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Vivian Hoard focuses her practice on civil and criminal tax controversy, tax litigation, whistleblower claims, and voluntary offshore disclosures.  Her clients have included small businesses and their owners, publicly traded companies, professional athletes and their agents, entertainers, lawyers, and accountants.   Ms. Hoard regularly consults with accounting firms during audits to help them and their client’s understand their procedural options for resolving the dispute at the lowest level possible.  If the accountant is unable to resolve the matter Ms. Hoard will assist the taxpayer and accountant at IRS Appeals and/or the United States Tax Court or U.S. District Court.  Most cases are successfully settled, however, occasionally a case presenting a unique legal issue or an unresolved fact pattern must be tried.  Ms. Hoard has successfully settled or tried civil tax controversies involving many varied tax issues including tax shelter/sham transactions, conservation easements, family limited partnerships, excise taxes, passive loss issues, the civil fraud penalty, hobby loss issues, worker classification, trust fund liability, innocent spouse claims, and much more.  Ms. Hoard has also successfully represented taxpayers voluntarily disclosing offshore accounts and taxpayers targeted for criminal prosecution.   No taxpayer may be prosecuted for a tax crime until the United States Justice Department approves the prosecution. Until that time the investigation remains confidential.  Ms. Hoard focuses on resolving a criminal tax case before it is referred for indictment and becomes public.   Some of Ms. Hoard’s reported civil cases include:

  • Estate of Kelly v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2012-73.  The Tax Court agreed that gifts of family limited partnership interests in a family limited partnership for an incompetent taxpayer under guardianship did not violate §2036.
  • Peaden v. Commissioner, 113 T.C. 116 (1999).  The Tax Court held that a “terminal rental adjustment” be ignored in determining whether a “qualified motor vehicle operating agreement” is a lease which allowed the taxpayer to deduct the lease payments rather than capitalizing and depreciating those payments.
  • Swanson v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2009-31.  The Tax Court held that the taxpayer relied on his accountant when he invested in a tax shelter and therefore penalties were inappropriate.
  • Estate of Edward Brockenbrough v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 1998-454.  The Tax Court held that the Petitioner, a Delta pilot, had a profit motive for engaging in his horse farming activities and therefore could deduct the losses associated with that activity.

Representative cases settled before the necessity of a trial include:

  • IRS counsel conceded challenge to Amendment Clause in Conservation Easement case on the eve of trial.
  • Won $11 million excise tax case for a large corporate client at Appeals.
  • Obtained $8 million penalty abatement for Fortune 500 client.
  • Convinced Appeals that yacht charterer materially participated in Yacht charter business thus avoiding trial on docketed case scheduled for trial.
  • Obtained failure to pay penalty of over $90,000 for NFL football player.

Representative criminal cases where The U.S. Justice Department declined prosecution:

  • Justice Department declined prosecution of accountant investigated for False Statement on Form 433.
  • Justice Department declined prosecution of attorney, determining that tax irregularities presented a civil issue rather than a criminal issue.
  • Resolved criminal investigation of entertainer during investigation by IRS Special Agents.
  • Justice Department declined prosecution in several other separate cases involving small business owners determining that each case presented a civil rather than criminal issue.

