Stephen J. McFarlane, M.B.A., J.D., LL.M. (Tax)


Stephen McFarlane is a former IRS trial attorney with over 25 years of experience representing individuals, businesses, and estates facing tax controversies. He interacts on a daily basis with revenue agents, revenue officers, collection agents, appeals officers, and IRS/ADOR attorneys. His practice involves every aspect of IRS collection and examination matters, federal and state Tax Court litigation, appeals of IRS determinations, employment & payroll tax problems, IRS trust fund investigations, innocent spouse relief, IRS criminal tax action, and the use of bankruptcy to resolve IRS problems. Mr. McFarlane has assisted over 50 individuals with their foreign asset & financial account reporting issues, including wading through the procedural thicket of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to achieve compliance for his clients.

The Firm of McFARLANE LAW focuses its practice in the following areas:

  • Tax Litigation with the US Tax Court and the Arizona Tax Court

  • Tax Appeals – federal and state administrative appeals

  • Tax Dispute Resolution of IRS and ADOR Collection Actions

  • Tax Return Preparation of Unfiled tax returns

  • Probate & Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills

  • Business Formation, LLCs, partnerships, corporations and family limited partnerships.

Mr. McFarlane has extensive legal education in tax procedures. He has attained several post-graduate degrees emphasizing tax law, business law, and business management. He holds a Master’s Degree from Boston University in Tax Law (LL.M. (Tax)), a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University (J.D.), and a Master’s Degree in International Business Administration from Thunderbird – The Graduate School of International Management (M.B.A.).

Mr. McFarlane is licensed to practice in Arizona and Washington State, before the U.S. Tax Court, the Arizona Tax Court, and the U.S District Courts in Arizona and Colorado. As a former IRS Litigation Attorney, Mr. McFarlane tried dozens of cases before the US Tax Court. In private practice, Mr. McFarlane focuses on Tax Litigation, Tax Controversy and resolving taxpayer disputes with the IRS, the ADOR, and local tax authorities.
From 1997-2001, Mr. McFarlane was the Assistant Editor of The Journal of Arizona Taxation (a monthly publication that identified and discussed ongoing Arizona tax cases, state tax issues, and administrative proceedings). He has lectured on tax and business topics to attorney groups and CPAs. He is active in the Arizona State Bar Association. He is also a member of the College of Estate Planning Attorneys (CEPA), the American Bar Association, the Scottsdale Bar Association, the East Valley Estate Planners Association, and the Phoenix Chapter of the Thunderbird Alumni Association.

Areas of Practice:

  • Tax Litigation
  • Tax Controversy & Dispute Resolution
  • Business Formation & Contracts
  • Probate & Guardianships/Conservatorships
  • Trusts, Wills & Powers of Attorney

Litigation & Administrative Appeals Percentage:

  • 80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation & Tax Controversy
  • 10% to Probate and Estate Planning
  • 10% to Business Formation and Contracts

Legal Specialty Degrees:

  • Masters Degree in Tax Law (LLM, Tax), Boston University School of Law, 1990
  • Juris Doctorate in Law (J.D.), Seattle University School of Law, 1989.

Bar Admissions:

  • Arizona, 1997
  • Washington, 1990
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2000
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2000
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1990


  • Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • LLM (Tax) – May, 1990
    • Honors: Taxpayer Assistance Program
    • Law Journal: BU Journal of Taxation
  • Seattle University, School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. – 1989
  • Thunderbird – The American Graduate School of International Management, Glendale, Arizona
    • M.B.A. in finance and marketing, 1981
    • Honors: Vice President, Student Government Association
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • Double Majors: B.A. in Political Science; B.A. in French Civilization
    • Minor: Philosophy


“We have worked with Avada Law for the past 15 years. As we have grown and evolved, what I have valued most about our relationship is that Avada Law know us and our business.”


Transaction Privilege Tax License Renewals Due January 1, 2018

November 20th, 2017|0 Comments

Every business licensed with ADOR is required to renew their Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) license by the end […]

Tax Controversy with IRS over Foreign Bank Accounts or Assets

October 4th, 2015|0 Comments

Should you receive a letter from your Swiss bank, you need to seek experienced tax counsel to handle your […]

Can I object to a denial or rejection of my OIC?

August 17th, 2015|0 Comments

Yes! A taxpayer has the right to object to the denial of an offer-in-compromise application and any other tax […]

Arizona Enacts Tax Amnesty Legislation to Provide a Waiver of Penalties and Interest

July 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

On March 12, 2015, Arizona enacted 2015 Senate Bill 1471, which establishes a tax recovery (amnesty) program that will […]