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John W. Schmehl

Partner; Chair, Tax Group; Executive Committee Member
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Primary Office
1500 Market St., Suite 3500E
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Direct(215) 575-7201
Fax(215) 575-7200


Judy Palumbo
Direct(215) 575-7197

John Schmehl advises clients on tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions; spin-off, split-off, and split-up transactions involving the tax-free division of assets; structuring executive compensation plans, including advice on golden parachutes and §409A deferred compensation issues; preservation of net operating losses and §382 studies; insolvency and bankruptcy planning, including forgiveness of debt issues; §1031 like-kind exchanges; S corporations; formation of limited partnership and limited liability companies; and state and local tax issues. With four years' experience as an IRS trial attorney, John continues to advise clients in tax controversies from audit to appeal to litigation, both in the United States Tax Court and in tax refund litigation in District Court or the Court of Federal Claims. He also advises on private letter rulings and technical advice, on IRS collection matters, and works with the firm’s Corporate Investigations/White Collar Group to defend fraud and criminal tax investigations.

As an IRS District Counsel attorney, John advised revenue agents, revenue officers and special agents in civil, collection and criminal tax matters.

Representative Experience

  • Represents one of the country’s largest tax insurance underwriters in a variety of acquisitions, spin-offs and other tax matters, and representations and warranty coverage for tax matters.
  • Represents large family trust in Tax Court litigation on substantial capital gain issue.
  • Advises large city newspaper on bankruptcy tax plan.
  • Represents executives of large cable companies in defense of civil and criminal tax charges.
  • Successfully represented executives in responsible person penalty litigation.
  • Successfully represented NBA referee before Department of Justice to avoid prosecution.
  • Pro Bono representation of the Milton Hershey School Alumni Association 2003 – 2007 in quest for standing to challenge joint action of the Hershey Trust and Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Former Member of Tax Council, Philadelphia Bar Association, Tax Section

Speeches & Presentations

  • Presented on “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” for the Delaware County Bar Association and Neumann University in 2009.
  • Frequent Past Lecturer at Penn State Tax Conferences on S Corporations.

Professional Recognition

  • BNA Tax Management Advisory Board Member.
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004 – 2020.

News / Events


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Alternate Biographies




  • LL.M., Taxation, Temple University School of Law, 1982
  • J.D., cum laude, Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, Editor of Dickinson Law Review, Edwin Polisher and Prentice-Hall Awards in Taxation, 1978
  • B.A., cum laude, Psychology, Muhlenberg College, 1975

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court Pennsylvania, 1978
  • United States Tax Court, 1978
  • United States Court of Appeals Third Circuit
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Federal Claims