TURN THE TECHNICAL INTO THE PRACTICAL

I help accounting firms, law firms, corporate tax departments, state tax ‘think tanks,’ tax policy organizations and tax research publishers do ‘deep work’ and provide practical and actionable insights.

I do the projects that others don’t want to do or have time to do. I dig into court cases, rulings, statutes, regulations, audit assessments, transactions, etc. to identify opportunities, risks and tax policy that should be challenged.

I work with tax professionals, and legislators to learn their perspective and shed light on areas that are grey.

I help reduce unintended consequences of legislation and problems caused by actions taken or the lack thereof.

I turn ‘deep work’ into intelligence and tools that are practical. I communicate the application of complicated state tax authority into easy to understand terminology which allows clients to make informed decisions and act.

It is too easy to be reactive in life and at work. I seek to live and work proactively, and lead my clients to do so as well. I believe extraordinary efforts are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus. I believe in every set of facts or law, something essential is hidden.

I don’t just want to be the best at what I do. I want to find the best way to do it.

State tax professionals solve problems through technical arguments, experience, negotiation and contacts. My role is to make it easier.

State taxes are deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. Contact me to help you turn the technical into the practical.

Let's talk.


SERVICES

I work with corporate tax departments, accounting firms, and law firms either on a project basis, as a subcontractor, or co-sourcing arrangement. 

I specialize in analyzing, interpreting and applying court cases, rulings, proposed and current legislation to multifaceted fact patterns in a variety of industries across all states. The research may be related to developing support for return filing positions, defending positions under audit, identifying refund opportunities or mitigating risk. The result of the research is customized to the client situation and may be a written memo, audit protest, taxability matrix, refund request, private letter ruling, etc.

I also provide accounting and law firms with national tax office services. Meaning, I provide technical analysis of changing state tax laws, draft and edit alerts designed for external distribution, provide in-depth analysis of key issues, support for internal and external training programs, and conduct research and draft memorandums for clients. I also ghost-write thought leadership and provide help-desk and custom monitoring services.

Additionally, I work with tax research publishers to write or review technical material to expand or build out their libraries, collaborate with tax policy organizations on policy statements, studies, articles, reports, comments and testimony, and partner with tax software companies to enhance or build new software tools for state tax compliance or planning.

I currently serve as the subject matter expert for Bloomberg BNA's State Tax Analyzer product, and have served as an author/reviewer for Bloomberg's BNA Tax and Accounting Center State Tax Navigators and Portfolios.

Common Services:

  • Ghost Writing of Thought Leadership
  • Help-Desk / calls / e-mails, confirmation of research, common questions
  • Customized legislation, court case, issue monitoring / interpretation / application
  • Audit and Appeals defense (research, development and preparation of protest) 
  • Return filing position or taxability/deductibility memos
  • Planning memos related to changes in business, structure, activity, etc. 
  • Documentation of state tax impact on business due to mergers and acquisitions
  • Research and support to file refund claims 
  • Research and support to obtain Voluntary Disclosure Agreement / Amnesty 
  • Sales and Use Tax Decision Matrix Development and Maintenance 
  • ASC 740 / ASC 450 (uncertain state tax positions analysis and review) documentation
  • Private letter rulings
  • Written comments on proposed legislation
  • Writing or reviewing state tax technical material for tax publishers to expand or build out their libraries, develop new products, etc.
  • In-depth research and writing projects for state tax industry and professional organizations 

All services are provided for any state and the following tax types: income tax, franchise tax, gross receipts tax, sales and use tax.

All services are provided on a custom flat-fee basis (per project or per month; 6 month and 12 month contracts also available). 


HELP-DESK

Outsource all of your state tax research to LEVERAGE SALT.

Any question, any tax type, any state, any time. 

Benefits:

  • No longer have to stop what you are doing to do a deep dive into tax research or an issue you are unfamiliar with.
  • No longer be forced to file a return without getting an answer simply because you and your team don't have time.
  • Don't DIY your research to get a general answer and still be confused as to whether your conclusion is correct. Talk to a live person with 20+ years experience. Discuss your facts and what you think the answer is.

What You Get:

  • Specific answer. 
  • Copy of applicable authority (i.e., statute, regulations, case, ruling, etc.)
  • If answer is unclear, you will get possible answers based on authority and facts; along with suggestions for changes in facts to get clearer answer

CUSTOM MONITORING

Let's face it - there is too much noise in the world. Too much information. Too many opinions. Too much advice and fear. In the state tax world, things change daily and the research publishers and Big 4 are great at telling us all of it. Unfortunately, you don't need to know 'all of it,' and you definitely don't have time to read 'all of it.' You need to know what you need to know and that's it. You may not know exactly what you need to know, but you most likely know what states, tax types and issues you need to monitor. That is why LS provides a custom monitoring service.

You pick the states, the tax types and the topics you want to know about it. For example, you may want to monitor California, New York and Texas for any developments related to income tax and sales tax. You could stop there or you could make it even more granular by saying you only want to know sales tax developments related to a specific industry like software/technology or construction real/estate, manufacturing, retail, trucking, etc. You could also break it down by topic like nexus, apportionment, sales tax exemptions, sales tax of a specific item, etc. 

Bottom line - go as broad or narrow as you want. Don't pay for information you don't need or don't read.

What You Get:

  • Custom weekly report that only includes the states, tax types and topics you want to know about.

