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Brian R. Harris

Partner 
401 East Jackson Street
Suite 1700
Tampa, FL 33602
 
Tel:
813.223.7333
Fax:
813.218.5454
 
 

Brian Harris is a board certified tax attorney that concentrates his practice in tax controversy and litigation. He represents Fortune 500 companies, small/mid-sized businesses and individuals in all matters before the IRS, including audits, appeals, and litigation in the U.S. Tax Court and federal district courts. Brian assists clients with offshore voluntary disclosures (OVDP), streamlined filings, penalty waivers, private letter rulings, responses to summonses/subpoenas, and collections matters (i.e., liens, levies, offers-in-compromise). In addition, Brian counsels clients on international tax compliance and reporting obligations, criminal tax matters, income tax planning, and other federal tax matters.

Brian also represents taxpayers in state and local tax (SALT) matters, including audits and litigation with the Florida Department of Revenue. A substantial portion of his practice is representing national retailers, banks, automobile financing companies and other businesses in a variety of state and local tax matters throughout the country. This includes audits and administrative appeals through to litigation in state supreme courts. Brian has handled matters in dozens of states involving sales taxes, corporate income taxes, unitary business groupings, nexus, captive insurance companies and many other issues.

Before joining Akerman, Brian was a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division. He was the lead attorney for the United States and IRS on over a hundred cases in federal courts across the country. Brian litigated several of the government's largest and most significant tax shelter cases involving coordinated national issues, debt versus equity transactions, and the economic substance and business purpose doctrines. He also handled cases involving summons enforcement, trust fund recovery penalties, return preparer penalties and injunctions, property valuation, fraudulent transfers, and the treatment of taxes in bankruptcy.
 
Representative Experience
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Representation of the United States in the defense of a $435 million tax refund suit involving the valuation of hundreds of patents covering cancer treatments, drug delivery systems, cosmetic products, paper manufacturing and insecticides, the valuation of art for charitable contribution deductions, the eligibility for R&D tax credits, and the eligibility for foreign tax credits
 
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Representation of the United States in the defense of a $200 million tax refund suit involving the valuation of patent portfolios covering manufacturing technologies and food products
 
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Representation of the United States in the defense of a $25 million tax refund claim brought by a company previously involved in a $200 million employment tax fraud scheme, as well as the defense of a related adversary proceeding alleging that $2.9 million in tax payments to the government were fraudulent transfers under 11 U.S.C. 544 and 548
 
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Representation of United States in a suit seeking a permanent injunction to bar a Miami-area tax return preparer from preparing or assisting in the preparation of tax returns and from operating her tax return preparation business, and in a related suit seeking a judgment of $1.4 million in penalties under 26 U.S.C. 6701 and 6694(b) for her preparation of fraudulent tax returns
 
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Representation of the United States in the defense of a $55 million tax refund suit on whether medical residents are "students" under 26 U.S.C. 3121(b)(10) and therefore exempt from FICA taxes
 
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Representation of the United States in a wide variety of suits to enforce taxes, including to obtain judgments for unpaid taxes, to collect taxes through foreclosures and administrative seizures, to obtain judgments against responsible officers for unpaid employment taxes, and to seize property held by a taxpayer's nominee or alter ego
 
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Representation of United States in the defense of claims under 42 U.S.C. 1985(3) for conspiracy to deny civil rights and against IRS agents for alleged violations of taxpayer's constitutional rights
 
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Representation of the United States in conjunction with its tax claims in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases
 
Awards & Recognition
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Board Certified in Tax Law, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
 
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Super Lawyers Magazine 2014-2016, listed in Florida as a "Rising Star" for Tax
 
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Special Commendation, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2010
 
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Outstanding Attorney Award, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2009, 2007
 
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Special Act or Service Award, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2006
 
Published Works & Lectures
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Florida Bar Tax Section, Federal Tax Division, Speaker, "Tax Procedure Review for the Board Certification Exam," February 8, 2017
 
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Probate and Pumpernickel Luncheon Series, Speaker, "Current Federal Tax Issues in Probate & Estate Administration," Sarasota, Florida; November 16, 2016
 
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LISI Asset Protection Planning Newsletter #2424, Co-Author, "Summaries of Presentations from the 2016 Florida Tax Institute," June 15, 2016
 
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The Florida Bar Tax Section, Young Lawyers Division, CLE Teleconference, Co-Speaker, "Tax Procedure Review for the Board Certification," December 2015
 
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Probate and Pumpernickel Luncheon Series, Speaker, "Current Federal Tax Issues in Probate & Estate Administration," Naples, Florida; March 15, 2016
 
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Hillsborough County Bar Association, Tax Law Section CLE, Co-Presenter, "Ethics of Representing the Low Income Taxpayer," November 13, 2015
 
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7th Annual NYU Tax Controversy Forum, Panelist, "Contesting Tax Penalties," June 5, 2015
 
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The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 89, No. 6, Author, "Continuing Trends in State Tax Litigation: Nexus and Challenging State Tax Laws in Federal Courts," June 2015
 
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The Florida Bar Tax Section, Young Lawyers Division, CLE Teleconference, Co-Speaker, "To Pre-Pay or Not to Pre-Pay: Considering Tax Court v. District Court Litigation," March 11, 2015
 
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Lawyer, Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA), Co-Author, "Tax Issues for Marijuana Businesses," January/February 2015
 
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Lawyer, Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA), Author, "IRS Modifies Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program," September/October 2014
 
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Hillsborough County Bar Association, Tax Law Section CLE, Co-Presenter, "International Issues of U.S. Taxation: FBAR, FATCA, OVDP, etc." September 23, 2014
 
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The Florida Bar Tax Section 2013-2014 Organizational Meeting, Speaker, "Ullman Year in Review," July 5, 2013
 
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5th Annual NYU Tax Controversy Forum, Panelist, "This isn't Your Grandfather's Tax Controversy Business Anymore: Recent Developments in Enforcement, Audit, and Privilege Issues," June 7, 2013
 
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Association of Corporate Counsel North Florida Focus, Author, "Responding to Patent Trolls," Q1 2013
 
Professional Memberships & Activities
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The Florida Bar, Tax Section, Member; Federal Court Practice Committee, Chair, 2016-2017; Federal Court Practice Committee, Vice-Chair, 2015-2016; Member, 2013-2016
 
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Hillsborough County Bar Association, Tax Section, Co-Chair, 2014-2015
 
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Leadership Tampa, Class of 2016
 
Related Professional Experience
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U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, Trial Attorney, 2005-2011
 

Associated News, Events and Publications
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Brian R. Harris

Practice
Tax
Education
J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2001
M.S., University of Florida, 2001; Electrical Engineering
B.S., University of Florida, 1997; Computer Engineering
Bar Admissions
Florida
Illinois
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
 
 
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