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Kevin M. Johnson

Kevin Johnson is a partner in the Tax Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. He focuses his practice on tax controversy and litigation, as well as domestic and international tax planning. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Mr. Johnson has worked in the tax controversy area for more than 25 years. Early in his career, he joined the IRS as a revenue agent and also worked in IRS Appeals. As a result of his experience with the IRS, he brings a unique perspective and an insider’s understanding of IRS practice and procedure to his tax controversy practice.

Mr. Johnson’s significant matters include:

  • settlement of a multi-year appeal for a Fortune 100 manufacturer involving research credits, research and development expenses, foreign tax credits and capitalization issues. Favorable resolution included changing a proposed tax deficiency in excess of $100 million to a net multi-million dollar refund for the client.
  • successful representation of an accounting firm in an E-file compliance audit. In addition to proposing substantial preparer penalties, the IRS proposed to suspend the accounting firm from the E-file Program for one or more years due to compliance issues. A suspension from the E-filing program would have had a devastating impact on the accounting firm’s tax return preparation business and its professional reputation. Negotiated a settlement that substantially reduced the penalties and convinced the IRS not to suspend the accounting firm from the E-file program.
  • representation of Fortune 100 company on the restructuring of its foreign operations, including contract manufacturing operations
  • successful negotiation of a settlement with IRS Appeals for large energy-industry company that reduced a $500 million proposed tax liability to less than $30 million
  • member of trial team in Black & Decker Corp. v. United States, 340 F. Supp. 2d 621 (D. Md. 2004), aff'd in part, rev'd in part and remanded, 436 F.3d 431 (4th Cir. 2006)
  • member of trial team in Kohler Co. v. United States, 468 F.3d 1032 (7th Cir. 2006), aff'g. 387 F. Supp. 2d 921 (E.D. Wis. 2005), where taxpayer obtained Seventh Circuit decision affirming summary judgment in favor of taxpayer's claim that participation in Mexican debt-equity swap did not produce short-term capital gain
  • trial team member in VF Corp. v. Commissioner, No. 23340-95 (U.S. Tax Court, filed Nov. 9, 1995), where taxpayer obtained full IRS concession in Tax Court case involving the question of whether taxpayer could accrue and deduct costs for cooperative advertising with its retailers before claims were submitted and payments were made.
Mr. Johnson is regularly called on to present on a multitude of tax issues. His articles and speaking engagements include:
  • “Don’t Be So Certain: IRS Appears to be Disappointed in Corporate Schedule UTP Filings,” Forbes.com IRS Watch, March 2012
  • “Current Developments and Hot Topics,” Resolving IRS Tax Controversies (Las Vegas), February 2011
  • “Back to Basics: Refund Claims,” ABA Tax Section Meeting, May 2010
  • “Everything Old is New Again: IRS Once Again Focuses on Employment Taxes,” PBI Seminar, May 2010
  • “Calculating E&P of Controlled Foreign Corporations,” CITE Seminar on Advanced International Tax Issues, May 2010
  • “Worker or Independent Contractor: IRS May Decide For You,” Society of Human Resource Management, February 2010
  • “When to Hold Them and Fold Them: Protecting Tax Accrual Workpapers and Tax Opinions from the IRS; Disclosing Tax Opinions for Penalty Protection,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, May 2008
  • “Current Developments in Tax Administrative Practice,” ABA Tax Section Meeting, May 2007
  • “Current Developments in Tax Administrative Practice,” ABA Tax Section Meeting, September 2006.
Mr. Johnson is chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Administrative Practice Committee. He is a member of the Tax Council of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Tax Section.

Mr. Johnson was selected for inclusion on the 2014 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell.

Prior to joining Pepper, Mr. Johnson was a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka and a member of the Tax Practice Group.

Mr. Johnson received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law in 2000 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1995, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He received an M.S. in taxation from Temple University in 1997 and a B.B.A. in 1985.

B.B.A. 1985 Temple University
M.S. 1991 Temple University
J.D. 1995 Columbia Law School
LL.M. 2000 New York University School of Law (Taxation)

Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia

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