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Civil Tax Audits, Appeals, and Litigation

David M. Garvin, Florida Bar Board Certified Tax Attorney.

Civil tax controversies include IRS audits, appeals, and Tax Court litigation. For over 35 years David M. Garvin has concentrated his practice on the representation of taxpayers in both civil and criminal tax matters. If you have been notified by the IRS that your tax return has been selected for examination, do NOT make the mistake of answering any questions without first retaining an experienced tax attorney to protect your interests. Do your due diligence and select the best tax defense lawyer you can to represent you and your property. David M. Garvin is a Florida Bar Board Certified Tax Lawyer. To become a Florida Bar Board Certified Tax Attorney a lawyer must pass a rigorous selection process which includes a comprehensive examination and confidential peer review. Less than 1% of the lawyers licensed to practice law in the state of Florida are Florida Bar Board Certified Tax Attorneys.

TAX  ATTORNEY

David M. Garvin

When Winning Is Your Only Option.*


Tax attorney, David M. Garvin, is recognized by his peers for his superior knowledge, skill, and results. Mr. Garvin is a Florida Bar certified tax lawyer, has an LLM in Taxation, and has been selected by "Super Lawyers" for 12 consecutive years. He has has been selected by "Best Lawyers in America" and  is the two time winner of the prestigious Daily Business Review "Most Effective Lawyer" award, 2014 and 2010. Mr. Garvin has an AVVO rating of "Superb" and a Martindale Hubbell rating of "AV", the highest rating. Tax attorney, David M. Garvin, has been consistently selected for inclusion in the "Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers" during the past 20 years. Mr. Garvin has concentrated on tax defense for over 35 years and has compiled a remarkable list of trial victories. The law firm handles both civil and criminal tax matters including IRS tax audits, IRS appeals, Tax Court litigation, preparer penalties and injunctions, collections and all criminal tax matters.  Appeals officers often give great wait to arguments supported by specific Internal Revenue Code sections, Treasury Regulations, and Tax Court rulings in other similar cases.

A Tax Attorney Is Crucial For IRS Audits, Appeals and Tax Court Litigation.

A tax attorney who is a member of the United States Tax Court has the authority to represent taxpayers in civil tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Tax Court.  The best tax attorneys are knowledgable of the Internal Revenue Code and the supporting Treasury regulations.

Civil IRS Audits

Civil Tax cases often start when the IRS computer that processes tax returns determines that the ratios relating to income and expenses of a particular tax return are not within the averages or norms of all the other similar tax returns. The computer selects these returns for further review. Often the tax return is assigned to an agent to examine or audit. The civil tax audit is generally conducted by trained revenue agents. The best tax lawyers understand and avoid the pitfalls that arise during IRS audits. For over 35 years, tax attorney David M. Garvin has represented taxpayers who are being audited by the IRS. The results of many of these cases have been remarkable. For example, Mr. Garvin represented a taxpayer who the IRS initially asserted that its audit resulted in a determination that the taxpayer owed over $7 million in taxes, penalties and interest. After 2 years of presenting arguments to the IRS the case was finally resolved with the taxpayer not owing any taxes, penalties or interest for these matters.When taxpayers learn that they are being audited their top priority often is to resolve the matter quickly, quietly and at the least cost possible. Mr. Garvin strives to meet his client's goals in each case. 

IRS Appeals

When an agreement cannot be reached during the IRS audit, the taxpayer has the right to file a protest regarding any proposed additional tax, penalties or interest. The taxpayer's protest will include a request for a conference with an appeals officer at the appeals office of the Internal Revenue Service. The appeals office is independent from the IRS examination department.  The appeals office is permitted to settle cases with taxpayers based upon the "Hazards of Litigation" standard.  This means that the appeals officer can assess the position of the auditor as well as the position of the taxpayer and make an educated approximation of how the Tax Court will rule if the matter does not settle and goes to Tax Court.  For example, if the appeals officer determines that the taxpayer and the IRS auditor each have a 50/50 chance of winning in Tax Court, the appeals officer has the authority to settle the case with the taxpayer for 50% of the additional taxes and penalties proposed by the IRS auditor.  Appeals officers often give great wait to arguments supported by specific Internal Revenue Code sections, Treasury Regulations, and Tax Court rulings in other similar cases.

