When taxpayers are required to engage in certain communications with tax authorities because of a dispute, such as an audit or appealing taxes, they will need representation while dealing with tax authorities. Representatives of taxpayers—which may be individuals, businesses, trusts, or estates—will prepare and file documents for taxpayers, give the taxpayer advice on the best way to resolve their tax dispute, defend the rights that the taxpayer is entitled to, help the taxpayer and tax authority find a resolution, and negotiate payment plans on behalf of the taxpayer.
Taxpayers that need representation before tax authorities should know that they can use the services of Sacramento tax representation accountants from Cook CPA Group. Using a wealth of experience and expertise, the accountants that work with Cook CPA Group can help clients with everything involved in successful tax planning and resolution of tax issues.
Who Can Represent You Before Federal (IRS) and State Tax Authorities
When Sacramento, CA taxpayers must go before tax authorities, they can have one of two types of representation: unlimited representation and limited representation.
Unlimited representation is representation by someone that has been credentialed to represent clients before tax authorities while limited representation is representation that is authorized to represent clients only if they have prepared and signed their client’s tax return.
There are three types of people that are qualified for unlimited representation of clients before tax authorities: enrolled agents, attorneys, and certified public accountants (also known as CPAs). Enrolled agents are people that have passed a Special Enrollment Exam, which is a test that is administered by the IRS that tests their knowledge of federal tax planning and tax preparation for both individuals and businesses. Attorneys are also qualified to represent clients before tax authorities; attorneys that specialize in tax law may be more suited to representing taxpayers before tax authorities, however. By passing state board exams, certified public accountants are qualified to represent clients before tax authorities. They must comply with ethics and meet their continuing education requirements.
Limited representatives may only represent clients whose tax returns they have prepared and signed. These representatives are only able to represent clients before IRS revenue agents, IRS customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees and are unable to represent clients that are dealing with appeals or collections issues. People that are qualified to have limited representation rights are either Annual Filing Season Program Participants or PTIN Holders.
What Our Sacramento Accountants Do When They Represent Clients Before the IRS
When Cook CPA Group’s Sacramento accountants represent clients before the IRS and tax authorities, they perform various tasks for their client, including drafting and sending various types of communication and easing tax burdens, negotiating the terms of payment plans, and easing the tax burdens imposed on clients by tax authorities. Some representatives may make legal defenses for clients in court and help clients navigate the legal system.
One of the main tasks of a representative before tax authorities is to provide the client with guidance on how to deal with tax authorities. Representatives usually advise clients to respond to all communication from the tax authorities as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Representatives also commonly advise clients to maintain organized files of all of the communication they receive from the tax authority. Clients are usually advised to provide tax authorities only with the information that they request and nothing else.
Common Disputes That Require Representation in Sacramento, CA
Accountants are able to represent clients before tax authorities for many different reasons but the most common reason that representation is needed before tax authorities is audits. The most important thing that representatives can do for clients that are being audited is to prepare them sufficiently by helping them answer questions from the IRS. A representative can also ensure that the person questioning their client is asking fair and appropriate questions and can identify red flags that put clients’ financial health at risk.
Representatives can also ask questions about whether third parties are involved in their client’s tax dispute, investigate the reasons that the audit was initiated in the first place, and make sure that both the tax authority and the client respect common ground rules. Essentially, the representative works to ensure that their client’s rights are protected throughout the duration of the auditing process—taxpayers are entitled to certain rights during the auditing process (such as the right to courteous treatment, the right to know what will happen with information, and more) and a representative can help protect them. An accountant that is representing their client before tax authorities can also prevent the auditing process from becoming more expansive.
Another common dispute that requires clients to seek representation before tax authorities is the appeal of taxes. This is frequently sales taxes, but includes other taxes such as admissions taxes, corporate business taxes, employment taxes, income taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, property taxes, and payroll.
Sacramento, CA Accountant for Representation Before the IRS and California State Tax Authorities
The Sacramento tax representation accountants from Cook CPA Group are committed to helping their clients successfully resolve tax issues before tax authorities. If you would like to discuss using Cook CPA Group’s services, get in touch with them soon to set up a free consultation.