Areas of Practice
- Employee vs. Independent Contractor Disputes; SS-8 Determinations
- Tax Consultation & Expert Witnessing
- IRS Audits and Examinations
- Tax Court and Refund Litigation in Federal Court
- IRS Forms Analysis and Troubleshooting
- Abusive Tax Shelters & Tax Products (Form 8886)
- LLC, LLP, LLLP Tax Audits and Review (BBA Audits)
- Probate and Trust Litigation Involving Exploitation of the Elderly
Bar and Court Admissions
- American Bar Association
- Florida Bar Association
- Tax Section of Florida Bar
- North Carolina Bar Association
- BA, Accounting, Florida State University, 1987
- JD, Wake Forest University School of Law, 1990
- L.L.M., Taxation, University of Miami, 1991
Mr. Tufts is a tax and business law attorney with over 29 years of experience taking on complex business and tax matters, often of a forensic nature. Mr. Tufts is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer of the Florida Bar, achieving this recognition in 1999. Mr. Tufts comes to CPLS, P.A. after over 14 years of running his own law firm.
Mr. Tufts’ practice areas stretch beyond IRS disputes, extending into complex areas such as employee vs. independent contractor disputes, IRS and related whistleblowing, abusive tax shelter and scheme analysis, LLC, LLP, and LLLP disputes, and probate and trust estate litigation, with an emphasis on the exploitation of the elderly claims impacting estates.
Mr. Tufts’ first decade of large firm transactional practice dealt with the areas of probate, tax, business entities, and accounting. Mr. Tufts expressed concerns for an assembly line mentality that he felt was ill-suited for the complexities of the products and transactions being structured. When the country became aware of the schemes that came from Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, and the KPMG disputes, Mr. Tufts opened up his own firm in 2004. The focus had turned to abusive tax shelters and schemes, and the complex layers or structures used. A forensic approach was often needed. Over the years, Mr. Tufts’ has used his unique talents to untangle complex situations and structures that involve a combined analysis of fraud, tax, business entities, real estate, accounting, and litigation issues concerning multiparty litigation. As such, Mr. Tufts brings a unique perspective and talent to these multifaceted disputes that typically cannot be addressed by one lawyer.
Mr. Tufts’ advises on a national level, assisting on the unique issues that arise as part of his practice areas, whether it is IRS Forms Analysis and Review (focusing on Forms 8886, 8082, K-1, SS-8, Form 211, Form 911, and many others), Tax Shelter Analysis, or Partners in Peril, or IRS Whistleblower Claims. Mr. Tufts advises many practitioners and individuals on the volatile nature of complex LLCs and partnership structures that further involve interconnected K-1 activities. With the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (“BBA”), the IRS has repealed TEFRA, effective in 2018. A new set of rules now govern how the IRS will perform income tax audits of entities taxed as partnerships under the Federal tax law. Underpayments will be assessed at the entity level; no longer will the IRS be required to chase down “indirect” partners. The concept of a “Tax Matters Partner” is gone, replaced with a Partnership Representative. Mr. Tufts’ forensic abilities have enabled clients to get to the bottom of complex structures that are engaged in aggressive if not illegal financial or similar fraud.
“What Will You Do to Protect the Next ‘Unidentified Partner’ Who Walks in Your Door, Waiving a ‘Bad’ K-1?,” Lorman, White Paper (August 2015).
“Evaluating LLC Operating Agreements Containing ‘Carte Blanche’ Authority and Right to Rely Provisions Purporting to Release Third Parties from Any Duty to Inquire,” Tax Section Bulletin, Florida Bar, Tax Section, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, p. 7, 10-26 (Fall 2013).
“AD Global and the Statute of Limitations for TEFRA Partnerships: Will the TMP Ever Have to Stop Looking in the Rear View Mirror for the IRS” Tax Section Bulletin, Florida Bar, Tax Section, Vol. XXIV, No.2, p.14, pp.25-29 (February 2006).
“It Ain’t Over ‘Til Its Over: When Partnership Tax Vessels Make Ill-Advised Journeys and Wind-Up at Harbor Cove Marina” Journal of Business Entities (September/October 2004).
“What IRS Form 8082 Can Do For You (and to you!) and Your Closely-Held Partnership Now that the IRS’ K-1 Matching Program is Underway” BNA Tax Management Real Estate, Vol. 19, No. 12 (December 3, 2003).
“Trusts: Top Challenges!,” NBI (Orlando, August 10, 2018).
“LLC’s from Start to Finish,” (February 12-13, 2018)
“Understanding the K-1 Issued by the Limited Partnership or LLC,” Live Webinars, Lorman (Semi- Annual Presenter, April and October, 2015, April and October, 2016, April and October, 2017, and April, 2018).
“Top LLC Mistakes to Avoid in Every Business Practices,” NBI (August 2016).
“IRS Whistleblowers…Is it Worth It to Blow the Whistle?,” Live Webinar (March 22, 2016)
“Florida’s Revised LLC Act—What You Need to Know,” (February 2016).
“The Probate Process from Start to Finish,” NBI (May 2014).
“Are Single-Member LLCs a Ticking Time-Bomb for Asset Protection?” (Are Single-Member LLCs of Any Utility for Asset Protection after the Florida Supreme Court’s Decision in Olmstead?) (ABA Teleconference, August 24, 2010).
“NBI Probate Practice: The Essential Basics,” NBI (December 2009).
“Recognizing the Blind Spots in the World of Partnerships, LLPs, LLLPs and LLCs in Florida” (Orlando, 2004, 2009).
“Representing Snitches and Informants: How the IRS’ New Whistleblower Law Impacts Your Practice,” (Teleconference, July 31, 2007).
“Advanced Partnerships, LLCs, LLPs and LLLPs: Organization and Operation in Florida” (Orlando, Florida, 2003, 2005, 2006).
“Partnerships, LLCs, LLPs and LLLPs: Organization and Operation in Florida (Orlando, Florida, December 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006).
“When Tax Shelter Work Becomes Criminal: Who Would Have Thunk it? (Teleconference, September 14, 2005).
“Practical Tips on How to Distinguish Between Legitimate Tax Planning vs. Abusive Tax Shelters in Florida,” (Orlando, Florida, December 15, 2004).