Global Regions

S. Michael Chittenden

Michael Chittenden practices in the areas of tax and employee benefits with a focus on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), information reporting (e.g., Forms 1095, 1096, 1098, 1099, W-2, 1042, and 1042-S) and withholding, payroll taxes, and fringe benefits. In addition, Mr. Chittenden has advised clients on qualified and nonqualified retirement plan issues under both the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Mr. Chittenden’s practice includes planning and compliance advice, as well as, error correction and tax controversy.

As part of his FATCA practice, Mr. Chittenden has advised large international automakers, energy companies, retailers, and other nonfinancial companies on withholding agent and other obligations under FATCA. In addition, he has assisted multinational companies on developing comprehensive FATCA and Chapter 3 (nonresident alien reporting and withholding) compliance programs designed to proactively avoid potential errors and pitfalls. In addition to a robust practice focused on nonfinancial companies, Mr. Chittenden has also advised banks and other foreign financial institutions on the due diligence and other requirements of FATCA, including its application to various financial products. Mr. Chittenden is a frequent commentator on FATCA and regularly gives presentations on the compliance burdens for nonfinancial companies. He also serves as a managing editor for the firm's Tax Withholding & Reporting Blog, a resource for in-house counsel, tax, accounts payable and payroll professionals seeking information on tax withholding and reporting developments. 

Mr. Chittenden also advises large employers on their employment tax (FICA taxes, FUTA taxes and income tax withholding) obligations, the special FICA and FUTA tax timing rules for nonqualified deferred compensation, the successor employer rules for FICA taxes, the voluntary correction of employment tax mistakes, and the abatement of late deposit and information reporting penalties. In addition, he has also advised large insurance companies and employers on the information reporting requirements in Sections 6055 and 6056, which were created by the Affordable Care Act, and advised clients on the application of section 6050W (Form 1099-K reporting), including its application to third-party payment networks. Mr. Chittenden has also helped clients develop innovative fringe benefit plans, including section 127 education reimbursement plans. More >

Representative Engagements|View All

  • Advised a large multinational retailer on the development of a comprehensive Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 (FATCA) compliance program, registration of foreign financial institutions within its expanded affiliated group, and the application of FATCA regulations and intergovernmental agreements to entities and retirement plans located in several foreign countries. 
  • Advised several large insurance companies on Form 1095-B reporting, including TIN solicitation requirements, error correction, identification of the employer sponsoring a group health plan, association plan reporting, VEBA reporting, multiemployer plan reporting, and other aspects of the regulations.
  • Represented a large energy company in a multifaceted dispute with the IRS related to numerous alleged information reporting and withholding failures, including the imposition of intentional disregard penalties. 
  • Advised a large foreign financial institution on various issues related to FATCA, including application of the grandfathered obligation rules to various financial products and due diligence obligations. 
  • Advised a large multinational company on issues related to FATCA, including the proper treatment of captive insurance companies that reinsure various benefit plans offered to non-U.S. employees. 
  • Advised an energy company on FATCA issues related to a foreign retirement plan.
Government Experience
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®: Rising Star, Tax: Business, Employee Benefits, 2015 - 2016
Professional and Community Involvement
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation
  • The District of Columbia Bar, Taxation Section
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Court Admissions
Foreign Languages
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, 2009
  • B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 2000