Some people choose to hire a tax attorney as soon as they are contacted by the IRS, while others attempt to work with the IRS on their own (at least at first). There are some circumstances where taxpayers can adequately represent themselves against the IRS. But the IRS is a very powerful agency with many procedural rules, making it difficult for taxpayers to navigate on their own.
Many people think they have nothing to lose by representing themselves against the IRS – not true. The IRS is looking out for the government’s best interest, not yours. In some cases, unwitting taxpayers can make their dealings with the IRS far worse by representing themselves.
The time to hire an experienced tax attorney probably occurs at the point where you feel uncomfortable with the process. This could be at a time where you’re having difficulty communicating with an IRS employee, or if you’re not sure what information/documents to provide in response to an IRS request.
An experienced tax attorney understands how to manage IRS personnel, IRS procedures, and is going to be working in your best interests. For many people, this provides peace of mind, allowing them to sleep again at night.