OVDP Lawyers - Board Certified Tax Specialist | IRS OVDP Lawyers - Golding & Golding

OVDP Lawyers – Board Certified Tax Specialist | IRS OVDP Lawyers – Golding & Golding

OVDP Lawyers – Board Certified Tax Specialist | IRS OVDP Lawyers

OVDP Lawyers: Our International OVDP Lawyer team specializes in IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure for FATCA, FBAR, and PFIC penalty mitigation.

We represent clients worldwide in disclosing offshore accounts, assets, investments & Income.

OVDP Lawyers

OVDP and IRS Offshore Disclosure are specialized areas of tax law. At Golding & Golding, each case is led by a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist Attorney. 

We are the OVDP Lawyers that other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants (and even IRS Personnel) contact when they need assistance with IRS Offshore Disclosure.

Common offshore assets and accounts our OVDP Lawyers are retained to disclose, include:

  • Bank Accounts
  • Financial Accounts
  • Specified Assets
  • Pension
  • Life Insurance
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs
  • Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Holding Companies
  • PFIC
  • CFC

Taxpayers (in the U.S. and abroad) who are out of IRS compliance with foreign and Offshore Account reporting should retain an experienced dual Attorney/Enrolled agent IRS Offshore Disclosure Attorney to assist them.

Even though OVDP has ended, If you are willful, the Internal Revenue Service has updated post-OVDP procedures, which are detailed in the Internal Revenue Manual.

Types of Offshore Disclosure Matters we Routinely Handle:

  • IRM Traditional Voluntary Disclosure
  • Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures
  • Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures
  • Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures
  • Streamlined Voluntary Disclosure
  • Reasonable Cause
  • Fixing Quiet Disclosures
  • Fixing mistakes made by less experienced Attorneys

What are the Attorneys & Tax Prep Fees for Experienced OVDP Representation?

Attorney’s Fees and Tax Preparation Fees are important aspects to OVDP — especially with all the scams and unethical marketing found online.

Our clients have asked us to prepare an Offshore Disclosure Attorney Fee Summary Guide for you to help separate fact from fiction when selecting an attorney.

You Need an Attorney and Law Firm that is Highly-Experienced

We have successfully submitted more than 1000 offshore Disclosures — including complex issues involving FATCA, PFIC, CFC, Foreign Mutual Funds, and more.

Some less experienced attorneys will rely on issuing a  “Kovel Letter” (since they do not have the tax experience needed to represent you) but it puts your confidentiality at risk.

The area of law is always changing, and due to recent updates in the law, including changes to various international tax agreements, regulations, statutes, and enforcement procedures — oftentimes even a “simpler” FBAR disclosure becomes an incredibly complicated process. 

Golding & Golding is a full-service International Offshore Disclosure Law Firm and Tax Firm specializing exclusively in OVDP and Offshore Disclosure maters.

We routinely represent clients in:

  • FATCA
  • FBAR
  • PFIC
  • Offshore Assets
  • Offshore Investments
  • Offshore Income
  • Offshore Accounts
  • Foreign Businesses
  • Foreign Life Insurance
  • Foreign Cryptocurrency
  • Foreign Real Estate
  • Foreign Gifts
  • Foreign Inheritance
  • International Tax Investigations
  • Tax Treaty Analysis
  • “Cross-Border” issues

Golding & Golding is led by a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist (less than 1% of Attorneys nationwide) who practices exclusively in Offshore Disclosure.

We represent clients nationwide and worldwide in nearly 70-countries with all aspects of OVDP (IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program).

5 Easy Ways to Vet Out IRS Offshore Disclosure Attorneys

Offshore disclosure is like a puzzle. And, you need all the pieces of the puzzle to complete the task at hand. 

There is a reason why the top tax attorneys nationwide in IRS Offshore Disclosure generally will have five (5) main qualifications:

  • Board Certified Tax Law Specialist (less than 1% of attorneys nationwide)
  • Enrolled Agent or CPA status
  • LL.M. (Masters in Tax)
  • Litigation & Trial Experience
  • A Firm that Specializes Exclusively in IRS Offshore Disclosure

Is Your Attorney a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist Credential?

Once an Attorney earns the prestigious Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential, it proves to the general public that the attorney is dedicated to tax law, and has real tax law practice experience as an Attorney.

Few tax attorneys have passed the tax speciality exam (regarded as one of the most difficult tax exams in the country) — and met the additional education, experience, and recommendation requirements necessary for certification.

Once a person becomes “Board Certified in Tax,” it shows they have met the following requirements:

  • Advanced tax education 
  • Extensive tax law experience
  • Attorney & Judge recommendations for certification

In California for example, there are 200,000 active Attorneys, with tens of thousands of Attorneys practicing in some area of tax — and only 350 Tax Attorneys have successfully earned the designation.

Less than 1% of Attorneys nationwide have earned the credential.

Is Your Attorney Dually Licensed as an Attorney/Enrolled Agent (EA) (or CPA)?

