Attorney-Client Privilege Tax Return Preparation

Attorney-Client Privilege Tax Return Preparation

Attorney-Client Privilege Tax Return Preparation Confidentiality

Attorney-Client Privilege Tax Return Preparation: A key ingredient in every IRS streamlined offshore filing compliance submission is the attorney-client privilege tax return preparation confidentiality analysis.

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.

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.

We will summarize how attorney-client privilege tax return preparation protection works, and how you are protected.

U.S. vs Abrahams & Tax Return Confidentiality

The case of Abrhamas is a good example of how the Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidential protection works.

In Abrahams, the Attorney also handled Tax Preparation for his clients.

Abrahams is an attorney who prepares income tax returns for his clients, and also represents many of them in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service before the Tax and Claims Courts. 

The IRS wanted lots of his documents.

The summons demanded that Abrahams produce “[a]ll documents relating to the preparation to income tax returns for others for [1978 to 1984],” and included a nonexclusive list of six categories of materials.
Abrahams’ protestations at a hearing before the district court exposed two ambiguities in the language of the summons. First, if “relating to” is read very liberally, the summons covers all the material for Abrahams’ Tax and Claims Court litigation, since these cases “relate to” what was claimed on clients’ tax returns.”

The Attorney Claimed Privilege, and the IRS disagreed.

Abrahams asserted below that all the information demanded by the IRS was protected against disclosure by the attorney-client privilege. The government claimed that none of it was.”

Court Held Legal Communications could be protected.

“For its part, the IRS argues that the questionnaires information is automatically unprotected because the clients completed the questionnaires in order to allow Abrahams to prop rare their returns.

We cannot fully accept that contention. Although communications made solely for tax return preparation are not privileged, communications made to acquire legal advice about what to claim on tax returns may be privileged.”

Streamlined Filing & Attorney-Client Privilege

In applying this methodology to offshore disclosure (as is the approach by nearly all firms that specialize in Streamlined and Offshore Disclosure), the client would have a much stronger position to have an attorney and their team handle the matter in-house, than to be shipped out to some outside CPA or EA where there is definitely no attorney-client privilege, save for a possible (and much narrower) Kovel protection on very limited issues — assuming Kovel was not rejected.

How to Hire Experienced 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

Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm

Golding & Golding 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 of 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

Sean M. Golding 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 Golding & Golding 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 Golding & Golding?

No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant. 

Golding & Golding specializes in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.