Brian Kittle is co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Tax Controversy & Transfer Pricing practice. Since joining the firm in 2006, Brian has represented clients in every facet of tax controversy and litigation—from IRS examinations and administrative appeals, through the litigation, trial and appellate review of highly complex tax controversies involving a broad range of international and domestic tax issues. His controversy experience also includes frequent use of IRS alternative dispute resolution tools, including Pre-filing and Advance Pricing Agreements.
In addition to his controversy practice, Brian also provides tax advice on related party and highly-sophisticated transactions involving acquisitions and integrations. He also frequently speaks on and authors articles about substantive and procedural tax issues.
In 2019, Brian was named a Law360 Tax MVP, which recognizes lawyers "who have distinguished themselves from their peers over the past year through high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters." Law360 highlighted recent victories by Brian and his Mayer Brown Tax Controversy colleagues on tax disputes involving overpayment interest and the denial of refined coal tax credits. Brian has also been repeatedly recognized as a rising star by International Tax Review Tax Controversy Leaders guide and Super Lawyers.
Before joining Mayer Brown, Brian served as an attorney advisor to Judge Joseph R. Goeke of the United States Tax Court. This experience provides him with unique insight into the Tax Court’s procedures and decision making process.
Brian’s practice includes:
Tax Litigation: Brian's experience includes the litigation, trial and appeal of major corporate cases involving transfer pricing disputes including Eaton Corp., which involved the IRS’ cancellation of two Advanced Pricing Agreements, was decided by the US Tax Court on July 26, 2017 and substance-over-form, economic substance and step-transaction theories; valuation disputes, capitalization questions and debt-equity characterization issues; Subpart F and other international tax issues; Subchapter C and other domestic tax issues, such as the amortization of acquired intangible assets; leasing transactions; and procedural matters, including disputes about post-trial tax computations and statute of limitations questions. Brian has represented taxpayers in various courts in connection with IRS summons enforcement proceedings, which typically involve challenges to information withheld by the taxpayer under privilege or work product assertions.
IRS Administrative Proceedings: Brian maintains a robust practice of advising and representing clients in administrative matters, including pre-audit planning, pre-filing agreements, and representation of taxpayers in examination, including the preparation of company personnel for IRS interviews and presentations; IRS Appeals, including fast track and appeals mediation procedures; and competent authority and Advance Pricing Agreement negotiations. In addition, he has prepared and defended scores of witnesses in IRS interviews and depositions and managed many site visits.
Transfer Pricing and Tax Advice: Brian has deep experience in international transfer pricing, particularly matters involving intercompany financing arrangements, including matters related to guarantees and factoring. He provides tax advice with respect acquisitions and post-transaction integration.
- Cross Refined Coal, LLC v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket. No. 19502-17, Index No. 177 (U.S. Tax Ct. Aug. 29, 2019) (finding that refined coal production partnership was a bona fide partnership and that its partners were bona fide partners).
- Eaton Corporation v. Comm'r, (T.C. Memo 2017-147). (IRC 482 reallocations and the cancelation of advance pricing agreements; case trial 2015).
- Eaton Corporation v. Comm'r, (T.C. Docket No. 28040-14). (Transfer pricing and sub-part F adjustments).
- CIBC USA Holdings v. United States, Docket No. 1:16-cv-01158-CFL, Ct. Fed. Cl. (IRC 162 expense deduction and allocation issues, on-going).
- Guidant LLC v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Docket No. 5501-12 (IRC 482 reallocations; settlement pending).
- Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Docket No. 5502-12 (IRC 482 reallocations; settlement pending).
- Boston Scientific Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Docket No. 26876-11 (IRC 482 reallocations; settlement pending).
- Guidant LLC v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Docket No. 5989-11 (IRC 482 reallocations; settlement pending).
- Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Docket No. 5990-11 (IRC 482 reallocations; settlement pending).
- Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v Commissioner of Internal Revenue, T.C. Docket No. 10985-11 (IRC 367 allocations; settlement pending).
- United States v. Eaton Corporation, 1:13-mc-102, 1:13-mc-111, 1:13-mc-112 (N.D. Ohio 2014); 2:13-cv-01825 (W.D. Pa. 2014); 3:13-cv-01956 (D.P.R. 2014) (Summons enforcement litigation).
- United States v. Eaton Corporation, 1:12 MC 24, 1:12 MC 25, 1:12 MC 26, 1:12 MC 27, 2012 WL 3486910 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 15, 2012) (Summons enforcement litigation).
- Unionbancal Corp. v. United States, No. 06-587 (Ct. Fed. Cl., tried April 2012). (Successfully defended against the government's motion for summary judgment; pending case regarding the proper tax treatment of leveraged leases involving a foreign power facility and domestic sports arena).
- Consolidated Edison Company of New York v. United States, 90 Fed. Cl. 228, (Ct. Fed Cl., decision 2009), (upholding the taxpayer's Federal tax treatment of a leveraged lease (LILO) involving a foreign power facility, reversed on appeal, 2013 WL 93110).
- Wells Fargo & Company v. United States, No. 06-628 (Ct. Fed. Cl., decision 2010). (Tax treatment of various sale-leaseback transactions and issues of genuine indebtedness.
- Advised large chemical company in resolving significant valuation disputes in IRS Appeals, including representation of company in privilege disputes and IRS summons responses.
- Represented large produce company in a taxable acquisition and various sub-part F issues.
- Represented several companies during audit and IRS Appeals in connection with investments in various transactions the IRS terms so-called "tax shelters."
- Resolved several so-called "busted Section 351 transactions" on very favorable terms.
Georgetown University Law Center, LLM in Taxation, with distinction
State University of New York, Buffalo Law School, JD, cum laude
Buffalo Law Review, 2001-2003 (Business Editor: 2002-2003; Associate Member: 2001-2002); Executive Student Editor, American Bar Association's Journal of Affordable Housing, 2002-2003
University of New England, BS, cum laude
- New York
- US Tax Court
- US Court of Federal Claims
- US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- FC Harlem Board of Directors
- Organizer and Moderator of the Tax Controversy In-House Forum
- American Bar Association
- New York Bar Association