A tax controversy commences at the administrative (agency) level and generally arises from a tax audit (also known as a tax examination) or taxes owed from a filed/amended return. Our tax attorneys represent individual and corporate clients to resolve their tax controversy at all levels, including administrative, appeals, and, if necessary, US Tax Court or Oregon Tax Court. We take immense pride in the fact that we resolve approximately 95% of our audits without going to trial. As an alternative to the time, cost, and expense of a trial, we can also assist with alternative dispute resolution, including Fast Track Mediation and/or arbitrating settlements with the IRS/Oregon Department of Revenue.
What is Tax Litigation?
Tax litigation encompasses the general term of resolving a tax controversy or dispute over a position on a tax return. We represent individuals and entities (businesses, non-profits, trusts, or estates) with various types of tax matters (income, estate, gift, state sale and use, property, and international/treaty analysis) at all agency and court levels (federal, state, county, city and foreign). Our practice encompasses both civil and criminal tax controversies.
Our civil audit representation commences with audits that result in an assessment and attempted collection activity by the taxing agency. We will discuss the controversy with the auditor in depth, and if unresolved favorably, we will file a brief and proceed to appeals and/or litigation, as necessary. During the course of all tax controversies, we remain focused on finding opportunities to settle or resolve components of an audit, as we are aware of the cost-benefit dynamic.
We also advise and represent clients on criminal tax matters, specifically defending against fraud, evasion, and violations of foreign bank account reporting (FBAR) in U.S. District Court.
Tax Litigation Services
While we resolve the overwhelming majority of tax disputes without trial, some issues unfortunately end up in court as certain areas of tax law are not "black and white." At times, it is necessary to file a petition with the tax court to preserve your rights while continuing to attempt resolution through settlement. We have expertise in handling the following matters:
- Trust fund recovery penalty
- Wrongful seizure or tax levy
- Tax refunds
- Deficiency disputes
- Tax litigation in US Tax Court or Oregon Tax Court
- Criminal tax matters
Tax Litigation Support and Expert Witness Services
Jonathan Mishkin regularly serves as an expert witness nationally and locally on cases concerning:
- Asset division and tax consequences
- Trustee-beneficiary disputes concerning trust administration
- Negligence and fraud concerning CPA preparation of tax returns/tax positions taken (preparer penalty cases)
- Estate and trust tax consequences of ILIT transfers
- Evaluation of estate returns and related elections
He also regularly serves as an expert witness in FINRA disputes involving lawsuits against financial advisors.