attorneys
attorneys
Practice Areas
Education
  • Emory University, B.A. 1979
  • University of Wisconsin School of Law, J.D., 1982
  • New York University School of Law, LL.M. (Taxation), 1984
Honors
  • Listed, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Listed, The Legal 500 U.S. – Tax Controversy (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013)
  • Outstanding Attorney Award – U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division (1990)
  • Member, J. Edgar Murdock American Inns of Court (U.S. Tax Court) (1994-1996)
Bar Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, Eighth and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
Philip Karter
Shareholder

300 Conshohocken State Road
Suite 570
West Conshohocken, PA 19428
TEL: 610.772.2320
FAX: 610.772.2305

Phil Karter specializes in tax controversy and tax litigation matters.  In his 30-year career, Phil has litigated Federal tax cases in the United States District Courts, the United States Tax Court and the United States Court of Federal Claims, and argued in the United States Court of Appeals in multiple circuits.  His range of trial experience, which includes dozens of jury and non-jury cases tried to judgment, encompasses a wide variety of complex and high-profile matters involving Federal income, estate and gift, and excise tax issues. 

Representative examples of litigation matters/issues handled by Phil include:

  • hostile takeover expenses
  • basis shifting and other tax reduction transactions
  • worthless stock losses
  • disguised sales
  • greenmail payments 
  • debt-equity swaps and other financial product issues
  • foreign tax credits
  • rehabilitation tax credits,
  • transition rule tax credits
  • § 162(m) qualified performance-based compensation
  • unpaid trust fund taxes under § 6672 (responsible person penalty / 100% penalty)
  • treatment as employee or independent contractor
  • § 7805(b) retroactivity of regulations and disparate treatment
  • timber depletion
  • coal excise taxes
  • mitigation of limitations (§§ 1311 - 1314)
  • res judicata and collateral estoppel
  • interest recomputations and netting
  • IRS summons enforcement proceedings
  • tax penalty issues

Phil has handled countless other tax controversy matters for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, joint ventures and individuals that were resolved with the IRS at the examination level, administrative appeals or through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  In addition to representing taxpayers in all phases of tax audits, appeals and litigation, Phil represents individual taxpayers in the following areas:

  • offers in compromise
  • installment payment agreements
  •  tax lien and levy releases
  • Collection Due Process (CDP) proceedings
  • wrongful levy claims
  • innocent spouse relief and equitable relief under § 6015(f)
  • foreign financial account reporting requirements, including OVDI and OVDP submissions

Over the course of his career, Phil has also worked on numerous other civil litigation matters involving a wide variety of non-tax disputes in areas such as contract, tort, civil fraud, bankruptcy, antitrust, and international trade disputes. 

Prior to joining Chamberlain Hrdlicka in 2007, Phil was a partner at Miller & Chevalier and formerly served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, where he was honored with the Department's Outstanding Attorney Award.  Phil is one of a select number of attorneys recognized as a national authority in tax controversy and litigation in Chambers USA and the US Legal 500 Litigation and Tax Guides.  He is also ranked as a 10 out of 10 by the Avvo lawyer ranking system.

Phil has spoken on a variety of tax issues before the American Bar Association's Section of Taxation, the Tax Executives Institute, the Federal Bar Association, the New York University School of Law, the Georgetown University Law Center, the Palm Beach Tax Institute, and various state bar and professional associations. 

