5 Easy Tips for Hiring the Right Traditional Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer Team
5 Easy Tips for Hiring an Effective & Trustworthy Offshore Disclosure Specialist Lawyer
If you are considered a U.S. Taxpayer, you may have many different tax obligations to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).
You may have to pay tax on personal income, business income, foreign income, and other income to the United States.
Whenever foreign, offshore or international issues are involved, the matter becomes infinitely more complex.
Offshore Voluntary Disclosure is an area of tax law for more experienced attorneys (15-20 years private practice) and should be the only area of Tax Law the Firm practices.
The lead Attorney should have achieved advances degrees and board certifications.
Here’s why it is so important:
Hiring an Offshore Tax Attorney
Important questions we receive about hiring a Tax Attorney:
- What type of experience does the Tax Attorney have?
- Is the Tax Attorney a Board Certified Tax Specialist?
- How long has the Tax Attorney been in private practice?
- How many areas of tax law (and other law) do they advertise?
- Do they have a Master’s Degree in Tax Law (LL.M.)?
- Are they an Enrolled Agent (EA) or CPA?
For example, in our specialty (International Tax) there are many questions to consider when analyzing an international tax matter from the outset, including:
- Undisclosed foreign accounts, assets and income
- Willful vs. non-willful
- Foreign passive investment analysis
- Foreign corporate or partnership interests
- Is the person under criminal investigation?
- Are they under an eggshell or reverse eggshell audit?
- What are seeking from our representation?
People Can be Whomever They Want to be Online
And that is the problem.
In recent years, we have had many clients come to us after being horribly represented by inexperienced tax counsel. While we are sure it is a problem in many fields, it seems to run rampant in IRS offshore voluntary disclosure.
These Attorneys ‘manipulate’ their past legal experiences, such as working for the IRS — to make themselves sound more experienced than they are. You later find that they never worked as an attorney for the IRS, or even in the offshore disclosure department.
The IRS has nearly 100,000 employees, and just being one of them does not make an attorney qualified to be an effective and experienced offshore voluntary disclosure tax attorney specialist.
IRS Offshore Disclosure is complex enough for experienced practitioners who focus exclusively in the area of law, never mind relative newcomers who are trying to handle more than just offshore voluntary disclosure as part of their everyday tax practice.
We know, because those cases usually end up on our door-step. Examples of recent cases we had to takeover from less experienced Attorneys can be found by Clicking Here (Case 1) and Clicking Here (Case 2).
Helpful Tips with Hiring a Voluntary/Offshore Disclosure Lawyer
Board Certified Tax Law Specialist – Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide
The Board Certified Tax Law Specialist exam is offered in many states, and is widely regarded as one of (if not) the hardest tax exam given in the United States for practicing Attorneys. Certification also requires the completion of significant ethics and experience requirements.
In California alone, out of more than 200,000 practicing attorneys (with thousands of attorneys practicing in some area of tax law), less than 350 attorneys are Board Certified Tax Law Specialists.
Master’s in Tax Law (LL.M.)
A Master’s in Tax Law is the highest legal degree earned by practicing Attorneys. It is a Master’s degree in Tax Law, and requires several upper-level graduate tax classes.
Enrolled Agent (Highest IRS Credential)
Many people attempt the Enrolled Agent exam, only to fail. Instead of getting back on the horse and trying again-they give up.
This is unfortunate, because anyone who sits for the exam is obviously someone who takes tax representation very seriously.
As provided by the IRS:
An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.
Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.
20-Years Experience as a Practicing Attorney
Our Managing Partner, Sean M. Golding, JD, LLM, EA is a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist (Less than 1% of Attorneys Nationwide) earned an LL.M. (Master’s in Tax Law) from the University of Denver and is also an Enrolled Agent (the highest credential awarded by the IRS, and authorizes him to represent clients nationwide.)
Mr. Golding and his team have successfully handled several hundred IRS Offshore/Voluntary Disclosure Procedure cases. Whether it is a simple or complex case, safely getting clients into compliance is our passion, and we take it very seriously.
He is frequently called upon to lecture and write on issues involving IRS Voluntary Disclosure.
*Click here to learn the benefits of retaining a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist with advanced tax credentials.
Avoid Copycat Law Firms
Unlike other attorneys who call themselves specialists or experts in Voluntary Disclosure but are not “Board Certified,” handle other general areas of tax that takes significant time and resources (Collections, General Audits, Offers-in-Compromise) — we are absolutely dedicated to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure.
Hiring an Offshore Disclosure Lawyer – 5 Types of Attorneys to Avoid
- Tax Lawyers who risk your confidentiality with a “Kovel Letter“
- The “No Tax Preparation included” bloated flat-fee retainer
- Hiring Attorneys who are not dually-licensed in Tax and Law, and do not handle the tax portion of your submission
- Hiring an Attorney who is not a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist
- Hiring an Attorney with less than 15-20 years private practice experience, and no Trial or Litigation Experience
We Specialize in Safely Disclosing Foreign Money
Whether it is a simple or complex case, safely getting clients into compliance is our passion, and we take it very seriously.Who Decides to Disclose Unreported Money?
What Types of Clients Do we Represent?
We represent Attorneys, CPAs, Doctors, Investors, Engineers, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Professors, Athletes, Actors, Entry-Level staff, Students, Former/Current IRS Agents and more.
You are not alone, and you are not the only one to find himself or herself in this situation.
Be Careful of the IRS
With the introduction and enforcement of FATCA for both Civil and Criminal Penalties, renewed interest in the IRS issuing FBAR Penalties, crackdown on Cryptocurrency (and IRS joining J5), the termination of OVDP, and recent foreign bank settlements with the IRS…there are not many places left to hide.
4 Types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure Programs
There are typically four types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure programs, and they include:
- Traditional (IRM) IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program
- Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (SDOP)
- Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (SFOP)
- Reasonable Cause (RC)
Contact Us Today; Let us Help You.
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, and has also earned the prestigious Enrolled Agent credential. Mr. Golding is also a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist Attorney (A designation earned by Less than 1% of Attorneys nationwide.)
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