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Have Overseas Assets? Get a U.S. Tax Attorney or Potentially Pay the Price

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Have Overseas Assets? Get a U.S. Tax Attorney or Potentially Pay the Price


It is not uncommon for several types of professions to come out of the woodwork to take your money in exchange for services when you are in potential tax trouble. C.P.A.’s, enrolled agents and foreign attorneys would be more than happy to take your case once your overseas assets are have been or are close to being discovered. Not reporting your overseas income was a mistake, but not hiring a U.S. tax attorney who is well versed in tax issues may be an even bigger mistake.

Recently, the government has been cracking down on monies that are being held in overseas accounts by increasing their criminal action filing against citizens. Further, foreign banks have been handing over to the U.S., names and other personal information of American citizens who have bank accounts funded with undeclared monies. These foreign banks will sometimes recommend that those who are being reported to contact the counsel of the bank for assistance with the investigation. But because the bank also uses the same attorneys, an obvious conflict of interest exists and should certainly be avoided.

It is probably fair to say that the average American, if approached by an enrolled agent, C.P.A. or foreign attorney offering tax assistance with offshore disclosure issues would not think that utilizing the services of one of these professions could be detrimental to their case. And though it is true that not every person who uses one of the professionals mentioned above will end up in federal prison, you may want to consider the following:

  • Not disclosing funds that are maintained in an overseas account or are part of a tax evasion scheme is a felony in the United States.
  • A felony tax evasion charge could certainly result in time spent in a federal correctional facility.
  • Most C.P.A.’s, enrolled agents and foreign attorneys are not trained in the criminal aspect of the IRS investigation and may not have the experience or knowledge to effectively negotiate with the IRS or Department of Justice.

Hiring a U.S.-based tax attorney ensures that you will have an advocate that understands the tax laws of the United States and that will have experience with the intense nature of the criminal investigations conducting by the IRS and the Department of Justice. They will be able to negotiate on your behalf and ensure that your legal rights are protected. If you are not yet being investigated but have overseas assets that are undeclared, a U.S.-based tax attorney will be able to consult with you and ensure that your situation is a good fit for the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.

David W. Klasing is not only a C.P.A but is an experienced tax attorney who has dealt with the IRS and Department of Justice in representing clients who are being investigated for both civil and criminal violations of the law. Don’t settle with just anyone when your freedom is on the line. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today.