Reed Smith's State Tax Group has extensive experience advising major corporate clients in all U.S. jurisdictions on multistate tax planning and consulting issues, and representing them in state tax controversies around the country. Leading corporations across many industries count on us to serve as national tax counsel, and our attorneys advise on multistate tax issues arising in all U.S. jurisdictions. Our clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies.
Our lawyers work closely with clients at every stage of the state tax life cycle, from initial planning and consulting stages, through viability assessment and legal opinions, to audit defense, settlement and litigation. We advise clients in multistate tax controversies, tax planning, and the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Because our lawyers are skilled state tax litigators, not generalists, our clients benefit from our ability to navigate and resolve multistate tax issues successfully. We have experience handling state tax controversies before administrative appeal boards, tax tribunals, and courts in virtually every state; before federal courts; and before the United States Supreme Court.
Experience Defending Complex Corporate Structures in Litigation
We understand how to defend our clients’ corporate structures because senior members of our team are more than just experienced tax litigators; we helped develop many sound structures as attorneys or as national partners at Big 4 accounting firms.
We have drawn upon this unique combination of experiences to develop effective strategies for the defense and (where appropriate) settlement of controversies when our clients’ structures have been challenged on the basis of “economic nexus,” “business purpose,” “economic substance,” and the like. Our attorneys have represented clients in numerous litigated cases involving complex corporate structures.
Confidential and Favorable Settlements
We have a proven ability to negotiate, on a nationwide basis, favorable settlements of complex, hot-button state tax disputes out of court and – perhaps more significantly in today's hostile state tax environment – out of view of the media spotlight. We have also assisted clients in crafting national strategies to eliminate millions of dollars of potential tax exposures relating to intangible holding company and economic nexus positions, while avoiding public litigation. Our understanding of our clients’ business structures has allowed us to move quickly to take advantage of amnesty opportunities and to negotiate favorable settlements as developments unfolded, saving clients the time and resources of having to re-educate local counsel in multiple jurisdictions. While our track record demonstrates that we can litigate and win tough state tax cases when that is in the company's best interests, our clients increasingly tell us that discreet, confidential settlement is often their desired outcome.
Large companies can be attractive targets for negative media portrayals, so from the outset we work proactively, and in conjunction with our clients' internal public relations personnel, to create and implement public relations strategies concerning state tax legal matters in order to control the flow of damaging information and (when appropriate) to promote and highlight successful results.
State Tax Planning and Refund Reviews
Our unique State Tax Review service includes a brainstorming day on-site with your tax team, focusing on: (1) the company’s legal structure, business operations, and state tax posture; (2) a "no holds barred" assessment of the ongoing viability of the company’s existing planning in today’s volatile state tax environment; (3) evaluation of nationwide coordination needs on state tax audit and litigation matters; (4) development together of possible improvements to the company’s state tax planning posture; and (5) identification of possible refund claim opportunities.
Beyond structural and transactional planning, the proactive identification and pursuit of refund claim opportunities (another area of particular experience for the Reed Smith State Tax Group) may provide your company with an independent source of revenue generated by the tax and legal departments. This approach may also provide the company with previously unnoticed "offset" issues that could offer a stronger basis for a negotiated solution of hot-button state tax controversies. In some cases, we are even able to take positions being advocated by state revenue departments, and turn them to the advantage of clients.