Julia M. Kazaks




Palo Alto

T: 1.650.470.4640

F: 1.650.798.6515


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Julia M. Kazaks represents clients in all phases of tax controversy and litigation, including federal court proceedings, and Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authority audits and appeals, as well as in alternative dispute resolution venues. Ms. Kazaks litigates on behalf of her clients in the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The range of issues covered in Ms. Kazaks’ practice includes debt/equity characterization, transfer pricing, employee/contractor classification, the economic substance and business purpose doctrines, business and real estate valuation, partnership taxation, income tax accounting questions, taxation of stock options, capitalization principles, transportation excise taxes and proposed exempt status revocation. She regularly represents clients in the financial services, technology, pharmaceutical, energy, natural resources and transportation industries.

Litigation matters in which Ms. Kazaks has been involved include:

  • Allen Davis, et al. v. Commissioner (11th Cir. 2013). Eleventh Circuit decision affirming trial decision in taxpayers’ favor on the taxation of a stock option issued by a closely held corporation, together with reasonable compensation and valuation issues.
  • Bank of New York Mellon v. Commissioner (U.S. Tax Court). Trial decision in government’s favor in an IRS challenge to a financing transaction involving foreign tax credits. Opinion issued Feb. 11, 2013.
  • Amazon.com, Inc. v. Commissioner (U.S. Tax Court). Ongoing transfer pricing litigation.
  • Ingersoll-Rand v. Commissioner (U.S. Tax Court). Ongoing litigation over government treaty-shopping challenge to related party interest payments.
  • Wells Fargo v. United States (U.S. District Court, Minnesota). Ongoing litigation over government challenge to foreign tax credits in financing transaction.
  • United States v. Home Concrete Supply, et al. (U.S. Supreme Court). Amicus brief on behalf of American College of Tax Counsel in matter concerning validity of Treasury regulation.
  • In re G-I Holdings (U.S. District Court, New Jersey). Trial decision in taxpayers’ favor on statute of limitations grounds in a case addressing the IRS argument that a partnership formation, asset contribution and borrowing against the resulting preferred interest should be recharacterized as a taxable event. Opinion issued Dec. 14, 2009.
  • Pacificorp Holdings, Inc. v. United States (U.S. District Court, Oregon). Whether contingencies on an installment note were “remote and incidental” within the meaning of then-proposed Treasury Regulation Section 1.1275-4. Resolved by agreement.
  • Federal Express v. United States, 412 F.3d 617 (6th Cir. 2005). Sixth Circuit decision affirming U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee ruling for the taxpayer that aircraft engine maintenance costs are deductible.
  • Otto Candies, LLC & Candies Towing Company, LLC v. United States (U.S. District Court, Louisiana). Trial decision in taxpayers’ favor in an accumulated earnings tax case for a closely held marine transportation company.

IRS audit and appeals matters in which Ms. Kazaks has been involved include:

  • IRS challenges to the tax treatment of intercompany debt;
  • a license-versus-sale dispute in the life sciences industry;
  • an inquiry into a foreign technology and manufacturing company’s U.S. structure and activities;
  • the termination of a Section 936 structure, and related transfer pricing matters, involving a pharmaceutical company;
  • a theft loss claimed by a taxpayer investing with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC;
  • an employee/independent contractor classification issue for a transportation services company; and
  • various economic substance challenges to corporate and individual transactions.

Ms. Kazaks also frequently counsels taxpayers and their advisers concerning litigation procedural matters, especially on questions of privilege and confidentiality.

Ms. Kazaks focuses her pro bono practice on criminal defense matters. She has the privilege of representing, together with several colleagues, Danial Williams, who was one of the wrongly convicted “Norfolk Four” granted a conditional pardon in 2009 by Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine. In connection with this case, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project honored Ms. Kazaks with a Defender of Innocence Award in 2010.

Ms. Kazaks repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. She also was listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2013 and 2014 in the tax law category and was a finalist in the 2013 Legal Media Group/Euromoney Americas “Women in Law Awards.” In 2014, the Silicon Valley Business Journal selected Ms. Kazaks as one of its “Women of Influence.”

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1994

A.B., Political Science and History, Stanford University, 1991


Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas F. Hogan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1994-1996)