Former Chief Counsel for the IRS, Jerry Cohen guides his clients in domestic and international tax planning to avoid controversy and defends them in litigation when controversies arise. His diverse clients include U.S. and foreign-based corporations, manufacturers, accounting firms, law firms and individuals.
Over his law career, Jerry has been involved in planning and structuring major corporate acquisitions and dispositions. He has successfully litigated federal and state tax cases and handled numerous matters before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state revenue departments, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He has also handled legislative matters for clients, testified on a number of occasions before the two Congressional tax-writing committees and worked with the Joint Committee on Taxation on tax legislative matters.
In 1979, Jerry was appointed by President Carter to serve as Chief Counsel for the IRS, a position he held until 1981. He has served as the Chair of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association, Chair of the American College of Tax Counsel, and Chair of the IRS Advisory Committee. He currently is a member of the Board of the American Tax Policy Institute. The Tax Section of the American Bar Association honored Jerry as the recipient of its 2011 Distinguished Service Award.
Recent Litigation Experience
Jerry handled seminal case establishing cost segregation for depreciation purposes, the right to hybrid accounting, and the legitimacy of a captive insurance company. Hospital Corporation of America led the way in three very important tax areas: cost segregation, hybrid accounting, and captive insurance.
Jerry won a 20-year-old tax fraud case at the Supreme Court that forced the Tax Court to reverse its practice of refusing to furnish Special Trial Judge opinions. He then secured a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of an estate in a tax fraud case that had been fought for more than 20 years in the U.S.
He also successfully litigated case establishing deductibility of periodic overhauls, requiring the Treasury to revamp related regulations. In a case of enormous importance to the shipping and airline industries, as well as to other taxpayers, the deductibility of periodic overhauls of equipment was confirmed.
Awards and Rankings
Recipient, Commissioner’s Award for outstanding service to the IRS (1981)
Recipient, General Counsel of the Treasury’s Award for outstanding service to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (1981)
Recipient, American Bar Association Section of Taxation's 2011 Distinguished Service Award (2011)
Former Chief Counsel, IRS (1979-1981)
Former Chair, Tax Section, American Bar Association (1995-1996)
Former Vice Chair and Member of Council, Tax Section, American Bar Association
Former Chair, Formation of Tax Policy Committee, Tax Section, American Bar Association (1982-1986)
Former Chair, Taxation Committee, Litigation Section, American Bar Association (1981-1983)
Former Chair, Corporate Stockholder Relationships Committee, Tax Section, American Bar Association (1977-1979)
Former Vice Chair, Taxation Committee, Individual Rights and Human Responsibilities Section, American Bar Association (1976-1979)
Chair and Member, Board of Regents, American College of Tax Counsel
Secretary and Board Member, American Tax Policy Institute
Member, American Law Institute and its Tax Advisory Board
Former Member, Board of Advisors, IRS’s Continuing Professional Education Program
Former Member, Advisory Group to the Staff of the Senate Finance Committee on its Subchapter C Revision Act
Former Member, Little Brown and Commerce Clearing House Tax Advisory Boards
Former Adjunct Professor of Law, Emory University (1967-1976)
Member, Board of Advisors, Virginia Tax Review
Former Chair, Advisory Counsel, IRS (1999-2001)