Taxation & Tax Planning

Friday, Eldredge & Clark has a tax law practice that is second to none among law firms in Arkansas. Tax law is central to our full range of legal counseling because we recognize that any business transaction or personal decision you make, whether simple or complex, has potentially significant tax consequences. When advising on your business affairs and personal finances, our firm offers sophisticated and personalized tax counseling on federal, state, and local taxation to maximize your tax benefits.

Most members of our tax practice group have advanced tax law degrees, and nearly all have been selected by peers in the profession for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America – not only in tax law but also in related disciplines such as real estate, employee benefits, trusts and estates, and corporate law. Several on our team have been recognized by Chambers USA and selected as Fellows in the prestigious American College of Tax Counsel and American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. And Arkansas Times named one of our partners as the top tax lawyer in Arkansas. Other firms have tax lawyers; when you come to us, you get the help of exceptional tax counselors.

Because every level of government has its own tax objectives, organization, statutes, and regulations, the rules change constantly, and interpreting them takes skill and insight. We know that your real tax law objective is finding every legitimate way to minimize tax impact and to maximize your advantages to achieve your financial objectives. Whether you are a tax-exempt organization, an investor seeking to maximize tax credits, a company needing guidance on tax compliance for benefit plans or business transactions, or anyone facing a tax audit or controversy, our firm has the full resources to help you.

Business Tax Planning

Choosing the right business entity form to minimize taxes is the foundation of business tax planning, and Friday, Eldredge & Clark tax lawyers are second to none among Arkansas law firms in their ability to advise your company. Lawyers from our firm wrote the Arkansas Limited Liability Company Act (also called the Small Business Entity Tax Pass-Through Act) in the 1990s, and we fully understand how its provisions apply to your business interests. We help you evaluate whether a limited liability company (LLC) or partnership (LLP), an S Corporation, C Corporation, or some other vehicle is the best way for you to meet your growth and financing needs while maximizing tax advantages, then help you create the appropriate management and organizational structure. You also get current advice on issues involving the Arkansas exemption tax, ad valorem property taxes, and the various intangibles taxes and transfer taxes. We are always alert to creative entity variations that meet any business tax planning need.

Most business transactions have potentially adverse tax consequences if not properly structured, so we help business clients—including individuals who own businesses–structure transactions to maximize business and tax benefits and to avoid problems. If you are a company owner or chief executive, we offer you sophisticated solutions for complex tax challenges in structuring like-kind exchanges, tax-efficient real estate transactions, and tax-free reorganizations. That includes sophisticated variations like reverse like-kind exchanges.

If you are a company owner or chief executive, we offer you sophisticated solutions for complex tax challenges in structuring like-kind exchanges, tax-efficient real estate transactions, and tax-free reorganizations. That includes sophisticated variations like reverse like-kind exchanges.

Family businesses pose unique tax planning challenges, and Friday, Eldredge & Clark is skilled at all aspects of business asset and succession planning. We will help you achieve personal and business objectives through effective corporate and tax strategies. Our tax lawyers have advised founders of many public and private companies on estate planning, business succession planning, and financial and liquidity planning.

Personal Tax Planning

We help business owners, professionals, executives, and retirees and their families achieve their financial goals through comprehensive personal tax planning strategies. You get customized tax planning solutions to carry out your particular intentions, minimizing taxes while maximizing financial benefits to family, and fulfilling your philanthropic objectives.

We can help you clarify and achieve your personal tax and estate planning goals for the accumulation, preservation, and transfer of wealth in the context of your own unique circumstances. That often involves creating a variety of lifetime and testamentary trusts and employing strategic wealth transfer techniques to protect and preserve family assets and to minimize the impact of taxes. Our lawyers customize tax plans to suit your particular needs, so that they address all the important aspects of your financial situation, and give you focused guidance on the tax compliance obligations for fiduciary income taxes, estate and gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. We have proven success representing clients in tax controversies with the IRS on such matters.

State and Local Tax

As the leading tax law firm in Arkansas, we have an excellent reputation and working relationship with the Revenue Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Whether your concerns involve personal or business taxation, you benefit from the fact that lawyers from our firm have helped shape state tax law by working directly with administrative and legislative taxing officials. A good example is our efforts in restructuring the state manufacturing tax exemption on tangible personal property used directly in manufacturing, so that it achieves the necessary public policy objectives while supporting the competitiveness of some of the state’s largest business entities. We also have other unique strengths that reflect our knowledge of the state tax code, such as unquestioned leadership in the issuance of tax-exempt Arkansas school bonds.

At the local level we excel at helping you with tax issues that particularly relate to real estate transactions, such as reducing tax burdens through the use of like-kind exchanges. When necessary, we can challenge local tax assessments on your behalf, particularly if there is a need to challenge a contingency ad valorem property tax assessment. Other state or local tax controversies that we can handle for you include sales and use tax audits and disputes.

Tax Controversies

Corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals seek our help when faced with an audit by the Internal Revenue Service or the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, or where the IRS or state and local authorities are attempting to collect a tax assessment. You will get an effective defense in audit disputes and appeals, administrative hearings before the IRS and state and local taxing authorities, and in negotiations with tax officials thanks to an approach that combines a willingness to litigate with the skill to work out a negotiated settlement. Our lawyers have a practical familiarity with the accounting and business issues, as well as the tax code issues that shape controversies, and use that knowledge to reach effective resolutions on your behalf.

We have litigated tax controversies before Arkansas taxing authorities, as well as in the state courts and before the U.S. Tax Court. However, our solid working relationships with appeals officers of the IRS, the revenue division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and numerous local property tax boards frequently enable us to resolve a tax controversy for our clients short of the trial level.

Our tax practice in Arkansas is unsurpassed for our ability to handle audits, appeals, collection matters, and civil and criminal tax litigation. Given our strong working relationships with state tax officials, we frequently can make the kind of direct contacts that get results to handle sales and use tax audits and disputes, and challenges to contingency ad valorem property tax assessments. If you are a manufacturer seeking an exemption entitlement under the state’s laws applying to manufacturing, we are experienced and can help.

At the federal level, you get the benefit of our experience and thorough familiarity with the procedures of the IRS to reduce proposed tax assessments, abate or waive penalties, obtain private letter rulings and other formal and informal advice, advise on IRS demands for documents and other information, and negotiate offers in compromise, lien releases, and payment plans, and other administrative solutions to your tax problems. With the leading employee benefits law practice in the state (encompassing work on more than 1,000 benefit plans), we excel at ensuring that your benefit plan provisions are in full compliance with IRS and Department of Labor tax regulations.