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One major difference between the practice of attorneys and that of accountants has historically been the privilege of confidentiality extended in attorney-client communications, and the lack of confidentiality in accountant-client communications. Now, in the United States, accountants have finally been granted a limited privilege of confidentiality under certain circumstances.
Under the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of l998 the privilege of confidentiality in non-criminal federal tax matters, formerly available only for certain communications between attorneys and clients was partially extended to CPA's and other federally authorized tax practitioners.
Section 7525 has been added, which extends the common law attorney client confidentiality privilege to tax advice furnished to a taxpayer-client (or potential taxpayer-client) to any individual authorized under federal law to practice before the IRS. While similar to the attorney client privilege, the confidentiality privilege is limited to certain tax advice.
Sec. 7525 does not modify or expand the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality other than to extend it to EA’s and CPA's. In addition, the new privilege does not apply to written communications regarding corporate tax shelters.
At Taxes for Expats we have implemented measures to protect client information to the fullest extent possible.