Emergency Offshore Tax Services Scam

Beware of IRS Emergency Tax Scams

Beware of Emergency Tax Help: We get it, tax law can be scary. Maybe it is because you received a notice from the IRS, or an IRS intent to issue a federal lien or levy. While tax law can be intimidating, 99% of the time it does not require emergency tax services by firms that will overcharge and underperform.

Recent Example of Fear-Mongering

We recently had a new client tell us they had just finished a free initial consultation and were worried about going to prison. They were told they missed the FBAR, due June 30th, and they were running out of time before they could submit to the VDP voluntary disclosure program (even though they were clearly non-willful) which was 10/15.

Three main problems:

Do You Need Emergency Tax Services for IRS Offshore Matters?

Probably not.

Most of these types of firms have a history of preying on the general fear people have for the unknown.

And, no good decision is ever made in haste.

In reality, unless you have two Special Agents standing at your doorstep with warrants in hand, you do not need to immediately pay some law firm that fed into your natural fear of the IRS during the initial “free” call, and goaded you into representation when something in your gut told you it just did not feel right.

Many times, clients come to us for a second opinion after being told that they were going to prison unless they rushed to representation in offshore tax matters that were not required — and put the client into a worse position than when they started.

Here are 5 Tips.

1. Have the Attorney Explain WHY You Need it

When a law firm advertises or markets as providing emergency offshore tax services, it already puts the client into a false sense of fear.

This is referred to as fear-mongering or scare-mongering.

If the Attorney feels it is absolutely crucial for you to hire a tax lawyer right now, have them explain exactly why it is necessary, and what there immediate actions will be — along with a written timeline.

2. Get a Second Opinion, First

Is the Attorney Board-Certified and do they specialize in Offshore Tax Matters.

If the attorney handles all different types of tax law, chances are they do not have the specific knowledge for your particular situation to even determine if “emergency tax services” are needed — and they are rarely, if ever needed.

Especially if the issue involves offshore matters, please be sure to reach out to multiple attorneys before being goaded into representation in a hurry. It seems every general tax practitioner with a handful of cases under their belt is suddenly an expert.

By interviewing multiple attorneys, it will accomplish two things:

  • If the second (or third) attorney confirms that what the first attorney was correct, it will provide some comfort in his or her advice;
  • If the first attorney was incorrect, it will force you to get a 2nd or 3rd opinion, to help you see the issues most clearly.

3. Beware of Free “Emergency” Tax Consultations

When the attorney already knows you want to move as fast as possible, this will turn the initial consultation into nothing more than a sales pitch as opposed to an information session, and an immediate “eating away” of the retainer you just paid.

4. Be Sure to Get a Strategy Punch-List

If a law firm is telling you that you are in a dire tax situation and require emergency tax services, be sure to get the strategy and timelines up-front.

These firms are charging you a premium to handle your tax matter as quickly as possible.

If they are taking the position that the matter is so serious that it needs to be done now, before you have time to really digest the information and speak with other counsel, then be sure you have a step-by-step roadmap of what these additional fees are really buying you.

5. Make Sure they Have the Experience they Claim to Have

Oftentimes, the purpose of getting you to quickly sign the retainer is to avoid you speaking with other, more experienced counsel.

Be sure the attorney actually has the experience they claim they do.

That way, they will not be charging you for items such as research and review, which can quickly eat away at your retainer and before you know it, you out of time…before your tax “emergency” is resolved.

Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm

Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically IRS offshore disclosure

We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe. Our attorneys have worked with thousands of clients on offshore disclosure matters, including FATCA & FBAR.

Each case is led by a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist with 20 years of experience, and the entire matter (tax and legal) is handled by our team, in-house.

*Please beware of copycat tax and law firms misleading the public about their credentials and experience.

Less than 1% of Tax Attorneys Nationwide Are Certified Specialists

Sean M. Golding is one of less than 350 Attorneys (out of more than 200,000 practicing California Attorneys) to earn the Certified Tax Law Specialist credential. The credential is awarded to less than 1% of Attorneys.

Recent Golding & Golding Case Highlights

  • We represented a client in an 8-figure disclosure that spanned 7 countries.
  • We represented a high-net-worth client to facilitate a complex expatriation with offshore disclosure.
  • We represented an overseas family with bringing multiple businesses & personal investments into U.S. tax and offshore compliance.
  • We took over a case from a small firm that unsuccessfully submitted multiple clients to IRS Offshore Disclosure.
  • We successfully completed several recent disclosures for clients with assets ranging from $50,000 – $7,000,000+.

How to Hire Experienced Offshore Counsel?

Generally, experienced attorneys in this field will have the following credentials/experience:

  • Board Certified Tax Law Specialist credential
  • Master’s of Tax Law (LL.M.)
  • 20-years experience as a practicing attorney
  • Extensive litigation, high-stakes audit and trial experience
  • Dually Licensed as an EA (Enrolled Agent) or CPA

Interested in Learning More about Golding & Golding?

No matter where in the world you reside, our international tax team can get you IRS offshore compliant. 

Golding & Golding specializes in FBAR and FATCA. Contact our firm today for assistance with getting compliant.

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