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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My tax and bookkeeping client has three officers. I'm

Customer Question

My tax and bookkeeping client has three officers. I'm assuming one is suing the other because his attorney just asked me for tax and financial statements. What are my responsibilities (do I have to tell the other officer, am I forbidden to tell anyone, can I deliver them ????)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

You don't have to provide your tax statements to anyone in CA State Court litigation (unless they can prove that your financial assets are actually at issue in the litigation - which is very difficult to prove, even if you are a party to the action, which you are not).

This protection is so strong it is actually provided for in the CA State Constitution.

You can politely but firmly write back that you are declining to disclose your financial information as protected under the CA State Financial Privacy Laws.

If the matter goes to litigation, you will need to respond more formally, but the matter is still pretty clear - you can find a fairly detailed discussion of the legal authorities in this outline: http://california-discovery-law.com/privacy.htm

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I probably should have made it clear that they were asking for the corporation's tax statements, not my personal ones.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

I would still probably assert the same protection (especially if you are outside of litigation).

If the parties are actually in litigation - and this is a subpoena (not just a "friendly" letter request from one of the attorneys), then consider filing a "motion to quash" the subpoena.

There is no reason why an accountant's client's tax records should be part of the litigation in an accounting firm's break up.

(Obviously I don't have all of the information on your case, or what is going on here, but it would be quite a stretch as to why they need your documents, and you can definitely push them to explain why they should receive your company's tax records, and then how they plan on protecting those documents from disclosure in public in the litigation (everything filed in a court case is part of the public record, and as I am sure you are well aware, promises of "in camera review" or similar privacy are well and good until someone decides otherwise)).

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, to file the motion to quash, you will need your own civil litigation attorney (corporations cannot appear "pro per"), but fortunately, this is a relatively simple and inexpensive matter to do (any civil litigation attorney should be able to do this standing on their head).