Emily J. Kingston Partner

One Embarcadero Center
Twenty-Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111


Emily Kingston concentrates her practice on litigation, including civil and criminal tax controversies, general civil matters, white collar criminal defense, and the representation of victim companies and individuals in government investigations.

Ms. Kingston has focused on litigation throughout her legal career. She served as a clerk for the Honorable Michael C. Golden of the Wyoming Supreme Court for two years. For the next sixteen years, Ms. Kingston worked as a Trial Attorney in the Honors Program for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice, as an Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service in San Jose, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, first in the Civil Division and subsequently in the Tax Division. While in these posts, Ms. Kingston represented the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies, and the Department of Justice in civil and criminal matters relating primarily to federal taxation and general civil litigation in Federal District, Bankruptcy and State Courts in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Ms. Kingston has extensive experience in the following:

  • Defending clients in IRS criminal investigations and prosecutions
  • Representing clients in civil administrative proceedings, administrative appellate proceedings, Tax Court and Federal District Court trials and Appeals against the Department of Justice Tax Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the IRS, FTB, EDD, SBOE and local tax assessors in the following tax matters:
    • IRS search warrants
    • IRS grand jury subpoenas
    • Tax evasion
    • IRS summonses
    • False tax returns
    • Unreported income
    • Overstated deductions
    • Determinations of trade or business status
    • Determination of Employee and Independent Contractor status
    • Penalty determinations
    • IRS and FTB income tax audits
    • Employment tax audits
    • Trust Fund Recovery Penalty
    • Tax shelters
    • Innocent Spouse Claims
    • Compliance with offshore reporting obligations
    • Failures to file foreign bank account reports and related forms
    • IRS and FTB settlements
    • IRS and FTB penalties
    • IRS fraud investigations and fraud penalties
    • Interest abatement claims
    • IRS whistleblower claims
    • IRS and FTB liens and levies
    • Subordination of liens
    • Collection matters
    • Collection Due Process
    • IRS and FTB Offers in Compromise and Installment Agreement
    • Accountant malpractice
    • Attorney malpractice
    • Provision as expert of analysis in valuation and risk assessment matters
    • Tax issues related to virtual currency

Civil Matters

  • Assisted numerous taxpayers with offshore accounts in participating in IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiatives
  • Negotiated millions of dollars in reductions to IRS and FTB assessments of both taxes and penalties for both individual and corporate clients
  • Obtained a sizable reduction of transfer pricing tax assessments and entered into a favorable settlement agreement regarding payment of remaining liabilities
  • Represented an individual in a sexual harassment claim in negotiating the language of the settlement agreement regarding tax effects of payment of damages
  • Represented a foreign national before the Nevada Gaming Commission
  • Obtained a full refund of failure to pay and file penalties based on reasonable cause (the incapacity of the taxpayer)
  • Defended numerous taxpayers against IRS- and Franchise Tax Board (FTB)-threatened imposition of responsible officer 100% penalties for the nonpayment of employment taxes, resulting in no assessments made
  • Successfully represented innocent spouses against IRS- and FTB-proposed assessments and collection
  • Represented domestic partners in an allocation of self-employment tax dispute with the IRS; based on the argument that the Defense of Marriage Act did not mandate treating domestic partners differently in application of the Internal Revenue Code, the IRS conceded in full, which concession will affect thousands of taxpayers in community property states
  • Successfully represented an individual in an audit of a purported tax shelter, resulting in no change
  • Prosecuted numerous collection due process matters to favorable results
  • Represented numerous individuals in securing offers in compromise with the IRS, resulting in substantial reduction of tax penalties and interest
  • Negotiated numerous installment agreements with the IRS and FTB for both individual and corporate clients
  • Represented numerous taxpayers in audits and disputes with the IRS and FTB and received favorable audit results and secured lien and levy releases
  • Represented individuals in audits of purported tax shelters, obtaining reductions in proposed assessments and elimination or significant reductions of penalties

Criminal Matters

  • Negotiated a non-prosecution agreement with the SEC regarding back-dated stock options, resulting in no taxes due on the gains received upon sale
  • Represented a taxpayer estate and trustee in a criminal investigation of purportedly forged grant deeds and demonstrated to the IRS that neither the estate nor the trustee was involved in the forgery, resulting in cessation of criminal investigation and prosecution and the entry of a guilty plea by the forger
  • Secured return of funds deemed forfeited by the IRS pursuant to a criminal warrant and cessation of criminal investigation of a car dealership for purported structuring and money laundering
  • Secured non-prison sentences in numerous IRS criminal cases
  • Persuaded the IRS and Department of Justice to terminate numerous criminal investigations
  • Weakland v. C.I.R., T.C. Memo. 1993-135 (U.S. Tax Court 1993)
  • Johnson v. Reno, 92 F.Supp.2d 993 (N.D. Cal. 2000)
  • Kortz v. the State of Wyoming, 746 P.2d 435 (Wyo. 1987)
  • Anderson v. U.S, 746 F.Supp. 15 (E.D. Wash. 1990)
  • Diaz v. Schiltgen, 946 F.Supp. 762 (N.D. Cal.1996)
  • McBride v. U.S., 146 F.Supp.2d 1105 (N.D. Cal. 2001)
  • Charles Schwab Corp. v. C.I.R., 107 T.C. No. 17 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1996)
  • In re Leach, 130 B.R. 855 (9th Cir. BAP (Wash.) 1991)
  • In re Fuller, 134 B.R. 945 (9th Cir. BAP (Wash.) 1992)
  • Harrison v. C.I.R. T.C. Memo. 1994-268 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1994)
  • Fair v. C.I.R, T.C. Memo. 1994-276 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1994)
  • Anagnoston v. C.I.R., T.C. Memo. 1994-334 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1994)
  • Pederson v. C.I.R., T.C. Memo. 1994-555 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1994)
  • Harrison v. C.I.R., T.C. Memo. 1994-614 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1994)
  • Harrison v. C.I.R., T.C. Memo. 1995-86 (U.S. Tax Ct. 1995)
Professional Involvement

Ms. Kingston is often invited by professional organizations to speak on and to participate in panels relating to tax issues.

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: 2016-2019