Scott M. Edwards

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7010 |

Areas of Practice

Scott Edwards is Co-chair of the Firm’s State and Local Tax Practice and is experienced in appeals and litigation, tax refund claims, audit defense, multi-state tax issues and tax planning. He is a frequent speaker on state and local tax issues and has given presentations for various organizations including the Committee on State Taxation (COST), the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT) and the Tax Executives Institute (TEI). He currently serves as Assistant Editor for the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives and co-teaches a class on state and local tax for the University of Washington’s Tax LLM program. Scott also serves on the Legal Affairs Council, and Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee for the Association of Washington Business, and is on the Executive Committee of the Washington Research Council. Scott is also Co-chair of the Results Committee for the American Red Cross, Western Washington Region.

Professional Experience

  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Adjunct Professor of Law (Tax) (2000-Present)
  • Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, Associate Editor (1998-Present)

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of International Trade


  • University of Washington School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1991)
  • Princeton University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1988)

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Co-chair, State and Local Tax Practice
  • Taxation
  • Aviation
  • Senior Living and Long Term Care Client Team
  • Cannabis
  • FinTech

Representative Matters and Clients

  • HomeStreet, Inc. v. State of Washington Department of Revenue.  (Washington State Supreme Court) (Obtained refund of B&O taxes paid by a mortgage lender on revenue from its retained interest in residential mortgage loans that were sold or securitized into the secondary market.)
  • Agrilink Foods, Inc. v. Washington Department of Revenue.  (Washington State Supreme Court) (Successful challenge of tax assessment arising out of Department’s effort to reclassify taxpayer’s business activities.  Obtained ruling refunding taxes State had improperly assessed and establishing scope of tax classification for processing perishable meat products.)
  • Samis Land Co. v. City of Soap Lake. (Washington State Supreme Court) (Obtained ruling in favor of landowner on claim that local government’s “regulatory fee” was an unconstitutional property tax.)
  • Avanade, Inc. v. City of Seattle. (Washington State Court of Appeals) (Invalidating a tax assessment that imposed tax on revenue generated by business activities conducted outside the city.)
  • APL, Ltd. v. Washington Dept. of Revenue. (Washington State Court of Appeals) (Representing taxpayer in sales tax refund claim, reinstating claim and remanding to trial court to determine whether leased container cranes are real property fixtures.)
  • KMS Financial Servs., Inc. v. City of Seattle. (Washington State Court of Appeals) (Obtained favorable rulings in both the Court of Appeals and trial court ruling that federal and state constitutions limit the City’s taxing authority to income derived within its borders and thus mandate apportionment when a company engages in activities outside the City.)
  • Corporate Express Office Products, Inc. v. City of Seattle. (Washington State Court of Appeals, King County Superior Court (Washington)) (Represented plaintiff; obtained unpublished decision affirming challenge to City tax assessment based on incorrect tax allocation ordinance.)
  • City of Tacoma v. Mary Kay, Inc. (Washington State Court of Appeal) (Won dismissal of City’s appeal of an administrative order awarding tax refund to client.)
  • Barnett & Lim Associates v. City of Federal Way. (Washington State Court of Appeals) (Obtained ruling that liens against owner’s property were unconstitutional based on gambling tax liability of tenant.)
  • Shell Oil Co. v. Washington Department of Revenue. (Representing Shell Oil Co. in appeal regarding proper valuation of barter transactions.)
  • Estate of Kurt Cobain v. Washington Department of Revenue.  (Thurston County Superior Court (Washington)) (Successful refund suit challenging whether estate was engaged in business.)


