The Reed Smith State Tax Group’s Massachusetts tax practice assists clients by combining significant experience handling cutting-edge Massachusetts corporate tax matters, with a commitment to obtaining unpublished documents that give us an inside view into the current state of Massachusetts tax law.

Our focus is always on achieving the best result for our clients in an efficient and low-profile manner. This starts with our commitment to identifying new issues and unpublished Department of Revenue positions. Our team devotes significant resources to develop and maintain our Massachusetts unpublished document database—giving us an inside look into the Department’s implementation of new tax legislation and other regulatory developments, as well as all ongoing litigation pending at the Appellate Tax Board. With this information, we can advise our clients on planning around tax traps or taking advantage of hidden opportunities to minimize their taxable exposure.

In addition, our team has broad experience handling various Massachusetts tax controversy matters. Our goal is to find the solution that best meets our clients’ needs, whether it is requesting a private letter ruling, negotiating a voluntary disclosure, assisting with an audit, participating in the early mediation program, or, when necessary, representing clients in litigation.

Representative Experience

Among the Massachusetts tax matters our lawyers are handling or have dealt with in the recent past are:

Corporate Excise Tax Matters:

  • Currently challenging corporate excise tax assessments resulting from the Department’s disregard of the separate existence of several out-of-state subsidiaries of an in-state financial institution.
  • Currently advising a Fortune 50 financial institution challenging corporate excise tax assessments involving add-back of interest expense paid to affiliated entities; SINAA sourcing of loans; exclusion of mark-to-market gains from income; and disregard of the separate existence of out-of-state subsidiaries.
  • Represented a national medical supply company challenging corporate excise tax assessments involving deductions for insurance premiums paid to related entities, and deductions for discounting transactions.
  • Represented a national petroleum company in a multimillion-dollar, multi-year corporate excise tax transfer-pricing adjustment.
  • Represented a national media and advertising company in appealing a corporate excise tax assessment resulting from various attacks on the company’s corporate structure, including interest expense disallowance, recharacterization of debt to equity, elimination of “insignificant” apportionment factors, and the disregard for the separate existence of certain corporate entities.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in a multi-year corporate excise tax audit and Appellate Tax Board appeal involving the add-back of royalties and interest paid to affiliated entities, and other issues.
  • Represented a taxpayer in an appeal regarding the proper sourcing of receipts from the sale of vehicle service agreements under Massachusetts’ cost-of-performance provision.
  • Represented an out-of-state taxpayer in an appeal involving whether gain from the sale of a partnership interest should be characterized as apportionable income for purposes of the corporate excise tax.

Sales Tax Matters:

  • Represented a national retailer in challenging an assessment of Massachusetts’ use tax on sales to Massachusetts residents made at the retailer’s stores located outside of Massachusetts.
  • Represented a national telecommunications service provider in challenging sales tax assessments involving proper application of Massachusetts’ tax exemption for residential phone service, and deduction for bad debts.

Mediation:

  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in a successful mediation of a multi-year corporate excise tax audit involving transfer pricing adjustments to management fees paid to affiliated entities, and the add-back of and interest paid to affiliated entities.

Voluntary Disclosure/Closing Agreements:

  • Represented several clients seeking to voluntarily disclose tax, interest and penalties due for income, sales and use, and telecommunications taxes.
  • Successfully negotiated closing agreements for taxpayers not qualifying for voluntary disclosure program, who nonetheless desired to voluntarily disclose tax, penalty and interest due.

For more information on our Massachusetts State Tax practice, visit www.reedsmith.com/matax or contact Michael A. Jacobs (+1 215 851 8868) or Robert E. Weyman (+1 215 851 8160).