mission impossible?

Multistate tax laws are so complicated that businesses are set up to fail, to be exposed to audit assessments, to miss out on refunds due to expired statute-of-limitations, pushed to appeal assessments because of unreasonable positions by department audit divisions, and coerced to pay computer generated notices simply because the cost of fighting outweighs the benefit. Companies are forced to obtain elaborate accounting software, put procedures in place to comply, and hire experts to plan to minimize tax and mitigate the risk of exposure. The compliance burden for multistate businesses is overwhelming.

State statutes and regulations, court cases, rulings, internal audit division policies, etc. change daily. The constant change and lack of uniformity among the states produces unintended consequences. Even years later, after statutes or regulations have been in place and businesses have complied, states may choose to change the rules again(or sometimes they change their interpretation of the same rules without actually changing the rules). To complicate matters even worse, these changes may be imposed prospectively or retroactively; whichever has the least impact on the state's revenue. Consequently, taxpayers who have relied on the state's interpretation or challenged the state's interpretation, may owe additional tax or be unable to obtain refunds they deserve.


  1. Tax policy must be fair and provide reasonable certainty (no bait and switch).
  2. The tax professional community must have access to the best tools possible (i.e. timely and accurate information), and be able to navigate their way through the minutiae to support tax positions. 
  3. Fortune 500 company tax departments are continually being required to do more with less as state tax complexity worsens. 


  1. Collaborate with tax policy organizations on policy statements, amicus briefs, studies, articles, reports, comments and testimony (positively influence state tax policy)
  2. Write or review technical material to expand or build out tax research publisher libraries (build better tools)
  3. Act as a 'stop-gap' independent contractor to Fortune 500 company tax departments that lack resources to accomplish a variety of projects (provide companies with a partner-level experienced resource who has low overhead and isn't bound by audit independence issues or bureaucracy, so companies can achieve desired results)

This is my mission. Is the mission impossible?

What is your mission?

I challenge you to find it. Pursue it. Engage.