Lawrence M. Axelrod graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook during the quiet years, 1967 through 1971. After waiting tables during a year's respite from academia, he enrolled in the University of Southern California Law Center. Upon graduation, he joined the tax department of a then Big 8 accounting firm which suffered from the delusion that he could be made a CPA. In 1977, following a year and a half of tax practice, with emphasis in estate planning, Mr. Axelrod went to work for the Office of Chief Counsel, Legislation and Regulations Division, of the IRS in Washington, DC. In light of his estate planning experience, the IRS assigned him to the Corporate Branch where he drafted regulations on investment credit for movies and bad-debt deductions for thrift institutions, in addition to regulations on consolidated returns. The Tax Court declared his bad-debt deduction regulations invalid on three occasions - and three times was reversed. During his tenure at the IRS, he received an MLT degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
In 1981, having served his commitment with the Service, Mr. Axelrod joined the Washington Service Center of Touche Ross. In 1985, he was admitted to the partnership.
From 1987 to 1988, he served as chairman of the ABA Tax Section Committee on Affiliated and Related Corporations. He is the author of numerous articles on consolidated return issues, including "The Supreme Court, Consolidated Returns, and 10-Year Carrybacks" which was cited in Justice Souter's 2001 opinion in United Dominion Industries, Inc. Also, his article on consolidated AMT was cited in Judge Cohen's opinion for the Tax Court in State Farm Insurance Co. v. Commissioner. His 1997 article, "Are Consolidated Returns Obsolete?," exploring the impact of the check-the-box regulations on consolidated groups, was selected for republication by Tax Notes to commemorate the magazine's 40th anniversary. His opinion for the Rite Aid Corporation, supporting the company's tax return position that the Loss Disallowance Regulations were reasonably vulnerable to judicial scrutiny, became the basis for the taxpayer's successful challenge to the validity of those regulations.
For 20 years he conducted a 2-day consolidated return seminar for public participants willing to fork over the tuition. Beginning in 2007 he assumed responsibility for updating and re-writing Consolidated Tax Returns, the treatise originally authored by Fred Peel, and published by Thomson West. He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center's LLM program and taught the graduate program consolidated return course for IRS attorneys.
In May 2008, to the lament of his clients, partners, and the tax community in general, Larry retired from Deloitte & Touche to pursue a life of relative leisure. After eight months, however, he heard the clarion call of public service and returned to the IRS as Special Counsel to the Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate).