With the large sums involved in your taxes as a private aviation business, working with a highly competent tax attorney is critical. After all, disputes with your government’s revenue agency are often sensitive and a highly complex matter; you’ll need someone who not only knows the ins and outs of the tax laws in your country but is also a skilled negotiator who can settle conflicts in a way that doesn’t hurt your company.
The following are a few things to look for when trying to find the right tax attorney:
You’ll need a lawyer who specializes in taxes. Lawyers who have focused their careers on taxation are more likely to be well versed in important precedents relevant to your concerns. Tax attorneys who have worked for your country’s revenue agency are good candidates, as they would not only know the system’s ins and outs but would also have valuable contacts within the agency.
A specialized degree
Look for someone with an L.L.M., or Master’s of Law, in Taxation (this is sometimes referred to as an MLT). Also look for other credentials, such as membership in professional associations in your area.
A good reputation
Ideally, you would find a candidate through the referral of someone who has worked with the attorney firsthand. If this is not possible, instead try to do as much online research; some of the cases they’ve worked on may have made the news.
Try to find out if the lawyer has written any blogs or articles on taxation (some news websites have columns in which lawyers answer readers’ questions; that may be a good place to look for someone). This could show that the candidate has up-to-date knowledge of tax laws (which are often changing), and is able to communicate it clearly.
An ability to build rapport
During your initial interviews, try to gauge this person’s communication style and personality. If you find that they make you uncomfortable, fail to communicate clearly, or are discourteous, consider looking for another. This is important not only because you will be dealing with this person long term, but also because this could indicate how well they interact with the tax authorities (which could, by association, affect the tax agency’s perception of your company).
The operating costs of your jet charter business are high enough without a lawyer who charges exorbitant fees. Ask around to find out the average rates in your area.
The trust between you and your tax lawyer is of utmost importance. The lawyer should be completely clear with you regarding the costs of his services, rather than giving you the unpleasant surprise of a bill laden with hidden fees. A good attorney should also keep you abreast of the details of each case so you can make informed decisions at all times.