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Since 1982 this Tax Law Firm has been helping clients in all manner of tax crime and international tax cases.

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IRS Attorney

IRS Attorney

When faced with the possibility of an audit by or litigation with the IRS, many people immediately think to call their CPA, tax preparer, or a “friend who knows about taxes.” While this may seem like the logical next step, there are two huge reasons why you should call a tax litigation lawyer instead.


Top reasons to choose a tax litigation lawyer over a CPA or tax expert:


When you retain the services of a tax litigation attorney, you automatically obtain “attorney-client privilege.” This means that anything you and your tax litigation lawyer communicate to one another or discuss in private is confidential, and your attorney cannot be forced to testify against you in court. If you hire a CPA or non-attorney tax expert, that person could be forced to testify against you in court.


More Comprehensive Guidance

A Certified Tax Law Specialist (the highest designation available to a tax attorney) must pass a rigorous written examination on technical tax law, and have at least five years of practice in a broad range of taxation issues involving individuals, corporations, partnerships, limited liabilities companies, estates, and trusts.


A Certified Tax Law Specialist has all of the tax expertise of a CPA and the added benefit of being a lawyer. A Certified Tax Law Specialist can identify and discuss with you ALL the legal options you qualify for in your particular tax case, many of which a CPA might not be aware of.


William D. Hartsock Esq., Certified Tax Law Specialist, and the tax litigation attorneys at TaxLawFirm.net can represent and advise you regarding a wide variety of IRS problems, including (but not limited to):

  • Bankruptcy
  • IRS Back Taxes
  • IRS Penalties including Levies, Liens and Wage Garnishment
  • IRS Tax Relief
  • Tax Appeals Litigation
  • Tax Audit Representation


Understanding Tax Litigation

If you are currently or may soon be facing civil or criminal tax litigation, it is critically important that you to begin to understand the major areas of the arena that you will soon be thrust into. Please become familiar with the following and/or call the law office of William D. Hartsock to schedule an appointment so that we may help you better understand your situation and options.



Depending upon your circumstances, you have a choice of which court to litigate your controversy:


  1. Litigate an IRS Notice of Deficiency in U.S. Tax Court;
  2. Appeal a denial of a tax refund request to the U.S. District Court or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims;
  3. Litigate tax issues in Bankruptcy Court;
  4. Litigate California Franchise Tax Board income tax cases;
  5. Litigate California Employment Development Department payroll tax cases before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board;
  6. Litigate State Board of Equalization Sales Tax before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.



Congress has enacted volumes of technical evidentiary and procedural rules that apply to litigation of tax issues. Strict compliance with these rules is mandatory. A violation of any of these rules (sometimes called technicalities) can result in useful evidence being declared inadmissible. If this happens, the judge will disregard the evidence and your motion may be denied, your answer may be stricken, a default judgment may entered against you, or you may lose at trial because of a technicality.



In order for the court to consider your evidence, the following evidentiary rules must be complied with:

  1. Each document must be authentic. We will prove that the document is what it purports to be, and that the preparer or signer can authenticate it;
  2. Each document must be relevant to the controversy. It must be introduced to prove a specific issue in the case;
  3. The purported document must be the best evidence available-the original document;
  4. The document cannot constitute hearsay, or there must be an applicable exception to the hearsay rule that allows it to be admitted into evidence. Hearsay is an out of court statement or document that is introduced to prove the truth of the matter asserted.



An appropriate foundation must be laid before any document can be introduced into evidence. This tax law firm will insure that an appropriate foundation is laid for each document that is introduced into evidence and thus able to be considered by the court.



There are over 200 rules regarding pleadings, discovery, depositions, pre-trial conferences, motions, trial proceedings, and attorneys fees. This tax law firm will make sure that no sanctions will be imposed for failure to follow these rules.



During trial, IRS District Counsel has the right to object during your opening statement, direct examination of your witnesses, cross-examination of the IRS’s witnesses, introduction of evidence, and closing argument. We will be prepared to meet any objections the IRS asserts. We will also be prepared to make all appropriate trial objections to evidence offered by IRS District Counsel in order to keep inadmissible evidence out. All objections to an objectionable question must be made immediately after the question is asked, or the objection is waived. It is therefore imperative to having a solid working knowledge of all trial objections and the ability to identify them immediately. Occasionally it will not be in the taxpayer's best interest to make an objection if it will disclose your strategy, or inform District Counsel that they have asked the wrong question. It is therefore important to be able to employ the correct strategy at any given moment during a trial.



This tax law firm will perform all services necessary to aggressively advocate your position throughout trial. We will:

  1. Prepare or review the Petition or Complaint and other amended or supplemental pleadings;
  2. Prepare and continuously revise the Trial Outline and Trial Notebook;
  3. Research relevant provisions in the Internal Revenue Code, Regulations, and case law;
  4. Interview witnesses, including taking depositions when necessary;
  5. Organize evidence and prepare demonstrative exhibits for trial;
  6. Conduct discovery and take depositions of adverse witnesses. Discover what evidence IRS District Counsel intends to introduce at trial;
  7. File all strategically advantageous motions, such as motions to dismiss and motions in limine;
  8. Negotiate to obtain the best Stipulations and Requests for Admissions from District Counsel;
  9. Prepare the pre-trial and post-trial briefs;
  10. Meet with the Tax Court Judge and District Counsel for all pre-trial conferences and trial preparation;
  11. Aggressively advocate the taxpayer's position at trial;



An experienced tax attorney is best qualified to handle the intricacies of the evidentiary and procedural rules, as well as advocate all objections in a timely manner during trial. This tax law firm has years of tax experience and has successfully defended hundreds of taxpayers during the tax audit, appeals and litigation process.


  • Bankruptcy
  • IRS Back Taxes
  • IRS Penalties Including
  • Levies, Liens and Wage Garnishment
  • IRS Tax Relief
  • Tax Appeals Litigation
  • Tax Audit Representation