One of the reasons a person will use us to help them prepare their taxes is our expertise. Come on, our tagline is
“America’s Tax Experts”. How many times have you had a client that has come in and asked “what can you do to help
me save on taxes?” Or my favorite, “I don’t want to pay Uncle Sam a dime!” This is when strategizing with our clients
can add another profit line to our P&L. But we need to be careful when offering this advice. If it is too good to be true,
than it probably isn’t true. The following are some characteristics of “too good to be true” tax planning strategies.
1. A promoter is involved.
2. A signed confidentiality agreement is required to learn about the strategy.
3. If it runs amiss from one or more judicial doctrines.
4. Professionals associated with the strategy are paid a higher than normal fee.
5. The strategy is overly complex.
6. Contracts with the promoter attempt to limit damages.
One of the ways we can protect ourselves when providing advice is to not immediately do so. Advise the client or
prospect that you would like to setup a proper engagement to have time to research and mitigate any risk that may be
associated with said advice. Obtain a separate engagement letter, outlining the scope of the services. In this engagement
letter, be extremely detailed. Trust your gut!