GHOST-WRITING | THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

The marketing departments of accounting firms are always looking for more content to promote the firm. More alerts, articles, whitepapers, etc. The problem is that firm professionals are so busy with client work that they don’t have time to dedicate to thought leadership. Yet, partners and clients are looking for alerts and tips from their accounting firms when developments happen. The Big 4 accounting firms are able to produce large volumes of timely developments because of their dedicated resources. Consequently, LEVERAGE SALT also helps non-big 4 accounting firms meet this need by ‘ghost-writing’ strategic thought leadership.

Fixed Fee (per article or monthly retainer).


KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

I know the challenges tax professionals have in finding and sharing the right information at the right time. Silos exist at every firm, whether large or small. Collaboration has to climb over the barriers of ego and competition. The 'One Firm' motto is often just that, a 'motto.' Everyone is taught to be a 'know it all,' but the problem is - no one can know it all. State tax is one of those fields where every question is a research question. In addition, it always helps to run the question by someone who has experience with the state or has connections within the state involved. Consequently, finding the applicable legal authority and the internal or external expert is prudent.

Accounting and law firms agree that the most valuable asset in their firm is the expertise and knowledge of its employees, but fail to truly develop, manage and utilize that asset. Most, if not all, firms face several of the following challenges: 

  • Not doing enough with the state tax knowledge they produce
  • The quality of work and time to deliver is too dependent on who is doing the work
  • Writing off billable hours because people keep 'reinventing the wheel' and not taking advantage of existing experience and expertise
  • Suffering from information overload from an increasing variety of online and offline sources
  • Having a document or knowledge database, but sometimes neither documents nor people find their way to it

Regardless of the size of your firm, and whether you have a knowledge management or national tax office group, chances are the expertise of your most valuable asset is not being fully utilized.

Knowledge management is getting the right information to the right people at the right time, and helping people create knowledge, and share, and act on information in ways that will measurably improve the performance of the firm and its clients. It is about connections. Connecting people with information and connecting people with people. 

Knowledge management is about creating, capturing, organizing, making accessible, sharing, and reusing information relevant to a firm’s professionals and business model. However, knowledge management is more than content management. Knowledge management is about solving real business problems. It’s about meeting your firm’s need to capture and reuse expertise in efficient and transformative ways to solve client challenges quickly and effectively. It’s about unlocking knowledge trapped 'in-between the ears' of your firm’s experts and making it easy to locate the appropriate expertise within your firm.

I am not a 'knowledge management guru.' I am a state tax knowledge, research and writing consultant that acts as a strategic partner to a firm's tax professionals, national tax office and marketing department.  

The overriding goal is to facilitate efficient, effective and timely delivery of state tax advice to your clients by working with members of your accounting or law firm to provide leverage, and help your firm 'be the hero.' 

To accomplish that goal, I work to ensure that the intellectual and practical expertise of members of your firm is captured and readily accessible by all desired professionals within your firm. My responsibilities include developing, enhancing and updating state tax-related precedents; coordinating the development and refinement of intranet tools and knowledge management systems; monitoring legal and practical developments in state tax law; and training, mentoring and supporting your firm’s tax professionals. 

I also work as an additional research and writing resource in any of the following capacities:

  1. supporting your firm tax professionals by helping with client work
  2. supporting your firm marketing department by ghost-writing external thought leadership
  3. supporting your firm national tax office by producing internal and external state tax alerts, tools, training and other reports or studies


LEVERAGE SALT CONTROVERSY CENTER

I'm in the process of building the LEVERAGE SALT CONTROVERSY Center. A center to connect fellow state tax professionals to identify pain points and develop new strategies to to obtain clarity, mitigate risk and defend positions for their clients or company. 

I will work with fellow state tax professionals to provide research, consultations and strategies around: 

  • current hot state tax topics
  • current litigation around the country
  • state rulings
  • state administrative guidance
  • proposed legislation 
  • penalties (late filing, late payment, underpayment due to negligence, underpayment due to fraud, failure to file a declaration of estimated tax, underpayment of estimated tax, post-amnesty penalties, waiver of penalties)
  • interest (underpayments, overpayments, waiver of interest)
  • limitation periods (failure to file or fraudulent return, omission of income, assessment for failure to collect or pay tax, reporting federal changes, refund claims, suspension of limitations periods, extension of limitation periods)
  • audits (procedure, record maintenance and production, limitations period, audit planning, taxpayer rights, protest of audit)
  • collections (jeopardy assessments, personal liability of corporate officers, liens, levy, setoffs)
  • voluntary disclosure agreements and amnesty programs (relief, lookback periods, limitation periods)
  • administrative appeals (preliminary assessments, final assessments, denial of refund claims)
  • protest procedures (protest periods, filing specifications, bond requirements)
  • judicial appeals (requirement to exhaust administrative appeals, trial court or tax court, statute of limitations, filing specifications, prepayment requirement, appellate courts, state supreme court)
  • private letter ruling requests
  • legal principles (Manifest Injustice, Equitable Estoppel, Statute of Limitations, Equitable Tolling, Equitable Recoupment, Collateral Estoppel, Statutory Rules of Construction (Canons of Construction), Burden of Proof, Regulations Cannot Expand the Reach of a Statute, Retroactive Changes, Doctrine of Consistency, Laches, Conformity

LEVERAGE SALT CONTROVERSY SUMMIT

SOMETHING NEW IS COMING!

The LEVERAGE SALT CONTROVERSY Summit is currently under-development, but will be a gathering of state tax professionals (whether working in a corporate tax department, accounting firm or law firm) to interactively discuss state tax issues and strategies.

Let's flip-the-classroom and truly learn something valuable while obtaining CPE - no more passive learning; no more multi-tasking.