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Chicago tax attorney Jonathan Decatorsmith has been practicing tax law for more than 26 years. Prior to joining the Law Offices of Chicago-Kent, Professor Decatorsmith was a senior trial attorney and internal instructor with the Internal Revenue Service for 11 years. He has tried more than 40 cases before the United States Tax Court, and previously served as adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago and the University of Minnesota.

In 2000, Professor Decatorsmith joined the IIT Chicago-Kent Law School as a full-time clinical professor, and took over the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (now the Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic). Over the years, the clinic grew from formally representing 42 indigent clients (in 2000) to more than 350 individual taxpayers annually, gaining a reputation as one of the preeminent tax clinics in the country. Utilizing the services of student interns, whom Professor Decatorsmith trained in the practice of aggressive and ethical tax controversy representation, the clinic became particularly recognized for its numerous appearances on behalf of lower income petitioners in the United States Tax Court. 

In January 2012, the tax clinic was transformed into its present, fee-based model. Services were expanded to include tax return preparation, tax and business transaction counseling, not-for-profit organization formation and compliance, and general civil (commercial) litigation. 

Professor Decatorsmith teaches courses on federal tax practice and procedure, international business transactions, estates and trusts, tax fraud, and other topics. He is a sought-after speaker, and has presented annually at the IRS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic conference in Washington, D.C. on a variety of topics, including IRS Appeals, Collection Strategies, and Tax Court Practice. He has also lectured on Tax Debt Relief Strategies to the Chinatown Merchants Association and various community organizations in the Chicago area. He is also the author of Chapter 24 on Taxation of the Illinois Jurisprudence volume on Immigration.

As a strong advocate for taxpayers' rights, Professor Decatorsmith is frequently cast as the lone defender of powerless against the IRS Chief Counsel Office and the IRS Collection Division. The Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic, under his leadership, has become particularly adept at negotiating creative and successful resolutions to significant federal and state tax debts.


Photos and videos

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Contact info

Jonathan Decatorsmith

565 W. Adams Street
Suite 600
Chicago, IL, 60661-3652

Practice areas


  1. Tax: 100%
    30 years, 1.2 thousand cases



Fixed (always), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

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ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law198605/11/2016
MNNot Authorized - Non-payment of fees199907/15/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Lead InstructorNational Trial Skills School1995
Attorney of the YearInternal Revenue Service1994
Special Act AwardInternal Revenue Service1993
Special Act AwardInternal Revenue Service1992
Special Act AwardInternal Revenue Service1991
Special Act AwardInternal Revenue Service1990
Special Act AwardInternal Revenue Service1989
Special Act AwardInternal Revenue Service1988
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Clinical ProfessorIIT Chicago-Kent College of Law2000 - Present
Senior AssociateBlueDog, Olsen and Small1999 - 2000
Adjunct ProfessorUniversity of Minnesota1996 - 1999
Adjunct ProfessorDePaul University1990 - 1995
Senior Trial Attorney, Internal InstructorChief Counsel Office of the Internal Revenue Service1987 - 1999
Association namePosition nameDuration
Northwest Suburban Bar AssociationMember2012 - Present
Chicago Bar Association, Federal Taxation CommitteeMember1987 - Present
Chicago Bar AssociationMember1987 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1986 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Kaider v. Commissionerfor Petitioner
Bozick v. Commissionerfor Petitioner
Rosenbloom v. Commissionerfor Petitioner
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogHistory Repeats itself, Again- The IRS Hates Offer in Compromise2015
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogIRS Appeals "Independence" ?2015
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogTest Your IRS Knowledge: A Short Quiz2014
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogWhy Do Taxpayers Lose Most Every Case Against The IRS in Tax Court?2014
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogCrisis Averted?2014
Illinois JurisprudenceVolume 30: Immigration (Chp. 24 Taxation)2014
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogWelcome Back, Non-Essentials!2013
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogThe State of The IRS2013
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogOur Unsung Heros2013
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogCollection Due Process-The Grand Illusion?2013
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic Blog" Furlough Time, Again"2013
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic Blog"Settle with the IRS For Pennies on a Dollar?"2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogFive Reasons You Shouldn't Hire an Offer Mill2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogThere's Nothing Wrong with Cash!2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogDon't make up stories about IRS!2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogThose Nasty IRS Letters...2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogThe Court Like No Other2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogA Three-Piece Suit and the Truth2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogThe Increased Automation of IRS Collection2012
Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic BlogWhy Can't I Do This Myself?2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Colorado School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1986
University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1983
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
2011 IRS LITC ConferenceAppeals Collection Issues2011
Low Income Taxpayer Annual ConferenceTax Law2010
2009 IRS LITC ConferenceNonfilier Issues2009