- 1 Why Golding & Golding Does Not Offer Free Consultations
- 2 Specialized Tax Law Firms vs Mills
- 3 What Can You Accomplish in 15-Minutes?
- 4 Head Lawyer Conducts the Consultation
- 5 Our Consultations are NEVER Farmed Out
- 6 Be Careful of Firms Requiring Immediate Action
- 7 Current Year vs Prior Year Non-Compliance
- 8 Avoid False Offshore Disclosure Submissions (Willful vs Non-Willful)
- 9 Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm
Why Golding & Golding Does Not Offer Free Consultations
In the world of international tax, many tax law firms have resorted to scaring taxpayers into entering offshore disclosure programs that either do not fit their situation or of which the firm is not qualified to represent the taxpayer. The way many firms accomplish their goal is by offering 15-minute free consultations. In reality, these are actually not free consultations. That is because not much can be accomplished in 15 minutes — and oftentimes they are little more than sales pitches by associates of the firm (or even non-attorneys) that are designed to scare you into hiring them. Let’s go through some of the reasons why the more experienced firms do not offer free initial consultations to help assist you in your research quest about FBAR, FATCA, and more.
Specialized Tax Law Firms vs Mills
At Golding & Golding, we only handle one area of law: international tax offshore disclosure. We do not handle other aspects of tax law which is why we are able to direct all our resources and knowledge into this one specific area. Many other law firms have a broad area of focus and many times, are spread too thin. They try their hand at offshore disclosure but are simply mills. They take as many cases as they can and as many areas of tax law as they can handle. This may lead to a firm representing taxpayers in 10 areas of tax and not having any specialized knowledge in any one of those areas.
What Can You Accomplish in 15-Minutes?
Nothing substantive will be accomplished in 15 minutes.
The purpose of the 15-minute initial free consultation is to scare you into believing that you are in a much more dire position than you actually are – you are not going to receive any necessary substantive information in 15 minutes. The goal of this type of consultation is to have you going away with the unsettling feeling that if you do not hire that firm immediately then you are going to be in big trouble (which is rarely ever true).
Head Lawyer Conducts the Consultation
At our firm, Mr. Golding handles all initial consultations, and they are limited to matters specifically in the realm of areas we handle. When you are speaking with Mr. Golding, you are speaking with a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist who specializes exclusively in international tax and offshore disclosure. Within the 30-minute time frame, Mr. Golding is able to assess your case and provide you with substantive information necessary to help you determine what your next steps might be. There is significant value in this type of consultation. There is no sales pitch involved. Whether or not our firm ever hears back from you after the initial consultation, the consultation itself is designed to provide you with information about your options. While it does not include a document review or a post-consultation summary, those types of services are not typical of a 30-minute initial consultation. For that type of more detailed consultation, you will want to retain a firm that can provide you with an hourly quote (we are a flat-fee, full-service tax and law firm). A proper document review consultation will probably cost the taxpayer several thousands of dollars, as it will generally take a few hours of a lawyer’s time.
Our Consultations are NEVER Farmed Out
We never farm out our consultations. They are always handled by Mr. Golding. At other firms, oftentimes you may speak with an associate who has possibly a few years of experience at most, or even a non-attorney who is trained to bring you in by way of a sales pitch about all the horrific things that may happen if you don’t hurry up and retain that firm (read: these horrific things never actually happen to anyone).
Be Careful of Firms Requiring Immediate Action
Another new sales tactic that has crept up in the past few years is that during one of these 15-minute free initial consultation calls, the firm will admonish you to not reach out to any other attorneys to speak about the matter and that you must handle the case ASAP and only with that firm. It is important to note that if a firm tries this strategy, you realize what they are doing – which is to prevent you from getting the correct information. We recommend reaching out to a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist that specializes in that particular area of law to discuss your case, so you have a thorough understanding of your paths forward.
Current Year vs Prior Year Non-Compliance
Once a taxpayer has missed the tax and reporting (such as FBAR and FATCA) requirements for prior years, they will want to be careful before submitting their information to the IRS in the current year. That is because they may risk making a quiet disclosure if they just begin filing forward in the current year and/or mass filing previous year forms without doing so under one of the approved IRS offshore submission procedures. Before filing prior untimely foreign reporting forms, taxpayers should consider speaking with a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist that specializes exclusively in these types of offshore disclosure matters.
Avoid False Offshore Disclosure Submissions (Willful vs Non-Willful)
In recent years, the IRS has increased the level of scrutiny for certain streamlined procedure submissions. When a person is non-willful, they have an excellent chance of making a successful submission to Streamlined Procedures. If they are willful, they would submit to the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program instead. But, if a willful Taxpayer submits an intentionally false narrative under the Streamlined Procedures (and gets caught), they may become subject to significant fines and penalties.
Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm
Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, specifically IRS offshore disclosure.
Contact our firm today for assistance.