Tax Controversy

Tax Controversy
» IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosures
» Civil Tax Controversy
» Criminal Tax Defense
» Whistleblower Representation

IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosures
The IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program with reduced penalties has ended, but taxpayers may still avoid criminal prosecution. The deadline has passed for the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure program. The program offered taxpayers with offshore accounts or entities the opportunity to come forward and avoid criminal prosecution and take advantage of reduced penalties. However, taxpayers who did not take advantage of the program may still make a voluntary disclosure in an effort to avoid criminal prosecution under the IRS’ pre-existing voluntary disclosure policy.

The attorneys of LeSourd & Patten, P.S. are prepared to help clients explore their options under the various programs offered by the IRS.

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Civil Tax Controversy
Civil Tax Litigation
LeSourd & Patten is well known for its expertise in civil tax litigation. Prior to entering private practice, four of our attorneys represented the Internal Revenue Service in courts throughout the United States. The firm’s attorneys frequently represent taxpayers in United States Tax Court, United States District Courts, United States Court of Federal Claims and appellate courts.

Examples of Litigation:
  • Tax litigation involving depreciation of factory trawlers and other commercial fishing industry issues
  • Convincing the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice to decline to prosecute a large regional financial institution and obtaining a tax refund of over one-half million dollars for the same tax years in the United States Claims Court.
  • Obtaining a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the accumulated earnings tax did not apply to publicly-held corporations.
  • Persuading a federal judge in Alaska to dismiss an Internal Revenue Service collection suit because of a procedural technicality.
  • Convincing the Internal Revenue Service in a United States Tax Court case to concede a quarter million dollar tax liability asserted against an architect.

Audits and Appeals
LeSourd & Patten’s attorneys resort to litigation only when necessary. The firm settles many disputes at the audit or Appeals Office level. In audits, we often assist our clients and their accountants in pursuing a strategy that maximizes the chance of an early settlement, but also lays the necessary groundwork for possible future litigation.

Audit and Appeals Office work includes:
  • Convincing the Internal Revenue Service to drop a civil penalty investigation of a CPA for allegedly “aiding and abetting” in the preparation of a false return.
  • Receiving a determination from the Internal Revenue Service Appeals Office that pilots of an airline were independent contractors rather than employees.
  • Convincing a revenue agent that a case involving a gross understatement of tax should not be referred to the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, but should be resolved through civil proceedings.
  • IRS Income Tax Examinations
  • IRS Summons – Examination
  • IRS Appeals Office
  • IRS Estate Tax Examinations
  • Valuation Disputes
  • IRS Interest Abatement
  • IRS fast-track settlement
  • IRS fast-track mediation
  • IRS arbitration
  • Qualified Offers
  • IRS Refund Claims
  • Civil Tax Fraud
  • Ruling Requests
  • Technical Advice Requests
  • Freedom of Information Act requests
  • Tax opinions
  • TEFRA Partnership Procedures
  • Statute of Limitations
  • Attorney Fee Recoveries
  • Jeopardy and Termination Assessments
  • Collection Due Process appeals
  • CAP Appeals
  • IRS employment tax examinations
  • Worker classification (employee/independent contractor)
  • Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
  • Payroll tax issues
  • Return Preparer and Promoter Penalties (including return preparer project audits and disputing preparer penalties at the Appeals Office)
  • Promoter Injunctions
  • Circular 230 Issues
  • Office of Professional Responsibility Matters

Tax Collection
Our attorneys regularly resolve tax collection issues with IRS Revenue Officers and collection personnel at the Ogden Service Center and the IRS Automated Collection System. We have extensive experience in helping clients with liens, levies, seizures and other enforced collection procedures. In resolving collection matters, we often negotiate installment agreements and offers in compromise and, where appropriate, provide advice regarding the dischargeability of taxes in bankruptcy.

Collection matters include:
  • Persuading the Tax Division of the Department of Justice to accept $45,000 in full payment of a 100% tax penalty and accrued interest, totaling approximately $138,000.
  • Convincing the Internal Revenue Service to drop its assertion that an individual was liable for the 100% penalty for taxes withheld by a corporation but not paid to the government.
  • Successfully negotiating an installment payment plan on behalf of a physician involving a tax liability of $100,000 which the Internal Revenue Service was attempting to collect through enforced collection action.
  • Installment Agreements
  • Currently Not Collectible Status
  • Offers in Compromise
  • Collection Due Process Appeals
  • CAP Appeals
  • Federal Tax Lien Subordinations
  • Federal Tax Lien Certificates of Discharge
  • Lien and Levy Releases
  • Federal Tax Lien Certificate of Non-Attachment
  • Erroneous Federal Tax Liens
  • Wrongful Levy
  • Abatement of Penalties
  • Innocent Spouse Relief
  • IRS Seizures
  • IRS Summons – Collection

State & Local Tax
State and local tax matters include:
  • Successfully appealing to the United States Supreme Court a business and occupation tax case involving a major manufacturer.
  • Challenging in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding a $1.7 million claim for Washington State excise taxes. Following extensive discovery, the Department of Revenue was convinced to concede over $1.0 million of its claim.
  • Washington Sales & Use Taxes
  • Washington Business and Occupation (B&O;) Taxes
  • City Business and Occupation (B&O;) Taxes
  • State Voluntary Disclosure
  • Closing agreements with the State Department of Revenue
  • Trust Fund Accountability Assessment
  • State & Local Tax Litigation

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Criminal Tax Defense
Since its inception, LeSourd & Patten’s attorneys have represented individuals and corporations who are targets of criminal tax and other types of investigations by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice. The firm represents clients in administrative investigations, grand jury investigations and trials in federal district court, as well as in Internal Revenue Service civil audits which have the potential to be referred to the Criminal Investigation Division.

Criminal tax matters include:
  • IRS voluntary disclosures for non-filers, amended returns and off-shore activity
  • Obtaining an acquittal following a five-day trial in federal district court for an individual charged with willfully failing to file federal income tax returns.
  • Advising an accounting firm how to respond to an Internal Revenue Service summons in connection with one of its clients who was the target of a criminal investigation.
  • Favorably settling a civil forfeiture action where the United States Attorney was pursuing a parallel grand jury investigation involving an alleged conspiracy to violate drug and money laundering statutes. The United States Attorney agreed to drop all criminal charges including charges for willful failure to file tax returns.
  • Tax Fraud
  • Tax Evasion
  • Federal, State, and Local IRS summons
  • Offshore/Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBAR)
  • Report Of International Transportation Of Currency Or Monetary Instruments (CMIR)
  • Form 8300
  • Currency Transactions Reports (CTR)
  • Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

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Whistleblower Representation
LeSourd & Patten, P.S. represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service in Whistleblower cases. If certain technical prerequisites are met, the IRS is authorized to pay an award to persons who provide specific and credible information that leads to the collection of tax, penalties and interest from a noncompliant taxpayer. Section 7623 of the Internal Revenue Code has recently been amended to provide for a potential award typically ranging from 15% to 30% of the amount collected.

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