firms. In addition to a four-year undergraduate degree, many tax lawyers will take courses in public administration or business law in preparation for their legal careers.
There are a variety of schools that offer these types of courses. Some community colleges even have online courses that may help an aspiring tax lawyer become familiar with the legal process and tax laws. The courses usually consist of general education courses in economics, history, business law, constitutional law, and the United States Constitution. Courses that cover criminal law and tax fraud also are available, as well as classes on the federal income tax and various state income tax laws.
Once the curriculum has been completed at a law school, candidates will be expected to pass the bar exam, and pass it in order to become licensed to practice law in the state where they are practicing. To learn more about becoming a tax attorney, a candidate can attend seminars and classes offered by law firms that specialize in tax-related fields. Tax attorneys who wish to advance their careers in the profession can apply to one or more state bar associations, which will help them find jobs in the legal arena.
Tax lawyers may specialize in one or more areas of taxation. They may handle the preparation of federal income tax returns, tax planning and preparation, and tax defenses. Tax lawyers who specialize in audit preparation may help prepare a client for the audit, and may also provide a tax audit lawyer.
Tax attorneys who work as part of an audit team on behalf of a client are called tax levy attorneys. An audit is a lengthy process that requires careful preparation, because every document must be thoroughly documented. Tax attorneys who specialize in this field are also known as revenue officers and may advise their clients on how to prepare for audits and be more successful at defending their interests during the process. They can also make recommendations for how to minimize taxes owed to the IRS.
An attorney must be licensed by the Texas bar association in order to practice law under his own name in Texas, and other states, and may be required to be certified by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) as a member of the National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is a membership organization comprised of lawyers practicing criminal law, and its Board of Directors consists of attorneys who have been members of the NACDL for a minimum of five years.