Captive Insurance Audit Representation

Zerbe Fingeret Frank & Jadav is one of the nation’s most experienced law firms handling captive insurance audit defense and compliance.  Representation of captive insurance company owners and service providers nationwide gives ZMFFJ a coordinated perspective on the issues and concerns regularly raised by the IRS in their examinations of taxpayers on this issue.  IRS scrutiny of captive insurance gained substantial momentum in early 2014 as The Service launched a series of 6700 promoter examinations aimed at multiple captive management firms.  In short order, these examinations led to informal documentation requests, and audits of captive insurance company owners nationwide.  By 2015, The IRS listed captives on its Dirty Dozen List acknowledging that captives were legal when done properly, but including captive insurance among  potential “tax scams,” along with identity theft, phishing, preparer fraud and offshore tax avoidance.

Highly coordinated, the audits of captive clients tend to involve voluminous documentation requests which occasionally include IRS summons/enforcement proceedings requiring experienced legal counsel with familiarity both in terms of the captive owner’s documentation, and also with the documentation of the relevant service provider.  The IRS commonly requests interviews, which can be recorded, and taken under oath with participation by IRS counsel.  ZMFFJ works regularly with risk managers and CPA’s, often through the use of Kovel agreements to protect privileged communications between counsel and its captive insurance clients.  ZMFFJ follows current case law closely, and is intimately familiar with captive insurance cases such as Renta Center, Securitas Holdings, and others.

ZMFFJ also regularly assists clients with independent third party compliance reviews aimed at shoring up captive companies, and insuring that the necessary substantiation is in place to insure the best possible audit defense in the event of IRS scrutiny.  Having handled a large number of these matters, chronicling key issues, ZMFFJ is able to review clients with a lens toward issues key in ongoing IRS examinations to provide real time advice on how to strengthen and improve documentation.

Tax & Whistle-Blower Representation

Our significant background in the tax laws – including our partner Mr. Dean Zerbe who served as senior counsel and tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee where he was responsible for the creation of the IRS whistleblower law at the direction of Senator Grassley – has made representing tax whistleblowers a specialty of our firm. Our firm successfully represented Brad Birkenfeld – who received an award of $104 million dollars – the largest award any whistleblower has ever received. Mr. Birkenfeld’s award was also the first major award (over $10 million dollars) given by the IRS Whistleblower Office.

We specialize in representing individuals who are blowing the whistle on major tax fraud (over $2 million dollars) by major corporations and banks as well as high net-worth individuals. Our practice includes representing individuals before the IRS as well as in Tax Court.

We represent individuals from the first submission all the way through the entire process. We have developed a particular expertise in assisting individuals who have submitted a whistleblower claim but need help in ensuring that the claim gets the proper attention and focus.

False Claims Act Assistance

ZMFFJ represents individuals who wish to pursue a claim that a company or individual is defrauding the
government – for instance, making a false statement or a false billing. With our strong litigation
experience as well as years of experience in government oversight we have the right tools to assist a
whistleblower who wishes to pursue a False Claims Act/Qui Tam action.

Our clients also benefit from the fact that we have easily available a strong number of technical experts
– accounting, engineering, computer software, chemistry, medicine, etc. to provide detailed knowledge
necessary to ensure that the best case is put forward.


Tax Controversy/Audit Defense

We represent individuals and companies that are under audit or examination by the IRS or state tax
authorities. We particularly specialize in assisting small and medium businesses and their owners. We
also serve as counsel for taxpayers in litigation before the Tax Court as well as Federal District Court and

Our clients benefit from our years of experience representing hundreds of clients through IRS
examination, IRS appeals, mediation and arbitration — and when necessary the court system. We are
extremely proud of our results on behalf of our clients.

We believe a great part of our success is due to three factors: 1) that we bring a strong background
in litigation; 2) our considerable base of knowledge of the tax laws; and, 3) having at our fingertips
technical expertise in a wide range of areas – such as engineering, chemistry, computer software, etc.
that can be of enormous assistance to clients in certain tax matters.

These three pillars have led to many happy clients.