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  • Substantive knowledge and timeliness are the biggest strengths,” states one source. - Chambers USA

    A very highly respected firm not only by their peers but by our accounting firm, our insurance brokers and the stockbrokers that I deal with.” - Chambers USA

Tax & Employee Benefits

McCarter & English's leading Tax & Employee Benefits Practice attorneys advise clients from all sectors on federal and state tax controversies and litigation, multistate tax planning and controversy, 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. Our cross-disciplinary team includes lawyers who provide representation in connection with ERISA, employee benefits and executive compensation matters. We help clients navigate complex fiduciary obligations and plan governance issues, and assess and minimize the risks of ERISA litigation.

Business Taxation

The consideration of tax implications is key for corporations and nonprofit organizations alike. 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 attorneys advise on all aspects of federal, multi-state and local taxation and tax structuring for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely-held businesses, including corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, trusts, sole proprietorships, as well as individual clients and nonprofit/tax-exempt organizations.

The depth of the Group's practice is reflected in the broad range of tax areas it addresses, including cutting-edge real estate investments, hedge fund structure, Subchapter T cooperative taxation and sophisticated forward and reverse like-kind exchange transactions. We provide sophisticated tax planning counsel, from advising on choosing the appropriate entity for a closely-held business to handling complex recapitalizations prior to an initial public offering. We also assist clients in identifying and structuring state and federal tax credit opportunities, including research and development incentives and low-income housing tax credits.

The Group's tax attorneys do not simply focus on the tax aspects of a client's business. Before all else, they are transactional lawyers who strive to understand the client's objectives, then quickly and efficiently complete the client's M&A, private placement, venture capital and investment SBIC transactions.

Federal / State Tax Controversies & Litigation

McCarter & English's Tax Team skillfully represents clients in federal and state tax controversies at the audit, administrative and appeal levels. The Group's attorneys are experienced in the procedural and strategic aspects of litigation and the complexities of tax law. While we seek to resolve controversies via administrative appeal or negotiated settlement, we also have the experience to effectively litigate tax matters to the extent that the situation dictates. Our attorneys have successfully represented clients at the audit and administrative appeal levels; before state tax, trial, appellate and state supreme courts; and before the United States Tax Court, district courts and courts of claims.

As part of our multi-state tax litigation practice, McCarter & English's attorneys represent clients in tax audits and before administrative appeal boards across the country. If it is necessary to file an appeal in court, a McCarter & English attorney often is admitted in that jurisdiction. If no McCarter & English attorneys are admitted in a particular jurisdiction, the firm will represent the client with the assistance of local counsel.

Multistate Tax Planning & Controversy

McCarter & English's Multi-State Tax Team has extensive experience advising clients on multi-state tax planning strategies and the state tax effects of mergers, acquisitions, restructurings and ongoing business operations. The Group's lawyers recognize the expanding importance of state tax issues and the need for clients to address them on a multi-state basis. We are experienced in issues such as corporate income, franchise, personal income and sales and use taxes, as well as unemployment compensation and unclaimed property (escheats) issues in the Northeast and around the country.

Our attorneys monitor state tax cases and legislative changes throughout the country, are frequent speakers on multi-state tax issues, and have authored comprehensive treatises on New Jersey taxes. We have published multi-state tax articles in national publications and are frequently quoted on emerging state tax issues.

Closely Held Business Counseling & Planning

Working in conjunction with the Private Client and Business Litigation Teams, the Closely-Held Business Team advises the owners and members of private companies on innovative succession planning, as well as planning for effective governance and management.

This may involve advising on estates and trusts, gift planning, insurance issues, business ownership or management restructuring, and exit and liquidity strategies. If a closely-held business matter requires litigation, our attorneys are experienced in litigating the issues in court if necessary, and through resolution by negotiation and alternative dispute resolution.

Employee Benefit Programs/ERISA Counseling

Businesses require skilled counsel to resolve disputes arising from tax audits and administrative hearings, and to ensure that benefit plans comply with IRS regulations. Because tax qualified retirement plans and ERISA benefit programs are subject to increased regulatory review – and often are high-profile targets for participant-based litigation – our attorneys preemptively assist clients in navigating the complex web of regulations governing them.

With the Department of Labor's increased emphasis on the obligations of ERISA fiduciaries, the Group assists plan sponsors, trustees and administrative committees in making informed decisions to fulfill their ERISA fiduciary duties. 

On behalf of employers whose retirement, pension or 401(k) plans are in jeopardy of losing tax-qualified status due to failure to comply with tax laws, the firm has submitted numerous plans to the IRS under its correction programs and preserved the plans' status.

In addition to their advisory work, lawyers in the group design, prepare and amend a wide range of employee benefit plan documents including tax-qualified pension and 401(k) plans, VEBAs, ESOPs, health, severance and cafeteria plans, executive-deferred compensation and other incentive plans.

ERISA Litigation

An increased focus on employee rights – especially with respect to pension and health care plans – has increased the potential for liability. The firm has extensive ERISA litigation experience addressing issues such as liquidation of stock funds following a merger, benefits under welfare and pension plans, disputes over severance payments, early retirement benefits, HMO liability, and allegations of pension fund mismanagement and tax qualification misrepresentation.

As national counsel to several top insurance companies, the firm managed one of the nation's largest class action settlements and continues to handle hundreds of opt-out cases in multiple jurisdictions. It also represents scores of other insurance companies and financial institutions in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies.

Real Property Tax Planning & 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 Real Property Tax Planning and Appeals Team has successfully reduced property assessments, negotiated tax abatements and exemptions for qualified taxpayers, and secured incentive packages for relocating businesses. 

Should an appeal become necessary, our attorneys are responsive and efficient in filing claims, dealing with assessors and appearing before tax boards and courts. The Team has successfully handled nationally prominent property tax cases, bringing about new legal precedents.

Tax Exempt Entities

Tax-exempt organizations face many challenges as they strive to provide excellent services and care while controlling costs. The Tax-Exempt Entities Team delivers an efficient, interdisciplinary approach to addressing these organizations' exemption, legal, regulatory and business issues. 

The Team's attorneys have a long-term track record working with tax-exempt and other nonprofit entities and are experienced in negotiating business transactions and resolving disputes before administrative agencies and in the courts. Our focus includes implementing best practices for nonprofits similar to those mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for public companies, counseling on tax and fiduciary issues, and creating endowment funds which expand fundraising opportunities. 

We represent tax-exempt organizations in all phases of operations, and assist individuals and businesses in making charitable contributions to such organizations. In serving tax-exempt clients, the Team draws on its own broad experience as well as the knowledge and abilities of attorneys from many other areas of the firm.

Publications

01/09/19
11/05/18
10/17/18
Joseph E. Bachelder, Andy Tsang
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
09/12/18