Tax Controversy and Litigation

Experience makes the difference in tax disputes.

Capes Sokol’s Tax Controversy and Litigation practice group advocates for and defends clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Justice and state taxing authorities.  Our clients range from individuals to multi-national corporations and include closely held companies and non-profit entities.

  • We provide legal counsel to businesses and individuals in federal, state, and local income, employment, sales and use, excise, and property tax disputes.
  • We represent clients in all stages of tax controversy, including audits, administrative appeals, and litigation.
  • We represent clients who are under criminal investigation for, or charged with, tax and tax-related crimes.
  • We advise clients on substantive tax issues pertinent to their tax controversies, including all aspects of both domestic and international tax compliance.
  • We represent tax practitioners in IRS penalty investigations, federal criminal investigations, and in matters involving the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility and/or state accountancy disciplinary boards.
  • We assist clients in resolving significant tax delinquencies by pursuing collection alternatives such as Offers in Compromise, Installment Agreements, and Claims for Innocent Spouse Relief.

Whether working with individual taxpayers or companies, we strive to reach out-of-court resolutions when it is in our client’s best interest.  Some of the results of which we are most proud are those that were resolved quietly without becoming a matter of public record or receiving media attention.  When necessary, however, we enthusiastically apply our wide breadth of experience in the courtroom.  We have tried cases in multiple federal District Courts, the United States Tax Court, and various state courts and administrative bodies including the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission.

Contact one of our Tax Controversy and Litigation attorneys to see how we can help you.

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Leadership, Publications and Presentations

We are respected leaders and lecturers, often called on to speak about civil and criminal tax issues before other attorneys, industry groups, tax practitioners, and accountants in St. Louis and throughout the country.

  • We are actively involved in local and national tax and accounting organizations, including the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, where three of our attorneys currently have leadership roles, serving as Vice-Chair of the Committee on S Corporations; Chair of the Sub-Committee on Important Civil Developments for the Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee (CCTP); and Chair of the CCTP’s Sub-Committee on Important Criminal Developments.
  • One of our attorneys serves on the Appointments to the Tax Court Committee, where she assists in vetting judicial nominees to the United States Tax Court prior to their Senate confirmation hearings.
  • We are also involved in the Federal Bar Association and have spoken on tax issues at gatherings of that organization at both the national and local levels.
  • Our team regularly travels to meetings of the ABA Section of Taxation to present – and to listen, since doing both helps us stay abreast of developments in tax law and tax controversy.
  • We regularly publish articles and columns in local and national legal and accounting journals, including The Asset, The Saint Louis Bar Journal, The Journal of Passthrough Entities, Criminal Justice, and The St. Louis Lawyer Magazine.
  • In 2016, our practice group started the Capes Sokol Tax Controversy Symposium, an annual half-day continuing education event, which we offer at no charge, for Certified Public Accountants in the St. Louis area and Missouri/Illinois region.

In the Community

Higher Education

We are committed to furthering the knowledge of practitioners in the area of tax controversy and devote time to teaching current and future lawyers and accountants at the post-graduate level.

  • Members of our team have collectively taught the Tax Fraud Prosecutions course at the Washington University School of Law for over 30 years.
  • One of our attorneys taught Corporate Taxation for the Washington University School of Law.
  • Our attorneys have served as adjunct professors for the University of Missouri School of Law.
  • One of our attorneys teaches a course at Webster University’s Masters in Forensic Accounting program.

Professional Organizations

In addition to serving in leadership positions on boards of non-profit organizations and providing pro-bono legal services, our attorneys volunteer their time in legal organizations, both locally and nationally.

  • Two of our attorneys have chaired the Taxation Section of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL).
  • One of our attorneys serves as the immediate Past-President of BAMSL.
  • One of our attorneys is the current Chair of the St. Louis chapter of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Civil Tax Controversy and Litigation

  • IRS Audits | Income, Employment, Tax-Exempt, Estate and Gift, and International

  • Appeals before the IRS Office of Appeals

  • Tax Litigation

  • Multi-State Sales and Use Tax Audits and Appeals

  • Claims for Refund

  • Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Investigations and other Employment Tax matters

  • Claims for Innocent Spouse Relief

  • Federal and State Tax Collection Matters

  • Tax Practitioner Penalty Investigations and Appeals

  • Tax Practitioner Disciplinary Matters Involving the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, the Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and the Supreme Court of Missouri, and the Missouri State Board of Accountancy

Criminal Tax Litigation

  • IRS Criminal Tax Administrative and Grand Jury Investigations

  • Federal and State Criminal Tax Litigation

  • Sensitive IRS Audits

  • Domestic Voluntary Disclosures Including Representation of Delinquent Filers

  • Advising Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets

Practice Group

We have the largest group of attorneys focused on tax controversy and litigation representation in the St. Louis area, but our practice extends far beyond this region.

  • Our team includes attorneys with advanced degrees in tax law, two Certified Public Accountants, a former federal tax prosecutor, a former public defender, and a highly regarded forensic accountant who previously spent 28 years working as a Special Agent for IRS-Criminal Investigation.
  • Many of our attorneys have spent their entire legal careers representing clients in criminal and civil tax matters.
  • Four of our attorneys are fellows of the American College of Tax Counsel, a professional association limited to 700 of the best tax attorneys across the United States.
  • Our attorneys are regularly included in The Best Lawyers in America © list for St. Louis in the fields of Litigation and Controversy—Tax, White-Collar Criminal Defense, and Tax.
  • On six separate occasions, our attorneys have been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America © as the Litigation and Controversy—Tax “Lawyer of the Year” award winner in St. Louis.
  • Several of our attorneys are included on the Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers and Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars lists in the areas of Tax Law and White-Collar Criminal Defense.


Practice Group Chair

Sara G. Neill


Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir
Andrew W. Blackwell
Sanford J. Boxerman
David V. Capes
Senior Counsel
L. Ross Gaddis
Michelle F. Schwerin

Contact one of our Tax Controversy and Litigation attorneys to see how we can help you.

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