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.

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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Tax Court Zooms into Remote Proceedings


By and on Jun 2, 2020
Posted In Court Procedure Matters, Trial Courts

On May 29, 2020, the US Tax Court (Tax Court) announced that to accommodate continuing uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and until further notice, all court proceedings would be conducted remotely. The Tax Court also issued Administrative Order 2020-02 regarding the conduct of remote proceedings and Administrative Order 2020-03 regarding limited entries of appearance. The Orders are effective until terminated...

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Andy Keyso To Head IRS Appeals


By and on May 21, 2020
Posted In Appellate Courts, IRS Appeals, IRS Guidance, Uncategorized

On May 20, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Andy Keyso has been named Chief of the IRS Independent Office of Appeals. He replaces Donna Hansberry, who retired in December 2019. Mr. Keyso is a long time veteran of the IRS, with more than 25 years of service. During his career, he has...

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IRC 45Q Credit Under IRS Scrutiny: Government Finds Majority of Carbon Oxide Credits Improperly Claimed


By , and on May 6, 2020
Posted In IRS Guidance, Uncategorized

In response to a series of questions posed in a November 2019 letter from Senator Menendez (D-NJ), the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a letter on April 15, 2020, analyzing carbon oxide credits under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 45Q. For tax years between 2010 and 2019, TIGTA found that up to...

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IRS Appeals Large Case Pilot Program Ends


By and on May 6, 2020
Posted In IRS Appeals, IRS Guidance, Uncategorized

More than three years ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revised the Internal Revenue Manual to provide IRS Appeals Division (Appeals) with discretion to invite representatives from the IRS Examination Division (Exam) and IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Counsel) to the Appeals conference. The IRS also started a three-year initiative for taxpayers under the Large...

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Eighth Circuit Applies Subjective Standard to Reasonable Basis Penalty Defense


By , and on May 4, 2020
Posted In Appellate Courts, Trial Courts, Uncategorized

On April 24, 2020, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit published its opinion in Wells Fargo & Co. v. United States, No. 17-3578, affirming a district court’s holdings that the taxpayer was not entitled to certain foreign tax credits and was liable for the negligence penalty for claiming the credits. Much has...

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