Skip to Main Content

Mark Matthews Quoted in Tax Analysts, Saving the Fifth Amendment From an Aging Loophole

January 23, 2013, Tax Analysts
Excerpt taken from the article.

The required records doctrine gives the government an easy way to collect information on offshore bank accounts from reticent individuals. Numerous courts have deferred to the government's requests, but tax controversy professionals have pointedly argued that the maneuver tramples their clients' constitutional protection against self-incrimination. Despite the repeated judicial losses taxpayers have suffered, practitioners remain optimistic that their argument may prevail if the Supreme Court grants a newly filed petition for certiorari.


Without Supreme Court intervention, the government will continue to aggressively invoke "the required records doctrine in hundreds of cases like this one to compel individuals to disclose their private foreign banking activities in the hope of uncovering criminal violations," the petition [for certiorari in M.H. v. United States] says.

Practitioners have assailed the government for its uncompromising position. "The whole scheme is a criminal trap," Mark E. Matthews of Caplin & Drysdale said during a December criminal tax fraud and tax controversy conference in Las Vegas sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation and Criminal Justice Section. While the government is entitled to use criminal traps, the question in the defense bar is whether the government is then permitted to overwhelmingly convict taxpayers entirely by occasion of their own acts, he said.

Please click the above PDF to view the complete article by Jeremiah Coder.

About Caplin & Drysdale
Celebrating our 55th Anniversary in 2019, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2021 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.

Related Professionals

Related Practice Area(s)