FORMER MAYOR AND WIFE NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.

Julio Rabiana, the former mayor of Hialeah, and his wife, Raiza, retain Mr. Garvin to represent them at their criminal tax trial. Observers of the high stakes trial stated that the criminal tax evasion defense attorney, David M. Garvin, masterfully presented the position of the Robainas.  The Miami Herald summarized the trial as follows:  "The Robainas' attorney, David Garvin is an accountant as well as a lawyer, an expert in tax law who outgunned the prosecution". - The Miami Herald. Following the trial, Mr. Garvin represented the Robainas in their civil tax case. The case was ultimately resolved at appeals.

United States Tax Court cases.

If a taxpayer who has been audited is unable to resolve the matter with the auditor and is also unable to resolve the case with the appeals officer, the taxpayer may petition to have the matter decided by the United States Tax Court.  Immediately following the unsuccessful appeals review, the taxpayer will be issued a letter placing the taxpayer on notice that he has 90 days to file a petition with the United States Tax Court. If the taxpayer fails to file the petition within the mandatory 90 day period, the taxpayer will waive his right to have the Tax Court hear the case. If the petition is timely filed, the Tax Court will set the matter for trial. The Tax Court travels to designated large cities to conduct trials. The Tax Court returns to Washington, D.C upon the conclusion of the trial calendar.  The IRS is represented by IRS general counsel during the Tax Court proceedings.  The taxpayer may have his case heard in Tax Court without the taxpayer having paid the contested additional taxes and/or penalties. 

Trials that occur in Tax Court do not have a jury. The judge determines the facts and the applicable law in each case after hearing the testimony of the witnesses and reviewing the exhibits. The Tax Court will require the parties to stipulate to as many facts and exhibits as possible to streamline the actual trial and reduce the amount of time the Court will need to be physically present in the courtroom.

Tax Cases in the United States District Court

If the taxpayer misses the 90 notice of deficiency deadline to petition the United States Tax Court to hear his case, the taxpayer may file his case in the Federal United States District Court.  The United States District Court will afford the taxpayer a jury trial. However, the taxpayer will be required to pay the tax in dispute and file a claim for refund with the IRS. If the IRS declines the clain for refund or fails to act on the claim for refund, the taxpayer will be then permitted to sue the IRS for the refund.  The matter will be decide before a six member jury.

IRS Litigation for Injunctions.   

The IRS has the authority to seek an injunction from the Unted States District Court prohibiting a company or individual from preparing income tax returns in the future.  When the IRS computer determines that a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) for an individual has filed an unusual amount of tax returns for customers claiming refundable tax credits or business expenses, the IRS will commence an investigation. The investigation often includes the IRS agents interviewing the individual taxpayers to determine whether the tax returns have been prepared properly. If the IRS determine that the tax returns claiming the refundable credits and business expenses were not prepared properly, the IRS is authorized to file a lawsuit in the United States District Court seeking an injunction against the person or entity that prepared the tax returns.  Injunction cases fall within the Court's inherent equitable juridiction. The trial is before the judge. There is no jury. f the taxpayer loses the case he may be enjoined from preparing tax returns for a period of years or, in some case, permanently.  Mr. Garvin has extensive experience in this type of cases.

Nations Business Centers, Inc. and Ernest Cruz

The Internal Revenue Service sought to prevent Nation's Business Centers, Inc. and its owner from preparing tax returns. This would have been what is commonly referred to as  the "Business Death Penalty."  Following a two week trial the Court denied the government the injunction it sought.  The IRS appealed. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner sitting as a guest judge rendered the opinion affirming the trial court.

"I and the employees of Nations Business Centers, Inc. will be forever grateful for the legal skills, professionalism and effort that David Garvin exhibited on our behalf when the IRS attempted to permanently close our successful tax preparation business."  Ernest Cruz.

Criminal Investigations Should Not be Treated as a Civil Audit

The best tax lawyers know that criminal investigations should never be treated by the taxpayer or his representatives as a civil audit.  It should be remembered that the job of a special agent is to collect evidence in order to indict and convict the target of the investigation. The special agents are trained to be friendly to get the taxpayer and witnesses to talk and provide them information they need to make a criminal case.  However, they can also quickly become angry and intimidating to get the taxpayer or witness to talk, if they determine that this is necessary to get the job accomplished.

