Kenneth W. Gideon


Kenneth W. Gideon’s practice focuses on three often overlapping areas: representation of clients before the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service; seeking guidance on novel transactions; and issues of federal tax law, tax controversy and tax planning. Mr. Gideon serves as one of the leaders of the firm’s national tax litigation practice.

Mr. Gideon advises clients on a wide variety of guidance, controversy (including tax litigation) and planning matters. In the guidance area, he has assisted clients in obtaining published guidance in the form of regulations, revenue rulings and revenue procedures. In addition, he has assisted in obtaining numerous private letter rulings and closing agreements.

Mr. Gideon’s controversy experience includes appearances in all three available forums for federal tax litigation (U.S. Tax Court, Federal District Court and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims), as well as substantial experience in controversy resolution at both the examination and appeals levels. (A partial listing of litigated cases in which Mr. Gideon has participated appears below.)

He has been active in seeking, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), new ways to resolve cases as promptly and as early as possible. He has participated in clients’ successful efforts to obtain advance pricing agreements and related competent authority agreements, as well as other resolutions following the framework of IRS “fast-track” resolution initiatives appeals mediations. He also has assisted clients with respect to closing agreements involving life insurance, tax exempt bonds, exempt organizations and other matters.

Mr. Gideon has advised clients in connection with numerous corporate mergers, acquisitions and restructurings, particularly in situations in which the transaction may require a ruling or informal discussion with the Internal Revenue Service.

Mr. Gideon repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Who’s Who Legal — Corporate Tax and The Best Lawyers in America. He was named a “Tax Controversy Leader” in the International Tax Review’s 2015 Leaders Guide. He also was named Best Lawyers’ 2014 "Washington DC Tax Lawyer of the Year” and was included in Washingtonian Magazine’s 2013 “Best Lawyers” list. Mr. Gideon is a frequent speaker on tax-related subjects before government, trade associations and continuing legal education programs. He also is the author of one tax treatise and several articles. From 1990 to 1992, he served as vice chairman of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

Mr. Gideon’s litigation experience includes:

  • Estate of Davidson v. Commissioner, Tax Court Docket Number 13748-13 (2015). Resolution by settlement of one of the largest estate and gift tax disputes docketed in the Tax Court;
  • Allen Davis v. Commissioner, TC Memo 2011-289, aff’d 716 F.3d 560 (11th Cir. 2013). Tax Court and Eleventh Circuit decisions affirming S corporation’s right to deduct option exercise compensation pursuant to Section 83;
  • Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. v. Commissioner, Tax Court Docket Number 17861-10 (2012). Transfer pricing case in which the IRS conceded that no adjustments should be made under Section 482;
  • Regions Financial Corp. v. United States, 2008-1 USTC ¶50, 345 (N.D. Ala. 2008). District Court decision upholding Regions’ right to withhold documents as work product even though furnished to financial auditors;
  • 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, not capital, items;
  • InterHotel Co., Ltd. v. Commissioner, 221 F.3d 1348 (2000). Ninth Circuit decision vacating Tax Court decision adverse to the taxpayer in a case involving the partnership allocation rules, followed by Tax Court decision for the taxpayer, T.C. Memo 2001-15; and
  • Saltzman v. Commissioner, 131 F.3d 87 (1997). Second Circuit case on valuation of closely held corporate stock requiring underlying valuation of cable television rights.

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


J.D., Yale University Law School, 1971

B.A., Harvard University, 1968


Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy (1989-1992)

Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service (1981-1983)


ABA Board of Governors, 2012-2015

ABA Section of Taxation, Chair, 2004-2005; Vice Chair (Government Relations), 1995-1997; Council Director, 1987-1989

Regent, American College of Tax Counsel, 1999-2004


"The 2015 Erwin N. Griswold Lecture Before the American College of Tax Counsel: A Remembrance of Things Past and Speculation About the Future of Tax Administration"

The Tax Lawyer, Vol. 68. No. 2

"The New Tax Shelter Disclosure Rules: Registration List Maintenance and Reporting"

92 J. TAX’N 261

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