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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.

Key Takeaways | Cryptocurrency Global Tax Enforcement: What Investors and Companies in the Industry Need to Know NOW


By , , , and on Jul 27, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

During a recent program discussing the latest government enforcement efforts related to cryptocurrency, we spoke with Gary Alford, one of the leading Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents in their crypto enforcement efforts, Perry Carbone, Chief of the White Plains Office (US Attorney’s Office – SDNY) and Andy Cole, former Director of Specialist Investigations at HM...

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IRS Issues Annual “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax-Related Scams


By , and on Jul 1, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance

Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes a list of tax-related scams, which it calls the “Dirty Dozen.” This year, it provided a “Dirty Dozen” scam series warning taxpayers of such scams. In IR-2021-135 (June 28, 2021), the IRS rolled out its “Dirty Dozen” list for 2021, warning taxpayers to look out for 12...

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Cryptocurrency Global Tax Enforcement: What Investors and Companies in the Industry Need to Know NOW


By , , and on Jun 30, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

On June 28, 2021, McDermott held a webinar presentation titled “Cryptocurrency Global Tax Enforcement: What Investors and Companies in the Industry Need to Know NOW.” Topics during this webinar included: How to address the tax consequences of past virtual currency transactions, including potential voluntary disclosure considerations. How to protect your business from a US Department...

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Ninth Circuit Holds Tax Form is Substance


By and on Jun 4, 2021
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, Trial Courts

The substance over form doctrine (and related step transaction and economic substance doctrines) are often invoked by courts to disallow tax consequences that seem too good to be true. Courts have struggled for years with how to properly apply these doctrines. Those advocating against application usually rely on the famous passage by Judge Learned Hand...

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Supreme Court Opens Door to APA Challenge of Overreaching IRS Information Reporting Regime


By , and on May 28, 2021
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Trial Courts

In CIC Services, LLC v. Internal Revenue Service, a unanimous US Supreme Court allowed CIC, a tax advisor, to proceed with a pre-enforcement challenge to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) “reportable transaction” regime. CIC alleged that the IRS violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it issued Notice 2016-66 (Notice), deeming certain micro-captive insurance transactions...

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Biden Administration Proposals Will Greatly Enhance IRS’ Ability to Identify Cryptocurrency Transactions


By , , and on May 26, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

The Biden Administration and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continue to focus heavily on cryptocurrency tax enforcement issues. On May 20, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released the American Families Plan Tax Compliance Agenda, a 22-page report detailing tax compliance measures that are to be included as part of US President Joe...

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Eighth Circuit Holds the Mayo in Tax Regulation Invalidity Case


By and on May 17, 2021
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, Tax Reform, Trial Courts

In the latest tax regulation deference case, the Eighth Circuit provided guidance to taxpayers and tax practitioners on the “analytical path” to resolve the question of whether a tax regulation is a valid interpretation of the Internal Revenue Code. The court held that the regulation was invalid in part because it unreasonably added conditions to...

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Finding John Doe, Part II: IRS Secures Another Victory to “Root Out” Virtual Currency Tax Noncompliance


By , , and on May 7, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has scored another significant victory in its rapidly increasing virtual currency tax enforcement efforts. On May 5, 2021, the US District Court for the Northern District of California entered an order authorizing the IRS to serve a John Doe summons on popular cryptocurrency exchange, Payward Ventures Inc. d/b/a Kraken (Kraken)....

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IRS Releases Guidance on Cryptocurrency Hard Forks


By , , , and on May 6, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Reform

On April 9, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Chief Counsel Advice memo 202114020 (Hard Fork CCA), which details the potential tax consequences for taxpayers who held Bitcoin prior to the August 1, 2017, Bitcoin hard fork. While the Hard Fork CCA concerns the taxation of a particular cryptocurrency transaction, it has additional significance...

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IRS Extends Use of Digital Signatures for Certain Forms until End of 2021


By , and on Apr 23, 2021
Posted In IRS Guidance

The list of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms that can be digitally signed continues to grow. On August 28, 2020, the IRS issued a memorandum indicating that it would accept the use of digital signatures on various IRS forms because of the restrictions involved with the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, it announced the addition...

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