 

Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion Trial Results

Perhaps the single most important factor in determining which lawyer to retain for a tax evasion case is the lawyer's experience and, in particular, the jury trial results of the tax fraud and tax evasion cases the lawyer has handled. Representative cases of tax evasion defense attorney, David M. Garvin, are set forth below. Note: past results are not indicative of future success. The list below is not a complete list.

Case Name    Case No.        Result

U.S. v. S.G.    17-CR-00366     Not Guilty                                   

U.S. v. N.M.   15-CR-20258     Not Guilty

U.S. v. J.R.     13-CR-20346     Not Guilty

U.S. v. R.R.    13-CR-20346     Not Guilty

U.S. v. J.M.    12-CR-60025     Not Guilty

U.S. v. H.C.    08-CR-20916     Not Guilty

U.S. v. D.A.    04-CR-20190     Not Guilty

U.S. v. T.E.     98-CR-00511     Not Guilty

U.S. v. C.U.    98-CR-00398     Not Guilty

The average tax fraud or tax evasion investigation takes 2 to 3 years to complete. The average tax fraud or tax evasion case takes approximately 12 months from arrest to jury trial. Compare the trial results of tax evasion defense attorney David M. Garvin with any other criminal tax lawyer or law firm. You can contact tax evasion defense lawyer David M. Garvin at 305-371-8101.  


Selecting a Tax Lawyer

When selecting a tax lawyer the taxpayer should consider whether the lawyer's law practice concentrates on tax cases. Other important factors include whether the lawyer holds an LLM in Taxation, is also a Certified Public Accountant, and/or Florida Bar Board Certified as a tax lawyer.  David M. Garvin's law practice concentrates on representing clients with tax cases. Mr. Garvin holds an LLM in taxation and is a Certified Public Accountant. Finally, he is Florida Bar Board Certified as a tax attorney.  We urge you to compare Mr. Garvin's qualifications and trial results to any other lawyer or law firm.

INDIANAPOLIS 500 WINNER IS FOUND NOT GUILTY.

Helio Castroneves thought that he had done everything properly when it came to tax planning as well as reporting and paying his taxes.  Mr. Castroneves was shocked to find that he and his sister, who acted as his business manager, together with his lawyer, were targets of a criminal tax investigation.  All three defendants maintained their innocence and went to trial.  Following his victory in the criminal case, the Internal Revenue Service brought a civil case against Helio. The IRS asserted millions of taxes, penalties and interest. David Garvin successfully convinced the IRS to settle the case for a small fraction of the amount the IRS asserted as due.

Frequently Asked Questions in Tax Cases

Some of the most common questions follow.

1.  What is the statute of limitations in a civil income tax case?

Answer: Generally, the Internal Revenue Code provides that no audit or assessment is to be made more than 3 years from the date the tax return was filed. However, if no tax return was filed, the 3 year statute does not begin to run.  The statute is 6 years if the tax return omits 25% or more of the gross income. In the case of fraud, there is no civil statute of limitations.

2.  If I receive a notice from the IRS stating that my tax return has been selected to be audited, should I amend my tax returns to correct any errors before the audit starts?

Answer: Generally, once an audit notice has been received the taxpayer should not file an amended tax return. The filing of an amended tax return at that point may cause unnecessary confusion. The taxpayer is likely to get little benefit from filing an amended tax return after the notice of the audit is received by the taxpayer.

3.  If I do not agree with the result of an IRS audit, what can I do?

Answer:  When an IRS auditor completes an audit, he will issue a revenue agent report that will list each propsed adjustment including additional income and the disallowance of deductions, expenses and credits.  The taxpayer has 30 days to file a protest to the audit findings and to request for Appeals Office review. The protest must state the items the taxpayer objects to.

4.  If I do not agree with the result of an Appeals Office review, what can i do?

Answer: When the appeals office renders its decision a notice of deficiency will be issued and delivered to the taxpayer. The notice of deficiency will notify the taxpayer that he has 90 days to petition the United States Tax Court for review. It is imparative that the deadline not be missed.

When Winning is Your Only Option.*

* Note: The results of each trial are largely affected by the unique facts of that case. Past results are not a guarantee of future success.

Federal Tax Crimes

The practice areas of the Firm include the following federal tax crimes:

Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.

