Julian A. Fortuna

Julian A. Fortuna

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Tax Attorney in Atlanta, GA

Taylor English Duma LLP
 | 1600 Parkwood Circle, Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-434-6868
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2017
Licensed Since: 2006
Practice Areas:
  • Tax: Business (50%),
  • Business/Corporate (30%),
  • Estate Planning & Probate (20%)
Attorney Profile

Julian A. Fortuna, J.D., LL.M., C.P.A.

                                                                             

Julian A. Fortuna is a member of the Corporate and Business Group at Taylor English and Duma LLP where he practices business and tax law with a focus on domestic and international tax planning for business and non-profit entities, owners and executives. He represents clients in tax controversy matters before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Georgia Department of Revenue, United States Tax Court, Georgia Tax Tribunal and various other federal, state, local and foreign tax authorities and judicial bodies. He also advises clients regarding business and succession planning, prepares wills and trusts, and represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust matters.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Fortuna was Vice President and General Tax Counsel for InterContinental Hotels Group ("IHG") where he was responsible for structuring the domestic and international tax impacts of numerous mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and other corporate transactions, as well as construction projects, leases, exchanges and other real and personal property transactions. Mr. Fortuna was also responsible for state and local tax matters (including property, sales/use and occupancy taxes). He also directed tax research and planning for cross-border financing, captive insurance, and the worldwide use of trade names and other intangible assets. He represented IHG before the IRS and various other tax authorities on audits, appeals, and ruling requests, and pursued tax regulatory and legislative changes for the benefit of IHG with U.S. Treasury and Congressional personnel in Washington D.C. Prior to joining IHG, Mr. Fortuna spent eleven years in the tax department at Deloitte and Touche where he served a variety of corporate and individual clients, and prior to that he served four years in the U.S. Treasury Department at Office of the Chief Counsel for the IRS where he was responsible for litigation in the United States Tax Court.

Mr. Fortuna is active in the State Bar of Georgia (Chair-Elect, Taxation Section; Member, Fiduciary Law Section); Atlanta Bar Association (Chair, Tax Law Section; Member, Estate Planning and Probate and Criminal Law Sections); American Bar Association (Member, Tax Section); Atlanta Tax Forum; and Lawyers Club of Atlanta. His recent speaking engagements include: “Year End Income, Estate and Gift Tax Planning”, 2011 - 2014 (The Seminar Group); "Recent Developments in Tax Exempt Organizations", 2013 (State Bar of Georgia ICLE); Panelist, "IRS and DOJ Voluntary Disclosure and Whistleblower Programs," Atlanta Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, November 11, 2015; Panel Moderator, "1031 Hot Buttons: Current Tax Issues in Like-Kind Exchanges," State Bar of Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education, December 17, 2015; "Recent Developments in the Taxation of Settlement Payments in Employment and Commercial Litigation," State Bar of Georgia Midyear Meeting, January 7, 2016; "ESOPs," 15th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Tax Section Workshops, May 29, 2016.

Mr. Fortuna consistently receives outstanding ratings from his peers both for his ethical standards and his legal abilities: certified by Martindale-Hubbell® as “AV- Preeminent” in Taxation, Resorts and Leisure, and Trusts and Estates; selected for inclusion in the 2011-2016 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® for Tax Law and Tax Controversy/Litigation; designated a Super Lawyer in Taxation by Thompson Reuters for 2011-2016; and listed among Georgia Trend’s 2011-2014 Legal Elite in Taxes/Trusts and Estates.     

About Julian Fortuna

Admitted 2006, Georgia

Professional Webpage: http://www.taylorenglish.com/attorneys/julian-a-fortuna/

Honors and Awards:

  • Elected to serve as Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Georgia, 2016
  • Elected to serve as Chair of the Tax Law Section of the Atlanta Bar Association, 2015
  • Recommended by the Judicial Nominating Commission as one of the most qualified candidates to serve as Chief Judge of the Georgia Tax Tribunal , 2012
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Tax Law/Litigation & Controversy 2011 - 2016
  • Selected for Georgia Trend's Legal Elite in Taxes/Estates and Trusts, 2011- 2014
  • Rated "AV-Preeminent" in Taxation and Trusts and Estates, Martindale-Hubbell, 2011-2014
  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law, 2011-2012

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation - Emory University School of Law, 1984
  • Admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court (1981), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (2011), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (2014) and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2015)
  • Member in good standing of the State Bars of New York (admitted in 1981) and Georgia (admitted in 2006)
  • Certified Public Accountant, Georgia, 1987   

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Member: Tax and Fiduciary Law Sections of the State Bar of Georgia; Tax, Corporate Counsel, Estate Planning and Probate, Immigration and International Law Sections of the Atlanta Bar Association; Atlanta Tax Forum; Lawyers Club of Atlanta.

