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Marini & Associates, PA. is pleased to announce that Sergio Garcia-Pages, Esq., former Senior Counsel for the LB&I Division of the Office of the Chief Counsel, IRS, South Florida, has become "Of Counsel" to our firm.

Mr. Garcia-Pages has in-depth knowledge of the IRS and significant U.S. Tax Court experience.  He is available to collaborate with tax accountants and tax attorneys regarding tax planning for their clients, and to assist develop and execute sound settlement and controversy strategies during IRS Audits, IRS Appeals proceedings, U.S. Tax Court proceedings, and IRS Collection efforts of assessed taxes.

Mr. Garcia-Pages is admitted to practice law in Florida, the U.S. Tax Court and the federal district court for the Southern District of Florida.

He is able to transact business in English and he is also literate and fluent in Spanish.

Prior to joining Marini & Associates, P.A.

Mr. Garcia-Pages was a 42-year veteran of the Office of the Chief Counsel, IRS, where he spent the last ten years of his career, either alone or as part of a team of attorneys, advising revenue agents during the audits of taxpayers serviced by the Large Business & International Division of the IRS, such as high net worth individuals and publicly traded companies in various industries.

Sergio has valuable experience addressing factual and legal issues of different complexity involving Federal tax law, both domestic and international, including transfer pricing issues and the application of penalties. He has settled or tried civil fraud penalty cases. Sergio advised IRS agents over the years on multiple tax matters involving real estate acquisition, development and disposition, and is familiar with many of the underlying issues and tax planning techniques.

As Senior Counsel for LB&I, Sergio was known for his keen ability to value the contentious positions of the Government and taxpayers based on hazards of litigation, and for resolving cases on the merits without litigation. He was also well regarded for litigating complex-large-stake cases before the U.S. Tax Court.

Representative Cases

Sergio's litigation experience runs the gamut of factual and technical issues involving domestic and international tax law as well as penalties, including the civil fraud penalty.

Significant cases which Sergio successfully litigated in the U.S. Tax Court during the past decade, as lead attorney or active member of the litigation team, include:

  • FPL Group, Inc. v. Comm'r, 115 T.C. 554 (2000) (electric utility's judicial request to expense $210.9 million denied as an unauthorized change in method of accounting) (summary judgment);
  • Salina Partnership, LP (FPL Group, Inc.) v. Comm'r, T.C. Memo. 2000-352 (disallowing a $344 million mismatch of partnership inside and outside basis used as a tax shelter technique) (trial);
  • G.D. Parker, Inc. v. Comm'r, T.C. Memo. 2012-327 (upholding 30% withholding taxes on constructive dividends made by a Florida corporation through two tiers of foreign corporations up to nonresident alien shareholder, and applying the step transaction doctrine to reallocate a loss reported by the domestic corporate taxpayer from the sale of the stock of a foreign affiliate to that entity's foreign corporate shareholder) (trial);
  • Kardash v. Comm'r, T.C. Memo. 2015-51, aff'd, 866 F.2d 1249 (11th Cir. 2017) (upholding transferee liability of minority shareholders under Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act who received dividends from corporate transferor that attempted to evade $120 million in federal income taxes) (trial);
  • Smith v. Comm'r, 151 T.C. No. 5 (Sept. 18, 2018) (upholding IRS determinations that a U.S. citizen received a distribution of untaxed Subpart F E&Ps from a Hong Kong CFC taxable as ordinary income rather than a "qualified dividend" taxable at a preferential rate, that residency certificates issued by the Cyprus Ministry of Finance should not be accorded dispositive effect under the "act of state" doctrine for purposes of determining residency under the LOB provisions of the income tax treaty between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus, and that the cancellation of an account receivable was a constructive dividend from the Cypriot CFC to the U.S. taxpayer taxable at ordinary income tax rates) (cross motions for summary judgment);
  • Coal Holding Property, LLC v. Comm'r, 153 T.C. No. 7 (Oct. 28, 2019) (disallowing a charitable contribution deduction of $155.5 million for a conservation easement donation to a Tennessee land conservancy) (summary judgment).

Education

  • Brooklyn College, C.U.N.Y., BA 1975 (with distinction)
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Law, JD 1978
  • University of Miami School of Law, LLM Tax 1986
  • University of Miami School of Law, Graduate Program in Taxation, Adjunct Professor, Federal Income Tax Consequences of Property Transactions, 2017-2019.