Carlton Smith

Clinical Associate Professor of Law

Director, Tax Clinic


B.A., 1978, J.D., 1981, Harvard University

Areas of Expertise

Tax Law


Professor Smith, director of the Tax Clinic since 2003, was a partner at the New York City tax boutique law firm, Roberts & Holland, where he worked for 15 years representing taxpayers in controversies with the IRS, New York State, and New York City. The disputes involved individuals, corporations, and partnerships. The taxes included income, estate, gift, sales and use, and real property transfer taxes. The issues involved included state and city residency, tax shelter issues (commodity straddles, option spreads, motion picture partnerships), real estate, business/property valuation, and debt/equity. Between his years in private practice and his work for the Tax Clinic, he has been counsel of record in almost 300 U.S. Tax Court cases and numerous cases in other courts.

Upon graduation from law school, he clerked for Hon. Arthur L. Nims III of the U.S. Tax Court.

Professor Smith has written amicus briefs on important tax controversy issues in the Third, Fifth, Ninth, and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals and in the Supreme Court. His amicus brief in Mayo Foundation v. U.S. (2011) was cited and addressed by the Supreme Court. He frequently suggests statutory and administrative improvements to help low-income taxpayers in tax controversy matters to the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate, the U.S. Tax Court, and Congress. Tax Analysts, Inc. named him one of the ten tax persons-of-the-year for 2011 for his litigation and advocacy on behalf of low-income taxpayers.

He regularly publishes articles in tax journals and focuses his scholarship on Collection Due Process and Innocent Spouse issues.

Contact Information


Cardozo School of Law
55 Fifth Avenue
Room 1119
New York, NY 10003

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