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

  • "The Basics of Partnership Tax," ICLE, Atlanta, GA, April 24, 2014.
  • "Conservation Easements," Tax Talks, Atlanta, GA, March 27, 2014.
  • 13th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Tax Section Workshops, Kiawah Island, SC, May 23-25, 2014.
  • "Representing a Taxpayer from Audit to Trial," National Association of Women CPA's, Atlanta, Georgia, November 1, 2013.
  • "Conservation Easements: Recent IRS Challenges," ICLE Tax Seminar, April 25, 2013.
  • "Representing the Target of a Criminal Tax Investigation," North Atlanta Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPA's, June 20, 2013.
  • "Recent Challenges to Conservation Easements," Atlanta Bar Association Real Estate Section, September 5, 2013.
  • "Managing Tax Issues in Bankruptcy," Cobb County Bankruptcy Section, September 9, 2013.
  • “Measuring Your Audit Risk,” IRS Audit Issues for the Food & Beverage Industry, 2012.
  • “Divorce: When a Spouse or Former Spouse Files Bankruptcy,” Strafford Webinar, 2012.
  • “Selected Tax Issues for the Real Estate Investor,” Real Estate Tax Issues Seminar, 2012.
  • “A Smorgasboard of Employment Tax Issues,” Georgia Tax Forum, in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, 2012.
  • “IRS Audit Issues and Hot Topics,” Georgia Tax Forum in Savannah, Georgia, 2012.
  • “Eggshell Audits,” North Atlanta Tax Council, 2010.
  • “The Codified Economic Substance Doctrine – A Congressional
  • Attempt at Clarification,” Institute of Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2020 entitled “Hot Tax Topics for Business Attorneys.”
  • “Employment Tax Liabilities of Exempt Organizations,” Atlanta Bar Association’s Pro Bono March Madness, 2010.
  • “Representing the Criminal Tax Target through DOJ Conference: Try to Keep it Civil,” Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2010 entitled “Civil and Criminal IRS Tax Fraud Initiatives.”
  • “Tax Traps for the Sandwich Generation,” Georgia Bar Meeting, Amelia Island, Florida, 2010.
  • “Strategies in Federal Tax Litigation,” Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2004 and 2005 entitled “Dealing with the IRS.”
  • “Taxation of Attorney Fees and Settlement Awards, Tax Shelter Update and Attorney Client Privilege Issues for the Estate Planner,” 51st Annual Estate Planning Institute, 2006.
  • “Hot Audit Issues,” Georgia Tax Forums sponsored by the Georgia Society of CPAs, Atlanta, Georgia, 2002 and Savannah, Georgia, 2002.
  • “Tax Scams: How to Protect Clients Against Too Good To Be True Tax Planning,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2002 entitled “Tax Issues for the Non-Tax Practitioner.”
  • “Litigating A Civil Case Tax,” Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2003 entitled “Dealing with the IRS.”
  • “Civil and Criminal Employment Tax Audits,” DeKalb Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPAs, 2002.
  • “Civil and Criminal Employment Tax Audits,” North Atlanta Tax Council, 2002.
  • “Does Your Client Owe Back Taxes?,” Atlanta Bar Association Luncheon, 2002.
  • “Overview of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003,” Southeastern Accounting Show, 2003 entilteld (“Recent Developments in Federal Income Taxation”)
  • “Preserving the Work Product and Attorney Client Privilege in Tax Matters without Alienating Your Client’s Other Advisors,” ICLA of Georgia, 2003, entitled “Emerging Issues in Tax Law.”
  • “Judicial and Legislative Highlights for 2001,” Chamberlain Hrdlicka 16th Annual Tax and Business Planning Seminar, 2001.
  • “Gambling on Employee or Independent Contractor Status – Criminal
  • Investigations Division Raises the Stakes,” Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2001 entitled “Emerging Tax Issues for the Non-Tax Practitioner.”
  • “New Tricks Old Dogs: The Changing Look of Negotiations with the IRS,” North Atlanta Tax Council and the Atlanta Chapter Of the Tax Executive’s Institute, 2000.
  • “Behind the Examination: The Struggle Between Government Power and
  • Taxpayer Rights,” Chamberlain Hrdlicka 15th annual Tax and Business Planning Seminar, 2000.
  • “Eggshell Audits: Handling the Examination When you Know the Eggs Are Rotten,” Chamberlain Hrdlicka 14th annual Tax and Business Planning Seminar, 1999.
  • “Selected Criminal Tax Issues for the General Practitioner,” Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education Seminar,1999 entitled “Emerging Tax Issues for the Non-Tax Practitioner.”
  • “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Highlights and Lowlights of the
  • IRS Reform Bill,” Chamberlain Hrdlicka 13th Annual Tax and Business Planning Seminar, 1998.

Publications & Articles

  • "Amending Conservation Easements," Practical Tax Strategies, August 2013.
  • "Offshore Scheme Participants Can Get Onboard IRS Program," 70 Practical Tax Strategies 159 (March 2003).
  • "Employment Tax Audits: both IRS Criminal and Civil Divisions Raise the Stakes," Journal of Taxation, Vol. 96, No. 6, June 2002.
  • "Corporate Tax Shelters: Is Every Generation Doomed to Repeat History?" Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure, Vol. 2, No. 3 June-July 2000.


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • "Five Star Award" for wealth management, that allows consumers to identify professionals who have scored the highest in overall customer satisfaction, 2013
  • Georgia Trend Legal Elite, Taxes/Estates/Trusts, 2013-2014
  • Thompson Reuters Super Lawyers, Taxation, 2014-2015