Tax season is here whether you want to admit it or not. April 15th is quickly approaching so it is time for all of you Orange County residents to  whip out those W-2s, find all of your healthcare information and start getting organized. If you decide to do your taxes on your own using TurboTax or the H&R Block website, you might want to think again.

Figuring out how to get the proper deductions can be tricky on your own and it can lead to some major problems between you and the IRS. Maybe you saved by using TurboTax but you might need to hire a tax attorney in Orange County to help you fix your mistakes.

A tax attorney can also help you avoid problems, not just answer to them. If you know that your taxes will be complicated to file then consider hiring a tax attorney to help you out. Follow these tips for finding the right one for you.

Get a referral from your professional or personal accountant

If you have no idea where to start looking for your tax attorney consider asking your business or personal accountant. He or she most likely has a long list of reputable names to choose from just by working in the numbers industry. If a tax attorney has a good reputation within the accounting world this is always a good sign.

Check around in professional tax organizations

If you have no luck with referrals from an accountant your next step would be to check within professional tax organizations. When you visit the Tax Law Association online database you’ll be provided with hundreds of options for attorneys in your local Orange County area. You can also check out the National Association of Tax Professionals.

Always check into the attorney’s qualifications before hiring

The first thing to check regarding an attorney’s qualifications is if he or she has the Juris Doctor (J.D.) and has the appropriate licenses to practice within your residential state. When you visit your state bar association website you’ll be able to find information for each and every practicing attorney in the state.

Don’t just trust an attorney has the appropriate qualifications and skills to get the job done. Physically check these things so you know you aren’t hiring a phony posing as a lawyer. You might also want to look into their educational background to see if they have received a Master of Law degree. A major perk would be to find one that is also a licensed accountant.

Set up an in-person consultation to talk everything through

You’ll get a good idea of their qualifications when you meet the attorney in person. This is the perfect time to ask about rates, which should be done as early as possible. Lawyers aren’t cheap and ones that specialize in IRS and taxes are no exception. Don’t just ask about the hourly rate but also how many hours of work your situation should take to resolve.