Fox Team Prevails in California Tax Abatement Case

September 29, 2020 – Press Releases

Fox Rothschild LLP Partners Sean R. Kenney and John Shaeffer secured a rare taxpayer victory before the California Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) on the issue of penalty abatement for reasonable cause.

The case, Consolidated Appeals of Paradigm Publishing Inc.; CSBT Corp.; CSBT Enterprises, Inc., concerned an asset sale of the businesses’ holdings. The taxpayers had paid tax liability, however, due to the advice of a CPA, the taxes were paid into an individual account rather than the corporate accounts, causing the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to assess late filing penalties.

The FTB argued in proceedings before OTA that a showing of reasonable cause had not been met.

The Fox team prevailed and taxpayers’ penalties for late filing were reversed by the OTA, which ordered a refund in full of the penalties at issue.  

Kenney is a partner in the Tax & Wealth Planning Group at Fox Rothschild LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of trusts and estates, business succession and taxation.

Shaeffer is a partner in the Litigation Department whose diverse practice as a trial lawyer spans antitrust, product liability, intellectual property, real estate and toxic torts.