- 1 5 Myths About IRS Streamlined Procedures
- 2 Set Time Allocated to Prepare the Application
- 3 Kovel Protection
- 4 Downplaying Degrees, Experience & Credentials (They Don’t Have)
- 5 Flat-Fee, Full-Service (Tax and Legal)
- 6 Going Streamlined When You are Willful
- 7 Streamlined Filing Lawyers – Golding & Golding, A PLC
- 8 Interested in Filing under IRS Streamlined Procedures
Streamlined Program & IRS Procedures – 5 IRS Streamlined Myths
At Golding & Golding, we specialize exclusively in IRS offshore voluntary disclosure. We have successfully submitted more than 1000 offshore disclosure applications, including OVDP, VDP, Streamlined Procedures, Reasonable Cause and more.
Many times, we are contacted after a client had already retained another firm that over-sold and underperformed when it came to their streamlined program.
5 Myths About IRS Streamlined Procedures
Here are 5 myths to be careful of:
Set Time Allocated to Prepare the Application
It is impossible to determine how long it will take to complete a full submission.
Oftentimes, the most complicated and complex tax aspects of the submission are either hidden in plain-sight, or buried far below the surface. It takes significant time to properly analyze a client’s facts and circumstances.
Some firms provide the amount of time that they spend on a case — but you will find that experienced specialists do not provide that type of information.
Because experienced specialists do not treat Streamlined submissions as an “assembly line” or “routine.”
Each case is unique, and each case comes with its own set of facts and circumstances and is impossible to determine from the outset how many hours a project will take.
*The one thing you can take away from the fact that the firm is telling you much time they will spend on the case, is that they will not spend any additional time on your submission than they allocated — which will jeopardize your case.
A Kovel Agreement is used in very rare circumstances, in which an attorney utilizes an outside accountant/forensic accountant in highly complex accounting scenarios which will impact tax liability (usually involving foreign business and a multi-jurisdictional reconciliation(s).
Kovel letters never attach to tax return or preparation, and can be rejected by the courts.
If a firm sends you out to another CPA instead of handling the matter in-house, it is because they do not understand how privilege works — and they are unnecessarily putting your confidentiality risk.
Because if a client speaks with an outside CPA about legal issues (which is very common) the privilege may be lost. By containing the matter to in-house tax and legal preparation, these issues are avoided.
Experienced counsel knows this, which is why they highly-limit any use of Kovel.
Downplaying Degrees, Experience & Credentials (They Don’t Have)
The only attorneys who believe credentials and experience are not important, are the attormeys who do not have the credentials and experience…
Streamlined Procedures cases are complex. They require extensive tax and legal experience. Generally, experienced attorneys will have the following credentials/experience:
- Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
- Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
- Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA
- 20-years of Attorney law firm experience as a practicing attorney
- Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience
Flat-Fee, Full-Service (Tax and Legal)
Experienced firms handle both the entire tax and legal matter in-house.
Not only does it provide the client added protection, but it allows the firm to offer a flat-fee, full-service for both and legal — along with any additional follow-up with the IRS and audit/examination that may stem from a streamline disclosure.
When a firm uses an outside CPA, the individual is at the mercy of the outside CPA.
Most CPAs charge their own rates in addition to what the attorney charges you and if the client is then audited — those fees may skyrocket.
Going Streamlined When You are Willful
If you were willful, unfortunately neither the streamline program nor reasonable cause is an option. It doesn’t matter if it was just a small amount of money or not. (There is an updated OVDP/VDP process, which actually benefits some clients more than the Streamlined Procedures)
Despite this stern warning from the IRS that if a willful person goes streamlined they may be prosecuted, some attorneys are still willing to take you streamlined.
– They have not handled litigation/trial and cannot appreciate the risk they are putting the client in.
– They want to artificially reduce the fees for the client, while jeopardizing the client’s freedom
– They’re too inexperienced to handle a full voluntary disclosure submission (VDP). These attorneys do not even practice in voluntary disclosure outside of streamline cases, which they treat as an “assembly line type of case”
*Here is a case study example of what happens when you’re willful, but convince to go streamlined.
Streamlined Filing Lawyers – Golding & Golding, A PLC
We have successfully represented clients in more than 1,000 streamlined and voluntary offshore disclosure submissions nationwide and in over 70-different countries. We have represented thousands of individuals and businesses with international tax problems.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe.
- Learn more about the Board-Certified Tax Lawyer Specialist credential
- Learn more about the Enrolled Agent credential
- Learn more about Golding & Golding’s Case Accomplishments
- Learn more about Golding & Golding Testimonials from prior clients
Interested in Filing under IRS Streamlined Procedures
No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant.
Golding & Golding specializes in offshore tax and reporting amnesty. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.
Sean holds a Master's in Tax Law from one of the top Tax LL.M. programs in the country at the University of Denver. He has also earned the prestigious IRS Enrolled Agent credential. Mr. Golding's articles have been referenced in such publications as the Washington Post, Forbes, Nolo, and various Law Journals nationwide.