Tax fraud investigations and prosecutions can have a devastating effect on your life. Defending against these allegations takes strategy and skills not too many lawyers have. You can rely on the tax fraud defense attorneys with Norman Spencer Law Group for the most effective defense strategy if you face the IRS and the Department of Justice.
Nationwide Tax Fraud Investigations Attorneys
When representing a client in a tax investigation, it is the absolute must that that lawyer has a firm grip on the nature of the prosecution case and the relevant facts. Because federal tax prosecutions involve a very complex multi-level bureaucratic review process, the lawyer should be familiar with it and know how to use it to the client’s advantage.
Our team includes federal criminal attorneys, former IRS agents, forensic accountants, and certified fraud investigators. At Norman Spencer Law Group we are knowledgeable about the IRS and the DOJ process and we can help you right now.
We share this shortlist of the best practices we follow and the advice we give when representing clients in criminal tax investigations.
Our Best Advice to Clients and Employees
Anything ever disclosed to the investigators must be reviewed and approved by an attorney beforehand. You should never give any information until you show it to the attorney who understands the facts of your case.
In real life, of course, clients do disclose information to investigators before speaking to a lawyer. This happens for many reasons. It is actually normal for an average person to try to exonerate himself or herself when first contacted by the investigators. It can be extremely damaging to them, but there is nothing we could do about that after the fact. The cake cannot be un-backed. However, we must examine anything you disclosed, so making and keeping copies of all the documents is extremely important.
Being Proactive Is Important
Not everyone plans on being investigated by the IRS. However, if the IRS contacts you, it is time to get ready and be prepared and proactive. We advise clients to call our firm as soon as the IRS agents first contact you. The early gathering of the facts in a tax fraud investigation is essential.
We will immediately conduct our own defense investigation before anything else. Our law firm is using various experts, including forensic accountants and tax specialists.
The way to hire these specialists is directly through our office. We prepare what is known as the Kovel agreement, which sets up the relationship of the accountant to our firm. Any work the accountant will do on your case in preparation for the defense will be done under the umbrella of our firm, and we will own all the materials the accountant generates. This gives you the protection you would have by dealing with a lawyer but not by dealing with the accountant directly.
Maintaining Tax Records And Protecting Your Rights
The government’s ability to investigate and ultimately prosecute you for tax fraud and evasion depends on whether they have access to your records and other documents.
As you know, the records and documents you give your lawyer are protected by the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product doctrine. However, the records you give your accountant who was not hired by an attorney to help defend you, are not protected by anything. There is no Fourth or Fifth Amendments protection, no attorney-client privilege, or attorney work-product protection.
Here is the solution that solves the problem. If you transfer the records to your lawyer, you could raise a Fifth Amendment privilege to the production of these records and the attorney could interpose an objection under the attorney-client privilege.
How We Defend Taxpayers Against Tax Fraud Investigations
If we take your case, one of the first important issues we need to decide is whether and to what extent we should cooperate with the IRS. This requires serious consideration. At times, the IRS agents view failure to cooperate as an indication of possible fraud. They may get even more suspicious as they continue their investigation. They may also expand the scope of the investigation, the exact opposite of what we want.
On the other hand, cooperation with the agents is a perilous proposition in itself. Any admissions you or your lawyer make are generally admissible at trial. Agents are trained to solicit voluntary admissions from their targets. Being cooperative never means that you will not be prosecuted. This applies to dealing with the IRS Special Agents at the beginning of the investigation as well as dealing with the IRS after the case became criminal.
Keeping the dialogue open allows us to disclose a defense, which might cause the government to decide to terminate the investigation. Furthermore, the dialogue provides us the opportunity to listen to any information the government is willing to disclose. At the same time, the last thing we want is to do the prosecutors’ work for them and help them make their case. What we say and submit to the government must be thought through and measured.
To balance these considerations we exercise the cautious approach. We know how to walk a thin line between avoiding stirring the agent’s suspicion and avoiding saying too much. Once we review the case and have a full grasp of the facts, we determine the best tactics.
Your Best Choice For Tax Fraud Investigations
There are plenty of defense attorneys offering their services. Most of them are good at what they do. When you deal with the IRS criminal investigation, you need to make sure your attorney has experience with the IRS criminal investigations, not any criminal case that comes through the door. You need to make sure that they have successfully handled such cases before.
Information is the key. We invite you to call us for a consultation to see what we can do for you. Our federal criminal lawyers have handled numerous criminal tax matters at all stages. Our team has former IRS agents, forensic accountants, and tax specialists. We have the knowledge and the resources to take your case to the optimal conclusion. Call us today to learn how we can help.