NYCLA’s Taxation Committee Files Amicus Curiae Brief Urging the United States Supreme Court to Protect the Fifth Amendment Act of Production Privilege

By Megan L. Brackney
The New York County Lawyer
April 2013 Edition

Almost every day, there is a new headline related to United States taxpayers with unreported offshore bank accounts. In one of its latest enforcement efforts, the United States government has been serving grand jury subpoenas on hundreds of taxpayers who are suspected of having foreign bank accounts, ordering them to produce their own account records, in effect to aid their own prosecutions for tax evasion and other offenses. i These subpoenas present a significant constitutional question: is the act of producing foreign account records a testimonial act protected by the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination?

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