Penalties: Asserting State-of-Mind Defense to Accuracy-Related Penalty Waives Attorney-Client Privilege

3 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2015

See all articles by Bryan C. Skarlatos

Bryan C. Skarlatos

Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP; New York University School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2014

Abstract

The attorney client privilege is a well-known common law rule of evidence and a fundamental element of the relationship between an attorney and a client. The privilege was developed “to encourage full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients and thereby promote broader public interests in the observance of law and administration of justice.” Despite its noble purpose, the privilege is not nearly as broad as many people believe. A recent Tax Court case illustrates how the privilege can easily be waived with respect to a tax opinion whenever a taxpayer asserts a defense to an accuracy-related penalty that is based on the taxpayer’s state of mind.

Keywords: penalty, penalties, attorney-client privilege

Suggested Citation

Skarlatos, Bryan C., Penalties: Asserting State-of-Mind Defense to Accuracy-Related Penalty Waives Attorney-Client Privilege (December 1, 2014). Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure, December 2014-January 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577987

Bryan C. Skarlatos (Contact Author)

Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP ( email )

7 World Trade Center
New York, NY 10007
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kflaw.com/

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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