If you visit our tax blog on a regular basis, you know that our international tax attorneys often discuss cases where taxpayers were assessed civil penalties, were criminally prosecuted, or both for their involvement in offshore tax fraud schemes, such as the four men who were charged with tax fraud in a Panama Papers investigation, or the Los Angeles man who was prosecuted after hiding Israeli bank accounts. You might also have noticed that many of the taxpayers we profile are tax professionals, such as attorneys or tax preparers, who abuse their knowledge of tax regulations to enrich themselves or their clients. For example, as one legal essay discusses in depth, the now-defunct Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca was instrumental in facilitating the offshore tax planning schemes that were later exposed in the Panama Papers scandal. Using this example, the essay makes a point that “referring lawyers should do more than the minimum,” stating that not only could the attorney “suffer an adverse reputational effect” – but furthermore, that providing referrals for “Aspiring Tax Evaders” makes tax evasion prosecution of the client and the advisor for aiding and abetting income tax evasion a possibility. Be advised that a client facing criminal prosecution will invariably try and reflect responsibility for the crime back on to the advisor that crossed the line for them.
CPAs and tax attorneys can be criminally charged – and professionally sanctioned – for helping a client to engage in a tax crime. (In fact, this occurs so frequently that tax preparer fraud made the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” list of top tax scams for 2018.)
However, even if the tax professional does not directly assist with fraud, he or she may inadvertently enable tax evasion by providing referrals without fully considering the issues involved, prompting the essay’s author to argue that “lawyers should adhere to higher standards” when directing clients toward international tax planning services.
To support this point, the author offers five reasons why tax lawyers, CPAs and EAs should rethink “doing the minimum,” and instead, take a more comprehensive approach:
know that the taxpayer intends to commit tax evasion” overseas.
CPAs and EAs and other tax advisors with criminal tax exposure are in urgent need of competent criminal tax defense representation. At the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing, our legal team possesses extensive experience representing defendants charged with tax evasion and related offenses. If you are a tax preparer who is concerned about criminal liability or a potential investigation, contact us right away for a reduced-rate consultation, or call the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing at (800) 681-1295.
Also, we’ve expanded our offices! In addition to our offices in Irvine and Los Angeles, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing now have offices San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento.
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Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company? Absolutely not! See our policies that address this issue here: