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Confidence Games: Lawyers, Accountants, and the Tax Shelter Industry Hardcover – April 25, 2014
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Confidence Games is a lively and deeply informed human story of what went on inside the big legal and accounting firms before, during, and after the tax shelter scandals that made front page news at the turn of the millennium. Rostain and Regan give readers a solid primer, translating arcane principles of accounting. Then they add a human touch with telling details mined from a public record few others have explored.(David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning tax journalist and Syracuse University law and accounting lecturer)
Few of us imagine that we will cross the line in our professional lives -- and be jailed, fined, or both. But Confidence Games tells a sobering tale of individual weakness and institutional and regulatory failure that allowed esteemed law firms, accounting firms, and multinationals to reap illegal profits at the expense of the nation.(Diane Ring, Professor of Law, Boston College Law School, and coauthor of Ethical Problems in Federal Taxation)
This book manages what many might think impossible: it's a page-turner about tax. It shows what can happen when very smart people unconstrained by ethics invent and use ingenious schemes. The history is fascinating in its own right, but it is also, unfortunately, a much-needed reminder of how gameable regulation can be.(Claire Hill, Professor and James L. Krusemark Chair in Law, University of Minnesota Law School)
Rostain and Regan have captured one of the most interesting -- and most troubling -- episodes in the checkered history of tax shelters. Their analysis raises critical ethical and policy questions about how we train, monitor, and discipline lawyers and other financial professionals today.(Anne L. Alstott, Jacquin D. Bierman Professor in Taxation, Yale Law School)
About the Author
Milton C. Regan, Jr., is Codirector of the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and McDevitt Professor of Jurisprudence at Georgetown Law School.
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Top Customer Reviews
As the authors point out, in a manner that flows so smoothly that one never feels bogged down with minutiae, but rather wishes to read on and on late into the night, the great mass of the taxpaying public, who in large measure pay their Federal and state income taxes via withholding, were effectively hostage to the tax shelter games undertaken by very well-to-do taxpayers who were seduced by lawyers and accountants, as well as bankers and financial institutions. Yes, lawyers, the very professionals who, by their Codes of Professional Responsibility, are tasked with protecting the public from predators -- even (and importantly) those who have the masks/facades of great respectability by virtue of being members of the Bar and often of highly respected law firms, and accountants, who have similar marks of respectability as members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
The authors start their tale rolling forward by pointing out that in the late 1990s the IRS was under scrutiny by Congress due, in part, to claims at Senate hearings on alleged misconduct by the IRS made by various taxpayers, including a taxpayer who reported that the IRS had instigated an armed nighttime raid on his house. A year after the hearings were held, the authors note that it became “clear that the most serious charges against the IRS were grossly exaggerated and, in many cases, simply false.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The authors provide a good overview of a black period for tax compliance. Most tax practitioners did not succumb to the pressures. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bob Probasco
In so many corporate scandals of recent decades, the unanswered question has been: “where were all the lawyers? Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dana Remus