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Mark Matthews Quoted in Tax Analysts, Saving the Fifth Amendment From an Aging Loophole

January 23, 2013, Tax Analysts
Excerpt taken from the article.

The required records doctrine gives the government an easy way to collect information on offshore bank accounts from reticent individuals. Numerous courts have deferred to the government's requests, but tax controversy professionals have pointedly argued that the maneuver tramples their clients' constitutional protection against self-incrimination. Despite the repeated judicial losses taxpayers have suffered, practitioners remain optimistic that their argument may prevail if the Supreme Court grants a newly filed petition for certiorari.

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Without Supreme Court intervention, the government will continue to aggressively invoke "the required records doctrine in hundreds of cases like this one to compel individuals to disclose their private foreign banking activities in the hope of uncovering criminal violations," the petition [for certiorari in M.H. v. United States] says.

Practitioners have assailed the government for its uncompromising position. "The whole scheme is a criminal trap," Mark E. Matthews of Caplin & Drysdale said during a December criminal tax fraud and tax controversy conference in Las Vegas sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation and Criminal Justice Section. While the government is entitled to use criminal traps, the question in the defense bar is whether the government is then permitted to overwhelmingly convict taxpayers entirely by occasion of their own acts, he said.

Please click the above PDF to view the complete article by Jeremiah Coder.

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