S.F. tax attorney accused of evading his own taxes 

click to enlarge San Francisco tax attorney James P. Kleier is accused of tax evasion. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • San Francisco tax attorney James P. Kleier is accused of tax evasion.

A prominent San Francisco tax attorney has been charged with failing to report more than $1.3 million in earnings to the Internal Revenue Service.

James P. Kleier of San Francisco, who has lectured at universities and was the chairman of local and national bar associations for his tax expertise, faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for failing to pay his taxes from 2008 to 2010, according to Northern California-based U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

In 2008, prosecutors said, Kleier failed to pay taxes on $624,923 of gross income he received that year. The following year, he allegedly neglected to report $476,088, and in 2010 the amount was $200,734. The sums included self-employment income, Haag said.

Kleier is scheduled to make his initial court appearance June 3.

The veteran attorney was formerly a partner working in the San Francisco law offices of Reed Smith. In 2009, he earned a spot on California’s list of the top 250 delinquent taxpayers.

Kleier also previously chaired a task force for the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, along with the San Francisco Bar Association’s Barristers Club Tax Section, according to publisher Bloomberg BNA, where Kleier is listed as an author.

Kleier joined Reed Smith’s regulatory litigation group in 2005. In a news release that year, the company said his expertise included tax litigation and “administrative resolution of tax controversies, with particular emphasis on California state tax cases.”

The release also said Kleier taught California taxation at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and was a regular lecturer on criminal tax law at UC Hastings College of the Law, also in The City.


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