Tax controversy and litigation

A tax controversy can range from a tax audit, a protest or administrative appeal, litigating a tax dispute before the United States Tax Court or other judicial body, criminal tax investigations, or resolving a collection dispute with an offer in compromise or installment agreement when a client cannot conveniently pay an IRS, FTB, BOE, or EDD bill.

Tax controversy and litigation issues

McLaughlin Legal has extensive experience helping clients with all varieties of tax problems with the IRS, Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”), Employment Development Department (“EDD”), California State Board of Equalization (“BOE”), California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (“CUIAB”), U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. Department of Justice.

Some of the more specific tax litigation and controversy issues McLaughlin Legal handles include:


A tax audit can occur for any variety of reasons, can be far from routine, and in many cases become an adversarial process. McLaughlin Legal defends individuals and businesses in all types of tax audits, including those for individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, sales and use taxes, and more. LEARN MORE


Appealing an adverse tax decision is sometimes desired and/or necessary. By appealing an adverse tax decision, clients have the opportunity to resolve a tax controversy, without litigation, on a basis that still protects their rights. McLaughlin Legal helps clients resolve all types of assessment and collection tax controversies through appeals procedures with the IRS, FTB, BOE, and EDD.LEARN MORE

U.S. Tax Court

The U.S. Tax Court is the preferred venue for litigating most Federal civil tax disputes against the IRS. McLaughlin Legal represents businesses and individuals in all types of U.S. Tax Court proceedings, including deficiency trials, Collection Due Process (“CDP”) cases, innocent spouse claims, and more. LEARN MORE

Criminal Tax

Under the federal law of the United States of America, tax evasion or tax fraud, is the purposeful illegal attempt of a taxpayer to evade assessment or payment of a tax imposed by Federal law. Conviction of tax evasion may result in fines and imprisonment. LEARN MORE

Installment Agreements

An installment agreement is a written agreement between a taxpayer and a tax agency that allows them to pay a tax liability over time through scheduled periodic payments. McLaughlin Legal’s San Diego tax attorneys help individual and business clients negotiate installment agreements with the IRS, EDD, BOE, and FTB for income taxes, payroll taxes, and more. LEARN MORE

Offer in Compromise

An Offer in Compromise (“OIC”) is a process whereby a taxpayer can offer a government taxing agency (like the IRS, FTB, BOE, or EDD) an amount less than their total tax bill to compromise that debt. McLaughlin Legal has helped individuals and businesses prepare, file, and defend countless offer in compromises. LEARN MORE

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty | Payroll Taxes

To help ensure that taxpayers properly remit payroll taxes to the IRS, Sec. 6672(a) imposes a penalty on any person who is responsible for paying payroll taxes and willfully fails to do so. This is known as the trust fund recovery penalty (TFRP). LEARN MORE

International Tax Compliance

International and foreign tax matters have become a more common occurrence for IRS enforcement efforts. McLaughlin Legal helps individuals and businesses with various cases involving international and foreign accounts and taxes, including OVDP matters and more. LEARN MORE

Sales and Use Taxes

Sales and use taxes, much like payroll taxes, are a tax burden on many businesses in excess of their income taxes. California levies both a sales and use tax, and in some cases, can personally assess responsible individuals for the payment thereof, but McLaughlin Legal can help. LEARN MORE