​​​​​​​                 Telephone 520 792-2450        Facsimile 520 882-4408     2720 E Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716       John@JStandifer.com

John J. Standifer Jr.   Attorney at Law

Common sense, results-driven legal counsel

Tax attorney Tucson

Tax lawyer Tucson

Tucson Tax lawyer

Tucson tax attorney

Tax attorney Arizona

Get help with your tax issues - contact Tucson tax lawyer

 John Standifer today.


Contact John Standifer today to discuss any legal issues for which you may need counsel.  

We want to help.

Telephone 520 792-2450        Facsimile 520 882-4408     2720 E Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716       John@JStandifer.com

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Tucson Tax Attorney

Respected in the community

"Ethical, competent counsel at a reasonable price "                                 Joseph H. Watson - Attorney

"John Standifer is the best lawyer I ever met.  I have no worries knowing John is in my corner."  
Vince Smith - Tax and Estate Planning Client
Tucson tax attorney John Standifer

​​Tucson Tax Attorney

Tax attorney Tucson, Tax lawyer Tucson

Tax audit procedure and tax controversies

As an income tax attorney in Tucson, I have represented clients through the tax audit procedure in Tucson tax audits and other tax controversies.  I no longer prepare tax returns and I do not handle criminal tax defense but I do frequently refer clients to appropriate tax return preparers and criminal tax defense counsel.

Tax Audit Procedure

Get help from the tax lawyer Tucson trusts.

Income tax controversies can develop several different ways but the most common way is for there to be an audit. After the audit, the taxpayer usually has the ability to seek internal review by the auditor’s manager, as part of a mediation process or by the IRS appellate division. If there has been no resolution at that stage, the taxpayer has the right to court review. If the taxpayer wishes to appeal an IRS decision to United States Tax Court, that process is initiated by the IRS issuing a Statutory Notice of Deficiency which gives the taxpayer ninety days to file a tax court petition. This ninety day limitation is extremely important if you want review by the tax court. Taxpayer’s may also have a right to seek review by other court’s but that process may require that the taxpayer pay the amount claimed by the IRS before seeking that review. Many of the steps involved in tax controversies are time sensitive.

Tucson Tax Audits

Tucson tax attorney or Tucson tax lawyer can guide you through the process.

​​Tucson tax audits may take several forms. Frequently, if the return is inconsistent with information the IRS has received from other sources, the audit will be simply a letter from an IRS automated collection service center asking for verification of certain items. If the questions are simple and if the taxpayer is comfortable with the level of exposure, taxpayers frequently deal with these letter audits by themselves or with the assistance of the tax return preparer. If you wonder whether you are able to deal with a letter audit yourself, feel free to contact me.

The other audits, office audits and field audits, are face to face audits with an IRS auditor. In these audits, we ordinarily prefer that our clients have as little contact with the auditor as possible. Even if the return is correct, the possibility of the taxpayer inadvertently raising more questions than are necessary is a real problem. Office audits are audits that take place in the IRS’s local office.  Field audits take place at the taxpayer’s place of business or, more frequently, in my office or the tax return preparer’s office. Whether it is more appropriate for an accountant or a tax attorney to handle the audit depends on the issues, the expertise of the accountants and tax attorneys and on the identity of the auditor.  For most audits, competent accountants are able to handle the audit from beginning to end without intervention by an attorney. In many audits, my office coordinates with an accountant regarding what role we each will play.  In a few audits, my office handles the audit from beginning to end.

I regularly work with a number of competent accountants and tax return preparers.  Many accountants and return preparers competently represent taxpayers through the audit, and sometimes even through tax litigation process. It is sometimes difficult for a taxpayer to tell whether the accountant or preparer is adequately handling a tax audit or controversy but my experience is that good accountants and preparers are aware of their own limitations and that they will recommend that you bring in an attorney when it is necessary. If you have concern about whether you need an attorney, call and talk to me about what is going on. If you already have an attorney but wish to contact me, I would prefer that before you call me, you tell your attorney that you want to seek another opinion.  Most attorneys will be comfortable with this.   

Tax collections

When you need help navigating IRS systems, call the tax lawyer Tucson knows.

After the amount of the liability has been determined, either the amount gets paid or the IRS collection division begins trying to collect the tax. This effort may begin quite soon or their may by a substantial delay before the IRS begins its collection efforts.

The IRS ordinarily has ten years from the date the tax is “assessed” to collect the tax. If the taxpayer is unable to immediately pay the tax, the IRS may attempt to collect the tax by enforced collection. This enforced collection takes the form of seizing income, money or other property.  

To deal with a tax debt, if the taxpayer is unable to pay the tax, there are several possible alternatives. Among those alternatives are: entering into an installment agreement, filing an offer in compromise or persuading the IRS that the taxpayer cannot pay the debt (being classified as “uncollectable”).

Many companies advertise the benefits of offers in compromise and in fact that process can work to substantially reduce the amount of a tax. Having said that, most taxpayers do not fit the parameters for offers in compromise. The process is cumbersome, slow and expensive.  In very few cases, is it clear that an offer in compromise will be accepted by the IRS. The likelihood of success varies not only with the taxpayer but also with the mood at the IRS. In some eras offers in compromise can have a reasonable chance of success and in other eras the chance of success is much smaller.    

Bankruptcy can sometimes be an option. If I have a client for whom I think a bankruptcy may be appropriate, I refer that client to a bankruptcy attorney. While I do not do bankruptcies, I am occasionally retained as “special tax counsel” as part of the bankruptcy process.  


criminal tax prosecutions

John Standifer, tax attorney in Tucson, can answer your questions about criminal exposure.

Criminal tax prosecutions are rare.  I have regular conversations with taxpayers who are concerned about whether they might have criminal exposure.  In a large majority of those matters, I am able to tell the taxpayer that their tax issue is a garden variety civil tax issue and that their criminal exposure is non-existent or minimal. The IRS does not ordinarily criminally prosecute people for good faith mistakes or even for most misstatements on a tax return, however, if you have any concern about whether there could be a criminal tax prosecution, the less contact you have with the auditor, the less exposure you have and the earlier you seek advice with this exposure in mind, the more your exposure is minimized. If you are contacted by an IRS employee who identifies themselves as a “special agent”, your prudent course is to terminate that conversation until you have spoken to competent tax counsel about whether or not you have any tax exposure.  Although I do not do criminal tax defense, I do refer clients to other attorneys who have expertise in criminal tax defense.

John Standifer is the tax attorney Arizona clients have relied on for more than 30 years.  We can help.