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Our tax controversy practice astutely advocates on behalf of our clients and solves disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other relevant state and local taxing authorities. We have extensive experience representing clients:

  • During audits and examinations, including in Fast Track Settlements (FTS), SB/SE Appeals Fast Track Settlements, and Fast Track Mediations (FTM)
  • Before the IRS Office of Appeals, including in Early Referrals, SB/SE Appeals Fast Track Settlements, and Simultaneous Appeals Procedures (SAP)
  • Before the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program and the U.S. competent authority
  • At the IRS National Office, including requests for Private Letter Rulings (PLRs)
  • At the U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • In the courts

Please see below for additional information on selected services provided by our Tax Controversy Practice.

Audits & Examinations

With the support of our highly skilled and experienced tax attorneys early in the process of an IRS initiated audit, our clients can significantly increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome at the end of the examination. One of our goals in managing your audit is to eliminate much of the anxiety in dealing with IRS Examiners and Agents allowing you to concentrate on the more important aspects of your business.

Our tax attorneys are routinely called upon to handle and manage IRS audits (as well as examinations by various state and local taxing authorities) because of our substantial experience, consummate knowledge of the tax law and procedures, pragmatic approach, professionalism and interpersonal skills. Whether the audit involves domestic tax issues, international tax matters or both, we will assist you in positioning your case in the strongest light possible and vigorously defend your rights.

We have substantial experience in dealing with IRS Examiners and Agents, in carefully responding to Information Documents Requests (IDRs), and in defending clients against administrative summonses. We regularly assist our clients in strategizing and evaluating legal positions, and in employing appropriate alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings during the audit, such as Early Referrals, Fast Track Settlements (FTS), SB/SE Appeals Fast Track Settlements, and Fast Track Mediation (FTM) proceedings.

Illustrative engagements include:

  • Managing an IRS examination of a publicly traded multinational manufacturing and distribution conglomerate involving both domestic and international tax issues (including transfer pricing). We resolved this case at the examination level with no adjustments to the taxpayer’s income as originally reported.
  • Handling an IRS audit of a domestic Subchapter S corporation engaged in e-commerce and involving payments of royalties to licensees worldwide. We resolved this case with no adjustments to the taxpayer’s income as originally reported.
  • Managing an IRS examination of a multinational manufacturer involving both domestic and international tax issues. We resolved this case by ultimately obtaining a tax refund for our client after employing various offsets and corresponding adjustments techniques.
  • Managing a New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYS-DTF) examination relating to whether certain personnel of a multinational financial institution were independent contractors versus employees. We resolved the examination favorably by persuading the NYS-DTF examiners that the personnel were indeed independent contractors.
  • Managing, on a regular basis, a large number of IRS audits of individuals and small businesses. We always devote careful and personal care to each case and attempt to resolve the audits at the examination stage and to the satisfaction of our clients.
Appeals & Other Alternative Dispute Resolutions

If, during or subsequent to an audit, the IRS examination team proposes income adjustments with which you do not agree, we are here to defend your rights and appeal the proposed adjustments on your behalf with the IRS Office of Appeals. Engaging our highly skilled and experienced tax attorneys in the process of Appeals can considerably improve the likelihood of a favorable outcome and a decrease (and even elimination) of the proposed adjustments.

The mission of the IRS Office of Appeals is to resolve tax controversies, without litigation, on a basis that is fair and impartial. The Office of Appeals has the legal authority to consider settlements of tax controversies, and is responsible for resolving tax disputes without litigation to the maximum extent possible.

Our tax attorneys are routinely called upon to protest unagreed proposed adjustments with the Office of Appeals because of our substantial experience, consummate knowledge of the tax law and procedures, pragmatic approach, professionalism, and superior writing advocacy skills. Whether the underlying issue is domestic or international, inbound or outbound, virtual or actual, we will position your case in the strongest light possible and vigorously defend your rights.

We have substantial experience in carefully investigating and developing the facts of the case, judiciously distilling the facts to produce convincing legal tax positions and arguments, crafting highly creative and persuasive Protests (as well as Rebuttals to Exam’s positions), evaluating hazards of litigation, settling cases with IRS Appeals officers, and negotiating the terms of Closing Agreements. We also have experience with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures, such as Binding Arbitrations, Simultaneous Appeals/Competent Authority proceedings, and Post Appeals Mediations.

