Taxes can be very complex, especially for someone who is a business owner or has a significant amount of personal wealth and assets. People who need help with their taxes may be wondering if they should hire a tax attorney over a CPA to handle their accounts. To answer this question, there must be both an understanding of how these two professions differ and how they best serve their clients.

What Does A CPA Do?

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a licensed professional who often assists businesses with maintaining their financial records. While they can help individuals, CPAs often hold positions as Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) at companies, or they are employed by accounting firms. CPAs don’t necessarily need to keep abreast of the latest IRS tax laws, since they often deal with preparing returns or helping companies forecast for future tax planning purposes.

What Does A Tax Attorney Do?

Because tax attorneys often defend clients against criminal tax investigations brought by the IRS, they must keep current on federal tax laws. Tax attorneys are beneficial for anyone dealing with IRS matters like:

  • Civil and criminal tax audits;
  • A criminal tax investigation; or
  • A tax fraud charge.

Tax attorneys don’t often fill out returns, but they can advise clients on matters like managing their company’s taxes, creating and disclosing offshore bank accounts, and minimizing taxes on trusts.


On top of providing defense against tax crimes and advice on tax-related matters, attorneys also offer attorney-client confidentiality. The confidentiality clause means attorneys cannot be compelled to testify against their clients. This is an attractive privilege for a person who would like their affairs with the IRS to be kept out of the limelight.

Facing Charges from the IRS? Talk to a Tax Attorney

If you’re facing legal trouble with the IRS, you may benefit from speaking to a tax attorney about your issue. With offices in Chicago and Cleveland, the experienced attorneys at Robert J. Fedor Esq., LLC help clients nationwide with their tax-related legal issues.


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