Laura Buckley represents individuals and businesses with state and federal taxation matters and business transactions. She specializes in cost-effective resolution of tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service and state and local tax agencies, including the California Franchise Tax Board and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Before joining Higgs Fletcher & Mack, Ms. Buckley was an IRS Chief Counsel attorney and a Special Assistant United States Attorney. In 2007, Ms. Buckley was selected as National Chair for all IRS Counsel’s young attorneys for their Continuing Legal Education. Ms. Buckley served as a full-time judicial extern to the Honorable Arthur L. Alarcon on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Her Work Includes

  • Tax Controversy: Ms. Buckley represents clients in all aspects of tax controversies, from audit through litigation. Her cases involve deficiency assessments, innocent spouse claims, overdue returns, partnership audits, collection due process, employment taxes, fraud and offshore tax compliance.
  • Collection Matters: Ms. Buckley helps clients resolve unpaid federal and state taxes through various means, including Offer and Compromise and Installment Agreement. She also resolves liens and levies filed by taxing authorities.
  • Bankruptcy: Ms. Buckley represents creditors and debtors in resolution of bankruptcy tax matters, including relief from stay, exceptions to discharge, discharge of bankruptcy taxes, and debt workouts.
  • Business Tax Planning: Ms. Buckley helps clients choose and form new business entities, and negotiates the acquisition and sale of businesses.
  • International Tax Planning: Ms. Buckley represents clients in inbound and outbound transactions (focusing on offshore tax and reporting compliance).

Ms. Buckley is a frequent speaker for the California Lawyer’s Association, Taxation Section’s Continuing Legal Education programs and local accounting groups.

Ms. Buckley currently serves on the Executive Board for the California Lawyer’s Association’s Taxation Section; she formerly served as  Chair of the Young Tax Lawyers for the State Bar of California Bar and Vice-Chair of the Corporate and Pass-Through Committee; and is a Past Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Tax Section.  Ms. Buckley is also an active member of San Diego Downtown Rotary, Club 33.

In 2015 and 2016, Ms. Buckley was selected by Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star” Attorney.  Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in California are selected by the research committee at Super Lawyers® to receive this prestigious designation.  Ms. Buckley was also selected as San Diego Metro Magazine “40 Under 40,” a group of men and women who represent some of the best and brightest minds of San Diego County.

Originally from San Diego, Ms. Buckley spent two years after college at Oxford University, in Oxford, England, prior to attending law school, and three years teaching reading at local low-income schools.


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Speaking Engagements:

  • Alter Ego, Successor In Interest, and Nominee Liabilities: What They Are and The Best Tips on How to Limit Your Client’s Exposure, University of San Diego School of Law – RJS Law Tax Controversy Institute, July 20, 2018.
  • Important Highlights of the 2017 Federal Tax Reform Bill, Asian Business Association Rice Club Luncheon, April 24, 2018.
  • Impact of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, USD Tax Law Society Spring Event hosted by SEMPRA Energy, March 22, 2018.
  • Important Highlights of the 2017 Federal Tax Reform BillState Bar of California Tax Section, January 25, 2018. (Presented with Mark Hoose and Victor Fleischer)
  • Administrative Law Judge Training Teacher, Office of Tax Appeals, Sacramento, California, November 28, 2017.
  • These Aren’t the Assets You’re Looking for:  Handling IRS Assertions of Successor/AlterEgo/Nominee/Transferee Liability, 2017 Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and California Tax Policy Conference, November 1-3, 2017.
  • How to Advise your Business Clients on Avoiding Personal Liability for Employment Taxes, 89th Annual Meeting for the State Bar of California, September 30, 2016.
  • Beyond the Basics: Real Estate Professional-Passive Activity Loss Rules for the CA Bar Association, Young Tax Lawyers, September 24, 2015. (Presented with Brad Gastineau)
  • Resolving Common Tax Issues in Bankruptcy Court, State Bar of California Tax Section, July 29, 2015. (Presented with Stephen Turanchik)
  • Advanced Section 469 Strategies for Real Estate Professionals2015 Income Tax Seminar at the University of San Diego, School of Law, June 25, 2015. (Presented with Brad Gastineau)

Video Resources:

  • Meet Laura Buckley

    My name is Laura Buckley and I help clients with federal and state taxation issues, focusing primarily on cost-effective resolution of tax controversies. Clients often times come to me because they received a letter from the IRS or the BOE or the Franchise Tax Board and they’re not only financially concerned, but also it’s a very emotional struggle. And they come to me because I know the system. I used to be an IRS attorney and I helped the IRS in tax audits, tax court litigation, and bankruptcy proceedings. And so I help clients realize the options that they have and focus on the best strategy of resolution.

  • Tax Reform

    The new tax reform bill significantly impacts businesses, as well as individuals. In this video, Victor Fleischer, director of tax programs at USD’s School of Law, provides his insights to ensure you understand the changes to the tax code and are able to restructure your business to take advantage of the new benefits.