  • “Brace for Lawsuits: Seattle’s Income Tax on High-Earners Will Likely Face Legal Challenges,” Puget Sound Business Journal, Co-author (July 11, 2017)
  • “Seattle’s Proposed Income Tax Is ‘Deep-Pocket Tax Fishing,’ Faces Legal Challenges,” Puget Sound Business Journal, Co-author (June 1, 2017)
  • “Washington DOR Gets Ready to Enforce New Nexus Provisions,” Tax Notes, Quoted (August 7, 2015)
  • “Be Aware: Washington DOR Forming Unit to Enforce New B&O Tax on Out-of-State Wholesalers,” Lane Powell Legal Update, Co-author (August 3, 2015)
  • “Governor Inslee Proposes $1.5 Billion of New Revenue, Including a 7 Percent Personal Tax on Capital Gains,” Lane Powell Legal Update, Co-author (January 20, 2015)
  • “State Supreme Court Rules on Scope of B&O Tax Mortgage Interest Deduction,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (November/December 2014)
  • “About That Audit: Business, Tax Collectors Talk Ideas For Resolving Appeals Issues,” Washington State Wire, Quoted (November 24, 2014)
  • “Senseless (in) Seattle: Confusing Application of City’s B&O Tax Leaves Services Businesses in a Quandary,” Seattle Business magazine, Co-author (August 2014)
  • “The Good and the Bad for Washington Companies — State Taxes and the Business Climate,” Seattle Business magazine (December 2011)
  • “Taxing Times — In the New Year, the Legislature Must Balance a Growing Budget Deficit With the Voters’ Strong Anti-Tax Sentiment,” Seattle Business magazine (January 2011)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Current Developments in the Pacific Northwest States (Ex Oregon)”; “Discussion of National State Tax Cases and Issues”; and “Market-Based Sourcing and Other Challenging Apportionment Issues,” Council on State Taxation (COST) Pacific Northwest Regional State Tax Seminar, Co-presenter (November 1, 2017)
  • “States Are Interested in You: State Expansion of Nexus Concepts in Business Taxes,” The Institute for Professionals in Taxation Seattle Luncheon, Co-presenter (May 26, 2016)
  • “Current Trends and State Initiatives:  Their Impact on Sales and Use Tax Audits,” National Business Institute’s Sales and Use Tax Audits Seminar (November 10, 2014)
  • “What Is Fair Apportionment and How Do I Get It?” The Knowledge Group Webcast, Panelist (September 30, 2014)
  • “Overview of Sales and Use Tax in Washington;” “Nexus, Trailing Nexus and Sourcing Rules,” Lorman Education Services Tax Strategies Seminar (November 8, 2013)
  • “Ethics — Protecting Confidential Taxpayer Information,” Hartman 20th Annual State and Local Tax Forum (October 28, 2013)
  • “Transparency Under a Different Light: Discovery, Settlements and Confidentiality,” American Bar Association Section of Taxation 2013 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, Panelist (September 20, 2013)
  • “Manufacturing and Production Sales Tax Exemptions: Not Just for Manufacturers,” Strafford Tax Professionals Teleconference, Panelist (September 18, 2013)
  • “Nexus Update and the Impact of Market Based Sourcing,” Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Spring Tax Conference (May 17, 2013)
  • “Current Legal Issues in Commercial Real Estate,” Building Owners and Managers Association International’s 1-Day Education Conference (May 23, 2011)
  • “Real vs. Personal Property,” The Institute for Professionals in Taxation (March 3, 2011)
  • “Real vs. Personal Property,” Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Washington State Tax Conference (May 15, 2009)
  • “Advance Sales and Use Tax,” Lorman Education Services (May 1, 2008)
  • “Streamlined Sales Tax Project in Washington,” Lorman Education Services (February 28, 2008)
  • “Apportioning Gross Receipts Taxes on Interstate Commerce: Ford Motor Co. v. Seattle,”American Bar Association Section of Taxation (September 28, 2007)
  • “Appeals and Litigation — What You Need to Know,” IPT Sales Tax Symposium (September 22, 2006)

Awards and Honors

  • Named as one of The Best Lawyers in America®, Tax (2012-2018)
  • Named as a “Washington Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers® magazine, Tax (2012-2017)

Professional and Community Activities

  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, State and Local Tax Committee
    • Co-chair, Miscellaneous Taxes (Including Gross Receipts Taxes) Subcommittee
  • Association of Washington Business
    • Legal Affairs Council
    • Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee
  • American Red Cross, Western Washington Region
    • Member, Board of the Directors
    • Co-chair, Results Committee
  • Member, Executive Committee, Washington Research Council

Scott M. Edwards

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7010 |