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Tax Controversies

Thompson & Knight’s tax controversy attorneys represent clients in tax audits and disputes before national and local offices of the Internal Revenue Service, before state and local tax agencies and appeal divisions, and in state and federal courts. Our cases often address complex and novel tax issues that set precedent, decide important industry issues, and develop previously unsettled issues of tax law.

Overview

Thompson & Knight’s tax controversy attorneys represent clients in tax audits and disputes before national and local offices of the Internal Revenue Service, before state and local tax agencies and appeal divisions, and in state and federal courts. We litigate tax disputes for major public companies, privately held companies, partnerships, private foundations, tax-exempt organizations, estates and trusts, and individuals. Our cases often address complex and novel tax issues that set precedent, decide important industry issues, and develop previously unsettled issues of tax law.

Many of our cases have gained national attention due to their major economic impact. As part of our Firm’s preeminent energy industry practice, we have a long history of successfully representing petroleum, hard minerals, and natural resources clients.

Thompson & Knight is consistently ranked as one of the top tax law firms in the United States. As evidenced by numerous rankings and awards, media mentions, and leadership positions, our tax controversy attorneys are recognized leaders and authorities in the field. The practice and Partners have been recognized and ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms,” Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America®, and The Legal 500 US, among others. Three tax controversy Partners are listed among the elite “Leading Lawyers” and “Next Generation Lawyers” in the “U.S. Taxes: Contentious” category in The Legal 500 US 2018 by Legalease.

Our backgrounds include invaluable experience as Senior Executives in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Tax Division. We regularly team up with our trial attorneys in cases litigated in federal district courts and appellate courts.

National first-tier ranking for Tax Litigation in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News-Best Lawyers©

Ranked among the top firms in the nation for U.S. Taxes: Contentious in The Legal 500 US 2018 by Legalease

Two partners included as Leaders in Their Field for “Tax: Litigation” in Chambers USA 2019 by Chambers and Partners

Experience

  • Served as special tax counsel in connection with the largest non-financial bankruptcy in U.S. history, with multi-billion-dollar tax issues relating to the bankruptcy restructuring and IRS proposed tax adjustments
  • Represent a multinational corporation in a tax refund suit involving over $1.5 billion in tax and penalties
  • Prevailed in a case of first impression holding that guarantee fees paid to the foreign parent of a U.S. subsidiary is foreign source income exempt from United States withholding tax
  • Prevailed in a landmark judgment affirmed by the Tenth Circuit establishing that the costs of drilling offshore exploratory oil wells are deductible as intangible drilling and development costs
  • Prevailed in the Tax Court in a case involving determination of the transfer price of Saudi Arabian crude oil, in which the alleged deficiencies totaled billions of dollars; the Fifth Circuit affirmed, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case on appeal
  • Prevailed in the Third Circuit in a case for a major oil company involving platform intangible drilling costs, the allowance of foreign tax credits based on ownership of an economic interest in Iran, and the effective transfer date of a foreign farmout
  • Settled a multi-billion-dollar federal excise tax case involving the transfer of property by a large domestic energy corporation client to its foreign subsidiary
  • Prevailed in the Federal Circuit in a case involving the deductibility of payments made to the Agent Orange settlement fund
  • Successfully represent large corporations in the Court of Federal Claims and IRS administrative proceedings involving multi-million-dollar interest claims on federal tax deficiencies and refunds
  • Prevailed in the Tenth Circuit in a case involving whether a copper mining company’s solvent extraction and electrowinning processes applied to produce 99% pure copper cathodes were mining treatment processes
  • Prevailed in the U.S. Tax Court on a multi-million-dollar administrative adjustment request for a partnership refund, which involved complex partnership litigation procedural issues
  • Represent a tax matters partner in an IRS audit of a partnership involving a novel self-employment tax issue
  • Successfully litigated and defended in federal district courts privilege claims in motions to quash IRS third-party summonses
  • Represented families in IRS appeals and litigation in estate and gift tax valuation cases, including a significant Fifth Circuit victory on the valuation of stock of a closely held corporation
  • Obtained a landmark decision in the Court of Federal Claims about whether certain capital gains were properly distributable net income
  • Represented taxpayers in Freedom of Information Act requests, Appeals, mediation and lawsuits
  • Represent an international company in an IRS audit and competent authority proceeding involving transfer pricing issues
  • Resolved an audit and IRS administrative appeal for a private foundation that faced loss of its exempt charitable organization status and millions in back taxes, with no change to the client’s returns or tax status and no additional taxes imposed
  • Prevailed in a multi-million-dollar offshore voluntary disclosure case
  • Prevailed in the State of New York Division of Tax Appeals in a case described on the front page of the New York Law Journal as “potentially pivotal,” addressing whether the mere presence of a product in the state is sufficient to subject a company to tax liability