Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LL.M in Taxation, Tax Law Specialist
(714) 546-0445 x114
Download Vcard

Lisa O. Nelson joined the Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor in 2013.  Prior to becoming a partner at the Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor, Mrs. Nelson began her legal career in private practice working for a San Diego tax controversy law firm.  She was instrumental in transitioning a solo practice firm to a full service law firm with seven attorneys. Mrs. Nelson has dedicated her practice to advocating for her clients in tax controversy matters. Mrs. Nelson works closely with her clients to develop an optimum strategy in resolving their tax disputes.

Mrs. Nelson’s practice specializes in handling income tax audits, collection matters, payroll tax matters, analysis of dischargeability of taxes through bankruptcy, sales tax audits, worker classification audits and administrative hearings with the taxing agencies.  Mrs. Nelson has extensive background in representing individuals, corporations, businesses, officers, directors, shareholders, and partners before the Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, and the State Board of Equalization.  She has negotiated favorable settlements with the Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board, Board of Equalization, and Employment Development Department saving her clients millions of dollars in taxes.   

Mrs. Nelson also has a wealth of experience representing taxpayers in international tax issues including resolving delinquent foreign disclosure compliance.  For her international clients, Mrs. Nelson has successfully argued for reduced penalties on behalf of many taxpayers resulting in savings of millions of dollars along with mitigating her client’s risk of criminal prosecution.  Mrs. Nelson served as the lead associate attorney on several criminal tax matters, including the defense of tax preparers and corporate officers.  In Bankruptcy Court, Mrs. Nelson successfully convinced the IRS to abate the income taxes in full originally thought to be non-dischargeable. 

Mrs. Nelson is dedicated to giving back to the legal community. Mrs. Nelson is the incoming Chair of the California State Bar Income and Other Taxes Committee. Mrs. Nelson is also the incoming Chair for the Orange County Bar Association Taxation Section. Mrs. Nelson’s participation in these organizations is integral in providing educational seminars to tax professionals.  Mrs. Nelson’s contributions to the community were recognized by her peers.  She was recently selected to be on the 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.  This award is given to the top 2.5% of attorneys who have demonstrated excellence in the practice of law.  She also was included in the 2015 Top Attorneys List for Orange County published by Coast Magazine.

Outside of her practice, Mrs. Nelson also serves as Treasurer and an executive board member for The Jarrett Meeker Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds and support for conservational and educational programs to benefit local disadvantaged children. 


  • BA (English), Cum Laude, Chapman University
  • JD, University of San Diego
  • LLM, (Tax), University of San Diego

Admitted to Practice

  • California, Supreme Court of the State of California
  • United States Southern District of California
  • United States Central District of California
  • United States Tax Court

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • Orange County Bar Association, Tax Section, Secretary
  • State Bar of California, Tax Section, Educational Chair

Awards & Certifications

  • Specialist in Taxation Law – California Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2017 – Super Lawyers, Rising Star
  • 2016 – Super Lawyers

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Payroll Tax Penalty & Compliance Update: Understanding and handling the stepped up IRS enforcement in this area,” Beverly Hills Section of CalCPA, 2016
  • Speaker, “Income Tax Annual Update,” State Bar Income & Other Tax Committee’s Annual Income Tax Seminar, 2015
  • Speaker, “Payroll Taxes:  Can You Ever Recover From The Trust Fund?,” Orange County Enrolled Agents, 2015
  • Speaker, “The Impact of Divorce, Death & Taxes on Real Estate Holdings and Transactions,” Orange County Bar Association Real Estate Section, 2014
  • Discretionary Disallowance of Compensation Paid Workers: The Need for Guidance under R&T Code Sections 17299.8 and 24447, Sacramento Delegation, 2014
  • Proposal to Expand the Scope and Definition for “Person” to Allow for Third Parties in Alter Ego and Nominee Cases, DC Delegation, 2014
  • Time’s a Ticking: IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VSCP), California Network Newsletter (May 2013)
  • Tax Topics: Payroll Tax, Criminal Tax, and Collections, Continuing Education Presentation for Considine & Considine, 2012

Reported Cases

Nebeker v. Commissioner of I.R.S., T.C. Memo 2016-155 (Aug. 16, 2016)


RE: Lisa Nelson
Posted by Wayne on AVVO – 10/19/2015
The best lawyer I’ve ever retained!!!

Lisa is simply the best. I found her on Avvo to help me navigate through a complex IRS situation. My first contact with her was amazing, she is so very nice and professional. The communication and support was exceptional, I could not have asked for anything better. She provided me with absolutely sound advise that later turned out exactly how she anticipated saving me thousands of dollars. I’m so grateful for her representation. She is hard worker and great communicator providing me updates late in the day and weekends. She is extremely intelligent and very knowledgable. There is nobody else I would ever use then Lisa for future tax law advise.

RE: Lisa Nelson
Posted by Michael on AVVO – 2/10/2015
Beating the IRS

I hired Lisa and her firm to address a complex tax situation with the IRS in which the IRS was claiming I owed them  >$250K. Lisa and her team quickly cut through the red-tape that is ever present whenever one interacts with the IRS. Lisa was successful in petitioning the IRS to review their agent’s action and the IRS quickly (OK, quickly for a government agency!) came back and agreed with Lisa’s well written appeals letter that the IRS agent was indeed incorrect in their ruling that I owed an additional >$250K in taxes.

Of course there was lots of back and forth between Lisa and myself and subsequently between Lisa and the IRS on this matter but Lisa was able to very quickly identify the key items that the IRS needed to see from my past records in order to adequately support my case. Lisa’s ability to do this saved me an immense amount of time in terms of assembling the supporting documents Lisa required to support all the claims she made in her appeals letter to the IRS.

The bottom line is I was very satisfied with Lisa and her firm not only because of the outcome of my case but more importantly because of the outstanding job Lisa and her firm did in communicating with me throughout the entire process, the efficient way in which they used my time, the efficient and effective way in which they conducted their work which resulted in a cost effective legal bill, and Lisa’s ability to take the emotion out of the situation and simply boil complex matters down to a series of facts that all parties could easily understand.

I have had the opportunity throughout my business career as a senior executive to retain a wide variety of different professionals/professional firms (lawyers, CPAs, Investment Bankers, etc) and I would rank Lisa and her firm in my top 5 all-time (out of the >50 firms I’ve engaged during my personal and professional career).
All the best,

RE: Lisa Nelson

Posted by a client on AVVO on 1/28/2015

Wonderful customer service.
Lisa nelson was amazing!! She helped us and just gave us the assurance that everything will be ok.. She kept in contact with us and told us she will keep us updated on everything that is going on with the IRS and she did! We were never disappointed! we are so happy with her work and I will recommend her to everyone!!! Thanks again!!!


Setting the Bar High: Lisa Nelson ’05 rises in tax law and returns to Chapman as faculty
(blog post from Chapman University)


  • Spanish