Attorney-Client Privilege Tax Return Preparation
Attorney-Client Privilege Tax Return Preparation: The Streamlined Procedures are a form of tax amnesty. These programs were introduced (as a stand-alone program) in 2014 to assist with delinquent FBAR reporting, and disclosure of previously unreported foreign accounts, assets, investments, and income. The privilege between a client and attorney on legal issues is nearly airtight. This is not true of the confidentiality between a 3rd party CPA or outside tax professional, and the client.
More and more clients are approaching us, and letting us know about how some less experienced copycat law firms are trying to mislead them on how the tax return preparation process works. To protect the attorney-client privilege on legal matters, experienced IRS Streamlined Lawyers handle the entire submission, Tax and Legal, in-house.
That is because it would be nearly impossible for a client to engage in a meaningful discussion with an outside CPA, and avoid any communications that would be considered legal.
No Attorney-Client Privilege with 3rd Party CPA
Unfortunately, a new crop of mill law firm is putting client confidentiality in Streamlined Offshore matters at serious risk.
These attorneys are generally sole practitioners who try to copy us, and other experienced offshore tax lawyers.
They do not have any trial or litigation experience, they are not Board-Certified Tax Law Specialists, and their experience is limited to accounting firms or in administrative roles (non-attorney positions) with the IRS.
These attorneys issue Kovel Letters under the false pretense that it creates an attorney-client privilege for tax return preparation, when it does not.
3rd Party CPA or Tax Professional Risks Confidentiality
The reason an outside referral is dangerous, is because if the client discusses any legal issues about their offshore streamlined case to the outside CPA (and it is nearly impossible not to), they risk losing the confidentiality and protection of the attorney-client privilege.
This is compounded tenfold when the client faces a subsequent IRS Audit, and the IRS wants to speak with the CPA about the issues discussed between the client and the outside CPA — which the IRS has every right to do.
How to Hire Experienced Streamlined Offshore Counsel
Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:
- 20-years experience as a practicing attorney
- Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience
- Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
- Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
- Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA
Have You Been Contacted by the IRS?
At some point in the process during or after the streamlined submission, the client realizes they discussed legal matters with the CPA, and now their confidentiality and attorney-client privilege is at serious risk.
When these clients contact us, they feel lost and duped.
They had no say in which CPA the Attorney chose, and overall had a horrible experience with the CPA that the attorney selected for them.
We Specialize in Streamlined & Offshore Voluntary Disclosure
Our firm specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe. Our attorneys have worked with thousands of clients on offshore disclosure matters, including FATCA & FBAR.
Each case is led by a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist with 20-years experience, and the entire matter (tax and legal) is handled by our team, in-house.
*Please beware of copycat tax and law firms misleading the public about their credentials and experience.
Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide Are Certified Specialists
Our lead attorney is one of less than 350 Attorneys (out of more than 200,000 practicing California Attorneys) to earn the Certified Tax Law Specialist credential. The credential is awarded to less than 1% of Attorneys.
Recent Case Highlights
- We represented a client in an 8-figure disclosure that spanned 7 countries.
- We represented a high-net-worth client to facilitate a complex expatriation with offshore disclosure.
- We represented an overseas family with bringing multiple businesses & personal investments into U.S. tax and offshore compliance.
- We took over a case from a small firm that unsuccessfully submitted multiple clients to IRS Offshore Disclosure.
- We successfully completed several recent disclosures for clients with assets ranging from $50,000 – $7,000,000+.
Interested in Learning More about our Firm?
No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant.
We specialize in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.