Here are some benefits of having a dually licensed Attorney EA or CPA:

They have Knowledge of the Interplay Between Law and Taxes

Even simple tax situations are usually much more complicated than they first appear. It takes an attorney with an extensive legal and tax background to effectively evaluate and asses all the tax and legal issues involving offshore disclosure, in order to piece them together properly to present your disclosure in the best light.

If the Attorney does not have experience preparing complex tax returns, they will not be able to complete this part of the task for you.

Your case is already at a disadvantage.

They Understand How Attorney-Client Privilege Works

Being dually licensed is not about wearing different hats — unless your Attorney is also a fashion model…

When some lesser experienced attorneys have not earned these additional certifications and distinctions (and do not have the litigation, audit, or trial experience to see how privilege plays out in the real world) they are quick to dismiss the dual-license, by intentionally mis-categorizing the purpose of being dually licensed to try to fool the general public (you).

Being Dually Licensed Has a Big “Real World” Benefit

There are thousands of dually licensed Attorneys (Attorney/Enrolled Agent and Attorney/CPA) in all different areas of tax.

The main two privileges are the Attorney-Client Privilege and Accountant-Client PrivilegeThe Accountant privilege does not extend to legal matters or criminal investigations.

Being dually licensed does not extend the Attorney-Privilege to Accountant related matters.

That is not the purpose of being dually licensed.

While being dually licensed does not extend the Attorney-Client Privilege to all non-legal tax related issues, there is a much bigger benefit. It helps protect against human error, which is rampant in the scary world of International Tax (and life).

Common Example from Clients Who First Used a Non-Dually Licensed Attorney

Your Attorney refers you off to some accountant, whom you do not really know. During your tax talk with the accountant, the accountant starts to ask some more background questions, and the conversation becomes more “casual.”

During these communications, you accidentally divulge legal information about your case that would have been protected had you told your Attorney. 

Since the discussion turned to legal (you were just chit chatting with the accountant) those communications about your case are no longer protected as they would have been had you been talking with your attorney about those same legal matters.

This is a much bigger problem: if there is any issue about willfulness that you may have divulged to the accountant — your entire case may be compromised.

The IRS has the right to investigate your CPA.

Now you have to trust that your accountant will not disclose this information if :

  • Your streamlined or Reasonable Cause  is audited due to legal issues involving willfulness that you may have leaked to the CPA
  • The accountant’s practice is audited or investigated by the IRS (OPR), or
  • The accountant needs it for leverage to defend against other investigations the IRS or other agency is taking against him/her.

And, if the IRS issues your CPA a summons or subpoenas about his files (or your file specifically) — the information you told the CPA about your legal issues or concerns are not protected.

What is to prevent the CPA from blowing the whistle on you, if he or she gets jammed up? Just look what happened to Paul Manafort.

While a Kovel Letter extends very-limited protection with an Accountant, reliance on it can get you in very serious trouble.

Now, your privilege is compromised.

Does the Attorney have a Masters in Tax Law (LL.M.)?

A Masters in Tax Law requires 15-20 graduate level tax law classes. This type of education provides a great foundation to best understand the highly complex areas of law involving international tax.

Does Your Attorney Have Extensive Litigation Experience?

At Golding & Golding, we have handled several hundred disclosures (OVDP, IRM Voluntary Disclosure, Streamlined and Reasonable Cause) for clients around the world in over 70-countries.

We have the knowledge and experience to help you get compliance.

Our attorneys have handled many complex litigation cases. We are routinely retained as consultants on international tax related matters involving offshore disclosure and divorce, litigation, business and corporate matters.

Is the Firm an OVDP/Offshore Disclosure Specialty Firm?

Unless the firm has 50-100 attorneys, with a $25 million operating budget, a successful boutique tax-law firm will almost always have all of the attorneys in the firm devote the firms’s time, energy, and resources to one specific area of tax.

In other words, all the attorneys in the boutique tax firm practice the same, single area of tax law.

Some common niche areas of tax law include:

  • Tax Litigation
  • Employment Tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Offshore Voluntary Disclosure

For example, in employment tax, all tax attorneys in the firm handle employment tax related cases. In sales tax, all the tax attorneys in the firm handle sales tax. It may be “Sales Tax” in various different fields and industries — but the firm will limit the niche practice to sales tax.

The same is true for Offshore Voluntary Disclosure. If a firm handles Offshore Voluntary Disclosure, then all tax attorneys at the firm should be handling the same area of tax law.

If a small firm has attorneys practicing in other area such as general audits, Offers-in-Compromise, Collections, and other tax debt matters – it can put your case at a severe disadvantage.

Why? Because it is impossible for these types of “general tax firms” to establish set protocols, policies and procedures sufficient to handle all the complexities and nuances for multiple different types of niche tax law areas.

At our tax specialty firm, we handle matters involving Offshore Voluntary Disclosure, and each case is led by one or more highly experienced attorneys.

This guarantees that your case gets the time and dedication it deserves.

Who Decides to Disclose Unreported Money?

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.

