Experience at Work
The Chair of Capes Sokol’s Tax Controversy and Litigation Practice Group, Sara Neill represents clients in civil and criminal tax disputes and litigation involving the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice and Missouri and Illinois Departments of Revenue. Sara was recognized as the St. Louis “Litigation and Controversy—Tax Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in both 2015 and 2018.
Sara handles federal and state tax audits and administrative appeals, as well as litigation before the U.S. Tax and District Courts. She frequently advises both individuals and businesses with sensitive tax problems, such as those who have failed to file returns, underreported their income, neglected to remit trust fund taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, pay significant amounts of tax due, or disclose foreign assets and accounts.
She also regularly represents clients in criminal tax investigations and litigation. Sara has defended several lawyers and accountants in IRS preparer/promoter investigations and appeals, as well as criminal tax cases. She frequently advises tax professionals with respect to matters involving Circular 230 and the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, as well as in ethics and other disciplinary matters involving their professional licensing boards.
In addition to tax matters, Sara represents clients in other white-collar criminal matters involving allegations of financial fraud, including in the healthcare and securities areas.
In the Community
Sara is actively involved in, and has leadership roles in, several local and national organizations. She previously served as President, President Elect, Vice President, and Treasurer of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. She regularly attends and lectures at meetings of the American Bar Association’s Taxation Section, and currently serves on its Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee as Co-Chair of the Sub-Committee on Important Criminal Developments as well as its Appointments to the Tax Court Committee. Additionally, Sara serves as the Secretary for the St. Louis Chapter of the Women in White Collar Criminal Defense Association.
Sara is an adjunct professor of law in Washington University Law School’s Tax LL.M. program where she co-teaches a course entitled, “Tax Fraud Prosecutions.” Since Washington University Law School opened its Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic in 2014, Sara has routinely lectured to law students on issues of federal tax controversy.
In 2016, Sara and the other members of her practice group started the Capes Sokol Tax Controversy Symposium. This annual event provides free CPE credit to Certified Public Accountants in the St. Louis metropolitan area and covers topics relevant to their practices in the area of tax controversy.
Sara is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in University City, where she serves on the school board, as a member of the finance committee, and as co-chair of the annual trivia night. Recently, Sara was elected to the Board of Directors for The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company.