THE DANGER OF RELYING ON MEMORY IN STREAMLINED NONWILLFUL CERTIFICATIONS

“Past recollection recorded vs. present recollection revived.”

What you are saying is the the current non-willful statement needs to be consistent with the objective documented facts. Nothing more and nothing less.

It strikes me that you must be primarily advising U.S. residents (who at least understand that they should have been filing U.S. taxes) and NOT Americans abroad who had no idea that they should have been filing U.S. taxes.

The Tax Wars Blog

A Wall Street Journal article of July 27, 2016, “How Inaccurate Memories Can Be Good for You,” by Sue Shelenbarger, discusses a number of studies that found benefits to people from even inaccurate memories. More important that accuracy is that fact that recalled events from the past help define ourselves and create plans for the future.

But, these benefits do not change the well-established fact that our belief in the reliability of our ability to recall events accurately is highly overrated. The studies show, writes the author, that “memories are not just a storehouse for facts, but a creative blend of fact and fiction.” The author cites numerous examples of how we distort memories. These unconscious distortions can slip into the narrative that clients will tell attorneys assisting with streamlined filings. Here are some examples.

• The client may fictionalize a past event or just imagine something that never actually…

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