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What happen when a Certified Public Accountant commits fraud by avoiding taxes on a company with help of the CEO of the compny?

Laredo, TX |

What happen when a CPA commits fraud by avoiding taxes on a company with help of the CEO of the company? Does administrative law apply in this case? Which keyterms of administrative law apply in the case?

Thank you.

Attorney Answers 4


Your question is sort of general but a lot of things can happen including civil and criminal penalties. On the other hand, tax avoidance is not always illegal.

This is not legal advice but a general comment on society.

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Wait a minute. This question is strange because it is the company avoiding taxes and not the CPA. So the CEO might be doing it on behalf of the company, with the help of a CPA. But I fail to see what motivation an outside CPA would have to commit fraud unless their fee were contingent on the amount of taxes saved. If the CPA works for the company, than they are simply an employee of the company and the company will be on the hook if caught.

Yes. Administrative law does apply. Try the Treasury Regulations.

Christopher Larson
Insight Law
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Each case is unique however it is hard to provide a holistic general response to this issue. "Commits fraud" is a shorthand for some specific set of actions you are privy to, however this does not specify whether it is civil or criminal fraud you are concerned about (or both?) Further, while a course of action might seem risky or imprudent to a casual observer, tax ethics proscribe a certain threshold required for taking "risky" tax positions and this also brings to bear disclosure of these risky tax positions. It sounds like you are also hinting at criminal conspiracy and related offenses between the "scheming" of the CPA and the CEO, but that is another matter entirely. Also the most important issue left unanswered is what sort of taxes are being "avoided" - if it is the federal trust fund taxes then that is an entirely different matter than a state sales & use tax issue.

Regardless of where you are in this quagmire (employee, investor, director, the CPA in question, the CEO in question, or a spouse of one of those parties) I would trust the nuances of a delicate matter like this to a local tax attorney who can give you advice based on the specific facts of the situation. I would not trust googling on the corpus of tax law - tax law is incredibly complex and you cannot learn everything you need to know about the topic on a google search.

If you do happen to be the CPA then you likely already know what I am going to say about Circular 230.

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How were taxes avoided? How did CEO help? Who directly benefitted? What administrative laws are you referring?

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

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