Tax Controversy

A New Era in Tax Controversy

Increased IRS focus on early issue identification and coordinated enforcement has made it imperative to involve authoritative tax controversy lawyers -- with the skills and experience required to address complex, high-risk exposures -- early in the process. Since its founding in 1920 as the first federal tax practice in the U.S., Miller & Chevalier has been the tax firm of choice for sophisticated corporate clients. We have a formidable reputation for successfully resolving major tax controversies for the world's largest multinational corporations because of the experience and knowledge that we have gained over the years from working in the government, working cooperatively with the government, and challenging the government when required to represent our clients effectively.

Our tax controversy group has advised clients with disputes in every significant area of federal taxation, from the audit level and IRS appeals to litigation. We are experienced in negotiating favorable administrative solutions, and equally skilled at trial, should litigation be the best course of action. We assist companies across a wide range of industries, as well as tax-exempt organizations.

Our Approach to Client Service

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 models and to integrate seamlessly with their team of internal and external specialists. The nature of our practice assures our clients that we will staff their matters efficiently, 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 members of their Miller & Chevalier team.

Our tax controversy practice is never static. We closely monitor developments in the administration of the tax laws, such as changes in the IRS's approach to audits, the emergence of new dispute resolution tools, and the designation of issues or cases for litigation. We keep our clients informed of these developments as they occur.

Achieving Favorable Administrative Solutions

Litigation is usually the option of last resort. We are committed to resolving issues short of litigation, at the earliest opportunity, and with the best possible results for our clients. Miller & Chevalier has achieved extraordinary outcomes for our clients at every phase of the IRS administrative process.

We understand that audits can be disruptive to business and consume valuable internal resources. If not managed correctly, they can disturb companies’ investor relationships and business partnerships and affect bottom line. We have a long and successful record helping our clients plan for their audits and helping them manage the range of audit issues. Our clients routinely engage us to help them develop strategies for issues that have been raised during an audit, as well as to identify other areas of risk.

We advise our clients on a comprehensive range of issues, including responding to information document requests, complying with formal document requests, quashing summonses, controlling statutes of limitation, establishing document retention procedures, identifying and protecting privileged documents, and dealing with specific audit adjustments proposed by examining agents.

In the current environment of increased IRS scrutiny, we believe it essential that clients be prepared from the outset for the possibility of litigation. We establish a consistent strategy from the earliest stages of an engagement, one that will serve our clients not only throughout the administrative process, but in litigation, should it be necessary.

Our experience matching clients with the precise administrative programs and procedures best suited to their needs is unparalleled. We complement our broad knowledge of this administrative landscape with a thorough understanding of each program's nuances. From Fast Track Settlement to Early Referral to Appeals, traditional Appeals, Post-Appeals Mediation, the Compliance Agreement Program (CAP), the Pre-Filing Agreement program, and Advance Pricing Agreements, our lawyers' blend of insight and experience allow us to resolve important and difficult matters quickly and on terms favorable to our clients. Most recently, our clients have benefited from our experience navigating the Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) Industry Issue Focus (IIF) program.

We also know when an IRS administrative program may not be the best option for meeting a client's goals. In those situations, we are equally experienced addressing issues in other government venues, such as the U.S. Department of the Treasury or, where legislative solutions apply, Congress.

Our Unique Approach to Tax Litigation

There are times when circumstances dictate resolution by litigation. Businesses with multi-million dollar amounts in controversy choose Miller & Chevalier for our depth of experience, our approach to litigation, and our record of achievement in court.

Our approach to litigation is strategic. Our clients know that we will recommend trial only if it is in their best interest, and that when litigation is necessary, we are forceful advocates who will defend their interests vigorously and persuasively.

Our extensive litigation skills are matched by top credentials in tax. Over the last two decades, Miller & Chevalier lawyers have litigated more than 100 tax cases in the United States Tax Court, United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Federal District Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court, including several of the largest tax cases of record.

Miller & Chevalier's breadth and depth offers clients the benefit of a carefully selected team that includes the right mix of substantive and litigation skills for the particular case. This capacity assures the highest quality representation while maximizing efficiency.

Government Experience
  • Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service
  • Acting Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service
  • Deputy Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service
  • Assistant Commissioner (Technical), Internal Revenue Service
  • Special Assistant for Fringe Benefits, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits & Exempt Organizations), Internal Revenue Service
  • Senior Attorney Advisor, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits & Exempt Organizations), Internal Revenue Service
  • Attorney Advisor, Legislation & Regulations Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service
  • Honors Attorney, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International), Internal Revenue Service
  • Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Associate International Tax Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Honors Attorney, Office of the International Tax Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Attorney Advisor, Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Tax Assistant, Office of the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Majority Tax Counsel, Committee on Ways & Means, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Assistant Chief of Staff, Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress
  • Assistant Legislative Counsel, Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress
  • Legislation Attorney, Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers USA: Tax Team of the Year, 2016
  • Chambers USA: Tax: Controversy (National), 2007 - 2016
  • Chambers USA: Tax (District of Columbia), 2003 - 2016
  • Legal 500: Tax: Non-Contentious (US), 2013 - 2016
  • Legal 500: Tax: International Tax (US), 2013 - 2016
  • Legal 500: Tax: Contentious (US), 2007 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Litigation - Tax (National), 2011 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Tax Law (National), 2010 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (National), 2014 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Litigation - Tax (District of Columbia), 2011 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Tax Law (District of Columbia), 2010 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (District of Columbia), 2010 - 2016
  • International Tax Review "Americas Tax Awards": Americas Tax Policy Firm of the Year, 2012 - 2013, 2015 - 2016 
  • International Tax Review "Americas Tax Awards": Washington, DC Tax Firm of the Year, 2013
  • International Tax Review "Americas Tax Awards": Washington, DC Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year, 2012
  • International Tax Review: World Tax (Washington, DC), 2012, 2014 - 2016
  • International Tax Review: World Transfer Pricing (National), 2014 - 2016
Clerkships