Civil and Criminal Tax Controversy & Litigation
Effective representation against the IRS, TTB, DOJ, and State taxing authorities requires a unique blend of substantive tax knowledge and litigation skills. Mr. DiRuzzo is able to handle every stage of a tax controversy - investigation/audit, administrative appeal, trial (including jury trials), and appeal. Few attorneys are ready, willing, and able to handle a tax controversy at every stage, but Mr. DiRuzzo can, and does. Mr. DiRuzzo's clients receive the benefit of knowing that their representative will not have to hand their case off to another professional because they lack skill set for the next stage of a tax controversy. As a CPA Mr. DiRuzzo is more than able to dig into the evidence in a tax case, which invariably includes performing a deep-dive into the tax return forms, schedules, and numbers. Additionally, if a case has the possibility of turning criminal, individuals and businesses know that they will not have to bring in new criminal tax counsel.
Mr. DiRuzzo also has extensive Bank Secrecy Act/Foreign Bank Account Report ("FBAR") experience having represented numerous clients in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure ("OVD") Program. Mr. DiRuzzo litigated (United States v. Hom) a case of first impression in the 9th Circuit addressing whether accounts held by on-line poker websites were "foreign accounts" for FBAR purposes. Mr. DiRuzzo was able to convince the 9th Circuit to reverse the District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice - Tax Division, and remand with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Mr. DiRuzzo's client.
Mr. DiRuzzo's tax litigation experience includes arguing civil tax cases to the 1st, 3rd (twice), 4th, 8th, 9th, and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeal, trying a civil tax jury trial before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, trying a civil tax bench trial before the District Court of the Virgin Islands, and trying multiple cases before the U.S. Tax Court including trials before Tax Court Judges Ronald Buch, Joseph Goeke, Joseph Nega, Cary Pugh, Juan Vasquez, Richard Morrison, and Julian Jacobs.
Mr. DiRuzzo also regularly represents Canadians who by virtue of being dual American-Canadian citizens, or possessing permanent resident status ("green card holders") become subject to the Internal Revenue Code's world-wide taxation regime. As Canadian direct investment continues in the United States, and South Florida in particular, paralell Internal Revenue Service - Canadian Revenue Agency audits are becoming more common.
A few of the areas of taxation that Mr. DiRuzzo regularly represents his clients include:
- IRS and TTB audits and administrative appeals
- Foreign Bank Account ("FBAR") investigations and litigation
- Tax Court, District Court, and Court of Claims litigation
- criminal tax investigations/"eggshell audits"
- trust fund recovery penalties
- innocent spouse cases
- civil tax penalties/penalty abatement
- interest abatement
- tax return preparer audits
- State of Florida Department of Revenue audits
- Virgin Islands Bureua of Internal Revenue audits and litigaiton