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 large accounting firm that 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, Larry 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 thrifts, in addition to regulations on consolidated returns. The Tax Court declared his regulations under section 593 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, Larry joined the Washington Service Center of Touche Ross (which in 1989 merged with Deloitte). In 1985, he was admitted to the partnership.
For 20 years he conducted a two-day consolidated return seminar for public participants willing to fork over the tuition. In 2007, he became author of the 4th edition of the treatise CONSOLIDATED TAX RETURNS, published by Thomson Reuters, and updates it annually.
From 1987 to 1988, he was chair of the ABA Tax Section Committee on Affiliated and Related Corporations. He has published 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 differences and similarities between a single-member LLC and a subsidiary in a consolidated group, was among the articles selected for republication by Tax Notes in 2012 to commemorate the magazine's 40th anniversary.
In May 2008, to the lament of his clients, partners, and the tax community in general, Larry retired from Deloitte Tax 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). He also joined the faculty of Georgetown Law School’s graduate tax program as an adjunct professor.
After leaving the IRS in 2016, he authored several articles for Tax Notes, “Marvel and United Dominion’s Dangerous Dictum,” “Why Rite Aid Was Right,” and “Are Prepaid Property Taxes Properly Deductible.”
He is currently Of Counsel to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, in their Washington, DC office.