Tax disputes can save or cost a business thousands or even millions of dollars over multiple years. When high stakes impacts are on the line, you need specialized expertise.

We combine sophisticated knowledge of tax policy and regulation with persuasive advocacy. Our close working relationships and reputation for integrity with federal, state, and local taxing authorities allows us to develop innovative solutions that align with our clients’ business goals.  

We advise clients on favorable negotiation and settlement strategies, and—when appropriate—litigate a dispute to its ultimate outcome in federal and state courts. Our clients range from large multi-national corporations, Fortune 500 companies, high net worth individuals, to non-profit organizations.

Our team includes lawyers with extensive experience at all levels with the IRS, as well as state and local taxing authorities.

We represent clients at every stage of a tax dispute, including:

  • Exam
  • Appeals
  • Negotiation/Mediation/Arbitration
  • Discovery
  • Administrative Hearings
  • Federal and State Court Proceedings

Tax Controversy Client Results

Representative Matters
    • Bresnan Communications, LLC v. Montana Department of Revenue, 13th Judicial Dist. Ct. No. DV-10-1312 (2011); we are representing a cable television company in a property tax dispute with the Montana Department of Revenue; Court has issued a ruling vacating the Department's retroactive assessments of our client's Montana properties
    • T-Mobile v. Utah State Tax Commission, 254 P.3d 752 (Utah 2011) (holding that goodwill is not subject to property tax in Utah)
    • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Dept. of Revenue, 219 P.3d 128 (Wyo. 2009) (affirming ExxonMobil's position on proper point of valuation for natural gas)
    • Chambers v. Utah State Tax Commission, Case No. 050402915 (Utah Tax Court 2007) (holding an extraordinary 338(h)(10) gain to be non-business income)
    • Dept. of Revenue v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 162 P.3d 515 (Wyo. 2007) (ExxonMobil not liable for severance and ad valorem taxes on helium produced from federal leases)
    • Dept. of Revenue v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 150 P.3d 1216 (Wyo. 2007) (affirming ExxonMobil's position that royalties and production taxes are not direct costs of production under the proportionate profits valuation method for natural gas)
    • RME Petroleum Co. v. Wyoming Dept. of Revenue, 150 P.3d 673 (Wyo. 2007) (affirming taxpayers' position that royalties and production taxes are not direct costs of production under the proportionate profits valuation method for processed natural gas)
    • McFarlane v. Utah State Tax Commission, 134 P.3d 1116 (Utah 2006) (holding that resident S corporation shareholders are entitled to a credit for any tax paid in another state that is measured by income)
    • Homeland Development v. City of Bozeman, 18th Jud. Dist. Ct. No. DV-99-71 (2006); we represented property developers in challenge to impact fees imposed on new property development; case ended with a settlement under which the impact fees were stricken and our clients were awarded refunds in excess of $500,000.00
    • In 2005, Represented Arch Coal in a business income tax dispute with the Montana Department of Revenue; matter was resolved through negotiation prior to formal initiation of administrative review, and resulted in reduction in tax liability of over $1 million dollars
    • Continental Development v. Department of Revenue of the State of Montana, State Tax Appeals Board No. PT-2004-13 (2004-2005); we represented a property owner in a case of first impression addressing property taxation of apartments that were converted to condominiums; administrative proceedings resulted in reduction of assessed value of more than $3 million
    • Samson Resources Co. v. Abraxas Wamsutter LP, 117 Fed.Appx. 641 (10th Cir. 2004) (unpublished) (seller, not purchaser, of oil and gas properties subject to ad valorem tax on oil and gas production occurring before sale under state tax statutes and contract)
    • Board of County Commissioners for Sublette County v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 55 P.3d 714 (Wyo. 2002) (county lacks authority to appeal assessment by Department of Revenue prior to audit)
    • Amoco v. Utah State Tax Commission, Utah Tax Court Case No. 980406701 (Utah Tax Court 2001) (holding that an after-tax DCF must be used to value oil and gas reserves in Utah for property tax purposes)
    • Monson v. Utah State Tax Commission, Utah Tax Court Case No. 010402468 (Utah Tax Court 2001) (class action decision awarding sales tax refunds to over 120,000 taxpayers who were over-charged Utah sales tax on furnish and install sales of floor coverings)
    • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Board of County Commissioners, Sublette County, 987 P.2d 158 (Wyo. 1999) (county judicially stopped from asserting it was not a party to settlement agreement concerning valuation of natural gas for tax purposes)
    • Helped lobby through the Utah Tax Court Act in 1996 which gave Utah an objective, de novo tax court
    • In 1995, Wyoming's governor appointed Holland & Hart attorney Larry Wolfe to serve on the Title 39 Task Force, which was charged with rewriting and recodifying the entire Wyoming Tax Code; this was a multi-year effort that resulted in the 1998 Wyoming Legislature adopting a completely revised tax code; Larry and Walter Eggers have worked on numerous legislative issues related to Wyoming's tax statutes, including mineral tax, property tax, and sales and use taxes; Larry is currently involved in various wind energy tax issues
    • Amax Magnesium Corp v. Utah State Tax Commission, 796 P.2d 1256 (Utah 1990) (holding a Utah statute unconstitutional because it favored locally-assessed properties over centrally-assessed properties)
    • Northwest Pipeline v. Property Tax Division of the Utah State Tax Commission, Utah State Tax Commission Case No. 85-0074 (Utah Tax Commission 1987) (holding that deferred federal income taxes constitute economic obsolescence for regulated utilities)
    • See’s Candies v. Utah State Tax Commission, 2018 UT 57 (Utah must follow the federal arm’s length transfer pricing standard for transactions between related entities rather than being allowed unfettered discretion to reallocate income anytime income decreases)
    • Utah State Tax Commission Decision 99-0652 (2000) (under the U.S. Constitution, Utah cannot apportion a gain if the entity sold is not unitary with the seller, with only narrow exceptions)
    • Utah State Tax Commission Decision 16-155 (2018) (a taxpayers’ economic activities must be considered in determining whether a taxpayer is a sales factor weighted taxpayer)
    • Utah State Tax Commission Decision 18-1582 (2019) (tax notice was untimely where it was not sent within the statute of limitations period to the address listed on the tax return under audit)
    • Helped craft, draft, and lobby through bills over several years moving Utah to a single sales factor
    • Utah State Tax Commission Decision 14-45 (2016) (in valuing a natural resource property, the Property Tax Division is allowed to reconcile the income and cost indicators of value, and is not required to use the higher of the two)
    • WilTel, Inc. v. Beaver County, Utah State Tax Commission Case No. 98-0169 (filed amicus on behalf of numerous taxpayers in support of the Tax Commission’s ruling that property tax may not be imposed on intangible property, which was upheld in Beaver County v. WilTel, 2000 UT 29)
    • Rent-A-Center v. Utah State Tax Commission, 2016 UT 1 (rental waiver charges cannot be taxed because they were not expressly included in tax base by the Legislature)
    • Utah State Tax Commission Case No. 12-2871 (2016) (items sold outside Utah are entitled to the sales tax resale exclusion)
    • Utah State Tax Commission Case No. 05-1531 (royalties paid to extract gravel are tied to a real property interest rather than a sale of personal property and are thus not subject to Utah sales tax)
    • Helped craft, draft, and lobby through legislation over various years exempting all manufacturing and mining inputs from sales tax in Utah
    • Anadarko Petro. Corp. v. Utah State Tax Commission, 2015 UT 25 (non-taxable federal, state, and tribal interests must be excluded from all portions of the oil and gas severance tax calculation)
    • ExxonMobil v. Utah State Tax Commission, 2003 UT 53 (filed amicus brief in support of several taxpayers in support of the Utah Supreme Court’s ruling that costs downstream from the wellhead are deductible)
    • Helped crafted, draft, and lobby through legislation in 2004 clarifying that all costs downstream from the wellhead are deductible, and in 2016 clarifying that non-taxable federal, state, and tribal interests must be excluded from all portions of the oil and gas severance tax calculation
    • Alliant Techsystems, Inc. v. Salt Lake County Bd. of Equalization, 2015 UT App 288 (holding that Alliant Techsystems, Inc. does not have exclusive possession of the government land on which it conducts operations and is thus exempt from Salt Lake County's privilege tax)
    • Utah State Tax Commission Decision, Appeal No. 12-2091 (personal property can be valued via a unitary approach or the value set forth using percent good tables outlined in Utah Admin. Code Rule R884-24P-33 ("Rule 33"))

