Office of Professional Responsibility

Caring for A Sick Parent Is Not an Excuse for Filing a Tax Return Late, Especially if You’re a Tax Attorney

SO! We’ve been feeling sorry for the IRS lately because well, people HATE the Service. It’s cases like these that might, just might, cause some people to flip their lid.

Kevin Kilduff, one of the “most highly regarded” tax attorneys in Boston was suspended from practicing before the IRS for 48 months by Treasury Secretary’s Appellate Authority after he appealed an administrative law judge’s (“ALJ”) decision to suspend him for just 24 months. The complaint was filed by the Office of Professional Responsibility who oversees CPAs, EAs and attorneys who practice before the Service

From the decision of the ALJ, “The Complaint alleges Respondent failed to timely file Federal tax returns for the tax years 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and failed to file a tax return for tax year 2002.”


Considering the fact that Mr Kilduff used to work at the IRS and since leaving has represented many clients before the Service, so you would expect he would have a good story.

Annnnnnd he did . Two-fold: 1) “[The] matter was instituted as a personal vendetta against him by Revenue Officer 1 because of his “zealous” representation of a client in dealing with Revenue Officer 1, the IRS agent in the case.” and 2) “his mother was diagnosed with Illness 1 and he quit his job in Philadelphia and moved to Boston and moved in with his parents to care for his mother, and remained with them for the next five years. During this period, he and his sister cared for their parents, cooking and taking them to doctor appointments”

Judge Joel Biblowitz, was sympathetic to Mr Kilduff’s situation (re: sick Mom) but was impressed with his attitude (emphasis original):

Throughout the course of this matter, I was struck by the Respondent’s apparent disinterest in, or lack of respect for, this proceeding…In his response, the Respondent stated: “I am happy to provide your office with copies of these tax returns if it is necessary,” although he did not do so. It appears to me that if he truly took the IRS’ complaint seriously, he would have responded immediately after receiving Whitlock’s October 11, 2006 letter and would have sent him a copy of his 2002 Federal tax return, rather than waiting almost four months before responding and offering to provide the return.

Mr Kilduff also didn’t respond to the Judge Biblowitz’s order to notify the OPR of his witnesses and exhibits in his case. Just plain ignored it. If we know anything about judges, it’s that you don’t ignore them.

I find that neither defense has merit. While I can sympathize with the Respondent and his obligations and sacrifices during this period, the record establishes that during the period encompassing tax years 2000 through 2005 he was employed full time for a major laws firm with yearly adjusted gross income ranging from $102,000 to $138,000. Further, while he had obligations caring for his parents during this period, it is difficult to imagine that he could not find the time to prepare and timely file these returns.

IRS Wins 48-Month Suspension of a Lawyer for Failing to File His Own Tax Return and Late Filing [IRS.gov]
Also see:
IRS Suspends One of Boston’s ‘Most Highly Regarded’ Tax Lawyers for 48 Months for Failing to File Tax Returns [TaxProf Blog]
Tax Attorney Suspended from Practicing Before IRS [Web CPA]