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Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1980, Order of the Coif
  • B.S., Northwestern University, 1977, with highest distinction

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Other Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association (Section of Taxation and Section of Criminal Justice)

International Fiscal Association

Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel and American Bar Foundation

Director, Buildable Hours, Inc.

Member, American Citizens Abroad, Professional Tax Advisory Council

Government Experience

Law Clerk to the Honorable Joyce Hens Green, U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1980-1981

Scott D. Michel

Member, Washington, D.C.
(202) 862-5030
smichel@capdale.com | v-card | PDF
Scott D. Michel is a Member of Caplin & Drysdale, has been with the firm since 1981, and currently serves as the firm's President.

Services

He advises and represents individuals and corporations nationwide in the following:
  • Voluntary disclosures
  • Advising U.S. citizens living abroad and foreign entities doing business in the U.S. about coming into tax compliance
  • Counseling financial institutions, other companies, advisors and professionals on criminal tax matters arising from U.S. Justice Department investigations, including representation of financial institutions as to the DOJ Tax Division's Program for Swiss Banks and the negotiation of deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements in other matters 
  • Sensitive civil tax examinations where fraud or substantial penalty issues may arise
  • Criminal tax fraud investigations
  • Criminal and civil tax disputes with DC and various states
  • Corporate internal investigations of tax and financial related matters
  • Tax shelter matters, including criminal and civil penalty examinations of tax shelter promoters and professionals

Highlights

Mr. Michel is internationally recognized for his extensive experience in handling matters arising from the U.S. government's recent crackdown on undeclared foreign accounts, including criminal tax investigations, sensitive civil audits and voluntary disclosures. Such matters encompass a broad range of fact patterns, such as inherited accounts, situations that raise issues of complex undisclosed corporate or foundation structures, and unfiled Treasury "FBAR" forms. He is currently representing numerous clients worldwide in audits and investigations arising from IRS and Justice Department investigations involving UBS, HSBC and other banks, as well as voluntary disclosures throughout the U.S. involving dozens of foreign financial institutions throughout the world. These clients include U.S. taxpayers and their families, as well as financial institutions and outside advisors around the world.

Professional Activities

Mr. Michel is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law Graduate Program in Taxation. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and  from 2012-2014 served as a Council Director for the ABA Section of Taxation. Mr. Michel previously chaired the Tax Section's Committee on Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties and the Standards of Tax Practice Committee.  He is a member of the Professional Tax Advisory Council for American Citizens Abroad, a non-profit, non-partisan volunteer association whose mission includes acting as a voice for Americans living overseas.  

He is also a co-founder and Director of Buildable Hours, Inc., a Washington, D.C. non-profit group that coordinates contributions and volunteer activities between law firms nationwide and local Habitat for Humanity organizations.

Awards & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2006-Present
  • Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C., 2007-Present
  • Chambers USA, 2009-Present
  • The Legal 500, Recommended 2014; Leading Lawyer, 2010-2013
  • The Washington Post, Top Attorneys in D.C., 2014
  • The Washingtonian, Top Lawyers, 2011-2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Recent News

Mr. Michel has been quoted extensively in the media, including by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Miami Herald, FoxNews, ABC News, and press outlets in Switzerland, France, Germany and the UK. Recent media coverage includes:

Click here for a full list of media coverage.

