In the News
Federal Tax Cases to Watch In 2015
January 2, 2015 — Law360
David B. Blair, a Washington, D.C.-based partner in Crowell & Moring's Tax Group, shares his thoughts on a major pricing dispute case, Amazon.com Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and its importance for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). "This could be the IRS' second attempt after the Veritas case to win this issue of cost-sharing arrangements and whether a buy-in should be based on a cost-sharing method. Veritas was a big loss for the IRS," Blair noted.
2014 Federal Tax Litigation In Review
December 19, 2014 — Law360
Washington, D.C.-based partner and member of the firm's Tax Group, David J. Fischer, talks with Law360 about the major high-stakes tax cases that closed in 2014. Fischer provided his viewpoints on three of the cases, including U.S. v. Clarke, which the court said taxpayers have a right to examine their IRS agents if they can point to specific facts or circumstances — including circumstantial evidence — that raise an inference of bad faith. "Tax law is like a pendulum, and right now our pendulum is swinging toward procedural fights because the IRS has changed its summons process and the Supreme Court has changed the litigation standards for looking behind an IRS summons," stated Fischer.
IRS Ruling Small Setback for Ethanol Producers
May 30, 2014 — Ethanol Producer Magazine and Oil Price Information Service (OPIS)
Washington, D.C.-based Tax Group associate, Ariel Applebaum-Bauch, spoke with Ethanol Producer Magazine about the IRS ruling 2014-17. According to the article, the ruling will lengthen the depreciation timetable for some tangible assets used to produce ethanol to seven years from five. This is considered a small setback for ethanol producers that might invest in new facilities or upgrades to existing plants. According to Applebaum-Bauch, "The IRS used the 'primary use' test to make its determination. The IRS took the position that assets used to produce ethanol fell into the same recovery class as assets used to convert ethanol to fuel-grade ethanol. Under the primary use test, property is included in the asset guideline class 'for the activity in which the property is primarily used." The ruling still leaves at least one unanswered issue, according to Applebaum-Bauch. "The IRS position that the assets used in discreet phases of the production process fall within a single asset class is arguably inconsistent with the rule, under Section 263(a), which would treat the distillation assets used in creating ethanol as a separate unit of property from other plant assets, such as the blending facilities used to convert distilled ethanol to fuel grade ethanol," Applebaum-Bauch wrote in an online Crowell & Moring client alert.
Netflix Streaming Suites Highlight Tax-Tech Mismatch
March 24, 2014 — Tax Analysts
Walter Nagel, a Washington, D.C.-based Tax Group partner, discusses the important difference between streaming and cable and how the different ways consumers watch television can and should be taxed. He says, "Streaming may be like cable from a comsumer perspective, but there is a fundamental difference between streaming and cable… cable is served to customers in a very real, tangible way, but with streaming, there is this nexus piece that is missing."
BNA Videos: Crowell's Conversations in Bloomberg BNA
February 21, 2014 — Bloomberg BNA
Tax Group attorneys Donald Griswold, Walter Nagel, both partners, and Jeremy Abrams, counsel, sat down with Bloomberg BNA to discuss the Tax Groups' monthly column with the publication, "Crowell's Conversations." In this video, the attorneys tell the audience about what makes "Crowell's Conversations" so unique and what to expect to read in their column this year.
Practitioners Anticipate a Resurgence of Due Process Nexus Litigation
November 1, 2013 — 2013 State Tax Today 212-1
Don Griswold, partner in Crowell & Moring's Tax Group and member of the Washington, D.C. office, is quoted from the 20th annual Paul J. Hartman State & Local Tax Forum about recent developments in the U.S. Supreme Court's due process jurisprudence. He notes, "In just the past couple of years, we've seen almost a revolution of thinking about due process minimum contacts, due process nexus, due process jurisdiction."
Recent MTC Trends, States Begin to Respond to 'Gillette'
June 25, 2013 — Bloomberg BNA "Expert Insight" / June 28, 2013 — Bloomberg BNA "Tax Management Weekly State Tax Report"
Washington, D.C.-based Tax Group attorney, Jeremy Abrams, shares his perspective on the impact that three recent cases, Anheuser-Busch v. Michigan Dept. of Treas., IBM v. Michigan Dept. of Treas. and Gillette Co. et al v. FTB, will have on the Multistate Tax Compact (MTC) with Bloomberg BNA. His comments are published in Bloomberg BNA's Tax Management Weekly State Tax Report and Expert Insight blog. According to Abrams, "The flurry of repealing legislation that we're seeing confirms that Compact states are taking this issue very seriously, and for good reason. States potentially could owe millions of dollars in refunds if more decisions like Gillette are handed down. This risk creates some leverage for taxpayers, and they ought to use that leverage to their advantage during audits."
Crowell & Moring Tax Partner Offers Insight on Whistleblowers to Tax Notes
September 10-14, 2012 — Tax Notes
Washington, D.C.-based Tax Group partner David Blair shares his thoughts on the impact of the Birkenfeld award and tax reserve reporting in September issues of Tax Notes.
Face Time, Surveys Boost Client Service At 17 Firms: GCs
November 30, 2011 — Legal Industry Law360
Crowell & Moring is listed among 17 firms that received praise from corporate counsel for improving their client focus in the BTI Client Service A-Team 2012 report by the BTI Consulting Group Inc.
According to the article, “While many firms have been increasing their emphasis on client service to remain competitive, a few made strong pushes toward more in-person meetings, satisfaction surveys and follow-up calls this year, earning them the designation of most improved in a new survey of corporate counsel.”
Company Lawyers Sniff Out Revenue
May 11, 2011 — The Wall Street Journal
Crowell & Moring LLP is highlighted for its corporate plaintiff's recovery practice in this story about how in-house counsel are turning their legal departments into profit centers. Major companies, such as DuPont Co., Ford Motor Co., Tyco International Ltd., and Michelin SCA, among others, say their lawyers are devoting more time and effort to bringing in extra cash by thinking like plaintiffs.
Crowell & Moring chairman Kent A. Gardiner told The Wall Street Journal that the firm’s docket of such cases has doubled over the past five years. The firm’s recovery efforts for clients include a full suite of practice areas, ranging from tax and customs to intellectual property and antitrust.