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Do You Have Accountant-Client Privilege Just Like Attorney-Client Privilege?

Sort of, under special circumstances. In Title 26 of the Internal Revenue Code Section 7525, it states that accountants (that are federally authorized) and their clients have the same protections as attorney-client privilege. But there is a limitation, the protection only applies to noncriminal tax matters before the IRS and any court.

In the 1960s, United States v. Kovel also showed another way to achieve this privilege. If you hire a tax lawyer and said lawyer hires an accountant. That accountant is a subcontractor to your lawyer. Then that accountant can still do all your returns and tax services just through your attorney. Therefore, granting you attorney-client privilege and accountant-client privilege. Note, although this has worked in many court cases, it hasn’t always been bulletproof.


Learn more about the Internal Revenue Code.

Learn more about client privileges from Robert W. Wood.

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