How to Coordinate Between Your Attorney and CPA

The relationship between an attorney and a CPA may appear to be naturally competitive because both may have particular ideas about the treatment of your corporate structure and the resulting impact on company taxes. However, by creating a collaborative relationship from the initial planning stages, your CPA and attorney can help craft a tax-responsive corporate structure that considers your long-term goals for expansion, divestiture, and distributions.

To accomplish these goals, we recommend differentiating tasks between your CPA and attorney and encouraging them to communicate about long-term goals and impediments to that vision; in particular, your CPA and attorney must communicate about regulatory and legal changes that impact your tax exposure. However, it may be costly to involve your CPA in the verbiage of company bylaws or your attorney in tax election conversations.

At RR&A we recommend specific collaboration where a CPA and attorney discuss top ticket items which generally relate to business valuations, employee benefit plans, ESOPs, estate and succession planning, director and shareholder liability, and audits and tax controversies. The attorney-client privilege will extend to these collaborative conversations in a way that is not generally afforded to client-CPA communications, which can be a real advantage in discovery by the IRS or other regulatory bodies in the event of a tax controversy. To learn more about coordinating between your attorney and CPA, contact us.

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Disclaimer: The information and material on this website is general information about our practice and firm. This information does not offer specific legal advice and the use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship with RR&A or any of its attorneys. The information on this website should not be used for legal advice, and persons should not act upon the information on this website without engaging professional legal counsel.

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