I have been charged with tax evasion. How can I begin clearing my name?

The thing about tax evasion is that the government has to prove that the taxpayers acts were willful. In other words, the government has to prove that a person intentionally and knowingly wanted to violate the tax laws. Another thing they have to prove, or one of the other things you have to prove, is that there's actually a tax doing and owing. So where do we go? What we like to do is we like to, if you haven't Read More

Will the government notify me if I’m being investigated for White Collar crimes?

Sometimes if you're being investigated by the United States Attorney's Office in a federal matter or the state attorney's office in a state matter, you will get a letter that you are under investigation and you're a target of the investigation. But more often than not, you will know that your friends and your business colleagues are being asked questions about you. In that event, you shouldn't tell your friends and Read More

I just received a notice that my personal tax returns are being audited by the IRS. What do I do?

So if you get a notification in the mail that your personal tax return is being audited, you have several options. The first thing you should probably do is send the notice to the accountant who prepared your tax return and ask for their advice. If you prepared your own tax return then I would look at the notice and try to figure out if it's something substantial and significant that you're concerned about. If it's Read More

I’ve been subpoenaed in an investigation that I am not the target of. Do I need a lawyer?

Anytime you've got a subpoena or a summons. it's a serious matter and I would recommend that you do speak to a lawyer. Ultimately, it may not be necessary but you're really not in a position to know in advance. I've represented a number of people who were told they were not a target. There are other two - when you use the word target you also need to know the terminology that the IRS and prosecutors use; there's Read More

I’m an accountant and I have a client who is being investigated for financial crimes. Am I at risk?

Because of the nature of our practice, I've represented a number of accountants over the years who have asked this precise question; it happens frequently. It's important that the accountant speak to a lawyer about these matters. I'm not saying that all taxpayers or other individuals who are under investigation are lying but it's not unusual for people to want to blame the accountant. To that extent, it's very Read More

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is really just a fancy word for a court order that commands a person to appear. In our practice, it needs to be distinguished from something called a summons. A summons is, in many regards, like a subpoena but it's an administrative order as opposed to a court order; essentially, they do the same thing and they have the same power. If you're ever subpoenaed or summoned, it's very important that you comply Read More

Is it possible to settle my debt with the IRS for less than what I owe?

It is sometimes possible to settle your debt with the IRS for less than what you owe. It depends on a variety of factors; mostly it does not depend on how much you owe but how much you have. The IRS wants to know all of your assets, all of your liabilities, your income, and your expenses; based on a very specific formula, they have certain forms that we can help you work through. It is possible to either reduce your Read More

How can I avoid being audited by the IRS?

I think the most important thing to avoid being audited by the IRS is to make sure that your tax returns are prepared properly in the first place. It's important to express to whoever is preparing your tax return that you don’t want to cut any corners, you don’t want to take any chances and you want to be conservative. So in that regard, I would suggest first that you do hire an accountant to prepare your tax Read More

Should I cooperate with an investigation against me?

The problem with trying to cooperate with an investigation against you is that you don’t know what the government's looking at. Sometimes the government is looking at one area, by cooperating with the government you've simply helped them perfect another argument and they're looking at something else. So, I have found that the best thing to do is speak to an attorney and don’t cooperate. The attorney knows how to Read More

I have assets in an overseas bank account. Is this illegal?

There is absolutely no problem with having a bank account outside of the United States. However, you are required to report it on your tax return and on certain other informational returns every year. If you don’t do that, that is a crime. So unlike having a bank account in the United States where the bank sends you a copy of your 1099 and you just give that to your accountant, you're not going to necessarily get Read More