I’ve come to accept that representation of tax criminals – despite knowing the obvious stereotyping that even the use of this term evokes – is a challenging industry specialization that takes evolved personal skills and thick skin. It should, IMO, be the combination of tax/financial planning, legal/law enforcement and psychological/behavioral training. The focus of work needs to be more on changing behavior than in filling out tax forms.
I do personally find the challenge of criminal representation/coaching/advising appealing, but just not the rest of the garbage and drama that often come along for the ride. Don’t fail to consider that there can be real risks involved: you can be the victim of a future scam, become visible as their buddies’ next target, or even face physical risks. I have been threatened multiple times and even physically assaulted by a criminal politician. An accountant doing this work certainly wants to be supported by an attorney; ideally both the client’s attorney and your own attorney. Yet the attorney alone cannot accomplish the transformative life-changing behavioral shifts that are required to reach a point where you would call this a success. It takes an accountant with these specialized skills.
It also helps to be familiar with law enforcement procedures and understand the driving forces of that angle of the criminal matter. (My son is a prosecutor and step-daughter a police officer, and close friends are in law enforcement so I tend to think more often from this perspective). Your client has likely had to learn the hard way how things work in the field of law enforcement.
Finally, be prepared to have most of your cases end in failure. That’s the nature of this work. The only reward is the few who are successful, over a long period of time, in changing behavior and rebuilding their lives.