Recent Speaking Engagements

Mr. Michel has made frequent appearances throughout the U.S., Seoul, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, Mumbai, and Kuwait City for presentations on enforcement regarding foreign accounts and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act to multiple law firms, bankers, and tax and financial advisors, including presentations before the National University of Singapore, the Tax Academy of Singapore, the Vienna University of Economics and Business, the Korean National Tax Service, Hong Kong University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Korea Chapter of the International Fiscal Association, and the Korean and the Swiss-American Chambers of Commerce. He is the co-chair of the ABA Section of Taxation's Annual Conference on International Tax Enforcement, and has also appeared at other programs held by the American Bar Association, The Tax Executives Institute (U.S. and foreign branches), The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Virginia, NYU, Tennessee and North Carolina Tax Institutes. He has also testified as an expert on offshore account enforcement before the Standing Committee on Finance of the Canada House of Commons.  Recent presentations include:
  • Speaker, When the Company is the Target: Ethical and Other Issues, American Bar Association, 31st Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud & 4th Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy, December 11, 2014
  • Panelist, Offshore Enforcement 2014: Recent Developments and Hot Topics, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, October 13, 2014
  • Speaker, Offshore Compliance Update, July 10, 2014
  • Scott Michel to Moderate Panel on US Global Tax Enforcement Priorities, June 24, 2014
  • Scott Michel to Serve as Moderator for 6th Annual Tax Controversy Forum, June 20, 2014
  • "Transparency Comes to Tax Enforcement", March 18, 2014
  • Chair, Ethical Issues Facing Tax Practitioners, American Law Institute (ALI) CLE, Hot Topics for Accountants & Tax Lawyers: Tax Returns, Advice, & Examination, December 16, 2013
  • Scott Michel to Moderate Panel at ABA Criminal Tax Fraud and Tax Controversy Conference, December 12, 2013
  • Scott Michel to Speak at University of Texas Annual Taxation Conference, December 4, 2013
  • Speaker, From the Experts: Tax Controversy and Tax Litigation Update, New York University, 72nd Institute on Federal Taxation, November 17, 2013
  • Speaker, From the Experts: Tax Controversy and Tax Litigation Update, New York University, 72nd Institute on Federal Taxation, October 20, 2013
  • Speaker, Developments in Offshore Tax Compliance (Practitioner View), American Law Institute (ALI) CLE, International Trust and Estate Planning, October 11, 2013
  • Speaker, Other FATCA Issues: IGAs, Participating FFI Agreements; Sponsored FFI Agreements, Form 8938; FBAR, American Law Institute (ALI) CLE, International Trust and Estate Planning, October 11, 2013
  • Scott Michel to Speak at Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce Panel Meeting, September 26, 2013
  • Scott Michel and David Rosenbloom to Speak at IFA Copenhagen 2013, August 26, 2013
  • Scott Michel to Speak at FATCA Seminar in Kuwait City, June 17, 2013
  • Chair, Enforcement & Criminal Tax Panel, Federal Bar Association, 37th Annual Tax Law Conference, March 1, 2013
  • Scott Michel to Speak at ABA Criminal Tax Fraud and Tax Controversy 2012 Meeting, December 7, 2012
  • Panelist, From the Experts: Tax Controversy and Tax Litigation Update, New York University, 71st Institute on Federal Taxation, November 11, 2012
  • Scott D. Michel & H. David Rosenbloom to Speak at ABA Section of Taxation's Conference on International Tax Enforcement, November 8, 2012
  • Scott Michel to Speak at Tulane Tax Institute, October 31, 2012
  • Scott Michel to Speak at UCLA Extension 2012 Annual Tax Controversy Institute, October 17, 2012
  • Speaker, Developments in Offshore Tax Compliance (Practitioner View), American Law Institute (ALI) CLE, 2012 International Trust and Estate Planning Course, August 24, 2012
  • Scott Michel to Speak at the NYU 4th Annual Tax Controversy Forum, June 15, 2012
  • Speaker, The Ethical Framework - Duties of the Tax Practitioner to the Client and to the System, University of Virginia Tax Foundation, 64th Annual Conference on Federal Taxation, June 7, 2012
  • Speaker, Sensitive Issue Examinations, American Institute of CPAs, Small Business Tax Practitioners Conference and AICPA Conference on Tax Controversy, May 3, 2012
  • Speaker, Ask Tax Controversy Experts, American Institute of CPAs, Small Business Tax Practitioners Conference and AICPA Conference on Tax Controversy, May 3, 2012
  • Panelist, Civil and Criminal Tax Enforcement: What Can We Expect from the IRS?, J. Nelson Young Tax Institute, April 26, 2012
  • Scott Michel and Christopher Rizek to Speak at the Federal Bar Association's 36th Annual Tax Law Conference, March 2, 2012
  • Moderator, Foreign Assets: From Voluntary Disclosure to FATCA, 28th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the First National Institute on Tax Controversy, March 2, 2012
  • Panelist, Ethical Issues in International Tax Practice, The George Washington University Law School, 24th Annual Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation, December 15, 2011
  • Panelist, From the Experts: Tax Controversy and Tax Litigation Update, New York University, 70th Institute on Federal Taxation, November 15, 2011
  • Panelist, A Walk on the Wild Side - IRS Examination of Foreign Account Holders Who Did Not Participate in or Opted out of the Voluntary Disclosure Intitiatives, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension, 27th Annual Tax Controversy Institute, October 25, 2011
  • Moderator, IRS Criminal Investigation Update and Voluntary Disclosures: Still Possible?, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension, 27th Annual Tax Controversy Institute, October 25, 2011
  • Panelist, FBAR for the Fiduciary, DC Bar Tax Section, Estate Planning Committee, October 18, 2011
  • Speaker, Recent Developments, IRS National Tax Forum, August 30, 2011
  • Speaker, Developments in Offshore Tax Compliance (Practitioner View), American Law Institute (ALI) CLE, American Bar Association, 14th Annual Advanced Course of Study for Counselors to Foreign and U.S. Clients, August 19, 2011
  • Chair, Standards of Tax Practice Committee, American Bar Association, 2011 Midyear Meeting, January 21, 2011
  • Panelist, Ethical Issues in International Tax Practice, George Washington University & The Internal Revenue Service, 23rd Annual Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation, December 10, 2010
  • Panelist, Obtaining and Use of Foreign Evidence at Trial, American Bar Association, 27th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, December 2, 2010
  • Moderator, The Quiet Revolution - FATCA and Bank Secrecy, American Bar Association, 2010 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 25, 2010
  • Chair, Standards of Tax Practice, American Bar Association, 2010 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 24, 2010
  • Speaker, Developments in Offshore Tax Compliance (Practioner View), American Law Institute (ALI) CLE and American Bar Association, 13th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for Counselors to Foreign and U.S. Clients, August 20, 2010
  • 13th Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for Counselors to Foreign and U.S. Clients, August 19, 2010
  • International Tax Issues Facing U.S. Taxpayers With Foreign Accounts and Their Financial Institutions, March 18, 2010
  • Panelist, Emerging Issues in Whistleblower Claims, American Bar Association, 2010 Midyear Meeting, January 22, 2010
  • Chair, Standards of Tax Practice Committee, American Bar Association, 2010 Midyear Meeting, January 22, 2010
  • Panelist, Emerging Ethical Issues in Whistleblower Claims, American Bar Association, 2010 Midyear Meeting, January 22, 2010
  • Speaker, Criminal Tax Fraud, American Bar Association, 26th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, December 3, 2009
  • Brave New World of Tax Enforcement: UBS, International and Corporate Criminal Tax Issues, November 13, 2009
  • Voluntary Disclosures: Still Possible After UBS?, October 27, 2009
  • Undeclared Foreign Accounts, Trusts and Estates: Implications of IRS Enforcement Actions, July 16, 2009

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Recent Publications

Mr. Michel has written extensively on topics relating to criminal tax enforcement. His more recent articles include:

Click here for a full list of publications.