Tag Archive for: Tax Law

John Milikowsky, Founder of Milikowsky Tax Law, often hears the question: “why do you do what you do?”  and “why are you a tax attorney?” To him, the answer is simple, “I really enjoy keeping businesses in business.”  

Listen to John Milikowsky, founder of Milikowsky Tax Law explain why he is passionate about defending businesses in IRS, EDD, SBA, and other government audits. 

Why Tax Law?

John saves businesses as an attorney; whether it’s defending an IRS or a State of California Audit, defending somebody in a criminal case involving a tax issue, or helping a CPA support their client in an IRS or EDD audit. 

“I really enjoy doing this because, at the end of the day, we’re here for one purpose- to help businesses and to keep people’s livelihood intact.”  If/when the government challenges a business, John and his team defend the client and the individual properly, so they can keep their livelihoods. Their diligent work, attention to detail, and passion for the job helps businesses continue doing what they’re passionate about.

Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Implementation 

John consistently searches for ways to streamline operations in his own business. He understands that doing so produces better results for clients. Moreover, it keeps them happy

In 2020, Mr. Milikowsky began Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) implementation. This system takes apart each task that needs to be done for the clients and for the business and then allocates those tasks to the employee who has both the passion and competance for completing that task.

The office at Milikowsky Tax Law has seen extraordinary results internally after the implementation of EOS. Furthermore, the client cases have seen even better results. The office works more efficiently, and employee satisfaction reflects these positive changes. In short, the clients and employees at Milikowsky Tax Law are happy. 

Read our article to learn more about John Milikowsky, his journey to becoming a tax attorney, and meet the members of his team at Milikowsky Tax Law.

Additionally: As an entrepreneur, John is involved in the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). The organization supports hundreds of people worldwide divided into several different chapters. The forums that create each chapter are divided into various companies that work in entirely different spaces. John’s forum is composed of an entrepreneur who makes HR posters, another who makes fish tanks for larger aquatic centers like SeaWorld, and more. 

Oftentimes in his EO meetings, John hears, “Wow! Tax is just so boring.” But in reality- it’s not. John views tax as a means to get a result. His office assists clients by either getting out of a criminal indictment or uncovering that they, in fact, do not owe the additional taxes. 

As a business owner, being clear in your processes and objectives helps you serve your clients better.  Through implementing EOS (Traction) and participating in peer-to-peer advisory groups like EO, the team at Milikowsky tax law is always getting better. That means happier team members, happier leadership and happier clients. everybody wins.

John Milikowsky is a local San Diego Tax Attorney

Meet John Milikowsky 

John Milikowsky is the owner, founder, and managing attorney of Milikowsky Tax Law in La Jolla, CA. As an attorney, he is passionate about representing business owners in the face of government audits, specifically EDD, IRS, SBA, and CSLB audit cases.

A former business owner himself with 28 employees, multiple storefronts, large inventory, and international trade, John understands how to advocate for his clients in the face of a government audit because he knows the day-to-day runnings of a business. 

According to Mr. Milikowsky, if a government agency is going to “select your tax return for an audit, you need someone who is going to understand your business operations and understand how your financials are put together.” 

In 2015, John was selected by the Union Tribune’s San Diego Reader’s Poll as one of the top five best tax lawyers in San Diego. He is known for his relentless defense of each client in federal and state criminal investigations to protect his client’s civil rights and provide financial security. Tax law cases John can represent include: 

  • Sales tax audits
  • Payroll tax audits 
  • IRS tax audits 
  • International tax matters
  • Criminal tax matters 

Learn more about John in our video below:

The Golden Screw Story

John’s passion for working meticulously through his client’s audits was seeded back in 1987 as a young boy. Growing up, John spent his summers sitting in the back storeroom of his parents’ lighting store, sorting an oil barrel filled with a variety of different screws each day.

At first, this mundane duty opened the floodgates of questions for young Milikowsky about why he had to sort screws instead of partaking in more fun activities. Although he never made an inch-worth of progress sorting the screws in the barrel, he made a choice in the middle of the summer to channel his negative emotions about sorting the screws into sorting them well in fast.

