Lawyer Image

John W. Schmehl

Partner; Chair, Tax Group; Executive Committee Member
  • Blog
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 has been Chair of the Tax Group for 35 years. He 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; qualified opportunity zones 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, and in state tax appeals. 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 trial attorney, John advised revenue agents, revenue officers and special agents and the Department of Justice in civil, collection and criminal tax matters.

Representative Experience

  • Represented 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.
  • REMIC tax counsel for large mortgage service provider
  • Represents large family trust in Tax Court litigation on substantial capital gain issue.
  • Advised large city newspaper on bankruptcy tax plan.
  • Advised large manufacturer on restructuring and sales.
  • Represented executives of large cable companies in defense of civil and criminal tax charges.
  • Successfully represented executives in responsible person penalty litigation.
  • Successfully represented professional 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 and Philadelphia Bar Association, Tax Sections
  • Former Member of Tax Council, Philadelphia Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Co-Founder of PCS Retirement Services LLC, a recordkeeper and 401(k) administrator

Speeches & Presentations

  • Presented on “Understanding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” for HalfMoon Education in July 2018  
  • Frequent Past Lecturer at Penn State Tax Conferences on S Corporations.

Treatises and Chapters

  • Co-Authored Original BNA Tax Management Portfolios 639, Responsible Person and Lender Liability for Trust Fund Taxes - §§ 6672 and 3505; and Updated 633, Compelled Production of Documents and Testimony in Tax Examinations.
  • Chapter of Inside the Minds: Tax Litigation Best Practices, “Proceeding Efficiently with the IRS Through Tax Litigation,” Aspatore Books (2006)
  • Four-time Contributor of Articles for Journal of Taxation

Professional Recognition

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

Further information on methodologies is available via these links.

News / Events


Print to PDFPDFEmail PageEmailPrint HTMLPrint
Search Tips

Our Web site's search function employs a variety of techniques to help you make the most of your queries. In this tips section we use square brackets [ ] to signal queries, so [antitrust and litigation] is one query, while [antitrust] and [litigation] are two.

  • Exact phrases: Eliminate unnecessary search results by surrounding your search phrase with quotation marks. Placing ["project finance"] in quotes will return specific results and discard additional results that simply have the words "project" and "finance" peppered on a page.
  • Wildcard symbol: If you're not exactly sure how a piece of information you want is phrased, use the following symbol (*) as a word root expander. A search for [child*] will find not only "child," but also results with words like "children" and "childhood."

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