Friday, June 20, 2014

Cause' I'm the taxman...

Summer just began and you are hopefully basking in your freedom from law school though you should keep in mind that September (and classes) will be upon you before you know it.  Former Reed Smith tax partner, James Kleier is also hopefully soaking in his freedom, since he is expected to begin serving a one year sentence in prison in September.

Kleier's tax law work in big law firms including Preston Gates & Ellis, Reed Smith, and Morrison & Foerster in addition to his work as the American Bar Association Section of Taxation's Chair of the Special Project Task Force of the Administrative Practice Committee and past Chair of the San Francisco Bar Association's Barristers Club Tax Section and including his role as a tax professor at Hastings and Golden Gate make it all the more shocking that Kleier will be facing prison time for federal tax evasion.

Had Kleier heeded the 1966 Beatles song, "Taxman," before he began to neglect reporting earned income between 1999 and 2010, he might not be preparing for a year behind bars:

Now my advice for those who die - Taxman!
Declare the pennies on your eyes - Taxman!
Cause' I'm the Taxman, yeah I'm the Taxman
And you're working for no one but me

There is a laundry list of lessons one can draw from this sad story but perhaps the most obvious are:

  1. Pay your taxes, and
  2. Be grateful that your plans for September do NOT involve surrendering yourself to the authorities.

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