Looking back, John remembers thinking, “I could have been furious, resentful… victimized by the mundane monotonous task set in front of me… or, I could do it well and fast. I could be the best at screw sorting… It’s possible that hindsight has put that perspective on my young experience…” 

He continues, “But certainly, as I navigated my first few years of audits with my Tax Law clients, as they handed me THEIR metaphorical oil-barrels filled with numbers… profit and loss statements for three, four, five years, receipts faded with time and transactions whose recipients had long gone out of business, I came to appreciate that summer of sorting. That training in detail work, that patience for sifting through the most minute details.

I discovered that my passion was for the detective work it took to uncover the one piece of information that made all the rest of a company’s business narrative fall into place. I realized it was like finding a needle in a haystack, a diamond in ice… a golden screw…

And that through that kind of attention to detail, I could help people in their moments of crisis, at their crossroads. Through diligence, expertise, and attention to detail, I can help save people’s businesses, their families, and often, their sense of humor.”

Meet the Team at Milikowsky Tax Law

Our team here at Milikowsky Tax Law is the bedrock of our firm. Every member is equally important regardless of their job function.

We are former business owners and managers, which gives us incredible insight and experience to understand the internal and external workings of your business to provide relentless, effective representation in all tax matters.

As a dedicated office, we will be with you every step of the way, scrutinizing the details of your case and strategizing on effective solutions.

We are here to help you and your company resolve an IRS or EDD audit, defend a criminal tax investigation, minimize your risk of being audited, or help reduce a tax balance. With hundreds of completed cases behind us, we know how to navigate the world of tax law expertly and smoothly.

The Milikowsky Tax Law team has also developed a proprietary audit metric technology to help us get to the bottom of any tax issues. With our help, you’ll never have to worry about tax season again.

We pride ourselves in being:

  • Experts
  • Navigators
  • Personable 

Watch our video below to know our team members!

Meet Lauren Suarez 

Lauren is a Senior Associate Attorney here at Milikowsky Tax Law. She received her Master of Laws – LLM, Tax Law/Taxation from the University of San Diego.

In our office, Lauren has worked for almost two years with personal and business tax controversy issues for government agencies such as IRS, FTB, CDTFA, and EDD. She also assists with financial planning and incorporation for domestic and international clients.

Meet Meghan Monte

Also known as our office’s EDD queen, Meghan is another integral part of our team. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance, and Entrepreneurial Studies from Rider University.

At Milikowsky Tax Law, she has worked as a paralegal and financial analyst for over three years. Day to day, Meghan is in charge of financial analysis and setting up EDD audits.

Meet Solin Zora 

Solin has worked for our office for the past two years as a Senior Client Services Assistant. She received her bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University. 

Solin says she feels “appreciated and respected for what I bring to the firm. The flexibility to attend to family matters if necessary and the encouragement to come up with my own ideas and to provide input to the team is very important to me. We have a great, supportive team that makes work enjoyable. At Milikowsky Tax Law every day is different, and it is a constant adventure!”

Visit our page here to learn more about the team here at Milikowsky Tax Law. 

The team at Milikowsky Tax Law is fully prepared to help protect businesses facing government audits.

CPA vs Tax Attorney: What’s the difference?

In some cases, it may be difficult to distinguish what your CPA is capable of helping you with and which tasks are better suited for a tax attorney. Both are experts when it comes to tax matters but in different ways. 

While your CPA is an expert at preparing and submitting your taxes correctly, you’ll need a tax attorney in the event that Internal Revenue Services (IRS) notices inconsistencies in your tax submissions or if you’re the subject of an audit. In any case, you’re best off having access to both experts. 

What does a CPA do? 

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) has a significant educational background under their belt. They are required to have completed 150 hours or more of undergraduate educational studies before passing an extensive CPA examination. 

Additionally, they have to commit to 120 hours of continued education every 3 years. As such, they considered some of the highest level experts when it comes to handling tax preparation. A simple way to think of CPAs is that all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. The process of becoming a CPA is more complex than an average accountant. 

