The Tax Practice Group at Lane Powell assists clients with federal, state, local, and international tax matters. We work closely with clients and their accountants to reduce taxes associated with business activities and significant transactions, and in the areas of tax review, compliance, reporting and controversy. The Firm’s Tax practice has been highly ranked in the U.S. News and Best Lawyers annual “Best Law Firms” survey.
Federal Tax Practice
The Tax Practice Group advises clients on tax issues arising in connection with the formation and restructuring of business entities; the purchase or sale of assets; mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and other reorganizations; public and private financing; tax-credit subsidies; and a wide range of events that give rise to income or costs that must be accounted for. Our goal is to ensure that our clients have considered and utilized appropriate tax saving strategies in all of their affairs.
We work with clients to resolve tax controversies with the IRS at the examination level, in administrative appeals and, when appropriate, in litigation. Our attorneys have represented clients in tax matters before the U.S. Tax Court and the Court of Federal Claims and in appeals to the Second, Ninth and Federal Circuits.
State and Local Tax Practice
Lane Powell tax attorneys identify state and local tax saving opportunities for clients in their ongoing businesses. Our tax attorneys also assist with entity formation and structuring business transactions such as sales and acquisitions of businesses and real estate. Our expertise covers the full range of state and local taxes, including income, gross receipts, sales and use, estate, employment and special excise taxes.
The Firm represents clients before the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Revenue in the course of audits, administrative appeals, interpretive procedures and predeterminations of tax liability. We have achieved favorable results for clients in tax litigation in Oregon and Washington.
International Tax Practice
Lane Powell has considerable experience in dealing with the tax consequences of business and investment transactions that cross international borders. Members of the Tax Practice Group advise U.S. and foreign companies on structuring their business activities to minimize foreign and U.S. taxation.
Inbound: The Tax Practice Group advises non-U.S. individuals and business entities on the U.S. tax consequences of establishing, conducting, and terminating business activities in the United States. Services include the selection, formation, and capitalization of business entities, expatriation strategies and structuring of commercial operations.
Outbound: Our attorneys assist clients with structuring non-U.S. investments and operations and making effective use of treaties to reduce the complexity and tax cost of doing business outside the United States. We work with clients to address such matters as withholding taxes, export incentives, foreign tax credits and branch profits taxes.
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Lane Powell provides sophisticated and comprehensive advice to corporations, governmental entities, and multiemployer plans on a broad range of compensation and benefits matters. We prepare documents for and provide advice regarding the design, administration, and tax treatment of qualified retirement plans (including defined benefit plans, ESOPs, and profit sharing and 401(k) plans), non-qualified retirement plans (including deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, and excess benefit plans), equity compensation plans (including equity plans granting stock options and restricted stock, and phantom equity plans granting restricted stock units and stock appreciation rights), health and welfare plans (including fully insured and self-funded plans, cafeteria and flexible spending arrangements, multiple employer welfare arrangements, health savings accounts, and other plans), and other compensatory arrangements (including change-in-control agreements, long-term incentive compensation plans, and severance agreements). We have extensive experience dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on matters involving benefit plans. We counsel our clients on matters involving corporate governance as well as their fiduciary duties under ERISA. We assist with disputes regarding employee benefit, equity, and other compensation claims, including litigation for ERISA and non-ERISA plans and arrangements.
Charitable and Tax-Exempt Organizations
We assist nonprofit corporations with obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status, and we provide advice on project financing (including financing benefiting from federal and state tax credits), ownership structure for charitable and for-profit activities, joint ventures with for-profit businesses, unrelated business taxable income and tax-exempt financing. We have substantial experience with public/private partnerships and advising tax-exempt clients on governmental relations issues.
Trusts and Estates
Lane Powell has an active trusts and estates practice. Our attorneys focus on estate planning, estate and trust administration, and charitable gift planning for high-net worth individuals and business owners. We work closely with clients to understand their estate planning goals, then meet those goals by working collaboratively with the client’s other advisors to provide innovative, tax-sensitive solutions. Many of our clients own interests in closely held businesses, and we work closely with those business owners to ensure that their estate plans are tailored to address their unique business succession concerns. Our attorneys have extensive experience in all facets of estate and trust administration, including preparation of transfer tax returns and representation of clients before the IRS in gift and estate audits. Several attorneys in our group focus their practice on trust and estate dispute resolution. We regularly represent fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and family members in contested matters before the courts or in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, such as arbitration or mediation. We recognize the important role that philanthropy plays in many clients’ plans, and our attorneys frequently provide advice on the formation and administration of private foundations, split interest charitable gifts and donor advised funds.