Negotiating Tax Disputes

About the Course:

Many executives and business owners mistakenly believe that notifications of tax liabilities are indisputable, unavoidable and irreducible statements of fact. This thinking often proves to be a misperception. Sometimes the tax authorities are in error. Other times they take a more accommodative stance.

Even when additional taxes are due, there are a host of considerations to take into account when negotiating tax controversies:

  • Knowing when to settle and when to fight;
  • Knowing what upsets the tax authorities;
  • Understanding the processes that dictate how the tax authority functions;
  • Being acquainted with the roles and responsibilities of the auditors, examination officers and appeals personnel; and,
  • Becoming familiar with mediation, litigation and Fast-Track Appeals programs.

This unique session provides a wealth of insight and tips into negotiating a more favorable disposition of tax controversies. The following are among the issues discussed:

  • What are the pros and cons of retaining law firms versus accounting firms when seeking representation?
  • What are the risks in soliciting the assistance of the Taxpayer Advocate or triggering a Congressional Inquiry regarding your tax controversy?
  • When can the IRS close your business or seize your assets? Which administrative procedures must be adhered to in so doing?
  • Does the IRS Exam Team have settlement authority?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Fast-Track Appeal procedures?
  • What are the differences in Tax Deficiency Litigation and Tax Refund Litigation?
  • How much coordination typically exists among various tax authorities in resolving a particular taxpayer's liabilities?
  • To what extent can you seek concessions if a tax official fails to follow proper procedures?
  • May you try to conflict out aggressive IRS agents? What are the risks of making such motions?
  • What are the differences between Information Document Requests and Formal Information Documents Requests?
  • When and how should you respond to Notices of Proposed Adjustments?
  • What is the significance of 30-day letters?
  • Is it advisable for the taxpayer to attend conferences between the IRS Exam Team and the IRS Appeals Team?
  • How much latitude does the IRS Appeals Office have in agreeing to creative settlements?
  • How are collection schedules often structured? Do interest and penalties continue to accrue?

Course Leaders: Kevin M. Johnson, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP

Kevin Johnson is a partner in the Tax Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. He focuses his practice on tax controversy and litigation, as well as domestic and international tax planning.

Mr. Johnson has worked in the tax controversy area for over 20 years. Early in his career, he joined the IRS as a revenue agent and also worked in IRS Appeals. As a result of his experience with the IRS, he brings a unique perspective and an insider's understanding of IRS practice and procedure to his tax controversy practice.

Mr. Johnson is vice chair of the ABA Tax Section's Administrative Practice Committee and co-chair of its Current Developments Sub-committee and Administrative Practice Committee. He is a member of the Tax Council of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Tax Section. Prior to joining Pepper, Mr. Johnson was a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka and a member of the Tax Practice Group. Mr. Johnson received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law in 2000 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1995, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He received an M.S. in taxation from Temple University in 1997 and a B.B.A. in 1985.

Course Length: Approx. 1.5 hours

$295.00 PER USER

Purchase Now:

Need help purchasing this course? Please contact Neomi Barazani at 609-919-1895 ext. 100 or at