We go beyond answering clients’ tax questions . . . . and offer tax consulting services that are more comprehensive than the practices of most other law firms.We possess decades of experience with the unique corporate, tax and estate planning issues which closely-held and family businesses face on a regular basis.We are familiar with the individual motivations of these business owners and their individual, dynamic needs, that require creative and efficient business and personal solutions. We are dedicated to providing solutions which that are tailored to each client’s individual facts and circumstances. When working with our closely held business clients, we go beyond the typical role of a lawyer, offering business advice and personal planning advice aimed at
Attracting and retaining a first class executive management team is essential to a company’s success. Executive compensation, a critical element in recruiting and keeping top talent, has become a highly charged area for employers. The Federal government has enacted new laws and regulations to address the public’s growing concern regarding perceived “excessive” compensation practices. We are knowledgeable in the array of legal and tax issues surrounding establishing, reporting, and taxing executive pay.
We work with employers on all issues arising from executive employment, incentive, severance, and change-in-control arrangements, as well as non-compete and confidentiality provisions. We also deal with payroll taxes, reporting, and other issues related to fringe benefits for executives. We routinely counsel clients in the treatment of executive compensation programs in mergers and acquisitions and post-merger integration. We structure a variety of tax-sensitive deferred and incentive executive compensation arrangements, including incentive and nonqualified stock option plans, stock bonus plans, stock appreciation rights, and other equity–based compensation arrangements.
We offer clients counseling on a wide variety of employee benefit plans, including qualified plans, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans and defined benefit pension plans, health plans, cafeteria plans, fringe benefits, executive compensation plans and deferred compensation plans. We also provide counsel on worker classification issues, information reporting requirements and requests for the abatement of penalties.
We also draft Employee handbooks and policies, Employment Agreements, Non-Competition Agreements, and Executive Compensation Agreements.
Companies operating multi-nationally face a plethora of difficult tax issues. We have experience with both the day-to-day international tax issues as well as with the design and execution of safe and effective strategies for worldwide tax minimization. We represent a diverse range of both U.S. and foreign corporations and individuals, and offer counsel on in-bound and out-bounds international transactions. We offer sophisticated insight on cross–border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, and structuring investment funds and portfolio investments.We offer a full range of international tax services, including:
A significant portion of our tax practice involves dealing with the Internal Revenue Service and state and local taxing authorities. Our lawyers provide strategic advice, assistance and advocacy at every stage of a tax controversy related matter — from the Audit/Examination Division, where it is important to develop the issues and control the flow of information, to the Appellate Division, where a logical and persuasive presentation of the facts and circumstances of the case merits is critical, to the Litigation Division, where strong litigation skills and an extensive knowledge of the Federal Tax Court’s Rules of Practice and Procedure are necessary. We advise our clients on a comprehensive range of issues, including responding to information document requests (IDRs), complying with formal discovery requests, quashing summonses, controlling statutes of limitation, establishing document retention procedures, and identifying and protecting privileged documents.
Tax litigation differs in important respects from other types of civil litigation. The Federal government is a unique adversary; understanding how the IRS and the Department of Justice approach a litigation matter is essential in developing a winning case and to recognizing settlement opportunities should they present themselves. Further, tax litigation may be pursued in one of three distinct courts, the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and local Federal district courts. Each judicial forum offers unique advantages and disadvantages and tendencies that must be weighed in each case. In addition, the subject matter is inherently technical and specialized. While mastery of the substantive tax rules is essential, in almost every case, favorable facts must be developed and woven into a coherent and persuasive story that aligns with the taxpayer’s interpretation of the technical rules. Successful tax litigation thus requires a special blend of substantive tax knowledge and advocacy skills. We bring this combination to every tax litigation matter we handle. Our firm consists entirely of former large law firm attorneys and former trial attorneys of the Internal Revenue Service. We have the knowledge, skill and experience needed to resolve tax controversies at every level of dispute.
The IRS has increased its focus on early issue identification. Accordingly, it is imperative to involve authoritative tax controversy attorneys with the skills and experience required to address complex substantive and procedural issues early in the process. Our tax controversy attorneys have advised clients in diverse industries with a wide variety of domestic and international tax issues in the areas of corporate and individual income tax, estate and gift tax, excise tax, and employment tax. Our ability to realistically evaluate settlement opportunities and the hazards of litigation has led to tremendously favorable settlements for our clients. Where settlement cannot be reached, we have highly skilled litigators who have tried cases before the U.S. Tax Court and state and local tax boards in several jurisdictions with excellent results.
Our lawyers are pragmatic business professionals who never lose sight of our clients' business objectives. Clients appreciate our ability to work easily within a variety of staffing and pricing models and to integrate seamlessly with their personnel. The nature of our boutique practice assures our clients that we will staff their matters in a cost efficient manner, with the specific resources required for the job; that we will address their issues promptly but thoughtfully; and that they will have ready access to our partners.
Additionally, we are frequently called upon to request rulings from the National Office of the IRS pertaining to the tax consequences of proposed transactions. We routinely deal with tax audits at the agent and district level, protests before the Appeals Office, refund claims, and matters pertaining generally to collection, levy, payment, and compliance. We also represent clients before state and local tax authorities and assist them in attempting to resolve disputes administratively prior to litigation and obtaining rulings where appropriate. We not only understand substantive and procedural issues but bring to the table creative approaches to problem solving.
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service has been aggressively threatening and prosecuting criminal tax issues. Perhaps motivated by the economic crisis or the public attention given to offshore tax havens and tax avoidance techniques utilized by the wealthy, the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Justice have stepped-up their investigation of taxpayer noncompliance, particularly in the offshore community. In addition, new “whistleblower” provisions have provided U.S. and Non-U.S. citizens alike with the incentive to report violations of the internal revenue laws.
We possess the technical tax capabilities across a broad spectrum of complex issues needed to properly analyze the risks present by with a variety of criminal tax allegations. We have had experience prosecuting these cases (while employed by the IRS) and defending these cases (in the private sector). We work closely with the taxpayer’s existing white collar criminal trial attorneys to provide our clients with a complete “defense team.”
Our goal is to resolve issues without litigation, at the earliest opportunity, and under the most favorable conditions for our clients, and we have a track record of helping clients avoid costly and sensitive litigation through the IRS voluntary disclosure program or through negotiations with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division or DOJ. When circumstances require litigation, however, we are work with our client white collar criminal trial attorneys to present to best defense possible to the charges alleged.
A taxpayer’s use of the IRS’s voluntary disclosure program can minimize (and often effectively eliminate) the risk of IRS referral of the matter to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. In many situations, participation in the voluntary disclosure program (or filing amended returns in a “quiet” voluntary disclosure) is a client’s best course of action (particularly when dealing with offshore foreign bank accounts). We are experienced in helping clients evaluate voluntary disclosure as a strategy, implement it technically, and successfully handle high-profile voluntary disclosure negotiations with the IRS.
Today’s economy and the complex state tax laws present businesses with increasingly complicated and demanding challenges. To remain competitive, it is critical that companies understand and effectively navigate the economic landscape in which they operate. We assist companies assess their state and local tax burden, recommend strategies and offer practical business solutions that support their overall corporate objectives.
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