Prentiss Willson

Of Counsel
Sacramento,  CA  U.S.A.

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AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Tax
  • Tax Controversy & Litigation
  • State and Local Tax
Contact InfoTelephone: 916.241.0500
Fax: 916.241.0501
University Occidental College, A.B.
Law SchoolHarvard Law School, J.D.
Admitted1969, California
BornSeptember 20, 1943

With more than 40 years of experience in state and local tax, Prentiss Willson is widely recognized as the dean of California taxation, having participated in approximately a dozen state and local tax cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and represented hundreds of taxpayers in disputes in California and across the country.
Prentiss began his career at Morrison & Foerster LLP, where at various times he was managing partner of the San Francisco office, chair of the firm's tax department and chair of the firm's state and local tax group. In 1998, he moved to Ernst & Young LLP as partner and national director of state and local tax practice and procedure. After retiring from Ernst & Young in 2002, Prentiss started his own law practice advising clients across the country, and he began working with Sutherland in 2012.
A frequent speaker and author on state and local taxation, Prentiss taught tax courses at Stanford Law School, University of San Francisco Law School and Golden Gate University Graduate School of Taxation.

Awards and Rankings

Recipient, The California State Bar Benjamin F. Miller Award (2014)

Recipient, The California State Bar Joanne Garvey Award for Lifetime Service to the Bar (2010)

Recipient, BNA's Franklin C. Latcham Award for Distinguished Service in State and Local Tax Law (2009)

Recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the 40 top tax lawyers in America (1981)


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More Than Just a Little Bit - New Jersey Division of Taxation Says Convertible Virtual Currency Transactions, Like Bitcoins, Are Subject to State Sales and Use Tax, Corporation Business Tax and Gross Income Tax
Robert P. Merten,Prentiss Willson, June 26, 2015
The New Jersey Division of Taxation has issued a technical advisory memorandum (TAM) explaining New Jersey’s tax position that transactions involving convertible virtual currency - “electronic/digital money” with an equivalent or substitute value in real currency, such as bitcoins...

Massachusetts Issues Final Revised Market-Sourcing Regulation; Multistate Tax Commission Working Group Continues Project Based on Massachusetts Regulation
Robert P. Merten,Prentiss Willson, February 13, 2015
Massachusetts has published its final revised market-sourcing regulation (830 CMR 63.38.1), effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. The final revisions to these rules, among other things, conform the regulation with recent state law amendments requiring taxpayers to use...

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Office Information

Prentiss Willson

500 Capitol Mall, Suite 2500
SacramentoCA 95814


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