Practice/Industry Group Overview
State and Local Tax Controversy
While tax law came first at Chamberlain Hrdlicka and remains a core strength of our diversified practice, State and Local Tax (“SALT”) attorneys bring many years of SALT experience to the representation of their clients.
We represent a full range of clients from individual home owners to public and private multinational corporations for all facets of the, SALT controversy process. Our SALT attorneys substantive experience spans the full scope of SALT including: corporate income tax, capital stock tax, franchise tax, personal income tax, sales and use tax, realty transfer tax, bank taxes, insurance company taxes, utility taxes, gross receipts taxes (state or local), hotel taxes, fuel taxes, real estate tax assessment and real estate tax exemption.
At the state and local level our representation of clients includes audits, administrative appeals and judicial appeals, including state intermediate appellate courts, state Supreme courts and U.S. Supreme Court. This breadth of experience enables us to provide continuity of representation throughout the controversy process, ensuring the highest levels of sophistication and service that our clients need as well as the focus upon efficient case management and cost control that they should expect. Unlike firms that profess to handle "tax controversies," using general litigators and transactional tax lawyers to staff the occasional tax dispute, we maintain one of the most active and highly regarded SALT controversy and litigation practices in the United States, contemporaneously handling multiple cases at various stages of the controversy process. Our clients value this experience as well as the reputation and credibility it earns us with state and local taxing officials and state and local government lawyers throughout the United States Such experience not only enables us to anticipate from the early stages of the SALT controversy process issues and disputes that could arise during subsequent proceedings, but also to successfully resolve such disputes favorably through negotiated settlements.
Complementing our controversy practice is our equally sophisticated planning and transactional practice, which serves domestic and foreign multinational companies across a wide variety of industries, from apparel and tools to construction and energy and internet and technology.
In the area of SALT planning, our attorneys advise and assist Fortune 500 companies about SALT minimization, including
- Transfer pricing analyses
- Contract manufacturing arrangements
- Licensing intangible assets
- Successor liability - Choice of entity - Asset allocation - Corporate reorganizations
Additionally, we have extensive experience structuring and advising clients with respect to complex financial products and cross-border financial transactions, including hedging transactions and captive insurance arrangements.
Chamberlain Hrdlicka also is the sole United States law firm belonging to the International Tax Group ("ITG"), an elite group of international tax lawyers from five continents. The ITG meets regularly around the globe, where members exchange ideas and information about current tax issues and developments affecting multinational companies.
Our domestic tax planning spans the full range of Federal, state and local tax issues. Our practice ranges from traditional concerns, such as corporate, partnership, and joint venture planning to cutting-edge issues, such as the application of FIN 48 to complex transactions as well as administrative and judicial proceedings. We also have significant experience in specialized areas, such as:
- Accounting method issues, including inventory methods and capitalization
- Consolidated returns
- Real estate development
- Insolvency and workout arrangements
- Competent authority negotiations
- Tax-exempt organizations
Finally, we possess significant experience negotiating advance pricing agreements and submitting ruling requests to the IRS, and state and local government officials.
Our track record of achievement for our clients speaks for itself. Some of the featured matters .for which we were counsel follow. A more extensive list is available by visiting our web site.
- Northwood Construction Company v. Upper Moreland Township, 856 A.2d 789 (Pa. 2004) Obtained a reversal by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of a decision by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court wherein the Supreme Court held that it was a violation of the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause for a municipal gross receipts tax to be imposed without apportionment of interstate gross receipts.
- In re Expedia Inc., Tax Review Board Opinion 10-9 (2010)
- Successfully challenged before the Philadelphia Tax Review Board a Philadelphia Hotel Room Rental Tax assessment made against an online travel company wherein it was held that only an operator of the hotel could be subject to the tax and that the online travel company was not an operator of the hotel. The decision of the Board was affirmed by the Court of Common Pleas and the Commonwealth Court. A petition seeking permission to appeal is presently pending before the Supreme Court.
- Philadelphia Eagles v. Philadelphia Tax Review Board, 573 Pa189, 823 A.2d 108 (2003)).
- Represented the amicus curiae, supporting the appeal of the Philadelphia Eagles football club before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which held that the royalties received by the football team from its share of the National Football League's national television contracts was taxable gross receipts subject to Philadelphia's Business Privilege Tax to the extent the football games were played in Philadelphia only.
- Cardinal Health PCS., Inc. v Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 255 FR 2008 (Commonwealth Court )
- Obtained a complete concession by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania while a Commonwealth Court appeal was pending arising from a determination that net worth adjustments resulting from a corporate reorganization should be included as book income when calculating the corporation's foreign franchise tax liability.
- Wissinoming Bottling Company v. School District of Philadelphia, 654 A.2d 208, (Pa. Commw. 1995), affirmed by an evenly divided Supreme Court, 543 Pa. 402, 672 A.2d 279 (1996).
- Successfully challenged the assertion by the School District of Philadelphia that distributors of malt and brewed beverages were subject to the School District's Use and Occupancy Tax. The Court held that the Commonealth's regulation of the distribution of malt and brewed beverages was so complete and so pervasive that the Commonwealth impliedly preempted the right of the School District to impose its tax upon distributors of malt and brewed beverages.