A CPA’s services are not often used by any average taxpayer but instead are usually used in more complex cases. CPAs know how to abide by federal laws while still minimizing your tax liability and maximizing benefits. Developing a strong ongoing relationship with a CPA may suit your needs if you are looking to build a long-term tax plan and need support sticking to it. 

CPAs are often capable of providing various services to their clients in addition to tax preparation. Some additional services they may provide include the following: 

  • Financial record review
  • Maximizing deductions 
  • Business structuring 
  • Health insurance selection
  • General accounting

Many people choose to have a go-to CPA available for support on a regular basis. If this is not the case for you, you may choose to consult them when:

  • Filing your taxes
  • Completing an application for a loan
  • Completing an internal audit
  • When reviewing tax payments and balances

Their skills and expertise are best suited to assist you when handling these situations. 

What does a tax attorney do?

While a tax attorney is still an excellent resource to taxpayers, they serve a different set of needs than CPAs. While CPAs are technically qualified to represent you before a court in the event of an audit, a tax attorney is likely a better choice in situations where you may be involved with trouble with tax authorities. 

Similar to CPAs, tax attorneys have to complete an intensive educational path before qualifying to satisfy their role. After completing a bachelor’s degree, they must complete a Juris Doctor degree and study to take the bar exam for the state in which they intend to practice. Once they have passed the bar exam, their license must be kept up with continued ongoing education. On top of that, many tax attorneys choose to pursue a Master of Laws in Taxation to further their specialization in their field. 

Tax attorneys specialize in the legalities of tax payment and their services are most often called upon in defense cases when taxpayers are faced with audits from IRS, EDD, or other federal tax authorities. While tax attorneys may have slightly varying specialties, one thing most tax attorneys have in common is expertise in tax controversy and dispute resolution. 

One of the benefits of working with a tax attorney is that only tax attorneys have an attorney-client privilege that protects communication between a client and an attorney. This privilege can restrict IRS and California State tax agencies from discovering information provided to attorneys in confidence.

Tax attorneys fulfill various services for their clients as previously mentioned. The following include the various reasons you may need to consult a tax attorney: 

  • IRS tax audits 
  • Criminal tax defense 
  • Reporting ownership of foreign bank accounts and corporations 
  • International business transactions 
  • Tax disputes and IRS tax collection 

Who can represent your business during an SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Appeal?

SBA has started giving loan forgiveness for businesses that used the PPP loans during the early stages of the pandemic. However, businesses deemed to have not used the funds as they were intended received loan forgiveness denials. 

If SBA denied your business’s loan forgiveness application, they will send an SBA Final Decision Letter in the mail. If you wish to appeal your forgiveness denial, you must reply and submit an under 20-page appeal 30 days before the date printed on the decision letter. Submission after the 30-day mark forfeits your appeal rights and will require you to repay the full PPP loan amount. 

Only three people can legally represent your business during an SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Appeal:

  • An attorney
  • Shareholder owner
  • An officer

Those who are not legally entitled or allowed to represent businesses during an SBA appeal include: 

  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs)
  • Lenders 
  • General Employees

An attorney is legally entitled and allowed to represent your business during the appeals process. They will be able to research why your application was denied, collect supporting evidence, and create the 20-page appeal for SBA.  

Final Thoughts

While CPAs and tax attorneys both work within a similar framework, their unique specialization equips them for varying roles. In some cases your business may only need to use the services of one or the other, however, in most cases, the two roles complement one another. While your CPA may be an excellent ongoing partner to assist with the day-to-day management and filing of your taxes, they may not be the best-suited partner in the event of trouble with tax authorities. 

Rather than challenging your CPA to attempt to manage tasks outside of their usual specialties, reach out to an experts attorney to assist with any legal tax concerns you may have. Curious about what you should be paying for a tax attorney? Read our article here explaining different instances when hiring an attorney may be worth your while. 


CPA vs Tax Attorney: What’s the difference?