Our Tax attorneys advise clients from small local enterprises to large publicly traded corporations about a full range of tax matters. We monitor legislative and regulatory developments daily and participate on policy-forming committees of tax agencies and bar associations. This level of knowledge enables our tax attorneys to speak with authority on critical tax developments (such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), to formulate and implement appropriate tax strategies at the federal and state level, and to represent clients effectively in controversies with tax authorities. We have particular strength advising on:
Corporate tax planning
With detailed legal and business analysis, we determine the most effective tax structures for the myriad corporate transactions on which the firm advises. From tax-free spin-offs and mergers to taxable asset sales, like-kind exchanges and other arrangements, the tax consequences of a transaction frequently drive the business deal. Our Tax attorneys work closely with lawyers in other practice areas, especially Corporate and Real Estate, to ensure that our clients achieve the highest possible after-tax returns from a transaction.
Individual tax planning
We counsel shareholder clients and closely held businesses on personal tax planning issues, which include structuring investments, planning the timing of transactions that create income or deductions, and tax planning for the owners of closely held businesses.
State and local tax
Navigating state and local taxation can be critical for companies in many industries and for those engaged in interstate sales. Our Tax attorneys frequently plan business transactions to ensure the most advantageous state and local tax consequences.
Tax controversy counsel
Merely halting operations or selling assets does not enable a company to leave New York State. Careful tax planning – an exit strategy – is essential. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in the resolution of disputes with tax authorities. Frequently, these controversies are resolved at the audit level. We also represent clients in administrative appeals and before the U.S. Tax Court, the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal, and other federal and state courts.
Private letter rulings
Clients contemplating business or personal transactions often want assurance of the tax results of their plans before they are implemented. We represent clients in obtaining private letter rulings from the IRS and similar rulings from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
Regulatory and legislative monitoring
We monitor state and federal tax legislation, and any corresponding regulatory updates, to assist our business and personal clients in planning and maintaining their business operations and investment plans.
Businesses with employees are obligated to withhold payroll or “employment” taxes. We work with employers on the full range of employment tax issues, including federal, state and local Income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, and state and federal unemployment tax.
What We See on the Horizon
Contact our HSE Tax team for our latest insights about the following:
- Opportunity zones. The federal tax reform legislation which was enacted in 2017 created so-called “opportunity zones” – that is, preferential tax treatment of capital gains related to investments in low-income areas. After enactment of tax reform, however, there were changes to the legislation. Employers would do well to examine whether their practices and policies are compliant.
- Estate tax. In anticipation of possible future estate tax changes, small businesses may wish to consider restructuring to take best advantage of current estate and gift tax laws.
- A changing tax landscape. As elections bring new officials to the policymaking arena, the HSE Tax team watches closely as new legislation and tax policy develops. Often, even after tax laws change, it can take the IRS and state tax authorities time to issue appropriate guidance. We monitor legislative activity and keep clients and HSE attorneys up to date on changes – both enacted and proposed.