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Significant Cases 

  • Gateway Hotel Partners, LLC et al. v. Commissioner,T.C. Memo 2014-5 (Jan. 9, 2014).  Lead trial counsel for participating partner challenging $22 million proposed adjustment to partnership income arising from alleged sale by partnership of state historic tax credits distributed to other partner.  Tax Court ruled in participating partner's favor with respect to 89% of the proposed tax deficiency.
  • Frontier Oil Corporation v. Commissioner, Docket No. 21151-10 (U.S.T.C. filed Sep. 23, 2010).  Lead trial counsel for taxpayer claiming § 162(m)(4)(C) exception to limitation on deductability of qualified performance-based compensation and challenging interpretation of treasury regulation, which was subsequently amended as a result of case.  (Case settled)
  • WFC Holdings Corp. v. United States, 728 F.3d 736 (8th Cir. 2013). Lead trial counsel and co-appellate counsel for taxpayer claiming $423 million capital loss from the sale of stock in a contingent liability lease management subsidiary.  (Decision for Gov't.; certiorari petition pending in U.S. Supreme Court.)
  • Browning Ferris Industries, Inc. & Subsidiaries v. United States, 75 Fed.Cl. 591 (2007) - Court granted motion to dismiss without prejudice in case of first impression involving question of whether tax refund claim filed by company that had previously liquidated for tax purposes was jurisdictionally defective.  (Case settled on remand from Fed. Cir.)
  • 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) - Trial counsel for taxpayer claiming $560 million capital loss from the sale of stock in a contingent liability health care subsidiary.  (Case settled on remand from 4th Cir.)
  • Kohler Co. v. United States, 468 F.3d 1032 (7th Cir. 2006), aff'g. 387 F. Supp. 2d 921 (E.D. Wis. 2005) - Represented taxpayer at trial and appellate level.  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.
  • Black & Decker Corp. v. United States, 219 F.R.D. 87, 92 A.F.T.R.2d 2003-6426, 2003-2 USTC 50,659 (D. Md., September 15, 2003) - Obtained ruling upholding taxpayer's claim of work product protection over documents prepared by accountant after taxpayer indicated its intention at IRS audit to rely on specific advice offered by accountant in an opinion letter previously disclosed to IRS.
  • Black & Decker Corp. v. United States, 93 A.F.T.R.2d 2004-989, 2004-1 USTC 50,175, (D. Md., February 19, 2004) - Obtained court ruling affirming taxpayer's right to retain normally redacted information in Field Service advice that was inadvertently disclosed by government. The ruling rejected government's defense that information was protected by disclosure exceptions to Freedom of Information Act.
  • VF Corp. v. Commissioner, No. 7584-02 (U.S. Tax Court, filed Apr. 19, 2002) - Obtained full IRS concession in Tax Court case involving the question of whether $59 million cost of providing retail display to retail customers is currently deductible or must be capitalized.
  • Kimberly-Clark Corp. v. United States, No. 02-0985 (E.D. Wis., filed Oct. 4, 2002) - Filed suit for taxpayer seeking credits against its United States federal corporate income tax liability for foreign taxes deemed paid by certain foreign subsidiaries. (Case settled)
  • Kimberly-Clark Tissue Co. v. United States, 38 F. Supp. 2d 1028 (E.D. Wis. 1999) - Won summary judgment on issue involving taxpayer's entitlement to an investment tax credit under the "world headquarters" transitional rule of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. 
  • Emhart Corp. v. United States, No. 98-1823 (D. Md., filed June 9, 1998) - Obtained favorable settlement for taxpayer seeking to deduct the costs associated with the defense against a hostile takeover attempt. 
  • Emhart Corp. v. Commissioner, 75 T.C.M. 2231 (1998) - Won taxpayer's claim to a worthless stock deduction for losses attributed to the disposition of a foreign subsidiary.
  • Kimberly-Clark Tissue Co. v. United States, No. 97-0134 (E.D. Wis., filed Feb. 12, 1997) - Obtained favorable settlement before trial for taxpayer seeking to amortize a $100 million greenmail payment over the term of the standstill agreement provided by a hostile shareholder in exchange for the greenmail payment. 
  • VF Corp. v. Commissioner, No. 23340-95 (U.S. Tax Court, filed Nov. 9, 1995) - 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.

Media Mentions

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News

Articles & Publications

  • "IRS Access to Computerized Records of Corporate Taxpayers," 87 Journal of Taxation (September 1997).
  • " U.S. Officials’ Latest Proposals to Curb ‘Abusive Tax Shelters’ Could Affect Legitimate Cross-Border Transactions," Journal of International Tax Planning (March 2000).
  • Co-author of "Transfer Pricing for Services,"Transfer Pricing Methods - An Applications Guide," John Wiley & Sons (2004).
  • “The Role of Economic Substance In Tax Shelter Controversies,” 19 The Corporate Counselor 8 (January 2005).

Blog Posts

Seminars & Presentations

  • Lawline.com and FurtherEd CP - The Synergy of Legal & Accounting Strategies -
    Defending the IRS Audit – Planning For and Managing the Examination Process
    December 14, 2013
  • CPA Society of Pennsylvania - Planning For and Managing The Examination Process
    October 16, 2013
  • Hot Topics in Federal, State, and Local Taxation
    May 30, 2012
  • Chicago Tax Club
    Economic Substance And International Tax Law Following Codification
    April 11, 2011
  • Tax Executives Institute - If You Knew Then What You Know Now
    A Litigator's Guide to Tax Planning and Controversy
    May 21, 2009

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Montgomery Bar Association