Tax Controversy & Litigation
When the IRS has questions, our tax litigators have the answers. Jackson Walker’s tax attorneys have the knowledge and experience to defend clients in any type of tax controversy. We have extensive experience representing corporate and individual clients during IRS examinations, IRS appeals, and as your advocate in trial and appellate litigation.
We serve as trusted advisors to our clients on all types of tax matters. We continually work to inform clients by providing updates on changes in tax law and IRS enforcement trends, publishing articles, and giving presentations on tax issues. Members of our Tax group have impressive qualifications, including holding Masters of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in Taxation from such prestigious institutions as the New York University School of Law, being licensed Certified Public Accountants, and holding positions with leading tax committees throughout the country.
Pre-controversy tax advice: Our tax advice and planning considers potential challenges by the IRS to ensure that the client’s tax reporting position can be sustained on IRS examination. Our tax litigation experience has shown that tax cases are often won or lost based on the client’s actions or inactions at the time that transactions are consummated and reported. We counsel clients on document retention, tax department management, and privilege issues. We have helped many clients gain certainty as to their tax position by obtaining private letter rulings and determinations from the IRS on various tax issues.
IRS Audits and IRS Examinations: We are actively involved in every aspect of the IRS examination process with the goal of obtaining a favorable outcome for our clients in the most cost effective means possible. We counsel clients on strategies for responding to information document requests, meeting with IRS representatives, negotiating settlements with the IRS, pre-filing agreements, technical advice, Fast Track Appeals resolution, Statute of Limitations, IRS summons, and Closing Agreements. As a strategic matter, we sometimes remain “behind the scenes” during the audit phase, providing counsel and technical support to the CPA or client representative who is dealing with the IRS face to face.
IRS Appeals: If our clients are not satisfied with the results of an IRS examination, we are thoroughly experienced in the strategies and procedures related to protesting cases in the IRS Appeals Office, including negotiating with IRS Appeals Officers, and settling tax issues prior to litigation.
Working with Certified Public Accountants: We routinely assist CPAs with IRS audit advice or support. We can provide support to CPAs in various ways from taking the lead in IRS examinations to providing legal analysis of discrete issues.
State Tax Experience
Our attorneys are among the state’s foremost authorities on the Texas franchise, or “margin,” tax and recently represented a client in a critical issue of first impression dealing with the Texas margin tax before the Texas Supreme Court. This landmark case marked a significant taxpayer victory with wide-ranging implications for other Texas businesses. We are also regularly involved in Texas Comptroller audit defense, and tax litigation at the state and local level.
Best Forum to Litigate a Tax Case: When litigation of a tax issue is appropriate and required to resolve a tax issue, clients can rely on the tax litigators of one of the largest trial teams in the Southwest to identify the benefits and risks of particular forums in which to litigate the tax case. We have represented clients before the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Federal District Courts, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims. As noted above, we also have experience in state and local tax matters and have represented clients in all state tax forums including the Texas Supreme Court.
Trial Experience in Tax Cases: Our approach takes into account the needs of each client, utilizing strategies that offer the best opportunities for success while managing the litigation process to provide value and efficiency for the client. Our trial attorneys are known for advocacy, judgment, and responsiveness. Listening, understanding and believing in the goals of our clients are our guideposts in delivering results at the courthouse.
- Represented client in leading Texas franchise tax apportionment case to the Texas Supreme Court (TGS Nopec v. Combs).
- Represented client in a State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) hearing with a favorable proposal for decision on the interpretation of franchise tax exemption applicable in the renewable energy industry (currently under appeal).
- Handled IRS examination of several large offshore players active on the Outer Continental Shelf.
- Frontier representation of state taxpayer, which resulted in largest state refund of the year.
- Represented client in judicial appeal of Texas franchise tax assessments based on the applicable rate and deductibility of cost of goods sold under the Texas “margin” tax.
- Successfully resolved premium tax audit assessments and sales tax assessments for clients in the construction industry.
- Represented client with defeating enforcement of “informal” rules not properly adopted under the Texas Administrative Procedures Act.
- Represented multiple high net worth individual taxpayers in successfully settling state income tax disputes involving over $10 million in taxes. The taxpayers’ refund claims involved the use of statute of limitations defenses by state taxing authorities in situations where taxpayers have undergone IRS tax shelter audits that adjusted income and deductions in ways that created underpayments of tax in different tax years. The taxpayers prevailed by convincing the states that certain state statutes bar states from denying the taxpayers’ refund claims.
- Representation of an estate in the U.S. Tax Court with respect to the valuation of several properties owned by the decedent through partnerships. The case involves arguments over the fair market value of the partnership interests and whether lack of control of marketability discounts should apply.
Our tax litigators have experience in a broad range of tax issues raised in IRS Examinations, IRS Appeals, and tax litigation.
- Transfer Pricing Controversies
- Advance Pricing Agreements
- “Tax Shelter” Disallowances
- Estate and Gift Tax Valuations
- Research & Development Tax Credits
- Change of Accounting Methods
- Capitalization and Depreciation
- TEFRA Partnership Issues
- Partnership Allocations
- Economic Substance Principles
- Employee v. Independent Contractor
- Interest and Penalty Abatements
- Circular 230 Audits
- IRS Office of Professional Responsibility
- Competent Authority
- U.S. and Foreign Treaty Interpretations
- Validity of U.S. Treasury Regulations
- Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Property
- Tax Sharing and Allocation Agreements
- IRS Summons Authority
- Employment Taxes and Payroll Taxes
- Disclosure of foreign bank accounts:
- Filing Forms TDF 90-22.1 (FBAR)
- Negotiation of Closing Agreements
- Ownership in foreign hedge funds
- Negotiation of FBAR penalty
- Ownership of commingled assets