I basically agree with the other attorneys' responses, but can add:
1 -- Any time one hires a service professional there are risks (doctors, lawyers, accountants, or others) that one will be disappointed. One can try and minimize the risk by doing research on the potential provider, by clearly defining the services and cost in the service agreement, and by spending enough in an appropriate way based on the research to hire the best one can afford.
2 -- You most certainly can hire another attorney. You have the right to chose your own counsel.
3 -- You can handle the matter yourself, but there is a risk that you will not know your options, make procedural missteps, and pay more than you otherwise would have had to pay if you had only had good professional help.
However, the dollars at issue may not be worth spending an equal amount for an attorney, and you can certainly try to handle the matter yourself first to see what develops. Go to IRS.GOV and do some research on penalty relief (i.e., form 843), and other issues like FBAR, and try to evaluate your best options for going forward.
If you want to talk directly, you are welcome to give me a call. I handle a lot of tax controversy issues and I am based in SLC.
This answer or response should not be considered legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have further questions, I would be glad to discuss your situation further. I can be reached at US - (801) 746-6300, or online at -- http://www.lewishansen.com/attorneys/robinson.html
"Cheap is dear!" is a phrase my late grandmother always used to say. I do not know the rates for experienced tax attorneys in Salt Lake City, but in New Jersey the rates are $400 to $800 per hour. By trying to get a cheap, fixed rate, you made yourself unattractive and unprofitable to your counsel. I know this is not politically correct, but it is true.
IMMEDIATELY get a good tax attorney to handle this matter for you. This is not an area that you can handle yourself!
I know this is not what you want to hear, but I hope it helps!
I would inquire into the reputation, expertise, and knowledge of the tax attorney. Flat rates should not be risky. A tax attorney should be able to assess how much time a client's project will require and provide a rate accordingly. I do flat rate work all the time, because after helping many clients I understand the amount of work likely required.
Andrew B. Gordon , Esq., CPA
Gordon Law Group, Ltd.
847.580.1279 | ABG@GordonLawLtd.com
Andrew B Gordon is a CPA and attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.