IRS Streamlined Procedures Flat-Fee & Full Service (Board Certified) (Golding & Golding)

IRS Streamlined Procedures Flat-Fee & Full Service (Board Certified) (Golding & Golding)

IRS Streamlined Procedures Flat-Fee & Full Service (Board Certified)

Golding & Golding — We have handled more than 1000 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure cases. Many of them have been Streamlined Offshore cases (Streamlined Domestic and Streamlined Offshore).

We have (almost) seen it all.

You can visit out International Tax Library to review all the free resources we have on this and other offshore voluntary disclosure subjects.

*Lately, the errors contained within the streamlined disclosures in the referrals we receive from clients who used lesser-experienced attorneys have been more severe than in year’s past.

Flat-Fee & Full Service IRS Streamlined Procedures

Finding a reputable Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Law and Tax firm has become more difficult.

It is primarily because of lesser-experienced attorneys, without advanced credentials and certifications, diving head first into the marketplace — trying to fool you, the consumer — before they learn how to swim.

They take pieces of content from more experienced attorney websites, change a few words, and market themselves as “experts.”

These attorneys make many mistakes. Their Streamlined Disclosures are sloppy, and oftentimes we are called in to fix the mistakes (see below).

Whether it is a Small Case or a Large Case — your case is important.

5 Reasons why a Dually-Licensed Team is Most Cost-Effective

Here are 5 simple reasons why a dually-licensed, flat-fee tax and law team is the best choice for you:

Dually-Licensed Means You Get Reduced Legal and Tax Fees

When you use a dually-licensed Tax Attorney/Enrolled Agent or Tax attorney/CPA — you are getting the best of both worlds in IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure.

Why?

Because the Professional uses both tax and legal skills to evaluate the case — and quote you a flat fee to handle your entire project.

It does not mean you are paying legal fees for accounting work, or vice versa.

To the contrary, it means the Tax Attorney/Enrolled Agent or Tax attorney/CPA is experienced enough to quote you a flat-fee that encompasses all the work involved in cost-effectively representing you.

A win-win for the client.

A Combined Tax & Legal Team to Answer All Your Questions 

There are only a handful of Attorneys, who are dually-licensed, Board-Certified Tax Specialists — and are qualified to handle the Legal and Tax Preparation of your Streamlined Offshore Disclosure.

Golding and Golding is passionate and dedicated to this area of law.

By referring the tax portion of the matter to a CPA, you will:

  • Impact accuracy of the submission
  • Risk your confidentiality
  • Send your fees into the “unknown,” since the outside CPA charges his or her own fee structure in addition to Lawyer Fees.

Common Issues with Using an Outside CPA in Offshore Disclosure

Streamlined Disclosures are time-sensitive.

Let’s say you have a tax question or question about your return. You ask the Attorney but the Attorney tells you he or she doesn’t handle that part.”

The Attorney refers you to the CPA.

The CPA (presuming they can answer it) tells you that the service is not included in the fee, or to just go ask the attorney.

Now you have two problems:

  • Your Attorney is not experienced enough to handle the case
  • The CPA is going to charge you even more fees.

A lose-lose for the client.

Avoiding The “Average Time Spent” Quote Scam 

A few copycat firms (with less experienced Attorneys) have popped-up over the past few years, trying to turn Streamlined Disclosure submissions into an assembly-line procedure as part of their general tax practice. 

They do not handle the tax portion of your submission, and that puts your confidentiality severely at risk.

These firms will quote you estimated amounts of time they spend on cases, but all they are really doing is telling you the maximum amount of time they will spend on your case, no matter how much time it would actually take for the case to be handled properly (because that is all the time they can afford to spend on it) — whether they charge you flat-fee or hourly. 

To them, Offshore Disclosure is just another area of tax law they handle, such as general audits, collections, OIC and other non-disclosure matters.

At Golding & Golding, each case, and each client is unique — and each case is different; it is our passion.

A general “one-size fits all” time-estimate means nothing.

It is impossible to estimate the amount of time it will take to prepare the submission or if you will be audited.

Your dually-Licensed Tax Attorney/EA or Attorney/CPA should evaluate the case, propose a flat-fee amount for Tax and Legal (based on many years’ experience handling these cases) — and spend as much time as necessary to make sure the submission is done correctly. 

Learn about some of our many case accomplishments.

Referring Out Your Case to a CPA Means Increased Legal & Tax Fees

The reason why top firms in Streamlined and Offshore Disclosure will take care of the matter, in-house, is because it is a combined Tax and Legal Submission.

Using an outside CPA will Balloon your fees.

Why risk paying skyrocketing fees for sloppy, sub-par work?

Example of Skyrocketing Fees – PFIC Legal and Tax Analysis

A PFIC Is a monster Tax and Legal Analysis.

PFICs are much more common than you think, it’s just many inexperienced attorneys (and CPAs) do not know how to spot them. It is more than just foreign mutual funds.

If you hire an inexperienced Attorney who refers you to a CPA, you now have 3 main issues:

– The Attorney is not experienced enough to answer your tough tax questions

– The CPA charges his or her own fees, and since most CPAs have little to no PFIC experience (or do not include it in their “base price”), their fees will balloon

– Since PFIC analysis is legal and tax, your Attorney-Client Confidentiality privilege is at risk, once you discuss Legal matters with a CPA

The Attorney Uses a Kovel Letter, without Explaining the Severe Limitations

Kovel is a case ruling. It is not statutory law and it is not guaranteed to be upheld by a judge in a court of law.

A Kovel Letter is used by attorneys/clients in situations in which the attorney and/or client must communicate with another non-attorney accountant such as a CPA or Enrolled Agent, but the Attorney wants to try to extend the privileged communications beyond the Attorney, and to the Tax/Accounting Professional.

If it is accepted by the court, it only has a very-limited application to an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure 

By Referring you to a CPA, they are Risking your “Attorney Client-Privilege”

How is my legal privilege at risk?

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, those communications about your case are no longer protected as they would have been had you been talking with your dually-licensed attorney about those same legal matters.

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).

What if I am Out of FBAR, FATCA & Offshore Compliance?

If you are out of FBAR compliance, the penalties can be severe. Therefore, you may consider entering the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure/tax amnesty, before it is too late.

What Should You Do?

Everyone makes mistakes. If at some point that you should have been reporting your foreign income, accounts, assets or investments the prudent and least costly (but most effective) method for getting compliance is through one of the approved IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program.

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