Any person required under this title to collect, account for, and pay over any tax imposed by this title who willfully fails to collect or truthfully account for and pay over such tax shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.

Any person required under this title to pay any estimated tax or tax, or required by this title or by regulations made under authority thereof to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 ($100,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.

In the case of any person with respect to whom there is a failure to pay any estimated tax, this section shall not apply to such person with respect to such failure if there is no addition to tax under section 6654 or 6655 with respect to such failure.

In the case of a willful violation of any provision of section 6050I, the first sentence of this section shall be applied by substituting "felony" for "misdemeanor" and "5 years" for "1 year".

In lieu of any other penalty provided by law (except the penalty provided by section 6674) any person required under the provisions of section 6051 to furnish a statement who willfully furnishes a false or fraudulent statement or who willfully fails to furnish a statement in the manner, at the time, and showing the information required under section 6051, or regulations prescribed thereunder, shall, for each such offense, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

a) Withholding on wages Any individual required to supply information to his employer under section 3402 who willfully supplies false or fraudulent information, or who willfully fails to supply information thereunder which would require an increase in the tax to be withheld under section 3402, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. (b) Backup withholding on interest and dividends If any individual willfully makes a false certification under paragraph (1) or (2)(C) of section 3406(d), then such individual shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

Any person who - (1) Declaration under penalties of perjury Willfully makes and subscribes any return, statement, or other document, which contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under the penalties of perjury, and which he does not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter; or (2) Aid or assistance Willfully aids or assists in, or procures, counsels, or advises the preparation or presentation under, or in connection with any matter arising under, the internal revenue laws, of a return, affidavit, claim, or other document, which is fraudulent or is false as to any material matter, whether or not such falsity or fraud is with the knowledge or consent of the person authorized or required to present such return, affidavit, claim, or document; or (3) Fraudulent bonds, permits, and entries Simulates or falsely or fraudulently executes or signs any bond, permit, entry, or other document required by the provisions of the internal revenue laws, or by any regulation made in pursuance thereof, or procures the same to be falsely or fraudulently executed, or advises, aids in, or connives at such execution thereof; or (4) Removal or concealment with intent to defraud Removes, deposits, or conceals, or is concerned in removing, depositing, or concealing, any goods or commodities for or in respect whereof any tax is or shall be imposed, or any property upon which levy is authorized by section 6331, with intent to evade or defeat the assessment or collection of any tax imposed by this title; or (5) Compromises and closing agreements In connection with any compromise under section 7122, or offer of such compromise, or in connection with any closing agreement under section 7121, or offer to enter into any such agreement, willfully - (A) Concealment of property Conceals from any officer or employee of the United States any property belonging to the estate of a taxpayer or other person liable in respect of the tax, or (B) Withholding, falsifying, and destroying records Receives, withholds, destroys, mutilates, or falsifies any book, document, or record, or makes any false statement, relating to the estate or financial condition of the taxpayer or other person liable in respect of the tax; shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.

Any person who willfully delivers or discloses to the Secretary any list, return, account, statement, or other document, known by him to be fraudulent or to be false as to any material matter, shall be fined not more than $10,000 ($50,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. Any person required pursuant to subsection (b) of section 6047 or pursuant to subsection (d) of section 6104 to furnish any information to the Secretary or any other person who willfully furnishes to the Secretary or such other person any information known by him to be fraudulent or to be false as to any material matter shall be fined not more than $10,000 ($50,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(a) Corrupt or forcible interference

Whoever corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) endeavors to intimidate or impede any officer or employee of the United States acting in an official capacity under this title, or in any other way corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to obstruct or impede, the due administration of this title, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both, except that if the offense is committed only by threats of force, the person convicted thereof shall be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. The term “threats of force”, as used in this subsection, means threats of bodily harm to the officer or employee of the United States or to a member of his family.

(b) Forcible rescue of seized property

Any person who forcibly rescues or causes to be rescued any property after it shall have been seized under this title, or shall attempt or endeavor so to do, shall, excepting in cases otherwise provided for, for every such offense, be fined not more than $500, or not more than double the value of the property so rescued, whichever is the greater, or be imprisoned not more than 2 years.

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.

 To contact Criminal Tax Lawyer David M. Garvin call 305-371-8101.

Copyright 2020 David M. Garvin, P.A.