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Tax Law

This area of law is particularly complex and requires a high level of training. For this reason, our attorneys train continuously and hold a significant amount of experience in the field of tax law. THEVOZ & Partners is a law firm with offices in Austin and Lausanne specializing in the provision of tax and legal services to individuals and companies in the United States and Europe. We help clients navigate a litany of domestic and international tax issues ranging from compliance to planning and even litigation. We understand that each client has unique needs and goals, and we pride ourselves on taking a personalized approach to tailoring our services to meet those needs.

Within Tax Compliance, we specialize in the following areas:

Non-Residents who are not tax-compliant have two ways to get compliant
Many people are surprised to learn that, even if you do not live in the United States, certain taxpayers with income earned in other countries still must file and pay taxes in the US. These taxpayers include US citizens, permanent residents (green card holders), and people with a substantial presence in the United States (i.e., if they lived in the US for 183 days or more in the past three years, according to a specific IRS formula. See the details here. These are all "US persons for tax purposes." Therefore, even if the income is earned outside the United States, they must file and pay taxes on that income with the IRS.

Often, these people discover several years later that they have an obligation under US tax laws, but they need to file a tax return promptly. Unfortunately, this means they are non-compliant with their taxes for those years. For people who weren't aware of their obligation to pay US taxes on that income (sometimes considered non-willful), there are many different methods for getting compliant under the US tax law. One of the methods is the streamlined foreign offshore procedure. The streamlined foreign offshore procedure is relatively complex and requires gathering significant amounts of paperwork and filling out relevant forms, such as the FBAR and Form 8939. In addition, an individual who would like to use this program is required to file three years of US tax returns and six years of FBARs. However, the taxpayer could see significant benefits if accepted to the streamlined offshore procedure. For example, suppose the IRS assumes that the taxpayer follows the proper procedure and correctly submits all required paperwork. In that case, they will not have to pay penalties for non-compliance, such as failure-to-file and failure to pay penalties, accuracy-related penalties, information return penalties, and FBAR penalties. However, the taxpayer shall be required to pay any tax liabilities.

Willful non-compliance
The IRS takes a darker view of taxpayers who were willfully non-compliant; in other words, taxpayers who knew they had to file US tax returns and pay tax on foreign income failed to do so. The IRS has another avenue for these types of taxpayers who seek to get compliant, Voluntary Disclosure. Still, the program requires timely Disclosure and full cooperation with the IRS in order to mitigate exposure to criminal prosecution. The process for willfully non-compliant taxpayers initially requires the taxpayer to obtain a pre-clearance from the IRS criminal investigation to determine whether the taxpayer is eligible. Upon receiving pre-clearance confirmation, the taxpayer is required to provide additional information. Taxpayers judged to be willfully non-compliant must meet a complex standard to get compliant. The potential penalties for these taxpayers include a civil fraud penalty that can be substantial. However, several items are at the examiners' discretion, providing willfully non-compliant taxpayers with an incentive to fully cooperate with the IRS and make restitution in a timely manner.

It is highly beneficial for a US person for tax purposes to seek the counsel of an international tax lawyer before using the procedure mentioned above. The IRS is dedicated to having taxpayers pay what they owe promptly and completely, and the rules and paperwork are complex and make people anxious. THEVOZ & Partners will evaluate each taxpayer's situation and assist with IRS programs to comply with US tax laws.

THEVOZ & Partners have the knowledge and experience necessary to help its clients navigate streamlined compliance procedures by

  • Drafting streamlined compliance forms
  • Representing its clients before the IRS
  • Filing amended returns and FBARs

  • Appealing to IRS Office of Appeals, if necessary

    Streamlined Filing Procedures is a program offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. It allows eligible U.S. taxpayers who failed to file their U.S. tax returns or correctly report their foreign assets to comply with U.S. tax laws. This program requires participating taxpayers’ failure to report their foreign assets and income as non-willful. The non-willful analysis considers different factors, including the taxpayer’s professional background.

    Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Streamlined Filing Procedures

    Within Relinquishment of U.S. Nationality, we specialize in:

  • Exit Tax & Exit Tax Planning
  • Expatriation and the dreaded “exit tax”
    People renounce their U.S. citizenship for a multitude of personal and financial reasons. But regardless of the underlying cause, all U.S. taxpayers must be aware of tax rules regarding citizenship renouncement. When you renounce your U.S. citizenship, you can be subject to an "exit tax," which is practically your final U.S. tax. Whether or not you are subject to an "exit tax" when renouncing your citizenship requires careful analysis and should be done in consultation with a professional. The rules vary depending on the taxpayer's assets, income tax liabilities for the past five (5) years, and their tax compliance. In addition, specific relief procedures may apply to your situation. For taxpayers that are "covered expatriates," it is essential to discuss with an attorney whether there are ways to minimize the exit tax and ensure that assets are correctly valued. For taxpayers that are close to the line and may not be "covered expatriates," it is essential to document and value all your assets, preferably with qualified appraisers. And for those that know they are not "covered expatriates," it is prudent to ask your attorney if any relief procedures may apply to streamline the expatriation process.

    Renouncing your U.S. citizenship is a stressful decision that can be made easier with expert help. Navigating the immigration process can be daunting, and the added level of tax compliance can make the process downright dreadful. But with professionals guiding you every step of the way, the process can be handled effectively and efficiently. Do not let bureaucratic red tape stand in the way of your personal and financial goals. For more detailed information about expatriation, contact us today.

