State and Local Taxation

    State and local governments today increasingly need revenues. For taxpayers, this frequently finds state and local governments imposing new taxes and aggressively administering existing revenue laws.

    We handle tax controversies nationwide. Our attorneys are licensed in California, New York, District of Columbia, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Texas, as well as England. In addition to our home state of California, we have handled significant tax controversies in New York as well as England and various U.S. possessions (such as Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Furthermore, we often handle controversies in states in which we are not formally admitted to practice (we can be specially admitted as needed). We have handled large tax disputes in Michigan, Washington, Georgia, Texas, etc. Where appropriate, we can engage local accountants or attorneys as the need arises.

    Frequently, we advise clients on state and local tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions (both taxable and tax-free), dispositions and spin-offs. Without planning, sales taxes alone can consume nearly 10 percent of an acquisition price, or can loom as an unanticipated post-closing problem.

    We advise clients on structuring to re-apportion their income and on reconfiguring their entities. We regularly counsel clients on multi-jurisdictional tax disputes and the constitutionality of state and local taxes. We counsel clients on unitary and combined returns, nexus, and other complex matters.

    We regularly assist clients throughout the U.S. to minimize their state and local tax liabilities. These taxes may include franchise, state income, sales, use, property and even excise taxes. Although we are prepared to represent clients in virtually any state or local tax matter, we have particular expertise representing taxpayers in California, New York and the United Kingdom.

    Representations include:

    • Successfully represented a U.K. software company in a dispute with New York State taxing authorities over sales taxes allocated to New York.

    • Advised numerous California taxpayers in large Qualified Small Business Stock cases (including founders of Excite and Seibel Systems) before the California State Board of Equalization.

    • Represented several residents of high tax states (including California, New York and Connecticut) on moves to lower tax states or foreign jurisdictions.

    • Represented developers and investors (shopping centers, industrial parks, office buildings, utilities, stores) in property tax recoveries and reassessments.

    • Won an appeal before the California State Board of Equalization, defeating the California Franchise Tax Board on its claim of constructive receipt of income based on trust fund receipts.

    • Represented a multi-national software firm on New York State sales tax exposure in the wake of an acquisition.

    • Represented a California-based software and service concern in the filing of multiple California tax returns and the reinstatement of that entity with the California Secretary of State.

    • Represented California heirs of a decedent’s $50 million estate against New York and California tax authorities based on a tax claim arising out of the decedent’s move to California shortly before her death.

    • Successfully represented an alternative power producer in a large property tax dispute.

    • Won an appeal before the California Franchise Tax Board on the timing of cash receipts by a law firm.

    • Advised U.S. and U.K. clients on VAT issues, including collections, exemptions and refunds.

    • Advised a large power producer on sales, use and property tax matters relating to the construction of a co-generation facility.

    References available on request.