Tax Attorney Vs. CPA – Is There A Difference?

For many, tax season can be a serious point of strife and stress. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single person or in charge of an entire business, no one loves taxes. If you’re someone that has their own business, or needs to file your own taxes, seeking a professional may be your best bet so that you don’t end up with a knock on your door from the IRS. Two of the most effective options are tax attorneys and CPAs.

Unfortunately for many, while the two tax experts may seem synonymous, there is actually a fair bit of discrepancy between the two. Here, we’ll go over how the two industries compare with one another as well as which you may personally need for your tax-related challenges.

What Is A Tax Attorney?

A tax attorney may seem like a glorified CPA or tax expert, but that’s surprisingly not the case. Tax attorneys are legal professionals that are specialized in tax law and tax preparations. They have all the credentials that come with becoming a lawyer, including passing the bar exam.

In terms of legal work, tax attorneys are not so much meant for preparing your taxes so much as they are an essential option for those that are currently dealing with tax-related communications with governing authorities. For example, if you are currently under scrutiny by the IRS, you’ll want to seek out a tax attorney as opposed to a CPA.

What Is A CPA?

More formally known as a certified public accountant, a CPA requires a five-year business degree as well as 150 hours of educational experience. They’ve also gone through an exam while needing to go through 120 hours of education every three years in order to maintain their CPA license. As such, these individuals are highly trained in all things tax-related and are meant for in-depth overviews over all of your tax filings and paperwork.

A CPA is required for those that have a particularly complex tax situation, such as dealing with a divorce while owning a business or having a large company with a fairly high net worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are able to find many of the different avenues available so that you can legally keep as much money as possible.

They are also great for coming up with a tax financial plan, including paying taxes on a quarterly basis or putting together a specific tax-related financial plan.

Which Do You Need?

Ultimately, while both professions are essential in their respective fields, it’s important to know that each is really meant for something specific. Whereas a CPA is ideal for those that need their annual taxes filed and looked after – effectively acting as continued maintenance – a tax attorney is meant for those that are planning to make big changes, such as buying or selling a business, or are being looked at by the IRS.

If you are in need of tax help, either from a trained CPA or tax attorney, be sure to visit the experts over at Dallo Law Group ( These California-based tax experts are known for offering stellar service at a reasonable price. They have trained tax attorneys as well as fully up-to-date CPAs to help with any of your tax-related needs.