Tax Controversy and Litigation

The Internal Revenue Service has significantly increased its enforcement efforts in the international tax arena during the last decade, and Harrison Kemm has correspondingly represented a large number of individuals and businesses in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.  We represent clients in connection with all aspects of international tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service at the examination and administrative appeals levels, and before the U.S. Tax Court in litigation matters. 

We have represented clients with respect to a multitude of federal tax issues in dispute with the IRS.  These have included issues involving the application of foreign tax credits, various anti-deferral regimes (such as the Subpart F rules governing controlled foreign corporations as well as the passive foreign investment company rules), the determination of tax residency, the source and character of income, as well as treaty-based tax positions.  We frequently advise and defend businesses and individuals with unreported foreign-source income and foreign assets in both traditional IRS audits as well as in the administrative “voluntary disclosure” programs. 

Given the U.S. attack on undeclared Swiss bank accounts in recent years, we have handled a large number of “voluntary disclosure” cases on behalf of U.S. citizens and residents with unreported foreign income.  Although the Internal Revenue Service generally approaches such cases from the presumptive view that offshore bank accounts and other offshore holdings were concealed for the primary purpose of evading U.S. taxation, such cases require comprehensive factual development and analysis to adopt the best strategic alternative for the client to remedy historic noncompliance issues.  Such analysis and strategy must encompass not only federal tax laws within the Internal Revenue Code, but foreign account reporting obligations under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act as well as potential criminal violations under Title 18 of the U.S. Code.  We represent taxpayers who in appropriate circumstances choose to “opt out” of formal voluntary disclosure programs. We have also represented several clients in connection with mutual assistance requests in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.  Where necessary, we work with criminal co-counsel on IRS criminal matters.

Our firm’s expertise in tax controversy encompasses both controversy/litigation procedures as well as substantive tax law knowledge, thereby enabling us to develop resolution strategies that are individually designed and factually based on each client’s particular circumstances.