Hiring an Offshore Disclosure Lawyer – 5 Types of Lawyers to Avoid

Beware of Copycat Law Firms

Unlike other attorneys who call themselves specialists or experts in Voluntary Disclosure but are not “Board Certified,” handle 5-10 different areas of tax law, purchase multiple keyword specific domain names, and even practice outside of tax, we are absolutely dedicated to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure.

*Click here to learn the benefits of retaining a Board Certified Tax Law Specialist with advanced tax credentials.

IRS Penalty List

The following is a list of potential IRS penalties for unreported and undisclosed foreign accounts and assets:

Failure to File

If you do not file by the deadline, you might face a failure-to-file penalty. If you do not pay by the due date, you could face a failure-to-pay penalty. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty.

The penalty for filing late is usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.

Failure to Pay

f you do not pay your taxes by the due date, you will generally have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date that the taxes are not paid. This penalty can be as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty.

However, if you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show that you failed to file or pay on time because of reasonable cause and not because of willful neglect.

Civil Tax Fraud

If any part of any underpayment of tax required to be shown on a return is due to fraud, there shall be added to the tax an amount equal to 75 percent of the portion of the underpayment which is attributable to fraud.

A Penalty for failing to file FBARs

The civil penalty for willfully failing to file an FBAR can be as high as the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of the total balance of the foreign financial account per violation. See 31 U.S.C. § 5321(a)(5). Non-willful violations that the IRS determines were not due to reasonable cause are subject to a $10,000 penalty per violation.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 8938

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 3520

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 35 percent of the gross reportable amount, except for returns reporting gifts, where the penalty is five percent of the gift per month, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent of the gift.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 3520-A

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns or for filing an incomplete return, is the greater of $10,000 or 5 percent of the gross value of trust assets determined to be owned by the United States person.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 5471

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 5472

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns, or to keep certain records regarding reportable transactions, is $10,000, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 926

The penalty for failing to file each one of these information returns is ten percent of the value of the property transferred, up to a maximum of $100,000 per return, with no limit if the failure to report the transfer was intentional.

A Penalty for failing to file Form 8865

Penalties include $10,000 for failure to file each return, with an additional $10,000 added for each month the failure continues beginning 90 days after the taxpayer is notified of the delinquency, up to a maximum of $50,000 per return, and ten percent of the value of any transferred property that is not reported, subject to a $100,000 limit.

Fraud penalties imposed under IRC §§ 6651(f) or 6663

Where an underpayment of tax, or a failure to file a tax return, is due to fraud, the taxpayer is liable for penalties that, although calculated differently, essentially amount to 75 percent of the unpaid tax.

A Penalty for failing to file a tax return imposed under IRC § 6651(a)(1)

Generally, taxpayers are required to file income tax returns. If a taxpayer fails to do so, a penalty of 5 percent of the balance due, plus an additional 5 percent for each month or fraction thereof during which the failure continues may be imposed. The penalty shall not exceed 25 percent.

A Penalty for failing to pay the amount of tax shown on the return under IRC § 6651(a)(2)

If a taxpayer fails to pay the amount of tax shown on the return, he or she may be liable for a penalty of .5 percent of the amount of tax shown on the return, plus an additional .5 percent for each additional month or fraction thereof that the amount remains unpaid, not exceeding 25 percent.

An Accuracy-Related Penalty on underpayments imposed under IRC § 6662

Depending upon which component of the accuracy-related penalty is applicable, a taxpayer may be liable for a 20 percent or 40 percent penalty

Possible Criminal Charges related to tax matters include tax evasion (IRC § 7201)

Filing a false return (IRC § 7206(1)) and failure to file an income tax return (IRC § 7203). Willfully failing to file an FBAR and willfully filing a false FBAR are both violations that are subject to criminal penalties under 31 U.S.C. § 5322.  Additional possible criminal charges include conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims (18 U.S.C. § 286) and conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. § 371).

A person convicted of tax evasion

Filing a false return subjects a person to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000. A person who fails to file a tax return is subject to a prison term of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000. Failing to file an FBAR subjects a person to a prison term of up to ten years and criminal penalties of up to $500,000.  A person convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims is subject to a prison term of up to not more than 10 years or a fine of up to $250,000.  A person convicted of conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States is subject to a prison term of not more than five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

4 Types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure Programs

There are typically four types of IRS Voluntary Disclosure programs, and they include:

Contact Us Today; Let us Help You.

International Tax Lawyers - Golding & Golding, A PLC

International Tax Lawyers - Golding & Golding, A PLC

Golding & Golding: Our International Tax Lawyers practice exclusively in the area of IRS Offshore & Voluntary Disclosure. We represent clients in 70 different countries. Managing Partner, Sean M. Golding, JD, LL.M., EA and his team have represented thousands of clients in all aspects of IRS offshore disclosure and compliance during his 20-year career as an Attorney. Mr. Golding's articles have been referenced in such publications as the Washington Post, Forbes, Nolo and various Law Journals nationwide.

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.)
International Tax Lawyers - Golding & Golding, A PLC