Background - Practices (Details)
Tax Audits, Appeals & Litigation
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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.

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 proficiencies 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, "Managing Tax Audits and Appeals," and we sponsor the well-attended annual seminar by the same name.

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:

  • Brokertec Holdings Inc. v. Commissioner, No. 3573-17 (T.C. filed Feb. 13, 2017) (treatment of relocation grants as contributions to capital)
  • International Business Machines Corporation v. Michigan Department of Treasury, 137 S. Ct. 2180 (2016) (constitutional challenge to retroactive tax legislation)
  • Corporate Executive Board Company v. Virginia Department of Taxation, No. CL16-1525 (Arlington Cir. Ct., Va. filed June 20, 2016) (alternative apportionment for sales factor sourcing)
  • Trusted Media Brands, Inc. v. United States, No. 7:15-cv-09872 (S.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 18, 2015) (statute of limitations applicable to claim for refund based on change to deduction of foreign taxes paid)
  • Vesta Corporation v. Commissioner, No. 26847-16 (T.C. filed Dec. 14, 2016) (section 199 deduction for software)
  • 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).
  • District of Columbia Office of Tax & Revenue v. BAE Systems Enterprise Systems, Inc., 56 A.3d 477 (D.C. 2012) (tax credits and incentives for qualified high technology companies)
  • 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).