Tax practitioners, even those who operate primarily in the civil space, should understand the procedures of criminal investigations and the warning signs (both from the client and the government) that a criminal referral is looming. This panel discussed issues that have the potential to influence an I.R.S. examiner’s decision to refer an audit for criminal investigation and offered practitioners tips to navigate those issues, either to avoid referral or to manage the process after a case turns criminal. This panel offered useful insights from both the civil and the criminal tax practitioner perspective.
• Protecting privilege while still cooperating fully with the administrative process – and how to remain an engaged advocate for your client without obstructing justice.
• Learning to recognize the warning signs that a referral may be imminent – and what to do next if you suspect an audit will become criminal.
• Knowing when to advise your client to claim the Fifth Amendment – and what that means to the resolution of the case.
Dianne C. Mehany, Member, Caplin & Drysdale Chartered (moderator)
Michael C. Boteler, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division
Michael Sardar, Partner, Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP
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