Steve Moskowitz, Esq. has been a practicing tax attorney for more than 30 years, and continues to handle every case with the unrivaled tenacity that has fueled his success. Read this Question and Answer session to learn more about what drives him as a tax lawyer, and how Moskowitz LLP can help with your tax issues.
How do you add to the vision of Moskowitz LLP?
By understanding and serving the practical needs of business with the sometimes Draconian tax laws and by also delivering practical business solutions that are as creative and aggressive as they come, while still being within the bounds of the law.
We continue to evolve as the tax laws do by keeping our finger on the pulse of the ever-changing tax laws and their interpretations and acting before certain changes taking place by understanding the thinking of the government before the government puts those thoughts into action.
What do you believe drives you as a tax attorney? Why did you want to practice law?
The constant need to help and often defend clients against a monolithic government that could otherwise crush the individual or the small business. I left working for a giant firm that represented the Fortune 500 because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Often I am what stands between the client and complete ruination and I take that responsibility very seriously. What I do really matters!
Describe a few of your favorite case highlights
One of my favorite cases that exemplifies the very reason that I left the big firm to start my own tax law practice so many years ago was the one where I was representing a businessman that was contesting a large IRS demand that would have left him penniless unless we won. This was a jury trial. My client was very nervous and his family members were watching the trial from the spectator area in the courtroom. When the jury came back exonerating my client from all liability I thought, “this is why I became a tax attorney.”
Who was your most rewarding client and why?
In the past 30 years that I have practiced tax law it would be unfair of me to single out one case as my “favorite,” but I can tell you the type of case that is my favorite. This is the type of case where the client has been represented by another tax law firm that told him to give up and settle because there was no chance of winning. Then we take the case and perhaps make a new law or the government settles with us and the client walks away without paying anything or being subject to any kind of punishment.
An example of this was a case that I tried many years ago in Tax Court. I took the case over from a big law firm with a fine reputation. The client was advised by the other law firm that he had “no case” and that the client should pay the government the full amount demanded. I took the case. I remember that the IRS attorney greeted me by saying that “there were 26 cases in the favor of the IRS and no case in favor of any taxpayer and that the taxpayer must pay the IRS in full immediately.”
I thought that the cases so far did not recognize the true intent of Congress. I researched the Congressional record and found that the Congressman in charge actually expressed the same reasoning that I did. I presented the Congressman’s statement in Tax Court and the Judge said; “I know Congressman X and that is the way that he thinks.” The IRS attorney asked the Judge for a recess and offered a settlement with the client paying nothing so that the IRS can still say that there are no reported cases that favor the taxpayer. That year I had four different cases that settled with the client owing nothing because the government was afraid that I might make new law.
Describe your work and educational background
- Bachelors degree in accounting
- Masters degree in accounting
- Law degree
- Advanced law degree in tax
- CPA-New York-currently voluntarily inactive
- Member of the New York Bar-currently voluntarily inactive
- Member of the California Bar-active-admitted to practice in all courts in the state of California
- Admitted to practice in the United States Federal Bar-admitted to practice in all
- Federal Courts in the state of California: Northern District, Eastern District, Central District, Southern District
- United States Federal Bar for Appeals
- United States Federal Court of Claims
- United States Supreme Court
What is your role at Moskowitz LLP?
I currently head our tax law firm and meet with almost all of the clients. I access a person’s situation and determine what I believe is the best for him or her. I lead our team of tax attorneys and tax CPAs to achieve the best possible result for the client. We are always vigilant to the practicalities of the client’s life and business and family as well as the demands of the law. Our familiarity with all the varying interpretations within the technical realm of the tax procedures allows us to utilize all the benefits of the procedures while avoiding the traps for the unwary.
Also see: Steve Moskowitz Biography