    U.S. and Switzerland maintain close friendship and trade relations. Switzerland is known for its neutrality, legal clarity, and political stability. In addition, its top-notch financial infrastructure and beautiful mountains allow Switzerland to attract talent worldwide. With offices in both U.S. and Switzerland, we can help our clients navigate cross-border tax planning efficiently and professionally.

    Within Cross Border Tax Planning, we specialize in:
    U.S. Persons Operating Abroad

    Foreign Persons & Entities’ Activities in the U.S.

    Within Tax Controversy, we specialize in:

    Federal Tax Controversies
    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans on hiring more employees. Many of these will be focused on ensuring that taxpayers are compliant. Whether through the IRS's Automated Under Reporter program (AUR), a correspondence examination, or an in-person audit, these employees constantly review and verify tax filings. Guided by the extensive Internal Revenue Code and one of the most significant workplace handbooks, the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), these individuals have various tools at their disposal. Anyone filing a return may be examined and subject to an audit and everything that comes with it. Dealing with federal tax controversy requires an experienced attorney who can help navigate the complexities of the tax law and the intricacies of an examination by the IRS.

    Let Thevoz & Partners stand by your side and fight for you. Don't face the IRS all alone because you do not have to. Our expertise in tax controversy can provide individuals and institutional clients with the knowledge, support, and experience to dispute a tax controversy. In addition, working with a tax law professional can help you secure a more favorable outcome when dealing with IRS matters.

    Give us a call or contact us to let us assist you with your tax concerns at the federal, international, and cross-border levels.

    What is Tax Controversy?
    Tax controversy is an area of litigation related to tax disputes between the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and taxpayers. Tax law attorneys provide legal services that taxpayers can benefit from regarding audits or litigation. Controversies can either be civil or criminal. Civil controversies are by far the most common. Still, it is worth noting that civil cases can become criminal cases if a taxpayer is not careful or if the conduct was flagrant and unlawful.

    These professionals can also negotiate settlements on your behalf and resolve the case in the most efficient and least time-consuming manner. Tax disputes can occur at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Individuals, businesses, corporations, trusts, and estates may all be subject to tax controversy. We have experience dealing with a range of issues, including second pillar accounts, unreported income, earned income tax credit, estate and gift tax (death tax), and itemized deductions, to name a few. We can help you efficiently navigate a civil matter.

    How THEVOZ & Partners Can Help?
    Our firm's experienced and trustworthy tax law attorneys have experience handling federal, cross-border, and international tax disputes. Through a collaboration of highly trained and motivated professionals, we can best assist individuals and businesses needing guidance in legal tax matters involving the IRS and other tax authorities by providing:

  • Awareness of the relevant statute of limitations for the assessment of liabilities and for claiming refunds.
  • Inside knowledge of the IRS and the examination process gives our team an advantage in negotiating a favorable resolution and taking a case to trial.
  • Expertise in the federal rules of evidence and procedural court rules.
  • Our team offers you support through federal examinations, representing taxpayers, and resolving tax disputes as efficiently as possible. In addition, we will represent you before the Office of Appeals. We can manage tax controversies through collaboration with local client service teams before they grow out of control. Finally, we will compile evidence and present your case in the best possible light.

    Furthermore, there are three strong reasons why selecting a tax law attorney from THEVOZ & Partners would benefit you:

  • Avoiding Penalties By Ensuring Compliance – Our tax law attorneys can guide you through your filing requirements and review filings to ensure that you are in full compliance with all legal tax requirements.
  • Minimizing Errors on Your Tax Return – Taking the proper steps to meet your legal obligations is the best way to ensure that you are paying the taxes you must pay. Interest and penalties for failing to file or underreporting income can be extremely expensive. Getting help from an expert tax law attorney will help you save money.
  • Controlling a Civil Examination – Responding to the IRS is daunting, but professionals can help to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that the civil examination does not spiral out of control.

    THEVOZ & Partners specializes in the area of Tax Law

    Tax Minimization
    Ideally, the same income should not be taxed twice. However, that is not often the case. Unfortunately, double taxation routinely occurs in international investments, cross-border business operation or even simply in scenarios where a U.S. person moves abroad. Luckily, our professionals can help you legally plan around your tax responsibilities both at home and abroad. As Judge Learned Hand so eloquently put it: "Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934) (emphasis added). Let THEVOZ & Partners assist you with minimizing your tax burden and ensuring that you are maximizing the tax efficiency of any given transaction.

    In the international context, it is important to have professional representation to help you navigate and plan in the context of the relevant income and estate tax treaties that may be in effect. As a transatlantic firm THEVOZ & Partners are experts on tax treaties that may be relevant to you and your business. We can also help advise you when rule changes impact your tax liability.

    Controversy Experience
    Our attorneys have litigated cases before the Tax Court and they can handle a case through every step in the process. Litigation may start with an audit but it does not end until collection. It is important to have attorneys that understand the complete process from start to finish so that they can get you the best result possible. It is also important to have attorneys that have an understanding of the tactics that the IRS uses to examine and collect from taxpayers.

    The US system has numerous information returns and failure to property file these can have adverse effects on taxpayers. For instance, failing to file information returns for foreign accounts can lead to penalties of 50% or greater on the high balance in the account. And many taxpayers are unaware that they may be responsible for filings FBARs on the accounts of their foreign businesses.

    IRS offers several programs to help noncompliant taxpayers to become in compliance. Walking through these procedures alone can be daunting and even overwhelming. However, we believe that taxation should never get in the way of your personal and professional aspirations. That's why we are here to help. Let us deal with the messy details so that you can spend more time focusing on what really matters to you.

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