Illustrative engagements include:

  • Successfully representing a multinational enterprise before the IRS Office of Appeals in connection with proposed transfer pricing adjustments worth millions of dollars.
  • Successfully representing a U.S. based producer of commodities before the IRS Office of Appeals in connection with proposed disallowance of certain charges and recharacterization of related-party transactions.
  • Obtaining Competent Authority relief from double taxation for a U.S.-based semi-conductor corporation with respect to related party royalties received from sources outside the United States.
  • Successfully representing a publicly traded MNE before the IRS Office of Appeals in connection with intellectual property and transfer pricing adjustments worth millions of dollars.
  • Successfully representing a multinational financial institution before the IRS Office of Appeals in connection with proposed adjustments steaming from both domestic and international tax matters.
Transfer Pricing

Our transfer pricing practice is dedicated to solving complex transfer pricing issues, and is composed of highly experienced lawyers, international tax law and transfer pricing experts, as well as controversy experts.

Our Washington, DC, based practice and frequent contacts with IRS officials give us an exceptional ability to assist U.S. and foreign-based clients in obtaining Competent Authority relief and Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). We also handle transfer pricing matters before the IRS, including during audits and examinations, at the Office of Appeals, and in Simultaneous Appeals/Competent Authority proceedings.

Our transfer pricing practice is regularly consulted to advise on matters such as structuring tax efficient intercompany transactions, establishing and implementing arm’s length prices and related arrangements, transferring of know-how and other intellectual property, preparing related party documents and contracts, preparing other contemporaneous documentation, obtaining expert economic analyses and economic reports, and structuring intercompany cost sharing arrangements.

Illustrative engagements include:

  • Managing an IRS examination of a publicly traded multinational manufacturing and distribution conglomerate involving both domestic and international tax issues (including transfer pricing). We resolved this case at the examination level with no adjustments to the taxpayer’s income as originally reported.
  • Successfully representing a multinational enterprise before the IRS Office of Appeals in connection with proposed transfer pricing adjustments worth millions of dollars.
  • Successfully representing a publicly traded MNE before the IRS Office of Appeals in connection with intellectual property and transfer pricing adjustments worth millions of dollars.
  • Securing a unilateral APA for a foreign-based financial institution in connection with controlled foreign exchange spot and foreign exchange forward contracts transactions.
  • Obtaining Competent Authority relief from double taxation for a U.S.-based semi-conductor corporation with respect to related party royalties received from sources outside the United States.
  • Structuring, documenting and implementing an intercompany transfer pricing program (including preparation of contemporaneous documentation) for a foreign-based multinational in connection with inbound controlled purchase and distribution transactions and the transfer of trademarks and other intangible assets.
  • Designing an intercompany transfer pricing program (including preparation of contemporaneous documentation) for a U.S. based tax exempt entity transacting with its wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary.
Innocent Spouse Relief

Our tax attorneys have substantial experience in defending innocent spouses and divorcées against unexpected tax liability arising out of dubious tax reporting practices of culpable spouses or ex-spouses.

Although there are several benefits for married couples to file joint returns, a spouse who signs and files a join tax return becomes jointly and severally liable for the entire tax due for the year of the joint return. Unfortunately, in some instances, one spouse (or ex-spouse) may intentionally conceal important financial facts from the other spouse, and as a result, the joint tax return understates the couple’s income or is otherwise inaccurate.

In some cases, which could be years later, and many times after the couple has already divorced, the spouse who was not involved in the preparation of, or the provision of information for the joint tax return, learns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that he or she owes taxes relating to the joint return arising out of the dishonest tax reporting practices of their culpable spouses or ex-spouses.

The IRS is not bound by any divorce agreement, or any other agreement where one of the spouses agrees to be liable for the tax liability. Our tax attorneys have extensive experience in assisting clients to obtain one of the three types of relief from joint and several liability offered by the IRS for spouses who filed joint returns. We have successfully represented clients in cases involving:

  • Innocent Spouse Relief. This relief affords qualified spouses and divorcées reprieve from additional tax when culpable spouses or ex-spouses failed to report income, reported income improperly or claimed improper deductions or credits.
  • Separation of Liability Relief. This relief allocates additional tax owed between the divorcées (and also between separated couples) when an item was not reported properly on a joint return. You will be responsible to pay only the tax allocated to you.
  • Equitable Relief. You may qualify for this relief if your case does not fall under the above Innocent Spouse Relief or Separation of Liability Relief for something not reported properly on a joint return and attributable to your culpable spouse or ex-spouse.
  • We are highly knowledgeable with the elements considered by the IRS when granting any of the above reliefs to innocent spouses and divorcées. We will work closely with you to secure the relief you are eligible to receive and protect your rights.