Jeffrey M. Sklarz
Jeff’s practice is focused on representing businesses and individuals with complex financial litigation needs including: bankruptcy/bankruptcy litigation, creditor/debtor litigation, tax litigation, and commercial litigation. He regularly tries cases and appeals before Connecticut’s state and federal courts. Jeff has particular experience regarding the interplay between bankruptcy and tax law.
Jeff was included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel (ACTC). Jeff is a 2005 recipient of the Connecticut Law Tribune’s New Leaders of the Law Award (Overall Achievement, Fairfield County) and has been listed by New England Super Lawyer® as a Super Lawyer (Business Litigation) since 2010 (Rising Star 2010-2013) and was named a Fellow of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section (2011 – 2013).
Jeff received his B.A. in government from Colby College, his J.D. from the University of Connecticut, School of Law, and his LL.M. (Taxation) from Boston University, Graduate Tax Program.
Jeff holds (and has held) many positions with local and national bar organizations and is a frequent writer and lecturer on topics involving bankruptcy, tax litigation and commercial litigation. Current positions include: Chair of the Bankruptcy Study and Reform Committee of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, and Program Director for the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee. Jeff is also currently President of the New Haven Jewish Community Center.
Jeff is frequent lecturer and writer on topics involving bankruptcy and tax. He is also the co-founder of the New England IRS Representation Conference.
Jeff regularly serves as counsel to clients experiencing a wide of array of financial challenges, typically involving some form of “bet the company” matters. Representative engagements include:
Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy
- Counsel to the debtor-in-possession in numerous industries including: finance, real estate, aero-space, medical and medical devices, construction, specialty mill working, real estate, hospitality and recreation, legal profession, manufacturing, energy and industrial
- Counsel to unsecured creditors committees/liquidating custodians/liquidation trustees in reorganization and post-confirmation liquidation and litigation matters in numerous industries
- Counsel to ad hoc committee of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings and out-of-court restructurings/wind down/liquidations
- Counsel to debtors in workouts (out-of-court restructuring)
- Prosecution and defense of preference, fraudulent transfer, and avoidance actions
- Counsel to the Chapter 7 Trustee in prosecution of all forms of litigation and avoidance actions, sale of assets, and other matters
- Resolution of criminal tax investigations
- Civil tax controversies, including trials in U.S. Tax Court
- Successful abatement of penalties for employment taxes assessed against a company on account of internal fraud by controller
- Successful abatement of penalties for federal excise taxes on behalf of major fuel installation
- Successful resolution of sales tax liability owed by an out-of-state consulting firm with Connecticut Department of Revenue Service
- Workout and resolution of tax shelter matters
- FBAR LITIGATION VICTORY**: On 1/11/2021, a District Court Judge in Connecticut ruled in favor of our client at summary judgment and found that the non-willful penalty for failure to file an FBAR is capped at $10,000 per form, not per account, as had been argued by the IRS and Department of Justice. This was a matter of first impression for the Court and the ruling will impact many taxpayers. To date, the issue had only been decided by two other courts and they were divided on the issue. Congratulations to Jeff Sklarz at Green & Sklarz LLC and Jeff Neiman of Marcus, Neiman, Rashbaum & Pineiro LLP for this big win!
- Anikeev vs Commissioner. On February 23, 2021 the United States Tax Court decided Anikeev vs Commissioner, holding that credit card rewards points are not taxable income, even where the taxpayer made over $300,000 utilizing a system to maximize them. Mr. Anikeev’s financial-optimization plan in 2013 and 2014—including $6.4 million in credit-card charges—led to an Internal Revenue Service audit and a finding that he and his wife had more than $310,000 in income that should have been taxed. Judge Robert Goeke’s decision last month largely affirmed longstanding Internal Revenue Service practice, which says credit-card rewards are usually nontaxable rebates. In other words, buying a pair of shoes for $100 and getting a 5% reward is really a $95 purchase, not $5 of income. But the judge also offered the IRS avenues for tougher enforcement. A huge win for the taxpayer and Green & Sklarz LLC!
- Civil trials, including jury trials, in state and federal courts
- Trials, including jury trials, in state and federal court
- Successful defense of an independent trustee in 3-month long jury trial involving various trusts and business holdings
- Successful defense of apparel business in month-long jury trial
- Prosecution and defense of fraudulent transfer matters
- Successful resolution of cases involving lawsuits against long-term disability insurers
- Successful defense of medical products manufacturer in a replevin action
- Successful defense of lessee and establishment of significant case law concerning damage mitigation requirements in commercial leasing
- Counsel to note holders in cutting edge litigation involving improper use of “personal goodwill” as an asset protection tool.