Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett’s tax attorneys advise clients on federal, state and local tax controversies and litigation, tax planning and controversy, personal and closely held business counseling and planning, and real property tax planning and appeals. We also represent tax exempt entities in all phases of operations, and assist clients in making contributions to such organizations.
The consideration of tax implications is important for corporations, closely-held businesses and nonprofit organizations. Businesses require accurate guidance on today's complex and continually changing federal and state tax laws as they relate to a full range of transactions including asset-based financings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations and bankruptcies.
Our tax attorneys advise on all aspects of federal, multi-state and local taxation and tax structuring for clients including corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, sole proprietorships, as well as individual clients and nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations.
We provide tax planning advice and assist clients in structuring transactions to achieve the best results under federal, state and local tax laws. From advising on choosing the appropriate entity for a closely-held business to directing the sale or dissolution of a business or its assets or business succession planning, our tax attorneys help identify and plan for the associated tax consequences to help clients reach their goals.
Federal Tax Controversy & Tax Resolution
The tax lawyers at Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett represent businesses and individuals before the Internal Revenue Service in tax controversies and litigation. Our tax attorneys have successfully resolved federal tax problems for individuals and businesses involving income, estate and gift, payroll, employment and excise taxes in all phases of the tax controversy process, from the beginning of the civil tax audit, to the preparation of tax protests and negotiation with IRS Appeals, to litigation in the United States Tax Court and in the Federal District Courts.
We have substantial experience in international and domestic tax issues, worker classification, the defense of trust fund liability assertions, obtaining releases of IRS bank levies and federal tax liens, claims for innocent spouse relief, penalty abatements and the negotiation of installment agreements under the IRS Fresh Start Program and Offers-in-Compromise with the IRS. Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett’s tax lawyers counsel taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts or assets regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”) and assist employers in qualifying for the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) to voluntarily reclassify workers as employees for future tax periods.
Our tax lawyers have expertise finding solutions to IRS collection problems.
Louisiana State and Local Tax Controversy & Tax Resolution
Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett’s tax attorneys skillfully represent clients in state and local tax matters involving state income tax, corporation income and franchise taxes, withholding tax and state and local sales and use tax at the audit, administrative and appeal levels.
We have a comprehensive understanding of the tax procedures and tax controversy process in Louisiana and when state or local controversies cannot be resolved through administrative appeal or negotiated settlement, we represent clients in Louisiana state courts and in the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals.
In addition, our tax lawyers routinely negotiate installment agreements with the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the local tax collectors in Louisiana’s 64 parishes, assist taxpayers in making voluntary disclosures to state and local taxing authorities and advise businesses with respect to apportionment and allocation of income among the states in which they operate.
Real Property Tax and Appeals
Property tax assessments around the nation have risen dramatically in recent years, creating a greater burden for businesses, developers, agencies and financial institutions. The firm's tax attorneys counsel clients with respect to property assessments and exemptions for qualified taxpayers.
Should an appeal become necessary, our attorneys are responsive and efficient in filing claims, dealing with assessors and appearing before tax boards and courts.
Tax Exempt Entities
Tax-exempt organizations face many challenges as they strive to provide excellent services and care while controlling costs.
The tax lawyers at Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett advise and represent tax-exempt organizations in all phases of operations, and assist individuals and businesses in making charitable contributions to such organizations.
Estate Tax and Capital Gains Tax Planning
As a result of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the federal estate tax exemption in 2015 is $5.43 million per individual (a married couple obtains the benefit of two exemptions to exclude nearly $11 million from their combined taxable estates) and the exemption amount is automatically indexed for inflation.
Therefore, the estate-planning focus for high-net worth individuals has shifted to minimizing capital-gains taxes and income tax planning. Surviving spouses can now claim the unused portion of their partner’s estate tax exemption, although the survivor must file IRS Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, within nine months of the death to claim the unused exemption.
Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett’s tax attorneys are available to advise clients in reviewing their estate plans to determine if they might realize tax savings on capital gains by choosing carefully which asset to hold on to until death in order to obtain a “step-up” in basis and avoid capital-gains tax on appreciation of such assets.
Couples who still maintain tax-saving trusts that they set up years ago in order to avoid estate taxes, could actually raise taxes for their heirs, because there will be no step-up in basis on the subsequent growth of the assets held in trust. By leaving the same assets directly to a spouse, future growth could escape capital-gains tax at the second death.
Individuals who established more sophisticated tax-saving vehicles, such as a grantor-retained annuity trust (GRAT), should also examine them with a step-up in mind. GRATs are used to transfer the appreciation in an asset that is expected to increase in value free of estate tax. However, if the asset has a low-cost basis, it might be more advantageous to replace a low-cost asset in the GRAT with a higher cost asset.
The tax lawyers at Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett are available to assist clients in re-evaluating their estate plans to accomplish transfers of assets to their heirs and to minimize taxes on death.