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John Pontius

Tax Attorney at Rockville, MD

4.6   8 reviews

also known as John Samuels Pontius Jr

  • Licensed for 16 years
    State DC
    Acquired 2006
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 17 years
    State MD
    Acquired 2005
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About John

Learn John’s areas of practice.

Practice area
  1. Tax
    International Tax and Tax Controversy

    13 years

John Pontius is the founder of Pontius Tax Law, PLLC, with offices in Washington, DC and in Rockville, Maryland.  Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national and international. Mr. Pontius has been licensed to practice law since 2005. He is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia and before federal courts, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the U.S. Tax Court. Mr. Pontius focuses on international tax and tax controversy.  He was selected as a Rising Star in tax by Super Lawyers from 2015-2020. 

Mr. Pontius regularly advises clients on the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, Streamlined Domestic and Foreign Offshore Procedures, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts ("FBAR") and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA"). He has international tax compliance experience reviewing various informational and income tax forms. 

Mr. Pontius has extensive examination experience with federal and state audits, protests of proposed adjustments and audit reconsideration. He represents clients on tax liens and levies, collection due process hearings, offers in compromises and requests for penalty abatement. He has experience with employment tax issues such as worker classification and the trust fund recover penalty. 

From 2012-2019, Mr. Pontius served as the Co-Chair of the Tax Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland. Mr. Pontius writes articles for the newsletter on recent tax developments. He leads meetings on tax topics and coordinates Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes on technical tax topics. John also guest lectured on the topic of Collection Due Process Hearings for the tax practice and procedure litigation class at the Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Pontius was a co-panelist at a DC Bar New Tax Practitioner Committee meeting on the topic of Collection Due Process procedures and practice tips. Mr. Pontius spoke about employment taxes at the MSBA Leadership Academy's Pro Bono Small Business Boot Camp.

Prior to joining the firm he practiced  at tax law firms in Rockville, Maryland and Annapolis, Maryland.  Mr. Pontius has two years experience in the international corporate tax group at KPMG in Tysons Corner, Virginia where he researched and analyzed a wide range of complex tax matters in the areas of compliance, provision, planning and restructuring. At the accounting firm, John worked with a broad range of U.S. multi-national and foreign owned clients doing business as corporations and partnerships in the communications, financial services and defense contractor industries.

Mr. Pontius started practicing law in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps with the 1st Armored Division in Wiesbaden, Germany and deployed to Tikrit, Iraq. As the supervisor of the IRS-sponsored military Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in Wiesbaden, Germany, Mr. Pontius managed a staff of eight and ensured quality control in connection with more than 2,000 federal and 700 state tax returns for members of the military community.

Mr. Pontius received his Tax LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center, and he was a student extern to Judge Paris of the U.S. Tax Court. He received his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law, and he was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honor Society. He received his B.A. in Economics from Gettysburg College, and he was member of the Federal Reserve Challenge Team that won first place at the Baltimore branch in 2001. He is licensed in Maryland and in the District of Columbia.

