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.