Rachel L. Partain is Of Counsel to 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 2012, she 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.
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:
- resolve a tax-exempt bond examination with no changes; and
- handle the resolution of a New York state franchise tax audit relating to whether a corporation was "doing business" in the state.
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 high-net-worth individuals involved in voluntary disclosures of 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:
- counsel clients on debt equity characterization, debt modification, cancellation of indebtedness, income tax accounting, tax treatment of settlement payments, Section 382 limitations, and treaty issues; and
- advise on matters relating to reorganizations, distributions, and inbound and outbound transactions.
An active participant in pro bono activities, Ms. Partain handles pro bono matters in Tax Court through the Duke University School of Law Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic and the New York University School of Law Tax Clinic.
Ms. Partain's speaking engagements include:
- Moderator, "Ethical Issues Arising from Conflicts of Interest, Especially When Criminal Tax Charges Are on the Horizon," ABA Section of Taxation and Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate's 2013 Joint Fall Meeting (San Francisco, California, September, 2013)
- Moderator, "Ethical Issues in Federal Tax Practice - The Government Perspective," ABA Section of Taxation 2013 Midyear Meeting (Orlando, Florida, January, 2013)
- Moderator, "Addressing Concerns About the Ethical Judgments of a Supervising Attorney," ABA 2012 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, Section of Taxation and the Trust and Estate Law Division of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (Boston, Massachusetts, September, 2012)
- Moderator, "Compliance Issues and Strategies: From Start-ups to Multinational Companies," The New York County Lawyers' Association, (New York, June, 2012)
- Speaker and Author, "Important Developments," ABA Section of Taxation Meeting, Court Procedure & Practice Committee (San Diego, CA, February, 2012)
- Moderator, "Joint Defense Agreements, Part II," ABA Section of Taxation Meeting, Court Procedure & Practice Committee (Denver, CO, October, 2011)
- Speaker and Author, "Current Developments," ABA Section of Taxation Meeting, Court Procedure & Practice Committee (Washington, D.C., May 2011; Washington, D.C., May 2010; Chicago, IL, September, 2009; New Orleans, LA, January, 2009; San Francisco, CA, September, 2008; Washington, D.C., May, 2008; Las Vegas, NV, January, 2008; Vancouver, BC, September, 2007)
- Speaker, "Judicial Deference Mock Argument: Application of Temp. Treas. Reg. § 301.6501(e)-1T(a)(1)(iii) in Smith v. Commissioner," ABA Section of Taxation Meeting, Court Procedure & Practice Committee (San Antonio, TX, January, 2010)