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Attorney-Coach: Georgia High School Mock Trial Program, 2008-2012

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Panelist, "IRS and DOJ Voluntary Disclosure and Whistleblower Programs," Atlanta Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, November 11, 2015; Panel Moderator, "1031 Hot Buttons: Current Tax Issues in Like-Kind Exchanges," State Bar of Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education, December 17, 2015; "Recent Developments in the Taxation of Settlement Payments in Employment and Commercial Litigation," State Bar of Georgia Midyear Meeting, January 7, 2016; "ESOPs," 15th Annual North Carolina/South Carolina/Georgia Tax Section Workshops, May 29, 2016.   The Basics of Partnership Tax," ICLE, Atlanta, GA, April 24, 2014.TEFRA Partnership Litigation," State Bar of Georgia ICLE, 2014. "The Seminar Group 3rd Annual The Best of CLE,” February 27, 2014. "2013 Income, Estate, and Gift Tax Developments," Tax Talks, February 26, 2014. "Tax Aspects of Divorce," The American Society of Attorney-CPAs, 2013. "Hot Topics in Exempt Organizations," State Bar of Georgia ICLE, 2013. "Recent Developments in Income, Estate and Gift Tax Planning," The Seminar Group, 2012. "Recent Developments in Income, Estate and Gift Tax Planning," The Seminar Group, 2011. "Recent Developments in Income, Estate and Gift Tax Planning," Gwinnett Bar Association, 2010. "Addressing Liquidity Concerns Upon the Death of An Owner of a Closely-Held Business," Brightworth, 2009. "Recent Developments in Income, Estate and Gift Tax Planning," Atlanta Bar Association," 2009.

Transactions:

  • 1990 Bass PLC $2.1B acquisition of Holiday Corporation (Holiday Inns Hotel business); 1995 Holiday Inns, Inc. $280m purchase of international hotel trademarks and licensing business; 1997 Pre-merger spin-off of Holiday Inns, Inc. franchising and Crowne Plaza hotel business $5.0B; 1997 Bristol Hotel Company $665m acquisition thru merger of 60 Holiday Inn Hotels; 1998 Bristol Hotel Company $1.9B merger with Felcor Lodging Trust; 1998 Bass PLC $2.9B acquisition of InterContinental Hotel Company; 1999 Bass USA $84.5m acquisition of five Holiday Inn Hotels by purchase of outstanding bonds and redemption of limited partner interests; 2000 Holiday Hospitality, Inc. $165m acquisition of Bristol Hotels and Resorts, Inc. by forward cash merger; 2001 Felcor Lodging Trust $125m acquisition of lessee interests in 88 hotels from Bass Hotels & Resorts, Inc.; 2003 Hospitality Properties Trust $185m acquisition of 16 Staybridge Suites Hotels from Six Continents Hotels, Inc.; 2004 Six Continents Hotels, Inc. $15.3m acquisition of Candlewood Suites Hotel Brand; 2005 Hospitality Properties Trust $450m acquisition of 13 InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites Hotels; 2006 Strategic Hotels and Resorts, Inc. $303m acquisition of controlling interests in the InterContinental hotels in Chicago and Miami; 2006 Hospitality Properties Trust purchase of two Crowne Plaza hotels from Felcor Lodging Trust for $63m; 2013 represented Wilmington Trust Retirement and Institutional Services Company, Trustee of the Employee Stock Ownership Trust of a large company in a $360m ESOP transaction; 2014 represented the selling entities and owners in the sale of medical services company to Lincare, Inc., a subsidiary of The Linde Group, AG, a German company valued at nearly $30b; 2015 represented an LLC and its owners in the recapitalization and leveraged “take out” of a private equity group which owned a 49 percent stake in the company in a $50m transaction; 2016 represented selling shareholders in the $68.9m sale of majority interest in S Corp with tax-free rollover equity; 2016 represented selling shareholders in the $52m sale of S Corp unitilizing Section 338(h)(10) election.     