Tax Controversy Publications

  • "Recent Developments & Observations: Final Qualifying Income Regulations Under Code Sec. 7704(d)(1)(E) Were Worth the Wait," Journal of Passthrough Entities, May-June, 2017
  • "Recent Developments & Observations: More Than Meets The Eye? Recent Guidance on Tax Credits and Second Class of Stock," Journal of Passthrough Entities, September–October 2016
  • "Recent Developments & Observations: Do Rules of General Application Control in ESG Capital Partners and LTR 201605004," Journal of Passthrough Entities, May-June 2016

Tax Controversy Speaking Engagements and Events

  • "S Corporation Recent Developments," Federal Bar Tax Law Conference, March 3, 2017
  • "Section 708 Technical Terminations," Midyear Meeting, ABA Tax Section, January 20, 2017
  • "New Partnership Audit Provisions – Drafting Considerations," May Meeting, ABA Tax Section, May 6, 2016
16 Tax Best Lawyers® 2020

16 Tax attorneys recognized in Best Lawyers®: Litigation and Controversy - Tax;  Tax Law

BTI's Law Firms with the Best Collaboration

One of nine firms nationwide named in 2017 by leading legal decision makers for “standout collaboration”

Tax Practitioner of the Year: Utah State Bar

Steve Young: Awarded the 2016 Tax Practitioner of the Year Award by the Tax Section of the Utah State Bar


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