Professional representation can be vital during an audit, and our experience with tax authorities enables us to guide clients in their dealings with federal and state agencies. If you have been chosen for an audit, the professional representation you can find with our firm can put many of your worries at bay. We are ready and willing to answer any and all questions the IRS may be asking of you.
Taxpayers’ tax returns are audited by the Examination Function of the IRS. The examining agents, known as revenue agents and tax auditors, can be intimidating. Revenue agents typically handle more complicated cases than tax auditors. Effective representation during the examination is often essential to a positive outcome for taxpayers.
Gerald Brantley has years of experience dealing with revenue agents and income tax auditors. Many of Mr. Brantley’s clients hire him to represent them when they receive notice that their tax return is being audited. In addition, Mr. Brantley works in conjunction with CPAs and other tax professionals who request his assistance. In Mr. Brantley’s opinion, it is important for the CPA who prepared a tax return to involve other tax professionals if the IRS conducts an audit.
If a revenue agent or tax auditor determines that a taxpayer owes additional tax (including penalties), the taxpayer generally has a right to appeal the examining agent’s finding to the IRS Office of Appeals. The mission of the Appeals Function of the IRS is to resolve tax disputes without litigation in an impartial manner. Most income and estate tax controversies are resolved by an agreement negotiated between the taxpayer’s representative and an appeals officer.
Gerald Brantley has years of experience dealing with appeals officers both in private practice and in his tenure as an attorney with IRS Chief Counsel. Although he has negotiated settlements that involve complete concessions of tax and penalties in appropriate cases, most federal tax controversies are settled based on the litigating hazards faced by the IRS in a court proceeding. Mr. Brantley’s tax litigation experience allows him to meaningful apprise the appeals officer of the government’s litigating hazards and often results in a favorable settlement.
The core of Gerald Brantley’s federal tax practice is handling cases in Tax Court or those that may end up in Tax Court. Because the Tax Court is a court of national jurisdiction, Mr. Brantley represents clients from across the country.
Combining his background with the government as an IRS attorney and in private practice representing taxpayers, Mr. Brantley has broad experience on both sides of federal tax controversies. Since returning to private practice in 2007, Mr. Brantley’s representative litigation and administrative experience includes:
A decision restoring exempt status to a charitable organization in a case where the IRS had revoked exempt status.
An order requiring the IRS to withdraw jeopardy assessments of over 35 million dollars in trust fund recovery penalties.
A complete administrative concession by the IRS Examination Function in a case involving the exemption for the members of a religious organization.
A complete administrative concession by the IRS Appeals Function of income tax adjustments totaling over one million dollars.
Settlements and partial concessions with the IRS Appeals Function in cases involving income tax and penalties and trust fund recovery cases.
Negotiations of offers in compromise and installment agreements with the IRS Collection Function.
Cases currently pending in Tax Court.
In his tenure with the government, Mr. Brantley received the Office of Chief Counsel Special Act Award as lead counsel in Estate of Strangi v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2003-145 (Strangi III), a widely reported and important estate tax case. The Wall Street Journal reported that Strangi III “set off alarm bells in the normally placid world of estate planning” and “sent estate planners and their clients scrambling….” (December 2, 2003). Mr. Brantley litigated other important federal tax cases for which he received awards, including a multimillion dollar case involving the taxation of a damage award. In recognition of his trial experience, he was selected as a guest instructor by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (“NITA”). A partial list of Gerald’s reported opinions is provided.