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Career Advice

How to Become a Tax Lawyer in the United States

A tax lawyer, as the name suggests, assists individuals and corporations with tax issues. Every income earner is required under the law to file taxes on his or her personal income. Organizations file taxes on their profits. Miscalculations and failing to file taxes in a certain income-earning period can have legal consequences. Tax lawyers help individuals and corporations to deal with or avoid tax-related issues. Tax lawyers in the United States must meet certain statutory and educational requirements, which are outlined below.

Education Qualifications

Tax lawyers must complete an undergraduate degree program and then pass the Law School Admission Test before pursuing a law degree. The best options for the undergraduate degree include finance and accounting degrees. Tax lawyers gain knowledge on financial records and taxation from finance-related courses, which is critical in their career. Internship in the finance field is also beneficial to individuals who want to become tax lawyers.

tax lawyer picThe next step after passing the admission test is to enroll in law school. At this level, lawyers begin to learn about business taxation and income taxes among other laws. A lawyer can decide at this stage to specialize in taxation and take tax-related courses. Lawyers get a Juris Doctor or J.D degree upon graduation.

Lawyers can get their first job in taxation with the JD degree. However, a master of laws in taxation (LLM degree) opens better opportunities and enables tax lawyers to focus on one area. The good news for aspiring tax lawyers is that they have many top tax LLM programs to choose from with many areas of specialization. After the one-year LLM program, lawyers can work in any organization, including government offices.

Additional Requirements

Every lawyer must be admitted to the bar or licensed first before practicing in any field or area of specialization. Lawyers take a written bar test to get their license. Some states give additional tests to prove a lawyer’s integrity and commitment to ethical practice. A tax lawyer can only practice in the state where he or she took the bar exam. If a lawyer wants to practice in several states, he or she must take bar exams in all of those states.

Career Options and Responsibilities

Tax lawyers have many career options in the public and private sector. The professionals can work in government organizations, in corporations, or for individuals. The entry jobs include representing individuals and small corporations on tax issues. Tax lawyers offer advice to their clients as well.

At later stages of their career, tax lawyers advise and represent large corporations. Busy lawyers can register for an online LLM degree to advance their career and get better opportunities. Lawyers can take jobs from different clients at this stage, which leads to long working hours and regular traveling.

A United States tax lawyer advises and represents an individual or a corporation on tax-related matters. Tax lawyers must complete an undergraduate degree, take an admission exam, and then pursue a law degree. All lawyers must take a state bar exam to get a license to practice in a particular state. A master of laws enables tax lawyers to advance their career and work with many clients at the same time.


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