Cost-Effective Offshore Counsel: Tax & Legal Representation

Cost-Effective Offshore Counsel: Tax & Legal Representation

Cost-Effective Offshore Counsel Tax & Legal Representation

Cost-Effective Offshore Counsel is not just for the high-net worth: Offshore tax disclosure and legal compliance is our specialty. We represent Taxpayers nationwide and worldwide in over 80+ countries with international tax and offshore disclosure/compliance issues. Unfortunately, there is some terrible fear-mongering information on the internet regarding how the process works for offshore disclosure, who the IRS goes after for undisclosed overseas money — and how to retain cost-effective representation. The IRS does not just focus on High-Net Worth Taxpayers. Rather, the IRS is willing to enforce offshore compliance rules against any US Person who has undisclosed foreign accounts, assets, investments and/or income. Likewise, cost-effective representation is not reserved only for the wealthy.

Be Careful of Reverse Attorney Fear Mongering

Some less experienced attorneys want you to believe that only High-Net Worth Taxpayers deserve to work with experienced counsel who offer the flat-fee, full service model. It is counterintuitive thinking, because these same attorneys also try to convince Taxpayers to hire a less-experienced attorney and an outside CPA together (and pay them each a separate fee) to handle the process — which generally comes out to two or three-times the cost of a flat-fee, full service in-house model — and oftentimes puts Taxpayers in a worse position than when they started.

As the old saying goes:

    • If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.

As with anything in life — after conducting your due diligence — it becomes abundantly clear that using an inexperienced attorney with an outside CPA will not only end up costing you much more in the long run, but it also puts your attorney-client privilege at higher risk.

All Offshore Noncompliant Taxpayers are at Risk

The IRS does not base who they go after for offshore non-compliance on just the net worth or income levels of the taxpayer. Rather, the IRS goes after anyone who they can obtain information on about regarding offshore noncompliance.

This became much more apparent after 2011 and the introduction of FATCA and Form 8938.

What is FATCA Reporting?

FATCA is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.  It requires foreign countries and the US to reciprocate Account Holder information reporting — so that either country can assess whether their citizens and residents are in tax compliance for disclosing offshore money.  

More than 110 foreign countries and over 300,000 Foreign Financial Institutions have entered into FATCA agreements — which are technically referred to as IGAs (Intergovernmental Agreements).

How the Foreign Banks Report to the IRS

Each year — and often times multiple times in a year — Foreign Financial Institutions report Account Holder information to the US government.

The US government then takes that information, and depending on whether the taxpayer is under audit or possibly the recipient of a soft letter  puts the taxpayer on notice that they are out of compliance.

Whether or not the taxpayers are High-Net Worth or does not impact this reporting process.

Getting into Offshore Tax Compliance

In conclusion, there are various offshore tax amnesty programs that Taxpayers can use to safely and effectively get into compliance. Whether or not the taxpayer is High-Net Worth or not has no impact on whether or not the IRS will go after them. Many experienced Board-Certified Specialists and others utilize the flat-fee, full service model in order to cost-effectively represent taxpayers in-house, as well as minimize the risk of using a Kovel Letter. It serves to protect the Taxpayer from needlessly paying both an attorney and CPA — in which the fees end up becoming exorbitant — even when the upfront retainer is relatively small. 

We Specialize in Streamlined & Offshore Voluntary Disclosure

Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure

Contact our firm for assistance.