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When to Call a Tax Attorney Instead of an Accountant

How to Navigate the Tax Labyrinth in New York

Tax issues should be remedied sooner than later. But by the time one woman came to see tax attorney Yvonne R. Cort, her hasty solution had backfired. “[The woman and her husband] hadn’t filed yet, and she kept pestering her husband to find out what his income was,” says Cort, who focuses on tax controversy matters at Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld in Syosset. “She didn’t get an answer and filed a joint return [without] the husband’s income, hoping to claim innocent spouse relief.”

Problems immediately sprang up.

Between the missing earnings and knowingly filing an incorrect return, the wife inadvertently put herself on the hook for the tax, interest and penalties associated with the spouse’s late payment, says Cort, who would have suggested a married-filing-separately status to avoid the repercussions.

For tax-related matters like this, the first instinct…

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