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Recipient of Amercian Jurisprudence Awards in Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law

Newsletters:

  • Tax Section Update: United States Supreme Court Decides Three Significant Tax CasesIn the term just ended, the United States Supreme Court decided three significant tax cases: National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 2566 (2012); United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, 567 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1836 (2012), and Kawashima v. Holder, 567 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1166 (2012).  The Nat’l Federation case upheld the “individual mandate” provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the basis that “[s]hared responsibility payment” was a “tax” even though the statute itself described it as a “penalty” and not a “tax”. Paradoxically, the court held the mandate was not a tax for purpose of deciding whether the “anti-injunction” act applied. Legal scholars will be analyzing that holding for many years to come.  This update however, discusses the other two cases. In Kawashima, the Supreme Court held that convictions for making and subscribing to false tax returns and for aiding and abetting in the preparation of false returns are aggravated felonies that involve fraud or deceit under 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(M)(i).  As such, those convictions are deportable offenses under 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) if the loss to the government is greater than $10,000.  Bottom line, Kawashima raises the stakes for non-citizens residing in the U.S. who have not disclosed foreign bank or other financial accounts and/or failed to report income from those accounts on their U.S. income tax returns.  The Internal Revenue Service has a high priority enforcement initiative underway in this area of international non-compliance and, with the support of the Department of Justice, is obtaining bank and financial account records from foreign financial institutions around the globe.  In the process, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a voluntary disclosure program that allows taxpayers who come forward before being identified by the foreign financial institutions to avoid criminal prosecution if they agree to pay back taxes, interest, and pre-defined monetary penalties.  While more than 33,000 taxpayers (including both U.S. citizens and resident aliens) have availed themselves of this voluntary disclosure program, many have chosen to not to disclose and remain at risk for criminal prosecution.  Now, after the Supreme Court’s decision in Kawashima, non-U.S. citizens face the added risk of deportation in the event of a criminal conviction for a felony tax offense. Moreover, a resident alien or so-called “green card holder” who is deported on account of a Kawashima violation may also become subject to the provisions of 26 U.S.C. §877A which, under certain circumstances, imposes an “exit tax” on the departing taxpayer calculated on the basis of a deemed sale of all of the taxpayer’s worldwide assets.  I expect that we will see many more voluntary disclosures and criminal tax cases brought in this area in the near future.   The other significant tax case, Home Concrete, was a 5-4 decision in favor of the taxpayer holding that the six-year statute of limitations for tax assessments does not apply to an understatement of gross income attributable to overstatement of tax basis on the sale of an asset.  The narrow holding of the case was primarily based on “stare decisis”and the underlying plurality, concurring, and dissenting opinions did not definitively resolve the broader administrative law issues discussed in my March 2012 Tax Section Update.  The plurality opinion stated that its prior decisions in Mayo Found. v. United States, 562 U.S. __, 131 S. Ct. 704 (2011) and Nat’l Cable & Telecomm. Ass’n v. Brand X Internet Serv., 545 U.S. 967, 125 S.Ct. 2688 (2005), would empower the Treasury Department to overrule a prior judicial decision interpreting a statute where Congress expressed an intent to delegate to the agency the power to “fill a gap” in the statute.  However, Justice Scalia, in his concurring opinion, stood by his dissent in Brand X, stating that he would strike down on the basis of “justifiable taxpayer reliance” any regulations reinterpreting statutory language that has already been definitively construed by a court.  The plurality opinion did not provide any guidance on whether an agency with so-called “gap filling” authority may adopt retroactive regulations to overrule a lower court decision in a pending case while the four dissenting justices fully supported retroactivity.  We therefore will have to wait until another day for more complete guidance from the Supreme Court concerning the application of administrative law in tax cases.  

Industry Groups

  • Construction
  • Franchising
  • Hospitality
  • Real Estate
  • Office Location for Julian A. Fortuna

    1600 Parkwood Circle
    Suite 400
    Atlanta, GA 30339

     

    Julian A. Fortuna:

    Last Updated: 10/20/2016

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