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Tax Controversy

An individual or business involved in a tax controversy with the IRS or a state or local tax authority will face a complex set of legal circumstances that may begin with an audit and end in litigation. The ultimate goal of every tax controversy engagement is to achieve a fair and efficient end to the dispute.

Navigating a tax controversy re­­quires a deep understanding of tax law and procedure, coupled with the litigation skills necessary to present the client’s position in the best possible way. Post & Schell’s Tax Controversy Practice features James R. Malone, Jr., an experienced commercial litigator who holds an LL.M. in Taxation.

The Firm represents corporate and individual taxpayers, as well as tax preparers and accountants, involved in tax controversies with the IRS and with state and local tax authorities. The Firm represents clients in every stage of a tax controversy from audit through administrative appeal to litigation and collection. These engagements include:

  • Audit Defense. The Firm works with taxpayers and their accountants in audits.

  • Administrative Appeals. Post-audit, the Firm assists clients in determining whether to pursue an administrative appeal or proceed directly to litigation: a successful administrative appeal may lead to a settlement, but an unsuccessful one may provide the government with a better record in subsequent litigation. Where an appeal is warranted, our advocacy skills allow us to portray the client’s position in the best posture to foster a favorable outcome.

  • Deficiency Actions. In most tax matters, following conclusion of either the audit or administrative appeal, the IRS will issue a deficiency notice and the taxpayer is free to petition the United States Tax Court to challenge the administrative determination of the tax due. The Firm handles deficiency actions directly following the conclusion of an audit or administrative appeal.

  • Refund Actions. Not all cases fall within the Tax Court’s jurisdiction. There may also be tactical reasons for proceeding with a refund action rather than pursuing a petition to the Tax Court. The Firm pursues these cases in either an appropriate United States District Court or in the United States Court of Federal Claims. 

  • Collection Cases. The Firm represents taxpayers who are the subject of IRS collection activity, including lien and levy matters. These clients have rights and administrative remedies that are governed by the procedural standards of the Internal Revenue Code and related regulations.

  • Non-Filing. The Firm represents clients who have failed to file tax returns over a number of years. We can help non-filers get into compliance and negotiate payment arrangements.

  • Voluntary Disclosures. The Firm assists clients in attaining tax compliance by making voluntary disclosures when appropriate to the IRS and/or state and local tax authorities.

  • Professional Licensure. If tax professionals face licensure issues, Mr. Malone is available to collaborate with the Firm’s Professional Licensure Group, which focuses on everything from revocations and suspension hearings, to professional disciplinary and reciprocity hearings.

  • State and Local Tax Matters. The Firm represents taxpayers involved in state or local tax disputes. This work involves every phase of a controversy from audit through litigation, including potential voluntary disclosures.