Do accountants have client privilege?

Accountant–client privilege is a confidentiality privilege, or more precisely, a group of privileges, available in American federal and state law. Under English common law, on which American law is based, there was generally no accountant–client privilege.

Does California have an accountant-client privilege?

Although California recognizes an attorney-client privilege, it does not recognize a similar accountant-client privilege. A privileged attorney-client communication is one made in confidence (and not shared with third parties) for the purpose of obtaining legal advice from a lawyer (Evid. Code.

How many states have an accountant-client privilege?

Seven states have a statutory evidentiary privilege that would protect communications between a taxpayer and an accountant: California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

Is there confidentiality with accountants?

For instance, California does not recognize an accountant-client privilege. Rather, the state only has a statute that requires accountants to maintain the confidentiality of client materials.

Are accountants allowed to say who their clients are?

The rule states that a member in public practice shall not disclose any confidential client information without the specific consent of the client. Even where the intent has been to warn others of pending financial harm, the courts have held that CPAs must not divulge client information.

Is there a CPA-client privilege in California?

Although California recognizes an attorney-client privilege, it does not recognize a similar accountant-client privilege. California and federal law do have a narrow statutory privilege that allows taxpayers to discuss tax advice with qualified tax advisers in noncriminal tax matters in the same manner they may consult with tax attorneys.

When does an accountant have attorney client privilege?

Although California state courts have not yet addressed Kovel, under California Evidence Code sec. 954, accountants may be included in the attorney-client privilege if their presence furthers the interest of the client and is reasonably necessary to assist the lawyer in giving the client legal advice.

Is there a privilege for tax returns in California?

California courts recognize a privilege for tax returns, both individual and corporate, in civil discovery proceedings. Tax returns, as well as the information they contain, are therefore protected from public scrutiny, subject to certain exceptions [see Sav-On Drugs” In6. v.

Can a CPA have access to Kovel privileged communications?

In the rare case where you, as the existing CPA, are engaged as the Kovel accountant, you should implement an ethical wall in your accounting firm so that professionals who were involved in preparing prior returns will not have access to Kovel privileged communications.