Representative Federal Tax Matters

  • Representation of a large national accounting firm in a federal grand jury investigation and promoter penalty audit relating to the development, marketing and reporting of tax shelter transactions; negotiated a US$50 million Deferred Prosecution Agreement and an IRS Closing Agreement to resolve both and assisted in the creation of a compliance and ethics plan meeting the requirements of the US sentencing guidelines
  • Assisted numerous clients (high-net-worth individuals, estates and financial institutions) in becoming compliant with US (and state) tax laws through voluntary disclosure initiatives relating to previously undisclosed foreign financial accounts; also represented clients in civil tax audits and criminal tax investigations relating to undisclosed foreign financial accounts and transactions
  • Represented an internationally known auction house in an IRS audit with respect to the tax treatment of guarantee payments made in connection with obtaining art work for auctions
  • Represented a multinational corporation in IRS audit and IRS appeal with respect to the tax consequences of a reorganization, liquidation and gain recognition agreement, including the characterization and valuation of intangible assets under IRC Section 936
  • Persuaded the IRS Appeals Office to concede that significant payments to a high-profile shareholder of a major law firm were not "excess compensation" which should be treated as dividends
  • Representation of accounting firms in connection with proposed preparer penalties, determinations with respect to E-filing status and disclosure obligations under IRC Section 7216
  • Favorably resolved promoter penalty audits, transferee liability assessments and criminal tax investigations for a corporate client and its more than 60 subsidiaries which had engaged in, and promoted, "Midco" transactions, whereby gain on the sale of assets was sheltered by the sale of loss assets contributed to a corporation
  • Represented individuals and limited liability companies in connection with IRS nominee/alter ego/transferee liability levies and in connection with wrongful levy claims and wrongful levy actions in the United States District Court
  • Representation of clients, including lawyer and accountants charged with tax crimes, including failure to file and the filing of false returns
  • Representation of clients in plea negotiations in criminal tax investigations, including resolving the civil tax component without imposition of a civil fraud penalty and in achieving sentences substantially below the sentencing guidelines range
  • Negotiated a concession of almost 100 percent at IRS Appeals with respect to a proposed constructive dividend of more than US$100 million by establishing that the amounts at issue were loans to a controlling shareholder
  • Represented clients in worker classification matters, including worker classification audits, SS-8 determinations and in voluntary disclosures pursuant to IRS Announcement 2011-64
  • Converted a proposed substantial assessment into a substantial refund, based on the US-UK income tax treaty

Representative State and Local Matters

  • Represented a public water utility in reversing a determination by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance that the purchase of electricity by the utility for use in powering pumps that create water pressure was subject to sales and/or use tax, by establishing that water pressure was utilized in the "production" of a public water supply, as opposed to in its "distribution"
  • Represented an industry group in a New York State determination that computer-based job placement services constitute an "information service" subject to sales and use tax; represented individual taxpayers in negotiating closing agreements resolving this issue
  • Represented clients in connection with sales and use tax disputes, including whether a service and/or product constituted "pre-written computer software" or an "information service" subject to sales and use tax
  • Represented a nationally known hotel chain in sales, use and occupancy tax audits
  • Represented a client in a New York State Audit and Administrative Hearing before the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal in which the issue was whether installment payments received in connection with an IRC Section 453(B)(h) installment sale were New York source income to a non-resident of New York. After our client prevailed before the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal, the New York State legislature retroactively amended the tax law to provide that such installment payments, as well as payments received in connection with IRC Section 338(h)(10) elections, are New York source income for non-residents; we also represent clients challenging the constitutionality of this retroactive amendment
  • Represented a CEO of a Fortune 500 company in a New York State residency audit involving an issue of first impression regarding the allocation of income to New York; obtained "no change" determinations in multiple New York State, New York City and California residency audits for high-profile, high-net-worth individuals
  • Represented clients, including accountants and lawyers in connection with the failure to file and/or pay New York State income tax, including filing voluntary disclosures and in criminal tax investigations
  • Achieved favorable settlement and withdrawal of a US$125 million jeopardy assessment for a prominent individual viewed by taxing authorities to be a tax evader