Tax Controversy and Litigation
Federal Tax Litigation
Tax controversy work is a substantial part of our practice. All of our lawyers participate actively with clients and their accountants in the process of resolving tax controversies at the audit and appellate levels of the IRS. Our objective is to resolve tax disputes as early in the process as possible and without the need for litigation. This is amply demonstrated by the number of favorable settlements of multi-million dollar tax deficiencies we have negotiated. These have included Section 482 transfer pricing cases, “straddles” in stock options and commodities futures, partnership allocations, tort damage settlements, and income and estate tax valuation matters. We have handled employee/independent contractor status matters for a bond trading house, a series of international corporate restructurings, and several large cases involving scores of complicated issues for Fortune 500 companies.
When litigation is unavoidable, or chosen as a tactical alternative, our clients’ cases are handled by litigators who are complete tax lawyers, experienced in transactional planning as well as litigation. In contrast, other firms attempt to litigate tax cases using attorneys who do not deal regularly with the subtle nuances of the tax law or the special rules of the Tax Court and the Court of Federal Claims. Our attorneys have written BNA Portfolios on both Tax Court Litigation and Refund Litigation. One of our attorneys was, for many years, chief litigator of tax cases for the Justice Department in the U.S. Court of Claims and another served in the litigation division of the National Office of the IRS. We have represented clients in the U.S. Tax Court, federal district and appellate courts and the U.S. Court of Claims. Our attorneys have also litigated tax claims in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and constitutional issues in both federal and state courts. In addition to arguing appeals of cases we originally tried, we also have been brought in to argue appeals of cases tried by others.
Issues litigated for clients have included partnership basis swap issues, distributions in corporate redemptions, the impact of buy-sell agreements on controlled foreign corporation status, tax basis of patents, research and development expenditures, and the open transaction doctrine. We have also litigated executive employment contracts, the investment interest deduction, the valuation of minority interests, tax penalties, and a variety of tax-shelter issues including T-Bill option “straddles.” Although we do not act as trial counsel in criminal cases, we represent clients in tax fraud investigations or where there is a concern that tax fraud might be asserted, with the objective of avoiding criminal indictment.
New York Tax Litigation
Our very active tax controversy practice involves virtually every type of New York State and City tax. Its scope covers the entire process, from audit through administrative hearings, to appeals in the New York courts. We have successfully litigated cases under all the New York State and City taxes, including the Personal Income, Corporate Franchise, General Corporation, Unincorporated Business, Sales and Use, Commercial Rent and Occupancy, and Real Property Gains and Transfer taxes.
We have represented multinational corporations, banks, utilities, developers and real estate and investment partnerships in cases involving such complex issues as nexus, combination, allocation, engaging in a trade or business and retroactive application of the tax laws. We have also litigated matters involving the special taxes on banks, utilities and telecommunications companies and have settled several multi-million dollar cases involving the impact of City taxes on the securities and real estate industries.
New York’s high income, gift and estate taxes often cause individuals to seek to change their residence. The tax authorities often challenge such attempts. Our extensive experience with the controversy aspects of residency, together with the special considerations relating to owning New York property, uniquely position us to assist clients in this area. We have successfully defended scores of high net worth individuals in State and City residency cases and won several landmark decisions.
Published: New York Law Journal, October 18, 2018
Published: New York Law Journal, June 21, 2018
Published: Tax Management International Journal, August 4, 2017
Published: Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report, August 3, 2017
Published: TaxStringer, August 1, 2017
Published: R&H Letter to Clients and Friends, July 24, 2017
Published: Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Memorandum, November 14, 2016
Published: Tax Notes, July 25, 2016