Tax Attorney | Orange County - Newport Beach

Tax attorney, Orange County (Newport Beach) The 2022, 2020, and 2016 Chair of the Orange County Bar Association's Tax Section, a former IRS trial attorney, an ex-federal prosecutor, and counsel to a Vault 100 nationally-ranked law firm with over 15 years of dedicated experience as a tax and FBAR lawyer, Daniel W. Layton founded DWL Tax Law to provide the highest level of tax defense to his clients. Whether it is an IRS audit, delinquent FBAR submission procedures, FTB, EDD, or sales/use tax matters, liens or levies, or a criminal tax investigation, hiring the right law firm is a critical step in protecting your rights and your business. In the words of some of our clients:*
"As in-house counsel, I have to deal often with outside counsel. Some are not so good about communicating the status of the case or what the strategy should be in light of new events. Mr. Layton, however, was exceptional.... I did not have to worry that my case was being handled in a competent manner...." PS []

"...I found 3 attorneys, made contact with all three, and settled on Daniel because of his professional experience, academic background, his highly professional interpersonal skills which allowed him to understand very quickly the predicament I was in and swiftly take actions to stop collections. ...Quite frankly Daniels work saved my retirement and was I felt 'life saving.'..." AMF [Google Local]

"...Daniel Layton was our main client contact, and he worked very closely with us. We did everything he told us to do, and we were able to reach a reasonable agreement with the IRS. We tried two other law firms before them, which resulted in wasted money...." KG [Google Local]

"Mr. Layton is an exceptional tax attorney that resolved problems that 3 so-called CPA's couldn't, with just a simple letter. Exceptional tax attorney." DR [Google Local]

"For many years we we had been searching for a competent attorney to assist us in getting some form of resolution to a tax issue we were facing. Daniel Layton came highly recommended from many individuals within our community. ...our outcome exceeded our expectations." GR [Yelp]
Daniel Wilbur LaytonReviewsout of 16 reviews
10.0Daniel Wilbur Layton

Ex-Prosecutor, Ex-IRS Tax Attorney, Orange County Tax and FBAR Lawyer

Starting his tax controversy career in 2005, tax attorney Daniel W. Layton worked for the IRS as a tax trial attorney and for the D.O.J. as a criminal tax prosecutor for the better part of a decade. Mr. Layton defends his Orange County clients using his unique insights to keep the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board in check. Mr. Layton has exceptional knowledge of the tools used by the IRS and FTB in audits, collections, and criminal tax investigations, and of their legal limits, having trained the IRS’s agents and officers in how to do their jobs. Our firm anticipates the IRS's next steps and responds with the most effective strategy.

Many tax attorneys' experience stops short of trial. They settle virtually every case, which may embolden the government to force an unfavorable settlement. Mr. Layton's experience as a tax and FBAR lawyer focuses on complex and contentious litigation at administrative and courtroom stages, with trial experience in criminal and civil fraud cases, innocent spouse cases, imputed income cases, business deduction cases, and real estate income and expense cases. His work in U.S. Tax Court and U.S. District Court has resulted in over 30 reported opinions and more than 100 cases resolved by motion, trial, or stipulated decision ranging from full grants of innocent spouse relief to a money judgment of over 250 million dollars.

Mr. Layton earned his law degree at the University of Chicago and his graduate tax law degree in San Francisco.

What Is an FBAR Lawyer?

Mr. Layton's experience as an FBAR lawyer includes delinquent FBAR submission procedures, administrative review (see related post on IRS penalty discretion here), and litigation in both Federal District Court and the Federal Court of Claims. He has provided continuing education to other tax attorneys FBAR law topics, recently presenting The 2020 FBAR Litigation Update (PowerPoint available here) to Orange County lawyers.

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Recent Tax Law Articles and Blog Posts:

Updated 10/17/2023.

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Daniel Layton has been taking the front foot on Employee Retention Credit (ERC) audit defense and has been asked to speak on numerous panels to educate practitioners about current and upcoming audits. Mr. Layton most recently spoke on a panel with IRS leadership and other practitioners at the UCLA Tax Controversy Conference and for the OCBA’s Tax Law Section.

Recent Tax Court Opinion: Joseph E. Abe, DDS, Inc. v. Commissioner, Full Tax Court Opinion at 161 T.C. No. 1 (2023). Most Tax Court cases are deficiency cases which, once a proper petition is filed, must be resolved by a formal Decision. Over the IRS’s objection, Mr. Layton moved to allow the taxpayer in a retirement plan qualification case to dismiss its own petition, allowing the taxpayer to avoid formal Decision. In a case of first impression, the court agreed this type of case could be voluntarily dismissed on the taxpayer’s motion.

Recent Tax Trials:
First Circuit Rejects “Varsity Blues” Convictions: In the so-called “Varsity Blues” cases, prosecutors secured guilty pleas from parents whose children allegedly received college admissions boosts from donations and athletics department connections. In the first appellate case to challenge these charges the First Circuit declined to uphold the admissions-related convictions. On resentencing for a related tax charge, the defendant received no prison time. Daniel W. Layton assisted as non-trial tax counsel for the defendant.

In 2022, Mr. Layton handed the EDD a rare and embarrassing loss on a key issue at trial. In a complex case with several factual issues, Mr. Layton helped his client prevail on the issue of whether a putative employee’s income included payments made to out-sourced workers he managed in India. The EDD took the position that there were no such workers, a position which was firmly rebuked by the judge after hearing the testimony and seeing the evidence presented by Mr. Layton at trial. In line with the judge’s ruling, the EDD will further reduce the taxes assessed against Mr. Layton’s client.

Recent News: Mr. Layton has been re-elected to serve a fourth term on the board of the Tax Section of the Orange County Bar Association and will serve a fourth term as Chair for the 2025 term. He has served on the board of the section for the better part of a decade, and is honored to be the only board member with the distinction of being selected to serve as chair multiple times. He regularly contributes to the tax bar’s growth through public speaking and by educating the Orange County bar membership about tax issues and news.

Post by Daniel W. Layton: Is Debt Forgiveness from an IRS Offer in Compromise or Bankruptcy a Taxable Event?

Post by Daniel W. Layton: What is a Dual Determination?

Exploring one of the FTB's personal liability measures. Post by Daniel W. Layton: IRS Form 9297 and the IRS Revenue Officer Interview.

FAQ by Daniel W. Layton: What is Foregone Interest? Definition and examples.

FAQ by Daniel W. Layton: Tax LLM Rankings: Top 10 Best LLM Programs [2022 Update].

FAQ by Daniel W. Layton: National Standards (IRS).

By Daniel W. Layton (Satire): The IRS’s Laguna Niguel Office – Where IRS Tax Attorneys, Revenue Agents, and Criminal Special Agents Work.

New Blog series - PC and Laptop Reviews and Insights. A review of the Lenovo Yoga 730 15ikb. Choosing the Best Laptop for a Small Law Firm. Choosing the Right CPU for a Lawyer's Laptop.

For directions to our Newport Beach tax attorney office, click here.
For directions to our Tustin-Irvine tax attorney office, click here.
With fbar lawyer and tax lawyer offices in Newport Beach and Tustin to serve you best, tax attorneys in our Orange County firm handle cases throughout Southern California, in the areas of IRS, FTB, EDD, sales tax law, and use tax, and FBAR law.

*Client reviews are the opinions of the individuals and are not representations by this law firm with respect to future results. Results in all cases vary depending on the individual facts and circumstances. The American Society of Legal Advocates is an independent organization. The selection process for the ASLA Top 100 Lawyers (Tax) and membership may be found at The selection process for Lawyers of Distinction can be found at
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