Tax Audits, Appeals & Litigation

Crowell & Moring has a long history of achieving outstanding results in tax controversy and litigation. We regularly handle significant cases for Fortune 500 clients, as well as bet-the-company and other complex tax matters for businesses large and small.

Chambers USA has named us a leading national tax law practice, and the Legal 500 United States and SuperLawyers also recognize our practitioners. In addition, we offer our clients the benefit of our experience in prior positions with the Department of Justice Tax Division, the Treasury Department Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Our core competencies include the following:

  • U.S. Tax Court litigation
  • U.S. district court tax refund litigation
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims tax refund litigation
  • U.S. district court summons litigation
  • Appellate litigation
  • IRS appeals
  • IRS examination
  • Fast track, mediation, industry issue resolution, and other ADR programs
  • Tax mediation and arbitration
  • Advance pricing agreements
  • U.S. Competent Authority

We have litigated numerous tax cases before the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. district courts, U.S. bankruptcy courts, U.S. courts of appeals, and various state courts. We also recognize that litigation is a last resort and understand that early, innovative use of alternative dispute resolution techniques often provides the best, most cost-effective result. Some of our greatest successes never appear in reported decisions because we have the experience to resolve tax controversies through advance pricing agreements (APAs), audits, fast track settlements, IRS Appeals, mediation, competent authority, and other litigation alternatives.  We have successfully represented clients in hundreds of administrative tax cases without the need for litigation. We literally wrote the book, "Coping with IRS Audits," and we sponsor the well-attended annual seminar "Managing Tax Audits and Appeals."

We believe in building long-term strategic partnerships with our clients and have developed close relationships with great companies. We invest in client relationships, making it our business to know our clients' businesses. We are committed to providing creative, long-term solutions to complex tax problems in a cost-effective manner.

Representative Engagements

Although most of our tax controversy work is confidential, the following is a selection of our lawyers' cases of public record:

  • El Paso Corp. v. United States, No. 4:10-cv-05093 (S.D. Tex. 2012), aff'd, 748 F.3d 225 (5th Cir. 2014) (improper tax assessment under mitigation rules).
  • Union Carbide Corp. v. Comm'r, 97 T.C.M. (CCH) 1207 (2009), aff'd, 697 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 2012) (research credits).
  • Marriott Int'l Resorts, L.P. v. United States, 83 Fed. Cl. 291 (2008), aff'd, 586 F.3d 962 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (short sale liability excluded from partnership basis).
  • Marriott Int'l Resorts, L.P. v. United States, 437 F.3d 1302 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (and related) (procedures for IRS to invoke deliberative process privilege).
  • Weyerhaeuser v. Comm'r, T.C. No. 4712-05 (qualification of interest on solid waste disposal bonds for tax exemption).
  • E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. v. United States, No. 01-449-T (Fed. Cl. 2003) (allocation of purchase price for purchased business to supply contract).
  • Mary Kay Corp. v. Comm'r, T.C. Nos. 18150-02 and 14352-03 (transfer pricing regarding marketing intangibles).
  • Industry Director Directive, Examination of Sports Franchises (Oct. 24, 2003) (amortization of baseball player contracts).
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Comm'r, 114 T.C. 293 (2000) (tax accounting for dismantlement liability).
  • Union Carbide Foreign Sales Corp. v. Comm'r, 115 T.C. 423 (2000) (purchase price allocation to burdensome lease).
  • Exxon Corp. v. Comm'r, 113 T.C. 338 (1999) (foreign tax credit for U.K. Petroleum Revenue Tax).
  • United States v. United Technologies Corp., 97-2 USTC ¶50,721 (D. Conn. Aug. 3, 1997) (attorney-client privilege applied under common interest rule).