Hiring A Form 3520 Penalty Lawyer to Fight Penalties
While there are many different international information reporting forms that a US Taxpayer may have to file when they have foreign assets, investments, accounts, or income — Form 3520 for Foreign Gift Reporting is one of the most important forms, since the failure to file it timely may result in significantly high fines and penalties. There are only a handful of Board-Certified Tax Law Specialists that specialize exclusively in this area of international tax and offshore reporting compliance. Unfortunately, in the past few years, our tax firm has been inundated with inquiries from taxpayers who utilized other more generalist tax law firms and found themselves in a worse position than they were when they started — including outlaying significantly more in attorney and CPA fees than they thought they would have to, based on the initial representations made by the firm. Here are three important tips from our specialist team.
Form 3520 Tax Specialist Lawyer vs Generalist
Utilizing a Tax/Law firm that specializes exclusively in offshore and international tax, will provide you with a team that is most prepared to represent you with compliance in a Form 3520 matter. Unfortunately, over the past few years more generalist tax firms who may have handled a handful of these types of matters author articles making it appear as though they are International tax law specialists when it is clear that they are a generalist tax law. These are the types of attorneys who refer to themselves as “experts.” No tax attorney is an expert, but in order to ensure that your tax attorney is specialized in tax, they should have 20+ years of attorney experience and be a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist.
Hourly vs. Flat-Fee Form 3520 Lawyer
This is probably one of the biggest problems we see, which is when a generalist firm charges an hourly fee, in which they present an “artificially” low fee — but then at the end of the day the overall Tax and Legal Hourly Fee will far exceed what a flat-fee, for service tax and legal firm would have charged for the same service based on the up-front fee they provide. Beware of the Bait and Switch technique.
Mischaracterizing the Protections of a Kovel Accountant
Experienced international tax law specialist firms handle these types of tax and legal matters in-house. Other firms may convince clients that by engaging a Kovel accountant, tax return preparation and other international reporting form preparation is covered by the attorney-client privilege, but that is incorrect. It is very important for Taxpayers to understand what Kovel is and is not before being sold on the idea that a Kovel letter will protect your communications between the client and outside CPA they dictate you must use (even if you do not want to use their pre-selected CPA).