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Tax Attorneys


The systems of laws that govern people have roots in early civilizations. Among the first known laws is the Code of Hammurabi, established around 1800 B.C. by the Sumerian ruler of the same name. These laws needed to be explained to people in ways they could understand, which is how the duties of lawyers originated. Ancient Greeks and Romans educated boys through apprenticeships in handling law cases. The apprentices learned language skills that helped them to speak eloquently on the behalf of clients. The emphasis on reading comprehension and language skills still exists in law schools today, along with extensive education requirements to understand complex laws and legal practices.

Modern European law was originated by Napoleon's legal experts, with the body of law thus named the Napoleonic Code. American law originated with the English colonists who contributed English common law. There are also some traces of Spanish law in U.S. areas that were settled by Spanish colonists. Population growth over the centuries created demand for lawyers, and gave rise to specializations such as civil and criminal law, as well as other focuses such as tax law.

In 1861, people's personal income was taxed for the first time by the U.S. government, a result of the Revenue Act that was passed to help pay for the American Civil War. Organizations that were established to regulate and oversee individual, business, and government finances and taxes include the Internal Revenue Service (1862), the Federal Reserve System (1913), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (1934).

New tax laws are continually introduced and current laws are often amended and modified. Tax lawyers are needed to explain these changes to tax laws and to advise individuals and businesses on how to resolve tax issues and take steps to save money on taxes in the future.