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Representation of Tax Professionals & Expert Witness Testimony

Our team of successful attorneys represents tax professionals including attorneys, accountants, enrolled agents and tax preparation professionals in civil and criminal matters relating to their professional activities, at both the administrative level and in the courts. Tax professionals can be subject to the following types of issues:

  • Preparer penalties and civil injunctions
  • Sanctions by the Office of Professional Responsibility
  • Revocation of e-filing privileges
  • Criminal investigations and prosecutions

Tax Preparer Penalties And Civil Injunctions

Preparer penalties can be imposed against CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents and unlicensed tax return preparers. The penalties can be based on conduct relating to the preparation of a single return or on conduct relating to the preparation of a group of returns. While return preparer penalties are often quite small, the successful imposition of preparer penalties can result in a referral to the Treasury Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Thus, defending against preparer penalties is very important. Injunctions against preparers of tax returns are sought against return preparers who consistently engage in conduct which the IRS believes is improper. Requests for injunctions which would prevent a person form engaging in their livelihood must be taken very seriously.

For many years, we have been advising tax professionals on how to avoid or minimize possible return preparer penalties, both administratively and in court, and we represent return preparers against whom the IRS is seeking injunctive relief.

The Office Of Professional Responsibility

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) establishes and enforces standards of competence and conduct for tax professionals including enrolled agents, attorneys, CPAs, and other individuals and groups covered by IRS Circular 230.

OPR has exclusive responsibility for practitioner conduct and discipline including instituting disciplinary proceedings and pursuing sanctions. OPR functions independently of the Title 26 enforcement components of the IRS and an investigation can have devastating consequences for a tax professional.  These outcomes could lead to censure (a public reprimand), suspension (one to fifty-nine months), or disbarment (five years) of the professional. In addition to censure, suspension or disbarment, OPR may propose a severe monetary penalty on any practitioner or a firm, or both, involved in conduct subject to sanction.

For the past 25 years, we have been effectively representing tax professionals in OPR investigations and in administrative proceedings brought by OPR. If OPR has commenced an investigation, it is critical the target of that investigation obtain advice and representation from a qualified tax professional.

Revocation of E-Filing Privileges

Professionals who prepare tax returns for a living and as a practical matter must be able to file returns electronically with the IRS. The IRS takes the position the ability of a return preparer to electronically file tax returns is a privilege that may be revoked by the IRS. It is questionable whether the procedures established by the IRS for revoking E-Filing privileges comply with all applicable laws. Our firm advises and assists tax professionals who have been advised that they may or will lose their E-Filing privileges.

Expert Witness Services

As accomplished attorneys in our respective areas of expertise, from time-to-time we are asked to provide services as expert witnesses and consultation services for other attorneys, law firms and their clients.  Our Founder and Managing Partner, Lavar Taylor, has been retained as an expert in various matters such as those relating to the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, discharging taxes in bankruptcy, employment taxes, and taxation of damages under section 104 of the Internal Revenue Code, federal tax liens, and like-kind exchanges under section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.