Tax Professionals

Tax professionals, including tax attorneys, enrolled agents, and certified public accountants (CPA), are professionals that specialize in tax representation before the IRS and various state revenue agencies. As with other types of attorneys, tax attorneys possess a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and will have successfully passed a state bar examination. However, a reputable tax attorney should also have additional coursework or training focused on federal and state tax laws and procedures. In many cases, a tax attorney will have an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Taxation. An LL.M. is an advanced law degree that focuses on individual and corporate taxes, taxation of trusts and estates, tax controversy, elder law and estate planning. A CPA is licensed by the state and will have an extensive background in finance and accounting. In order for a CPA to practice before the IRS they must be qualified as a CPA and cannot be subject to suspension or disbarment. An enrolled agent is a person who demonstrates special competence in tax matters by written examination administered by the IRS.

A tax professional can help with both civil and criminal actions brought forth by the IRS or state tax authorities. In addition, a good tax attorney can help set up a new business properly based on the nature of the organization and can even help with estate planning if needed.

In some cases a taxpayer may be able to solve tax problems by himself without the help of a tax professional but this may not be the most prudent option unless the taxpayer has no other alternative. Given the intricacies of the IRS and the labyrinth of codes and procedures they have adopted, the taxpayer may indeed be best served by working directly with a tax professional, who has experience dealing specifically with the IRS.

In most cases, a tax professional specializes his or her focus on tax issues and more accurately, tax relief. Some services they also assist with include audit representation, reducing fines and penalties, lifting wage garnishments, removing tax liens, and ending bank levies. Many small businesses additionally seek help from a tax professional for any payroll tax concerns or self-employment tax issues.

While most small businesses have typically used a tax accountant for tax filing services, a tax attorney can be equally helpful. Like an accountant, a good tax attorney can help you avoid tax problems before they begin and may be able to foresee potential legal problems before its too late. In addition, a tax attorney can provide legal protection where a tax accountant cannot.

What makes tax law so confusing is not only its complexity, but also its dynamic nature, with changes typically being implemented every year. Therefore, a tax professional should be well versed in these annual changes, modifications and updates in order to advise a client as appropriately as possible.

Can A Tax Professional Help Me?

If you’ve found yourself in a predicament that leaves you feeling lost, concerned or even frightened of the IRS, consulting a good tax professional is one of the best decisions you could make. Remember, tax penalties and fines don’t simply go away and in fact, they continue to build over time; waiting and hoping they go away solves nothing. It’s always in your best interest to solve tax problems as soon as possible while they are still small because, when dealing with the IRS, small problems typically lead to big ones given time. Waiting until your problems are completely out of hand could leave you in an incredibly costly predicament and in some cases criminal action could be taken against you, resulting in jail time and extremely high legal fees. Therefore, investing in a good tax professional before your problems get completely out of hand just makes good common sense.

So, what are some of the specific circumstances where a tax professional can be extremely helpful? Below are some examples:

  • You carry a tax liability that the IRS is attempting to collect via a wage garnishment, tax lien or bank levy
  • You’ve got years of unfiled tax returns and need the assistance of a tax professional

Tax Professionals at Optima Tax Relief

At Optima Tax Relief, all of our tax professionals, which is comprised of tax attorneys and enrolled agents, have extensive experience related not only to tax law, but to accounting as well. This is a very powerful combination, especially when you consider the IRS is the most powerful collection agency in the world! Below we’ve highlighted just a few of the outstanding professionals on our team.

Tax Attorney - Philip Hwang

Philip HwangTax Attorney

Philip Hwang is dedicated to delivering excellent representation and legal advice with regard to legal tax issues. He has a wide range of experience in tax law ranging from working at the South Brooklyn Low Income Tax Clinic to providing audit defense and international tax planning for multinational corporations. Philip earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Hofstra University School of Law with a concentration in Taxation Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. He is admitted to practice law in California as a member of the California State Bar.

Tax Attorney - Michael Wenkart

Michael WenkartTax Attorney

Michael graduated from Chapman University with a B.S. in Business Administration as well as a J.D. and LL.M. in taxation from the University of San Diego. He has experience in tax preparation, researching complex tax issues especially international tax issues including inversions. As a member of the RO team at Optima, his focus now is assisting clients navigate and defend against the aggressive collection tactics of the IRS’s revenue officers.

Associate Director of Resolution – Tax Attorney - Carlos Maggi

Carlos MaggiAssociate Director of Resolution – Tax Attorney

Carlos earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Whittier Law School with a concentration in Business Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is admitted to practice law in California as a member of the California State Bar and is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (Taxation Section) as well as the Beverly Hills Bar Association (Taxation Section).

Enrolled Agent - Tan Le

Tan LeEnrolled Agent

Tan graduated from Missouri Southern State University with a major in Accounting. He’s been working as an accountant and tax preparer ever since. Tan’s main area of expertise is in audit representation. His tax preparation expertise spans from individual to corporate taxes.

Enrolled Agent - Alina Yuryeva

Alina YuryevaEnrolled Agent

Alina is an enrolled agent with over 4 years of tax accounting experience. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Entrepreneurship, and International Economics. Alina is currently pursuing her Master Degree in Taxation from California State University, Fullerton.

Enrolled Agent - Hoa Ha

Hoa HaEnrolled Agent

Hoa graduated from California State University Fullerton with a major in Accounting. During the last 7 years, Hoa worked as a tax preparer, tax planner and adviser. Hoa also spent 2 years on IRS VITA program. Hoa also has certification in Covered California Counselor, Property, and Casualty Insurance Broker.

Enrolled Agent - Daniel Wright

Daniel WrightEnrolled Agent

Daniel Wright has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and over 20 years of experience in both the public and private sector. He has managed everything from small publicly traded companies to mid-size not-for-profits. With this extensive accounting experience and as a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Daniel is uniquely qualified to assist our business and audit clients.

Enrolled Agent - Nguyen Ngo

Nguyen NgoEnrolled Agent

Having over 10 years of experience in tax fields, as a tax preparer and tax consultant, Nguyen Ngo always strives her best to help her clients with any tax related issues. She is currently a member of National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). She used to be an accountant and mortgage loan consultant before entering the tax industry. She graduated cum laude from Cal Poly Pomona University with double majors in Business Administration and Operations Management.

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