Tax Controversies & Litigation

We help our clients navigate through tax controversies by removing obstacles and delivering predictable, efficient resolutions to keep their businesses moving forward.

Our approach

Litigation can be costly and disruptive. You need a partner to help you minimize risk, limit costs and protect your assets. We are at the forefront in obtaining favorable rulings from the tax authorities and the courts.

We represent clients in all aspects of controversies with the Internal Revenue Service—and with state and local tax authorities, understanding your strategic objectives and providing custom solutions. Our team routinely handles audits, coordinate exams, administrative appeals and both civil and criminal tax cases in federal and state courts.

It’s our job to understand our clients’ priorities and then pursue them.

Many of our attorneys are CPAs and have worked for the IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice. Nixon Peabody knows how to “dig in,” isolate the necessary facts and issues, accurately determine the settlement parameters of the tax authorities and negotiate a settlement that protects your interests.

We also understand that not all tax controversies can or should be settled—and if necessary we will fight for you in court on any of a wide variety of tax issues.

Who we work with

  • Financial institutions
  • Multistate corporations
  • Private clients
  • Middle-market businesses (technology, biotechnology, media, health care, etc.)
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Operating businesses
  • International corporations
  • Individuals in the U.S. and abroad
  • Insurance companies
  • Nonprofits
  • Private equity/venture capital firms

Recent Experience

  • Timing of income and deductions, including IRC Sec. 263A
  • Eligibility for the special deduction for Domestic Production Gross Receipts
  • Valuation-based tax issues involving income tax credits and gift and estate taxes
  • Employee—Independent Contractor determinations
  • IRS procedure problems, including delinquent elections or returns
  • Tax exempt organizations’ status, excise taxes and unrelated business income
  • Captive insurance companies
  • Passive holding companies
  • Nexus for state income or sales tax purposes
  • Apportionment methodology, including sales factor sourcing
  • Transfer pricing
  • Add-back of intercompany expenses
  • Forced combination
  • Unitary group determinations
  • Tax treatment of mergers and acquisitions
  • Sales/use tax exemptions
  • Eligibility for tax credits and other incentives
  • Pass-through entities
  • Tax treatment and disclosure of reportable transactions
  • Voluntary disclosure agreements
  • Penalty abatement
  • Responsible person liability
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Abandoned property
  • Property tax exemptions
  • Realty transfer taxes


  • Recommended as one of the “leading tax firms in the world” in the 6th edition of Tax Directors Handbook 2012, compiled by the publishers of The Legal 500 and Legal Business Magazine.
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