Michael Kummer concentrates his practice in tax controversy and litigation, with an emphasis on complex international and other sensitive tax matters. He litigates tax cases in the United States Tax Court and federal district courts and represents taxpayers subject to Congressional investigations. Additionally, Michael counsels individuals and multinational corporations under investigation by foreign tax authorities, including those subject to cross-border information requests served pursuant to tax treaties and bi-lateral tax-enforcement arrangements.
Michael advises sophisticated individual and corporate taxpayers in the real estate, financial services, manufacturing, retail, and other industries. Representative successes include helping secure a trial victory in Amazon.com v. Commissioner, reaching multiple favorable resolutions with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding IRS challenges to valuation, deductions for worthless stock and partnership interests, low-income housing tax credits, and the existence of taxable presence in the United States. Michael’s briefing and strategy have defeated government subpoenas for trial and deposition testimony from senior business executives, secured the exclusion of opposing expert witnesses, and prevented the public disclosure during litigation of sensitive trade secrets.
Michael has an active interest in tax scholarship, and his articles have been cited in multiple law reviews, treatises, and by parties or amici in tax cases at the trial and appellate levels. For several years, Michael has also been a contributor to Transfer Pricing: Litigation Strategy and Tactics, BNA Tax Management Portfolio, No. 6932 (2020).
Michael maintains an active pro bono practice. In that regard, he has represented taxpayers in court and administratively before the IRS with respect to issues including innocent spouse relief, renewing section 501(c)(3) status, earned income tax credits, and filing status.
Western Digital Corporation & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket Nos. 18984-18 and 4818-19 (transfer pricing and section 956) (pending)
GWA, LLC v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No. 6981-19 (derivative financial product and section 475) (pending)
The Coca-Cola Company & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner, 155 T.C. No. 10 (2020) (transfer pricing and foreign tax credits; 10-week trial)
The Coca-Cola Company & Subsidiaries v. Internal Revenue Service, 17-cv-134 (D.D.C.) (Freedom of Information Act) (settled in 2018)
Hovensa, LLC v. Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue, 15-cv-26 (D.V.I.) (readjustment of partnership items based on disallowance of over $12 billion of deductions) (settled in 2016)
Tran v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No. 23078-19L (lien action stemming from asserted section 6672 civil penalties) (settled in 2020)
Bouldin v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No. 15164-17S (earned income tax credit and filing status) (settled in 2018)
Stander v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No. 27114-11 (innocent spouse relief) (settled in 2012)
Proctor v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No. 13072-18 (pretrial assistance and guidance where court ultimately rejected assertion of penalties because of the taxpayer’s “candor in his subsequent dealings with the IRS and his demeanor as a witness” and because he “did his reasonable best to prepare a correct tax return”)
Harvard College, 2005, Artis Baccalaureate
New York University School of Law, 2011, Master of Laws
University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2009, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude
District of Columbia
US Tax Court
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Tax Authority: Federal, US Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 (2019)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Tax, Law360 (2017)
Return preparer, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program (2010 and 2011)
Citations editor, University of Cincinnati Law Review