USD-PITI 2011: The Accidental American – Tax Risks, Compliance and Consequences

This is a fascinating discussion which appears to have taken place in October of 2011. Note the comments of a Canadian Lawyer starting at about the 15 minute mark. This raises a very important question in terms of what kind of compliance lawyer you should retain.

One of the key issues raised is the degree to which a Canadian lawyer is obligated to comply with US/IRS laws regarding their practices. For example, US lawyers and Enrolled Agents are subject to Circular 230 (the code of conduct for those who practise before the IRS). As such they are under the direct control of the IRS. To what extent does this conflict with the fiduciary duty owed to the client?

Why is this an issue? The question facing a lawyer is: to whom do you owe an ethical obligation? Clearly a Canadian lawyer (or other non-U.S. lawyer) owes a fiduciary duty to the client. Does a non-U.S. lawyer owe a duty to the IRS?

If you are a Canadian who has recently discovered your US tax obligations, you should watch this video.

After watching this video and learning of the complexity of the U.S. tax system you may consider renouncing your U.S. citizenship. The complexity of being a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. is too much.

I recommend watching this video (preferably on an empty stomach).