Tax Professionals

Tax professionals, include 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 debt 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.

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.
Jenny Wei
Jenny WeiTax Attorney
Jenny is passionate about helping businesses and individuals resolve their tax issues. She has a history of helping families in need with volunteer programs. She participated in the Low Income Tax Clinic and was an auditor for the State of California. Jenny takes pride in defending taxpayer rights. She holds a degree in Accounting, Business Administration, and in Psychology. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California.
Tadeh Akopian
Tadeh AkopianTax Attorney
Tadeh Akopian brings his courtroom experience to Optima and has a passion for zealously advocating for his clients’ interests. Tadeh earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern University School of Law and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from California State University, Northridge. Tadeh is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice law before the United States District Court for the Central District of California and the Supreme Court of the State of California.
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.
Harmony Alves
Harmony AlvesTax Attorney
Harmony Alves passionately advocates to resolve the tax issues of individuals and businesses. Harmony earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from San Diego State University and then earned her Juris Doctor degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is admitted to practice law as a member of the State Bar of California.
Carlos Maggi
Carlos MaggiTax 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).
Francesca Phan
Francesca PhanTax Attorney
Francesca Phan graduated from University of California, Los Angeles where she earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. She then went on to attend law school at University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor with concentrations in tax law and business law. Francesca is now a tax attorney at Optima Tax Relief where she is dedicated to helping clients achieve their best possible outcomes.
Vince Gonzalez
Vince GonzalezTax Attorney
Vince attended Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctorate Degree with an emphasis in tax. He received CALI awards in both his Federal Income Tax and Constitutional Law II courses. He was also recognized as the Tax Law Emphasis Honor Graduate of the Class of 2015. He is admitted to practice law in California as a member of the California State Bar and is also admitted to the Central District Court of California. Vince is passionate about advocating on behalf of clients and is willing to go the extra mile in order to help resolve their tax problems.
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.
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.
Robb Villalobos
Robb VillalobosEnrolled Agent
Robb has over 15 years of experience in the accounting and tax fields. He worked as a Controller and tax preparer. These combined experiences sharpened Robb’s skills and making him a real negotiator in the tax resolution arena. He also worked as a volunteer with the IRS VITA program, helping the elderly and low income prepare their tax returns. Robb is an Enrolled Agent and holds a Master degree in Business Administration from the University of La Verne.
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 is also has certification in Covered California Counselor, Property, and Casualty Insurance Broker.
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.
Rosie Steele
Rosie SteeleEnrolled Agent
Rosie Steele is proud to have grown within Optima Tax Relief; she started as a Customer Service Representative and is now a fully licensed Enrolled Agent. She is part of the Advanced Collections team which deals primarily with Revenue Officers, and believes that communication is key to a successful resolution.
Ron Stein
Ron SteinEnrolled Agent
Ron has a passion for helping others and strives to get the best results possible. He started his tax career by opening a retail tax preparation office in Tennessee. Ron’s financial experience includes working for two large banks in their trading and compliance departments. Ron has a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Long Beach, and a Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Dominquez Hills. He holds the Series 7 and 63 licenses.
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 tax industry. She graduated cum laude from Cal Poly Pomona University with double majors in Business Administration and Operations Management.
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