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Best Tax Attorney Traits

May 13, 2019

Just as there are certain cases more commonly encountered than others, certain traits are more valuable among tax attorneys than others. To be a successful tax attorney, a person needs a solid educational foundation, good mentors, and adequate practical training. But really successful tax attorneys need a few more things. Because of the stakes involved, tax law can be a competitive field. Many highly talented attorneys enter the field of tax law. To stand out among this talented crowd, a given person needs to possess a few qualities. When selecting between tax attorneys, prospective clients should try to see whether these qualities are present. Taxes are a serious matter, and hiring a tax attorney is not something to take lightly.

In this post, we will identify and discuss the qualities which are necessary to make an attorney stand out among other competitors. Fortunately, these traits can be developed, they are not just inborn. An ambitious tax attorney can work to perfect these traits if he or she wishes to climb in the field. Again, prospective clients should familiarize themselves with these traits when seeking out an attorney. These traits can literally make or break an important case, and so it’s vital that clients choose carefully. Let’s look at these traits in turn. 

Analytical Ability 

To become a great tax attorney, one of the key traits a person should possess is a keen analytical mind. Analytical skills are taught in law school, but these skills need to further develop in order to distinguish someone in the business world. An ambitious attorney should continue to sharpen these skills once they step into their chosen specialty. This is particularly necessary for the field of tax law. To be successful, tax attorneys need to be able to mentally dissect a given issue and come up with the best possible solution. And, depending on the situation, the best solution may be one among several different options.

Look at an issue such as the “drop and swap” strategy in 1031 transactions. This is a creative solution to a common problem encountered by partnerships. Developing this solution required some level of analytical ability. What’s more, the variation of this strategy, the partnership installment note method, required even more creativity. These strategies were only possible because someone carefully analyzed the problem and developed a solution.  

Research Skills 

The field of tax law is vast. There are tons of rules, regulations, deadlines and other pieces of data to learn and absorb. This means that an ambitious tax attorney needs to be a good researcher. A good tax attorney needs to be adept at tracking down information and checking that information for accuracy and reliability. Of course, many tax attorneys will specialize in a rather narrow area of tax law. But even those who concentrate on just a few areas will need to conduct research when they encounter a novel situation. If a client presents an attorney with a scenario with which they’re unfamiliar, that attorney will need to learn how to solve that new scenario. And this will inevitably require research. In short, a great tax attorney will need to be able to research and assimilate new information fairly rapidly.

Meticulousness 

If you’ve spent some time following our blog, or if you’re mildly familiar with tax, you’ll know that attention to detail is a must. A great tax attorney will need to be very meticulous when mastering the rules and regulations involved with his or her chosen area of the law.

Missing a deadline or failing to file a specific form can result in disastrous consequences for clients. Prospective clients should look for signs that their tax attorney is very detailed oriented in their work habits. This is true for routine tax issues and for much more complex scenarios. A highly complex tax transaction, such as a Section 368 merger, can collapse if just one requirement isn’t met. A good tax attorney needs to be like a detective in some situations. Tax attorneys need to take account of a client’s case, making sure that every relevant detail is clearly understood. If a case is handled sloppily, this can literally destroy the whole case.

Dependability 

Great tax attorneys need to be dependable in dealing with their clients. Dependability is actually important for all attorneys, but particularly important for tax attorneys. Tax attorneys tend to deal with complex material which is usually foreign to most people. This makes it especially important that they be dependable when responding to client inquiries and concerns. Tax attorneys will undoubtedly receive plenty of questions from their clients. To stand out, a good attorney needs to respond in a timely fashion and be sure to answer questions thoroughly. If an attorney is constantly leaving his or her clients with baffled looks on their faces, something is awry. 

A New York City Tax Attorney For You

If a tax attorney possesses all of these traits, then he or she is in a good position to rise in the field. At Mackay, Caswell & Callahan, P.C., we strive to develop these traits for the benefit of our clients. The field of tax law is complex, and we work hard to help our clients navigate this complexity. We know that the cases we handle can have a tremendous impact in the lives of our clients. We handle every case with the same level of care and attention to detail. If you have a tax or debt issue, you should get in touch with us right away. Reach out to one of our top New York City tax attorneys and we will respond immediately. 

Image credit: Patrick Feller 

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