Professional Profiles


Matthew I. Root, Esq.

Mr. Root, born in Buffalo has spent his entire life, professional and otherwise in Western New York.  He currently resides in the City of Buffalo, where he has lived for over thirty years with his wife and daughter.  Mr. Root founded the Law Offices of Matthew I. Root upon his departure from the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service, after more than 30 years of representation of the IRS.

During Mr. Root’s 30 years with the Chief Counsel’s Office he engaged in all aspects of federal tax controversy work. The first 13 years of Mr. Root’s time in the Chief Counsel’s Office was spent in the District Counsel’s Office with his post-of-duty in Buffalo, New York.  There, he engaged in tax litigation, general (or collection) litigation, as well as criminal tax work.  In the tax litigation area he litigated a number of civil fraud cases, including Marrone which involved the source and application of funds method of indirectly recomputing taxable income, and the Reinhardt, Gleave, 747 Kenmore Avenue and Langworthy fraud cases, all of which all involved the specific item method of recomputing taxable income.  He also was a member of the Chief Counsel team which tried the precedent setting Neonatology case involving the attempted deduction of contributions to a voluntary employee benefit association (VEBA) for cash value life insurance premium payments, which the Tax Court denied in excess of the cost of insurance, as the contributions for the premium payments were actually constructive dividends.  In the general (a/k/a collection) litigation area, Mr. Root  practiced in such areas as lien priority, lien and levy discharge and release, offer-in-compromise, bankruptcy (chapters 7, 11 and 13), insolvency and receivership matters, decedent estates, innocent spouse, and alter-ego, fraudulent conveyance, and transferee liability cases.

Thus, whether your matter involves an audit, court case, or collection matter, Mr. Root will use his many years of federal tax controversy experience to help you resolve the matter at the least possible cost to you.

The last 17 years of Mr. Root’s time in the Chief Counsel’s Office was spent in the Large Business and International (LB&I) division, with his post-of-duty also in Buffalo, N.Y.  In the LB&I division, Mr. Root advised the IRS in its audits of domestic and foreign C-corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, and limited-liability companies (LLCs) with net assets of at least $10 million. He further represented the IRS in the United States Tax Court in cases with these taxpayers. Mr. Root was part of the team which litigated the international GlaxoSmithKline section 482/transfer-pricing case, the then largest case in U.S. Tax Court history. He was part of the team which tried the Santa Fe Pacific Gold case which involved the issue of whether a termination fee paid in an unsuccessful merger was deductible, or must be capitalized and amortized instead. He led the team which successfully litigated the Amerisouth cost-segregation tax case which involved the determination of the proper class lives for depreciation purposes of hundreds of components of a commercial rental apartment complkex.  He was part of the team which successfully litigated the Canal (Chesapeake) case, which determined under the partnership anti-abuse provisions that a purported partnership loan transaction was actually a disguised sale. He led the team which litigated and won the Exelon case which involved the determination of whether the taxpayer obtained ownership interests in three coal-fired electric generation plants through purported section 1031 like-kind exchanges, using sale-in, lease-out (SILO) transactions. Exelon has been appealed by the taxpayer to the 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

Mr. Root’s experience in both District Counsel and LB&I assures you that regardless of the complexity, or size or age of your IRS tax dispute, you will have experienced and qualified tax-counsel on your side when fighting the IRS.  Above all, this will provide you peace-of-mind that your case is being presented to the taxing authority in the best possible light, with minimal time and effort on your part.  Furthermore, this will reassure you that in the end, when your case is ultimately finalized its will be at the lowest possible cost to you and/or your business.




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