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Pontius Tax Law, PLLC
199 East Montgomery Ave, Suite 100
Rockville, MD, 20850
Pontius Tax Law, PLLC
1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC, 20004
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4.6 / 5.0
  8 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | October 19, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Above and beyond help
I called John as I had a problems with my tax return. John went above and beyond to provide me with all the necessary information to be able to address these problems with the IRS. The phone consult was followed with an email with all the information that we discussed.
Posted by anonymous | August 28, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great job and very profesional
I owned a house in the United States and as a Profesional of an International Organization I move from country of residence from time to time. When I returned to the United States in 2016, I decided to sell a house I owned in Fairfax. As a G-4 visa holder, the IRS withholds a percentage of the home's value (10%). The challenge began when the accountant I hired for the required paperwork recommended that my wife and I should proceed with separate claims since the property was in both or our names. This procedure appears to have created confusion with IRS officials. In short, they returned my 50% very fast but did not return the 50% claimed in my wife's name (which was a very important sum on money). We fought hard for almost three years submitting the information the IRS required. Every time we sent a refund request, the IRS send it back indicating either that something is missing or that it is not the correct procedure. We even went personally to the IRS, and surprisingly it seemed that no one knew how t do it. When we were about to lose the money withheld (any application seems to expire after three years), we happened to meet Mr. Pontius and his firm because of a course on FIRPTA offered to members of the Credit Union to which I belong. After a video conference with him, Mr Pontius took my case and surprisingly in about a month, I received the check form IRS. His work is fantastic, and he sure knows the exact procedures perfectly, so I highly recommend him and his firm with 100% of certainty
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Posted by DAVID | August 26, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
John Pontius solved my tax issue
The IRS believed my 10 year old business tax filing was in erroe because the status of employees was "wrongly stated". John suggested an elegant filing--- a simple revision of the old filing wiyh new categorization. IT worked! The IRS ceased a levy they had implemented
Posted by Hal | August 26, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
John Pontius review
John is THE lawyer for DC state tax issues. He knows the law and how to handle the bureaucracy to get the job done properly with grace. He got us a complete tax refund for one year and convinced DC to not bill us for another.
Posted by Lena | August 21, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
John was very easy to talk to and explain our situation with international assets and bank accounts. He knew exactly what needed to be done in order to file prior year FBARs on our behalf and ensure that we didn't face any penalties for non-filing. John and Bill, his in-house CPA, are a great team and although I hope to never need their services again, I wouldn't hesitate to call them if I do.
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Posted by Joseph | August 17, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
FBARs and sale of property abroad
I had a foreign bank accounts reporting (FBAR) issue that John and his team was able to provide clear guidance on and ultimately was able to resolve for me in addition to guidance on the incompatibility of US tax law and typical foreign estate planning practices.
Posted by anonymous | February 26, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
IRS fee waved
I received a fee from the IRS because of an error I made filing my taxes. I consulted John and he gave me advice on my next steps, first time penalty abatement. I am so glad I went to him because it worked and he saved me lots of money.
Posted by Brittany | April 21, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best thing is can say about John Pontius is that he answers his phone. He is responsive on the telephone, but slow to do actual work. I sent his retainer on a Friday and I waited until the following Thursday to contact him to see if he had had a chance to look at anything. Nothing had been looked at. All i needed was a basic petition to tax court and rather than doing it myself (which courts allow petitioners to do) I wanted a lawyer's expertise, I did not receive that. He had another person to assist him who in turn needed to look things up and research information which was already online and easy for any novice to research.) The day after I called him he called me back having apparently spent half that day reviewing my file. One afternoon's work used up the majority of my retainer on research i would have thought a top rated tax attorney would have known. Anyway, he used up $1800 of my $2500 retainer and wanted more money. I asked him to complete the work i had originally wanted done (a petition) with the remaining funds and he agreed by telephone to do that on a Friday afternoon. But something better must have come up over the weekend because he called to advise me on Monday that his assistant had forgotten to bill something (in the one day of work the assistant had done on my case) and sorry but the retainer was all used up so the remaining 2-3 hours of work typing the petition which he had already agreed to do could not be done now. In addition to not being able to provide a court petition for $2500 he was not aware of a new deadline extension by IRS which a former tax adviser kindly advised me about. Foolishly, I sent it to him in an effort to speed things along. (I am sure he billed another customer $300 for that bit of "research.") He is only $375/hour but my advice to anyone needing help is to spend $600 and get someone who can work more efficiently. I am very surprised he is rated as a top lawyer.
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Response from John Pontius May 1, 2020
I think there is a misunderstanding between us. I previously replied to your email comments before you posted this review. I take client satisfaction very seriously. You hired me to review your draft US Tax Court petition and I emailed you with detailed feedback after reviewing your case and doing some research. Then you decided that you wanted me to prepare a US Tax Court petition without replenishing your modest retainer. As we could not come to an agreement to move forward, I had to close your case. I understand that you were frustrated that it took me one week to provide my initial comments. However, I explained when you hired me one week before 4/15 that this was a busy time of the year for my practice. I learned about the IRS extension of the deadline to file Tax Court petitions in response to Covid-19 within days of its release.
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Tax Attorney
  • Kundra and Associates
  • 2012 - 2013
  • Associate, International Corporate Tax
  • KPMG
  • 2010 - 2012
  • Captain, Judge Advocate
  • U.S. Army
  • 2006 - 2009


  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • JD
  • 2010
  • Widener University School of Law
  • JD
  • 2004
  • Gettysburg College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2002
  • Landon
  • High School Diploma
  • 1998
View all education


  • Bar Association of Montgomery County
  • Co-Chair, Tax Section
  • 2012 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star in Tax
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Rising Star in Tax
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Rising Star in Tax
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2015


  • Newsletter, Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD
  • Procedures to Stop an IRS Levy
  • 2013
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Tax practice and procedure litigation class
  • Collection Due Process Hearings
  • 2013
  • New Tax Practitioners Committee
  • From the Statutory Notice of Deficiency to the Courtroom: Vouri and Pontius on Tax Procedures
  • 2013
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (6)
Endorse John
Tax Attorney | May 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Pontius is a knowledgeable and professional tax attorney. I am happy to refer my clients who need legal advice about tax issues to him."
Tax Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Friend
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Tax Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"I endorse this lawyer."
Tax Attorney | Jun 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"John Pontius is my go-to tax lawyer. He has been a frequent speaker for the Immigration Section of the Montgomery County Bar Association. My clients and I have been benefited from his legal advice on disclosure requirements and compliance matters related to the U.S. international tax issues."

Avvo Contributions

This attorney hasn't created any legal answers in Q&A or legal guides recently on Avvo.

Rockville Tax Lawyer John Pontius
John Pontius
Tax Attorney
Rockville, MD
Licensed for 17 years