• Former IRS Senior Trial Attorney
  • Former Director Tax Controversy Services, KPMG
  • Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel
  • Adjunct Tax Law Professor
  • Extensive Tax Court Trial Experience

Michele Leichtman Weiss is a Principal at Holtz, Slavett & Drabkin. She has over 20 years of experience in tax controversy and litigation matters. Michele helps her clients resolve their civil and criminal tax matters. She represents her clients in all aspects of tax controversy, in examinations, appeals and collection matters, at the administrative level and in litigation with federal, state and local tax authorities including the IRS, FTB, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), EDD, Board of Equalization, Office of Tax Appeals (OTA), the County Assessor and LA City Finance Office. Michele has expertise in many substantive and procedural tax issues including Employee Retention Credit, tax penalty abatement, conservation easement deductions, offshore disclosure matters, employment tax matters, sales tax audits, research and development credits, collection due process and non-profit matters. Michele handles property tax matters in all California counties including special assessments, escape assessments, change in ownership issues and property tax appeal representation.

Michele was previously a Director in KPMG’s Tax Controversy Services group where she represented foreign and domestic clients in resolving their tax disputes. Michele was also a senior attorney in the IRS’ Large and Mid-Sized Business Division where she handled complex tax litigation matters. Michele worked closely with IRS exam teams, giving guidance and litigating complex areas of tax law including partnership and international taxation, tax shelters, leasing and depreciation issues and civil tax penalties. During her tenure at the IRS, Michele received two performance award and one excellence award.

For over 8 years Michele was on the adjunct faculty of Golden Gate University School of Taxation where she taught federal tax procedure, research, and writing. Michele received her B.A. in economics cum laude, from Barnard College of Columbia University. She received her J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation from New York University where she was Article and Note Editor for the Journal of International Law and Politics. Michele is a member of the California and New York state bars. She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court.

Michele is Chair of the Tax Section and Member of the Board of Governors of the Beverly Hills Bar Association; Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel; Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Tax Policy Chair, Women in Tax Committee, California Lawyers Association Tax Section; Group Leader, Provisors Los Angeles Lawyers and Legal Professionals Affinity Group; and Board Chair, Friendship Circle of Los Angeles (FCLA).

Published opinions include Chamales v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2000-33 and Maguire Thomas Partners, et.al. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2005-34.