John Warner, shareholder in the firm's Tax section, comments on a dispute between Amazon.com and the Internal Revenue Service over the value of intangibles - such as intellectual property, patents and trade names - that Amazon transferred to its European business in Luxembourg. John shares his thoughts on the case, the arguments and why it matters in Bloomberg Tax's article "Amazon, IRS Return to Court for $2 Billion Tax Case Appeal."

“It really is a fundamental clash of economic theory versus a legal approach,” said John Warner, a shareholder at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC in Washington.

The IRS had argued that the U.S. parent should be compensated for the returns it would have gotten if it exploited the intangibles itself, Warner said.

The government is hoping the court acknowledges that some of its interpretations of concepts in its own regulations should stand up, even if it doesn’t win the case outright, Warner said.