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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.
Senate Confirms New IRS Commissioner
By Kevin Spencer and Sarah M. Raben on Mar 13, 2023
Posted In Uncategorized
The US Senate has confirmed Daniel Werfel as the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Senate voted 54-42, achieving bipartisan support for the nominee. Undoubtedly on top of Werfel’s priority list will be how to deploy the agency’s $80 billion in new funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. During...
Supreme Court Punts on Attorney-Client Privilege Question
By Kevin Spencer, Sarah M. Raben and McDermott Will & Emery on Feb 2, 2023
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, IRS Audits, Privilege and Non-Disclosure, Trial Courts
In a surprising move, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) dismissed a dispute involving the proper test to apply when determining whether an unnamed law firm’s mixed bag of communications involving both legal advice and discussions of tax preparation was privilege. The dismissal came less than two weeks after oral arguments, with SCOTUS stating...
IRS Finalizes New Schedule UTP and UTP Instructions
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Dec 23, 2022
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Refunds
On December 22, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finalized changes to Schedule UTP, Uncertain Tax Position Statement, and Instructions for Schedule UTP. Proposed changes to Schedule UTP and the UTP Instructions were announced on October 11, 2022, with comments requested by November 18, 2022. Our prior coverage of the proposed changes and comments can...
Tax Court Holds That Deficiency Petition 90-Day Time Limit Is Jurisdictional
By Kevin Spencer, Sarah M. Raben and McDermott Will & Emery on Dec 1, 2022
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, Trial Courts
Last summer, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the 30-day time limit to file a Collection Due Process (CDP) petition is a non-jurisdictional deadline subject to equitable tolling (Boechler, P.C. v. Commissioner). (Our prior discussion of Boechler can be found here.) The natural follow-up issue was whether this holding extended to the...
IRS Issues New Procedures for Large Corporate Audit Disclosures
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Nov 30, 2022
Posted In IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Tax Refunds
For decades, large corporate taxpayers under continuous audit have been able to make disclosures under Revenue Procedure 94-69 at the beginning of an examination to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of adjustments (both positive and negative) to their tax returns and thereby obtain protection from various penalties and obviate the need to file a...
Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Whirlpool
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Nov 21, 2022
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, IRS Guidance, Trial Courts
On November 21, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Whirlpool Financial Corp., et al., Petitioners v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 22-9. This means that the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s decision remains in effect and is binding on the taxpayers who reside in that circuit. However,...
Update on IRS Enforcement Efforts
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Nov 16, 2022
Posted In IRS Audits, IRS Guidance, Tax Reform, Transfer Pricing Resource
We frequently post about the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tax enforcement trends and announcements. Prior examples from this year include the release of a five-year strategic plan emphasizing enforcement, the plan to hire up to 200 additional attorneys to assist with litigation efforts, the implementation of the Large Partnership Compliance (LPC) Pilot Program, a focus...
Update on Schedule UTP Comments
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Nov 14, 2022
Posted In IRS Guidance, Tax Refunds
We previously discussed the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) announcement regarding draft changes to Schedule UTP, Uncertain Tax Position Return Statement, and Instructions to Schedule UTP (Form 1120). The IRS requested comments by November 18, 2022. On November 14, 2022, we submitted our comments to the IRS outlining some of our concerns with the draft changes, focusing...
President Biden to Nominate New IRS Commissioner
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Nov 10, 2022
Posted In Uncategorized
On November 10, 2022, US President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Danny Werfel to serve as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has expressed her support for Werfel’s nomination. Charles Rettig, whose term expires on November 12, 2022, is the current IRS Commissioner and Doug O’Donnell...
The IRS Can Share Your Tax Information with Foreign Governments
By Kevin Spencer and McDermott Will & Emery on Oct 28, 2022
Posted In Appellate Courts, Court Procedure Matters, IRS Audits, IRS Guidance
The recent Zhang v. United States case, Docket No. 21-17093 (9th Cir. Oct. 18, 2022), serves as a reminder that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can force you to disclose and share your tax information with foreign governments. The taxpayers in Zhang appealed the decision from the US District Court for the Northern District of...