Kevin Spencer Kevin Spencer

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Kevin Spencer focuses his practice on tax controversy issues. Kevin represents clients in complicated tax disputes in court and before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the IRS Appeals and Examination divisions. In addition to his tax controversy practice, Kevin has broad experience advising clients on various tax issues, including tax accounting, employment and reasonable compensation, civil and criminal tax penalties, IRS procedures, reportable transactions and tax shelters, renewable energy, state and local tax, and private client matters. After earning his Master of Tax degree, Kevin had the privilege to clerk for the Honorable Robert P. Ruwe on the US Tax Court. Read Kevin Spencer's full bio.

Tax Court Announces New Case Management System to Go Live Before New Year’s


By and on Dec 18, 2020
Posted In Court Procedure Matters, Trial Courts

We previously reported on the US Tax Court’s (Tax Court) announcement that it was changing its case management system, DAWSON (Docket Access Within a Secure Online Network). This morning, the Tax Court issued a press release confirming the launch of DAWSON on December 28, 2020. Temporary credentials for taxpayers and practitioners already registered for electronic...

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2020’s Key Tax Controversy Developments


By and on Dec 16, 2020
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, IRS Appeals, IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Transfer Pricing Resource, Trial Courts

In the face of the pandemic and all the challenges that came with 2020, tax controversy marched on. In this article, we explore several important cases, including one of the most closely watched Supreme Court cases, CIC Services LLC v. Internal Revenue Service, which raises important questions regarding the scope of the Anti-Injunction Act and...

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The End of an Era—Senior Judge Robert P. Ruwe Retires from US Tax Court


By and on Dec 3, 2020
Posted In Court Procedure Matters, Trial Courts

The US Tax Court (Tax Court) recently announced that Senior Judge Robert P. Ruwe has fully retired as of November 25, 2020, after more than 33 years on the bench. Judge Ruwe graduated from Xavier University and was first in his class in law school at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law. He then...

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Tax Court to Update Case Management System


By , and on Oct 22, 2020
Posted In Court Procedure Matters, Trial Courts

The US Tax Court (Tax Court) recently announced upcoming changes to its case management system. DAWSON (Docket Access Within a Secure Online Network), named after former Tax Court Judge Howard A. Dawson, Jr., who passed away in 2016, is expected to be active by the end of 2020. To facilitate the transition to DAWSON, the...

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Skip Jail and Clean Up Your Tax Problems


By , , and on Jul 16, 2020
Posted In IRS Appeals, IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

If you have knowingly failed to report income or claimed deductions you know you are not entitled to, or just decided not to file your tax returns and pay the tax owed, you may be liable for civil penalties and even jail time for criminal tax evasion. Taxpayers with civil and criminal tax exposure may...

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Section 965 Statutes of Limitations for Partnerships


By , and on Jun 29, 2020
Posted In IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

On May 26, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued PMTA 2020-08 to provide guidance on the period of limitations for Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 965, transition tax-related adjustments of partnerships. Typically, pursuant to IRC section 6501, the IRS has three years to assess a tax liability for a tax year. However, IRC section...

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IRS Targets Private Foundations That May Be Used by Wealthy Taxpayers in Tax Planning


By , and on Jun 26, 2020
Posted In IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Tax Reform, Tax Refunds

​In remarks at the NYU Tax Controversy Forum on June 18, 2020, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials indicated that the agency is analyzing the use of private foundations for tax planning. Ms. Tamera Ripperda, who is the commissioner of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TEGE) Division and previously served as the industry director for the Global...

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Tax Court Records Accessible Again


By and on Jun 11, 2020
Posted In Court Procedure Matters, IRS Guidance

When the US Tax Court (Tax Court) shut down in March, the public was unable to request copies of Tax Court records. That changed effective June 1, 2020, as non-parties may now call and request copies of court records which will then be sent via email. The cost for copy requests is $0.50 per page,...

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Tax Court Holds That Form 870-AD Is Not a Binding Settlement Agreement


By , and on Jun 10, 2020
Posted In IRS Appeals, IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Settlements, Trial Courts

A recent US Tax Court Memorandum Opinion held that a settlement agreement embodied in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 870-AD does not preclude the IRS from reopening an audit and issuing a notice of deficiency. In Howe v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2020-78, the Tax Court held that equitable estoppel did not bind the Commissioner to an...

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Tax Court Holds IRS Chief Counsel Attorneys May Make Initial Penalty Determination


By , and on Jun 8, 2020
Posted In Appellate Courts, IRS Appeals, IRS Guidance

In general, section 6751 requires that a supervisor give written approval before penalties can be asserted against a taxpayer. In Koh v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2020-77, authored by the US Tax Court’s (Tax Court) most recent addition—Judge Travis Greaves—the Tax Court affirmed that an attorney from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Chief Counsel may be authorized to...

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