Choosing The Right Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Attorney
If you find yourself in legal trouble as a result of international tax non-compliance, it is very important for you to retain the voluntary disclosure attorney who suits your situations best. It is highly imprudent for you to represent yourself in such cases – the issues are usually highly complex, the penalties can be extremely high, and solutions often require a creative approach with deep understanding of the underlying law. Last, but not least, in order to avoid a tremendous power and knowledge gap, it is best to be represented by an experienced voluntary disclosure attorney during the negotiations with the IRS.
In finding the right offshore voluntary disclosure attorney, you should look at the following four factors:
1. Areas of Practice and Experience
For offshore voluntary disclosure purposes, you should be looking for an international tax attorney who is experienced in voluntary disclosure. It does not have to be his only area of practice, but it needs to be a major area of his practice.
In terms of experience, you should be looking for an attorney who conducted voluntary disclosures for clients in the past. This experience is very important and should differentiate that attorney from other international tax lawyers.
It is important to emphasize that your voluntary disclosure attorney needs to have a wide range of knowledge in international tax compliance. The main reason is because offshore voluntary disclosures often involve more tax issues than you may think.
In 90% of the voluntary disclosures that I conducted, the clients came with one set of issues (usually FBARs and undisclosed foreign income), but, by the end of the consultation, I identified that there were additional issues to take into consideration while considering various disclosure options, such as: foreign business ownership, PFIC (Passive Foreign Investment Company) income, foreign inheritance, subpart F income, collectible capital gain tax rates, and so on.
In reality, very often, a voluntary disclosure may lead to substantial tax planning going into the voluntary disclosure as well as afterwards. A lot of my clients experience significant changes in their overall tax structures which is likely to benefit them for years to come.
Such approach to voluntary disclosures requires a very profound understanding of tax laws as well as the ability to take advantage of the interaction between the various parts of the Internal Revenue Code.
2. Personal Attention – the Advantage of Retaining Small Law Firms
It is crucially important that the attorney that you met during the initial consultation is going to be the one who is actually handling your voluntary disclosure. 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 inexperienced associates do most of the work, potentially jeopardizing your entire voluntary disclosure. The smaller your case is, the more likely that the firm will assign a young associate to work on it.
In contrast, small law firms tend to assign very small portions of your case to a constantly-supervised associate and partners do most of the work on your case. This is exactly what you want in your offshore voluntary disclosure attorney.
3. Creative Ethical Approach
You need an offshore voluntary disclosure attorney who will approach your case in a creative and ethical manner. In my practice, a comprehensive strategic review of the case has helped numerous clients to avoid or reduce penalties. I strive to examine every possibility based on all relevant facts (which may require additional document collection and investigations) in order to achieve the best outcome possible for the client while remaining within the bounds of the tax laws and ethics.
Beware of two types of lawyers. First, the lawyers who suggest that you do something illegal or that they will use their government connections in an improper way. This approach is likely to get you in more trouble rather than get you out of the troubles you are currently in.
Second, beware of the attorneys who advise you to go through the offshore voluntary disclosure program without exploring any other possibilities. Not every case is suited for the official offshore voluntary disclosure program; there are other possibilities that may result in substantial reductions in and even elimination of penalties, while bringing you into complete compliance with U.S. tax system.
Your offshore voluntary disclosure attorney needs to be able to advise you not only on the official voluntary disclosure program, but also ethically and creatively explore other possibilities.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office to Retain The Right Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Tax Attorney
Retaining an offshore voluntary disclosure attorney can be very expensive, but it is necessary. However, while you are going through this expensive ordeal, it is important to make sure that you are doing it with the right attorney.
This is why you should contact Sherayzen Law Office NOW. We are a boutique experienced international tax law firm that can provide you with a comprehensive, creative, and ethical approach to your voluntary disclosure, including rigorous IRS representation. We have already helped numerous clients in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and other countries in Asia, Europe and South America to get their tax affairs in full compliance with the U.S. tax system.
Call or email us to schedule an initial consultation so that we can now help you!