Poor Communication Practices Can Endanger Confidentiality Privilege

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Tax practitioners are familiar with the substantive aspects of tax planning and advice, but considerations regarding the confidentiality of tax analysis and taxpayer communications are sometimes overlooked. This blog highlights some pitfalls that may result in an unintended “audit roadmap” on those transactions for which tax planning advice has been provided. This blog only covers (and generally discusses) privileges that commonly apply for federal tax purposes. It does not address state tax rules and nuances.

Privilege Protections

The IRS has broad power to obtain information to administer the tax laws.1 However, that power is not unlimited. Taxpayers can invoke certain privileges against IRS action to obtain information, such as the following:

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