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CPA Criminal Tax Exposure

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Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!


CPA Criminal Tax Exposure

Licensed CPAs have rights and duties of their own that they need to be aware of when a client becomes the subject of a criminal investigation. At times, when a client learns of a criminal investigation, fingers point in the CPA’s direction – especially when the client is trying to save themselves from penalties.   The time to be on the lookout for red flags that might indicate that a client is being dishonest or exhibiting tax reporting behavior that has the potential to open the client and possibly the CPA up to investigation is during client intake and tax interviews.

As a CPA, it is best to resist the desire to be the sympathetic all-knowing ear their clients are looking for concerning possible criminal tax issues. Best practice is to terminate the interview immediately if red flags are encountered and advise the client to enlist an experienced Criminal Tax Representation Attorney. Pursuant to the terms of a Kovel arrangement, CPAs can resume representation (under better circumstances under protection of the attorney-client privilege with regards to any future communication. Indeed, a CPA’s license is often their most valuable asset.  Involving a Criminal Tax Representation Attorney can mean the difference between assisting a client in resolving their potential or actual criminal tax problems and avoiding jail time or the CPA facing charges as an accomplice to a substantive tax crime.  The latter could be a career ending event.

What risks are involved for the CPA?

There’s a long list of misdemeanor and felony charges if tax preparers are not prudent. The legislation is structured in such a way that he or she can be simultaneously charged with both the greater and any lesser-included offenses that fall under the definition of the greater offense. In addition, a single action may actually be charged as a violation of multiple criminal tax statutes.

These are the most common tax crimes a CPA or taxpayer can be convicted of:

  • Aiding and abetting a tax offense
  • Filing a false, fraudulent or fictitious claim
  • Submitting a fraudulent or false statement
  • Conspiracy to commit a crime or defraud the United States government
  • Participating in the filing of a false return

On top of huge fines and penalties,  conviction can come with federal prison time, time in a halfway house, house arrest, or some combination of these.

When does a CPA need his or her own lawyer for Criminal Tax Exposure?

It is critical to work with effective legal counsel. As Criminal Tax Representation Attorneys, we are uniquely qualified to advise on such matters and get you the best possible results.

According to the AICPA tax division’s criminal practice guide, under certain circumstances it is advisable to seek representation on the basis of the nature of the services performed, the questions asked, or any other concerns the CPA may have. The ripest area of concern is when ethical requirements for CPAs in the face of possible criminal tax issues raised by a current or potential client. In such a scenario, the CPA needs to evaluate whether a potential conflict of interest exists with respect to continuing to service that client.

With the possibility of jail sentences and large financial penalties, a CPA should resist the urge to fully investigate a potential criminal tax matter.  The fact is that a CPA can be forced to testify against their client. Since there is a fiduciary relationship between client and CPA, the CPA is can be the most damaging witness the government can present in a case. On the other hand, a tax attorney enjoys special privileges that are in place to protect potentially incriminating communications by the taxpayer from being disclosed and that also prevent documents prepared in anticipation of trial from being discovered.

With the stakes so high, and heavy potential consequences to both the client and CPA, it is important that CPAs are aware of the legal and ethical issues surrounding criminal investigations and prosecutions.  That way, they can know when a referral is needed, and also protect themselves from their own ethical, civil and criminal exposure.

What is Willfulness in Criminal Tax Exposure for CPAs?

Under the law, willfulness is defined as a voluntary and intentional violation of a known legal duty.  There are defenses which focus on preventing the government from being able to establish this element. These include mistake, inadvertence, uncertain legal duty, negligence, reliance on others and diminished mental capacity.

It is worth noting that willfulness is often the easiest element of a tax crime to defeat because the government is obligated to prove to a jury what he defendant’s state of mind was at the time of the offense. Frequently, the government is forced to resort to circumstantial evidence to establish this element. Because of this, the government usually will refrain from prosecuting unless a pattern of complained of behavior can be established. Such a pattern in and of itself tends to indicate to a jury that the behavior was intentional and willful as opposed to mere negligence, for example.

More Defenses for Criminal Tax Exposure for CPAs

In general, the defenses used to fight tax charges by Tax Attorneys focus on the protecting of the client’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and their Fourth Amendment privilege against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Elements such as the defendant taxpayer’s lack of education and personal difficulties, including health problems, advanced age or family dilemmas are usually not considered defenses per se.  Nevertheless, these may be used to attempt to discourage prosecution as they could make it more difficult to convince a jury to convict by invoking sympathy for the defendant.

If you are a CPA and you are facing Criminal Tax Exposure, call us today for your free consultation.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

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Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

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Hear From Our Clients

"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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