Tax Litigation

Increased issue identification and coordinated enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is leading to more tax controversies and more entrenched government positions. In some circumstances, litigation is the only way to resolve a tax dispute. Sophisticated businesses with significant tax disputes choose Miller & Chevalier as their advocate based on our approach to litigation, our depth of experience, and our record of achievement in court.

Strategic Approach

Our approach to tax litigation is strategic. We understand that litigation is a means to an end -- that end being the satisfactory resolution of an important tax issue. Our clients know that we will recommend litigation only if it is in their best interests. They also know that when litigation is necessary, we are forceful advocates who will defend their interests vigorously and persuasively.

Tax litigation differs in important respects from other types of civil litigation. The federal government is a unique adversary; understanding how the IRS and the Department of Justice approach a litigation matter is essential in developing a winning case and to recognizing settlement opportunities should they present themselves. Further, tax litigation may be pursued in one of three distinct courts, the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and local federal district courts. Each judicial forum offers potential advantages and disadvantages and tendencies that must be weighed in every case. Lastly, the subject matter is inherently technical and specialized. While mastery of the substantive tax rules is essential, in almost every case favorable facts must be developed and woven into a coherent and persuasive story that aligns with the taxpayer’s interpretation of the technical rules. Successful tax litigation thus requires a special blend of substantive tax knowledge and advocacy skills. Miller & Chevalier brings this combination to every tax litigation matter we handle.

Proven Experience

The litigation skills of Miller & Chevalier’s tax litigation team are matched by our credentials in tax. We are tax lawyers who litigate, and do so effectively. Over the last two decades, Miller & Chevalier lawyers have litigated more than 100 tax cases in the federal courts, including several of the largest tax cases of record. Many of our tax litigators gained significant litigation experience while previously in government service with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the Department of Justice Tax Division. In each case, our seasoned litigators use their experience to present the applicable law and the relevant facts in the most compelling fashion. When additional technical experience is needed, Miller & Chevalier’s substantive breadth and depth offers our clients the benefits of a carefully selected team of tax litigation authorities and technical tax professionals. Our tax team members work together seamlessly and efficiently, thus assuring the highest quality representation and maximizing efficiency. Further, as with our entire tax controversy practice, our tax litigation team works effectively and efficiently with the client’s in-house personnel and other outside experts and advisors toward one goal, winning the case for the client.

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
  • Honors Attorney, Office of the International Tax 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": Litigation - Tax (District of Columbia), 2011 - 2016
  • U.S. News -- Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": Tax 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