State and Local Tax Consulting

Tax-alchemy \taksˈalkəmē\ noun : a power or process of legitimately transforming common or mundane state and local tax data into gold.

Compounded Obscurity. Our clients face myriad complex issues, but often have a high level of sophistication and knowledge of the state tax issues. We understand that to add real value we must operate in that rarefied air of “compounded obscurity”. We think it’s not enough to “know the rules”. Our experience is that the mainstream interpretation of rules may lead to unnecessary tax overpayments. For example, it is often not whether our client has claimed a credit, even an obscure one. Rather, it is how much credit was claimed. In this context we can use benchmarks and other information to size up an “expected” credit. All too often, particularly with respect to relatively obscure credits, such credits are under-claimed.Or consider apportionment of the multi-state income tax base. The United States Constitution requires fair apportionment of a multi-state income tax base. “Fairness” is a rather subjective concept (Constitutional as it may be). While many practitioners complain about how the states use “fair” apportionment to overtax, we have had the happy circumstance of effectively arguing that the standard apportionment formula results in more tax than is “fair” – and sometimes fair-minded state officials agree. It’s knowing what to ask, when to ask, and having the skills, judgment and experience to effectively persuade.

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