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Personal injury attorneys are bracing themselves for more IRS audits in the wake of a proposed regulation that will take effect next year. The regulation will require taxpayers to report all payments made to attorneys. Congress said that its goal in enacting the law was to improve the accuracy of attorneys’ tax returns, but a bigger objective may be to hold plaintiffs accountable for taxes on damage awards. David Shurtz, a solo practioner, complains that insurance companies, who are required to report damage awards starting 1998, are reporting entire awards as his income, even though he only receives a fraction of the payment. “This guarantees that all personal injury attorneys will be audited,” Mr. Shurtz said. “It will be virtually impossible to challenge the insurance companies.”

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