Tax Litigation

When appropriate, M. Robinson & Company, P.C. attorneys are fully prepared to litigate cases in court on behalf of our clients. We have successfully represented clients before:

  • The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • The United States Tax Court
  • The United States District Court 

Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board (ATB)

The ATB is an administrative tax court and is the first level of appeal for taxpayers who are aggrieved by the decisions of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. The ATB is also the first level of appeal for taxpayers that are aggrieved by decisions of the Boards of Assessors of the cities and towns of Massachusetts. All tax appeals to the Massachusetts courts must begin with timely appeals to the ATB. There are short and strict time limitations on bringing appeals to the ATB. Thus, the failure to bring a timely appeal to the ATB deprives the ATB of jurisdiction to hear the tax appeal. It also deprives the taxpayer of the right to a further appeal to the courts.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)

We have worked successfully with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to amend an irrevocable trust where an amendment was appropriate to correct a potential tax issue that might have cost our client over $1 million. 

U.S. Tax Court 

In our experience, there are two types of cases that are appealed to the U.S. Tax Court:

  • The first type is a case that should have been settled at the audit level or on appeals. We try to have these cases referred to the IRS Appeals Office for settlement.
  • The second type is cases where the IRS has taken a strong position and will not settle. We are prepared to try those cases if we feel that the IRS is wrong and that the benefits of a victory will outweigh the costs of litigation.

Where a case is properly presented before the U.S. Tax Court, taxpayers generally do not have to pay a tax until the case has been resolved.                                                          

U.S. District Court

The U.S. District Court hears claims for refund after the tax has been paid. The U.S. District Court also has exclusive authority to reform ERISA documents where a taxpayer has made a “scrivener’s error”. The U.S. District Court also has limited jurisdiction to prevent unlawful levies and the sale of a taxpayer’s property by the Internal Revenue Service.

Letter Rulings, where appropriate, we have successfully applied for favorable letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Rulings and Regulations Bureau to minimize our clients’ exposure to adverse tax consequences.