Choosing the right Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer is a very important decision that may determine the fate of your entire offshore voluntary disclosure case. While making this choice, I recommend that you consider the following five main factors while choosing your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer.
1. Areas of Practice of Your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer
The first factor is to determine whether your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure lawyer really practices in this area of law. There are attorneys (especially in large and general practice law firms) out there who like to “dabble” in various areas of law but who really do not know international tax law in depth. You are well advised to stay away from such firms.
You should be looking for an attorney who has devoted the great majority of his practice to international tax law, particularly Offshore Voluntary Disclosure. Remember, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure involves not only the sophisticated analysis of the voluntary disclosure options of the foreign bank and financial accounts (i.e. issues associated with the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts – “FBAR”), but also the complex interaction of various other parts of international tax compliance requirements (such as PFICs, ownership of foreign business entities, ownership of Foreign trusts and so on).
Sherayzen Law Office is a law firm that specializes in international tax law and specifically in Offshore Voluntary Disclosures. Virtually our entire practice is devoted to helping clients throughout the world to comply with the complex requirements of U.S. international tax law, particularly voluntary disclosure of foreign income, offshore bank and financial accounts, foreign gifts and inheritance, and ownership of foreign business entities and trusts.
2. Experience of Your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer
After making sure that he really practices in the area of Offshore Voluntary Disclosure, you should find out about the experience of your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure lawyer. What you should be looking for is the concentration of the experience as well as number of years that the attorney practices law (at least five years).
Do not be fooled by someone who says that he has thirty years of Offshore Voluntary Disclosure experience – this is a relatively new and quickly developing area of practice. the IRS implemented its first voluntary disclosure progrm (which was quite unknown at that time) in 2003. The first voluntary disclosure program of real importance was the 2009 OVDP and it served as a prototype for the highly successful 2011 OVDI and the later 2012 OVDP (which is still open and does not have a certain closure date as of the time of this writing).
Since 2005, Sherayzen Law Office has developed a unique expertise in the area of Offshore Voluntary Disclosure helping clients throughout the world, and it has practiced international tax law with the emphasis on offshore voluntary disclosures during the existence of all major IRS Voluntary Disclosure Programs.
3. Personal Attention of Your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer to Your Voluntary Disclosure Case
The key point here is that, since offshore voluntary disclosures are highly fact-dependent, it is very important the experienced offshore voluntary disclosure lawyer that you wish to retain for your case is the one who will actually handle the entire case, not just the voluntary disclosure. Similarly, you want to make sure that your offshore voluntary disclosure lawyer is able to communicate with you personally with respect to the case.
Unfortunately, it is common practice for large law firms to divide up the work between the partner and the associates to the extent that the partner (usually an experienced attorney) contributes very little beyond getting you to sign the retainer agreement while less-experienced and even complete inexperienced associates do most of the work, potentially jeopardizing your entire voluntary disclosure.
Eugene Sherayzen, the founder and owner of Sherayzen Law Office, will personally handle your initial consultation and your entire case. Of course, parts of the case will be given to associates, accountants and staff members; however, Mr. Sherayzen invests a substantial amount of his time in training and supervision of all members of Sherayzen Law Office, making sure that the high quality of our firm’s work is maintained while certain cost benefits are passed through to the client. Moreover, Mr. Sherayzen is personally available for personal communication throughout the progress of your case.
4. Ethical Creativity of Your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer
Offshore voluntary disclosures require consideration of interaction of various strategies and possibilities before the your disclosure options are finalized. This requires a healthy degree of ethical creativity that must be displayed by your offshore voluntary disclosure lawyer as early as the initial consultation.
If the offshore voluntary disclosure lawyer only proposes one option without considering any facts or without at least mentioning the other options and why they are rejected, then you may wish to get a second opinion. Similarly, if the attorney only concentrates on the OVDP penalty without discussion of the FBAR penalty structure, something may not be right.
Also, stay away from attorneys (and accountants) who propose unethical solutions which involve concealment of truth from the IRS or who propose easy solutions. Your voluntary disclosure is required to be truthful and complete; anything short of this standard may get you in deep troubles with the IRS and result in high civil and even criminal penalties.
Sherayzen Law Office follows a very high standard for ethical creativity, making sure that the required disclosures are honestly made the IRS while implementing ethical creative solutions based on legitimate interpretations of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury regulations. In the end, we strive to achieve the combination of the required transparency with the tax and penalty reductions permitted by the Code.
5. Trust in Your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer
This fifth factor of “trust” is highly important. If, after your initial consultation, you have a feeling of distrust and suspicion of the voluntary disclosure lawyer or his tactics, my suggestion is to try another attorney.
The stakes in the offshore voluntary disclosure can be very high and the information involved can be very sensitive. In such situations, at least some feeling of trust in the abilities and honesty of your Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer is crucial to the success of your case.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office to Retain The Right Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer for Your Case
If you are thinking about doing an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure with respect to your foreign assets and foreign income, contact Sherayzen Law Office for experienced professional help.
Over the years, Mr. Eugene Sherayzen, an experienced Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Lawyer has developed a unique expertise in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure which allows Sherayzen Law Office to successfully help clients throughout the United States and the world. We offer a comprehensive approach which produces realistic voluntary disclosure options assessment on which you can rely. Then, once the voluntary disclosure option is chosen, we will implement the necessary ethical strategies (including drafting of legal documents and completing the necessary tax forms) and rigorously defend your position against the IRS.