• Robert Merritt

Robert H. Merritt, Jr.

Robert H. Merritt, Jr. ("Robin") merged his practice with the firm in 2003. He has practiced law in Raleigh, N.C. for 35 years and concentrates his practice on tax controversies, business acquisitions and divestitures, real estate, commercial litigation and banking law. He regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state tax audit, collection and tax litigation matters with special emphasis on 941 civil penalty cases, sales and use tax adjustments and constitutional law issues affecting taxation. His endeavors in taxation resulted in Bailey & Dixon's receipt of Metro Magazine's "Metro Bravo" award for the Best Tax Law Firm for 2005, 2006 and 2007 and honorable mention for that award in 2008, 2009 and 2012.

Robin also represents individuals, businesses and financial institutions in various contexts, including contracts, leases, asset and real estate based lending, loan restructurings, and conservation easement acquisition.  He has provided assistance to physicians in structuring practice relationships for compliance under the Stark Laws.  His commercial litigation experience includes contract and real estate disputes, dissenter's rights and similar corporate litigation, trade secret and lender liability litigation, and representation of both lenders and debtors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.



Robin has been recognized by receiving Martindale-Hubbell's AV Peer Rating and recognized in "Best Lawyers in America" (Woodard/White) for commercial litigation (2011-2016).  He is a co-managing partner of the firm.

Recent Tax Cases:

Trust Fund: A corporate officer was successfully defended from a proposed assessment of North Carolina sales and use taxes and withholding taxes by demonstrating to the Court that the taxpayer was not an officer with a duty to account for, collect, or pay over taxes.  During a  three day trial, it was proven that the taxpayer was detached from the operations of the business and that another corporate officer was, in fact, responsible for the corporation's failure to pay. Click Here for Court's Ruling

After a corporation declared bankruptcy, the IRS began assessing the civil penalty against various corporate officers, including one in charge of field operations.  Thorough analysis of this officer's position and actual authority and through the use of available procedural steps, assessments against this officer for some $1,000,000 of civil penalties were fully abated.

Sales and Use: After the North Carolina Department of Revenue proposed a large sales and use tax assessment against a medical device sales company, including the fraud penalty, it was proven that the company actually owed less than 4% of the proposed assessment and all penalties were abated.  In defending this taxpayer, each sales transaction in a sample period was broken down and analyzed, demonstrating that during many of the tax periods in question, the taxpayer had actually overpaid.

Domicile: The North Carolina Department of Revenue has been aggressive in attempting to assess former residents of North Carolina for personal income taxes, after they move to another state. Several taxpayers who relocated to Florida have been successfully defended proving numerous criteria demonstrating that these taxpayers had changed their domicile to another state, and that North Carolina had no jurisdiction to tax them.


Education

  • The Choate School; Wallingford, Connecticut, 1967
  • University of North Carolina, B.A., 1971
  • Southern Methodist University, J.D., 1974
  • Southern Methodist University, L.L.M. (Taxation), 1976

Jurisdictions Licensed

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • All North Carolina State and Federal District Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Federal Court of Claims

Professional Affiliations

  • Wake County Bar Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Wake County Estate Planning Council (Pres. - 2013, 2014)