Tax Attorney and Disclosure of Client Information
Tax Attorney Privileges Keep Your Information Confidential
Communications between a client and their tax advisors are often protected by various privileges.
For tax advisors, this can include the attorney-client privilege and, for written communications between the client and tax advisor, the work-product privilege. These privileges prohibit the tax advisor from disclosing confidential information in court.
Communications between a non-tax advisor and their clients (such as accountants or other persons holding themselves out as tax practitioners) may also be privileged under the federal tax practitioner privilege. This also prevents the government from compelling the tax advisor to testify against their client in court.
Out of court, licensed tax advisors and certified public accountants are prohibited from disclosing confidential client information by way of local rules of professional conduct and professionalism rules, which are enforced through local bar ethics committees and state boards of accounting.
These rules generally prohibit the disclosure of all information provided to the tax advisor (1) that is not necessary for the representation of the client, (2) information that is not likely to result in imminent and substantial bodily injury to a third party, and (3) information used to defend the tax advisor against a civil lawsuit filed by the client or a criminal suit brought by the government against the tax advisor.
The penalty for a licensed attorney or certified public accountant disclosing confidential client information can be quite severe–including suspension or disbarment from practicing law or holding them out as a certified public accountant.
An experienced tax advisor can help answer your confidentiality questions.
Please call us at contact us online to schedule an appointment.or