Rachel L. Partain
Caplin & Drysdale
Rachel L. Partain Member

P: (212) 379-6071

F: (212) 379-6001

New York Office


Rachel L. Partain is a Member of Caplin & Drysdale, where her practice focuses on representing high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), corporations, and TEFRA and other partnerships in complex federal and state tax controversy and litigation matters.


In the tax controversy arena, Ms. Partain provides skilled counsel to clients involved in examinations, appeals, tax and bankruptcy litigation, collections, compliance reviews, and internal investigations. Moreover, she partners with clients to develop policies and procedures that help reduce their risks and enhance their business operations.

Ms. Partain routinely appears before the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, and other government regulators to advocate for her clients' best interests. Notable representations include:

  • handling Appeals and Tax Court proceedings involving Schedule C deductions and the civil fraud penalty;
  • terminating a New York state franchise tax audit relating to whether a corporation was "doing business" in the state; and
  • resolving a tax-exempt bond examination with no changes.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Ms. Partain also:

  • defends companies and individuals in IRS and state promoter investigations;
  • represents captive insurance arrangements involving income tax and federal excise tax (FET) issues;
  • advises clients with uncertain tax positions and related privilege issues; and
  • counsels HNWIs involved in voluntary disclosures, including for unreported foreign accounts and unfiled FBAR forms in connection with the IRS's OVDI, OVDP, and corresponding state programs.

Clients further benefit from Ms. Partain's substantial experience in advising businesses and HNWIs on how to structure transactions in a tax-efficient manner. Representations include:

  • counseling clients on debt equity characterization, tax treatment of settlement payments, debt modification, cancellation of indebtedness, income tax accounting, Section 382 limitations, and treaty issues; and
  • advising on matters relating to reorganizations, distributions, and inbound and outbound transactions.


In 2012, Ms. Partain was awarded the Nolan Fellowship by the American Bar Association's Section of Taxation.  The award honors a select group of outstanding young tax lawyers from across the nation who have shown significant contribution, service, and leadership.  Ms. Partain is also distinguished with a Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating and was recognized by Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in 2013-2014.

She is currently the Chair of the ABA Tax Section's Standards of Tax Practice Committee, where she educates practitioners on ethical standards and the requirements of Circular 230.  Ms. Partain is also Associate Editor for the ABA Tax Times.

An active participant in pro bono activities, Ms. Partain handles pro bono matters in Tax Court through the New York Calendar Call Program, the New York University School of Law Tax Clinic, and the Duke University School of Law Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Practice Area(s)

Blogs / Additional Resources

Awards & Rankings

  • The Legal 500, Recommended, 2017
  • Super Lawyers, New York, Rising Star, 2013-2014
  • Nolan Fellowship, American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, 2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™

Recent News

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Speaking Engagements

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Recent Publications

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  • LL.M., New York University School of Law, 2010
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2002, Executive Editor, University of Chicago Law School Roundtable; Joseph Henry Beale Prize for Legal Research and Writing (1999-2000)
  • B.A., The University of Texas at Arlington, 1995, cum laude; Alpha Chi Honor Society; Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society; Distinguished Honor Roll – College of Liberal Arts (Fall 1993, Spring 1994); Honors College (1992-1994)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
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