No other type of tax professional offers the level of client privilege that is legally required of an attorney. Only an attorney has “Attorney-Client privilege” with his clients. The attorney’s confidentiality requirements are vastly more comprehensive than the “confidentiality privilege” required of, or optional to, other types of tax representatives. Unlike with an attorney, a great deal of what you disclose to another type of tax professional can be forced to be revealed in a court of law or administrative proceeding where information or testimony is subpoenaed by the taxing authorities.
Moreover, any available privilege or confidentiality rules involving discussions between a client and another type of tax professional do not apply to criminal cases. Only the Attorney-Client privilege survives a state or federal criminal tax investigation or prosecution. The Attorney-Client privilege is a critical advantage where an attorney is representing and defending a non-filer who is unfortunate enough to be brought up on criminal charges.