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Sometimes taxpayers make mistakes. Sometimes taxing authorities make mistakes or erroneously take the position that taxpayers have made mistakes. In either situation, The Derbes Law Firm, LLC represents clients before taxing authorities and advises clients regarding tax matters when problems arise.

Tax problems arise for a myriad of reasons, and they can create significant burdens for both individuals and entities. One common problem that arises in the context of taxation is individual liability for sales & use and payroll & withholding taxes. In certain instances, the law holds company representatives responsible for the company’s taxes, placing individual assets at risk. With respect to individual, partnership, and corporate income taxation, the Internal Revenue Code is complex, and a skilled representative is needed to combat assessments, including the burdensome interest and penalties that the taxing authorities impose on taxpayers. Effective tax resolution can make a complicated and difficult tax problem manageable.

Defining Strengths

Our familiarity with business organizations, commercial transactions, and real estate builds a solid foundation for providing tax advice to our clients. Our administrative, litigation, bankruptcy, and appeal practices experience provides our clients the full range of options to resolve their tax problems. The Derbes Law Firm is well versed in handling all tax problems whether on a local, state, or federal level, and we regularly address problems related to different tax types, such as payroll and withholding, sales & use, as well as income taxation.

We regularly engage in tax resolution on behalf of our clients by submitting offers in compromise, negotiating installment agreements, and obtaining uncollectable status.  Administratively, we represent persons and companies in audits by the Internal Revenue Service. Should litigation become advisable or necessary, we litigate against taxing authorities in tax court, federal district court, or Louisiana state court, as appropriate. Sometimes the best solution for a taxpayer is to file bankruptcy. When an appeal from the decision of an administrative agency or first court to hear the case is appropriate, we can handle the appeal.


The Derbes Law Firm handles matter before multiple taxing authorities, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR), parish sheriffs, and municipalities. We have represented persons when back taxes are owed, providing solutions such as offers in compromise, installment agreements, designation of uncollectable status, determination as an innocent spouse, and discharge in bankruptcy.  We handle complex tax issues such as discharge of indebtedness income, property tax sale redemptions, and partnership taxation litigation. We have even handled unusual tax issues such as local inventory taxes and amusement taxes.

The Derbes Law Firm’s results for clients have included the following:

  • Successfully protested a Louisiana Department of Revenue sales tax audit which resulted in the removal of an assessment of sales tax interest and penalties against client in excess of $1.6 million;
  • Successfully negotiated offer in compromise with the IRS in the amount of $3,500.00 for client who owed individual income taxes in excess of $200,000.00;
  • Obtained dismissal of client’s criminal charges for failing to pay sales taxes to parish taxing authority after making restitution;
  • Represented several dozen victims of a tax fraud in multiple states. Filed an involuntary bankruptcy against the perpetrator and recovered in excess of $2 million for the clients. Additionally, resolved multiple clients’ issues with the Internal Revenue Service by filing payment plans, chapter 7 bankruptcies, offers in compromise, or having clients placed in hardship status;
  • Obtained ruling in favor of taxpayer against parish for sales and use taxes erroneously paid to wrong parish. Elevating Boats v. Parish of Plaquemines, 2006-1208, (La. App. 4 Cir. 2006), 953 So.2d 826; and
  • Successfully appealed Tax Court ruling. The United States Fifth Circuit determined that partnership (and thus ultimately its partners in this pass through entity) did not owe one million dollars in taxes because the extension of the statute of limitations was invalid.   Medical & Business Facilities Ltd. v. C.I.R., 60 F.3d 207 (5th Cir. 1995).



  • Companies
  • Taxpayers
  • Responsible Parties