J. Clark Armitage, an experienced lawyer in the transfer pricing sector, joined Caplin & Drysdale as a Member in 2013. Mr. Armitage's core practice will be advising multinational corporations on transfer pricing in all contexts, from planning to cross-border dispute resolution. He has a particularly strong background interacting with tax authorities on advance pricing agreements (APAs) and Competent Authority matters for corporations in a wide range of industries.
Mr. Armitage spent eight years in the IRS Advance Pricing Agreement Program, serving as Deputy Director from 2008 to 2010, where he both experienced and oversaw the full spectrum of Program activities. He also served a special detail as the Tax Treaty Manager responsible for Canadian Competent Authority cases.
Drawing on his combined background in government and private practice, Mr. Armitage plays a key role in helping clients address transfer pricing, valuation, permanent establishment, and other international tax issues and controversies.
HighlightsDuring his eight years with the IRS APA Program, Mr. Armitage served as team leader, branch chief, and industry coordinator for three separate groups, as well as Deputy Director. In these roles, he experienced virtually all aspects of the Program's activities. Mr. Armitage led numerous IRS Teams — including, economists, auditors, division counsel representatives, and Competent Authority analysts — in the development, negotiation, and conclusion of APAs. As a frontline supervisor, he reviewed APAs developed by other IRS teams and coordinated development of cases in the industry coordination groups for Financial Products, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, and Auto and Auto Parts. Additionally, Mr. Armitage had Program-wide responsibility for reviewing cases, coordinating technical issues with other branches of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (International), and helping ensure that substantive and procedural issues were addressed consistently across the Program.
Mr. Armitage's contributions to the APA Program were bolstered by his detail as a manager for the U.S. Competent Authority's Office of Tax Treaty where he was responsible for supervising and reviewing Competent Authority analysts with responsibility for Canadian cases. In 2008, he was the APA Program's representative to the IRS Transfer Pricing Task Force, which brought together officials from across the IRS with responsibility for transfer pricing enforcement. The Task Force made recommendations that resulted in substantial new hiring of international examiners, the creation of a specialty group of international examiners focused exclusively on transfer pricing, and the formation of a Transfer Pricing Council to coordinate transfer pricing issues across the IRS.
Before joining the APA Program, Mr. Armitage was senior vice president for a venture capital fund management company, and served in London on the U.S. Tax Desk of a major accounting firm. He also has worked with several leading law firms.
Mr. Armitage is an adjunct professor with the Georgetown University LL.M. Program, where he co-teaches "Introduction to Transfer Pricing." An avid lecturer on the topic of transfer pricing, Mr. Armitage also speaks before professional associations and at conferences. His recent engagements include:
- Intangible Property Controversy Trends, University of San Diego 2nd Annual Transfer Pricing Symposium 2014 (March 2014)
- Negotiating & Successfully Implementing APAs – Practical Experiences, TP Minds Transfer Pricing Summit 2014 (February 2014)
- The New IRS Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) Program for Transfer Pricing: Progress in Case Management and Resolution, University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, International Taxation and Transfer Pricing Program (October 2013)
- China and India Transfer Pricing Developments, DC Bar Tax Audits and Litigation Section (May 2013)
- Transfer Pricing in Other Countries, U.S. International Tax Networking Seminar, New York (March 2013)
- Final Cost Sharing Regulations, DC Bar Taxation Section. (February 2012)
- Enforcement Update: The IRS Sharpens its Focus on Transfer Pricing, D.C. Bar Taxation Section (September 2011)
- APA Rev. Proc. 2008-31: Lessons Learned about Transfer Pricing Outside of Section 482, Tax Management Advisory Board Meeting, New York (August 2011)
- Controversy and Dispute Resolution Update, PwC's Transfer Pricing Masters Series for Financial Services Professionals, New York (April 2010)
- Transfer Pricing and APA Process, IRS IE Teams 1136 and 1507 Training/Meeting, Bailey's Crossroads, Va. (March 2010)
- Competent Authority, 2009 CRA International and Large Business Directorate National Learning Event, Toronto, Ont. (November 2009)
- The APA Program and U.S. Competent Authority, IRS IE CENTRA Training, via Internet (July 2009)
Awards & Rankings
Recommended in the 2014 edition of The Legal 500
- Co-author, "Remain Vigilant on Indian Permanent Establishments, Even After the Favorable e-Funds Decision," Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert (March 2014)
- Co-author, "Bold Shift in IRS Approach to Transfer Pricing Controversies," Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert (February 2014)
- Co-author, "The APA Program's Experience With Rev. Proc. 2008-31: Increased Opportunities for Certainty," Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Memorandum (Nov. 7, 2011)