Joshua D. Smeltzer Quoted in Tax Notes Article Entitled “Texas Law Firm Must Comply with IRS John Doe Summons”
April 30, 2020 by Brown Fox
Joshua D. Smeltzer, tax partner at Brown Fox PLLC, was quoted in a recent Tax Notes article discussing a recent Fifth Circuit ruling upholding an order requiring a Texas law firm to turn over information on clients with offshore structures in response to and IRS John Doe summons.
Joshua D. Smeltzer of Brown Fox PLLC said that while the Fifth Circuit found that the identities of Taylor Lohmeyer’s clients aren’t protected by the attorney-client privilege, “the decision serves as a reminder that tax lawyers must consider privilege claims at every stage of advising and representing a client—especially, as here, where narrow exceptions might apply.”
Smeltzer added that it’s a good practice “to clearly document every communication with a client and the legal reason, if applicable, for the advice provided in case of challenge.” He said the decision sets up the next fight over any privilege logs provided. “Courts are increasingly requiring more extensive information to support privilege logs,” Smeltzer said. “Time spent providing descriptive explanations on logs can be the difference between winning and losing a privilege claim.”
A link to the full article is here.
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