Joseph M.


With deep knowledge of the complex and ever-changing tax laws and regulations at the federal and state levels, Joe DePew defends and negotiates for taxpayers in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other tax agencies and boards. Joe works with clients across the country to respond to federal and state tax audits and examinations and, when possible, to resolve controversies without litigation. When litigation is necessary to protect his clients’ interests, Joe provides strategic and vigorous defense. He has represented clients before the Administrative Appeals Division of the IRS, state agencies, the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. district courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and various state courts.

With 15 years of tax controversy and litigation experience, Joe’s work spans a broad range of issues, including recognition of losses, capitalization versus repair, disguised partnership sales, excise tax, estate and gift tax, specified liability losses, cost segregation, IRS summons, privileges, cost of performance, family limited partnerships, penalties, reasonable compensation, timing of deductions, business purpose, economic substance, worker classification, statute of limitations, business versus non-business income and research and development credits. He represents clients from many industries, including, transportation, cable, logistics, insurance, communications, manufacturing, energy, banking and finance, healthcare, timber, real estate, marketing, retail and automotive.

Selected Experience

Sutherland wins $50 million tax refund from Oregon in intangibles case.
Sutherland won a $50 million tax refund plus costs for a Fortune 50 media company in the Oregon Tax Court, defeating the state's attempt to impose a tax on our client's intangible property.
Sutherland favorably resolved an IRS-proposed $105 million civil penalty.
A proposed IRS civil penalty of $105 million resulted in the non-assertion of any penalty for Sutherland's client.
Sutherland wins summary judgment in a partnership statute of limitations case.
Sutherland won a summary judgment in a case where the proper interplay of various statute of limitation provisions between TEFRA partnership matters and non-partnership items were at issue.

Professional Activities

Member, Tax Section, American Bar Association
Member, Tax Section, Georgia Bar Association
Member, Tax Section, Atlanta Bar Association

  • LL.M. in Taxation, University of Florida
  • J.D., with distinction, Ohio Northern University: Claude W. Pettit College of Law
  • B.A., State University of New York at Oswego

Our Story

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

click to watch Commitment to Excellence
Commitment to Excellence
Mark D. Wasserman, Managing Partner
Atlanta, GA
© 2014 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.
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