State and local governments facing budgetary strains are taking a two-pronged approach to revenue growth. On one hand, they are developing creative, sophisticated tax and business incentive programs designed to encourage out-of-state businesses to move to the state and to help local companies expand. On the other, departments of taxation are scrutinizing corporate tax compliance more closely than ever and stepping up enforcement efforts in order to offset spending shortfalls.

Jones Walker’s State & Local Tax (SALT) team helps national and multinational clients navigate the complex waters between these contradictory forces. We provide a full range of state and multi-state tax compliance, planning and litigation services that help privately held and publicly traded companies minimize liabilities while enabling them to take advantage of key incentive programs.

Experience Where It’s Needed Most

Our SALT practice comprises a deep bench of experienced attorneys, including some of the most experienced tax attorneys in the nation. A number of our partners are board certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, have been named as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars in Louisiana Super Lawyers, and are ranked among the top tax lawyers in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi by U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America. Prior to joining Jones Walker, several of our partners held senior positions at state departments of revenue and economic development offices.

We regularly speak at conferences and symposia across the country, and have developed a number of seminars aimed at helping business understand tax issues across jurisdictions, such as our highly regarded “Louisiana State & Local Tax for Texans” program.

From our offices in commercial centers throughout the southeastern United States, our SALT lawyers represent clients in matters from coast to coast. We understand that jurisdiction is not the only issue when providing tax counsel; we also develop clear insights into our clients’ businesses, industries, and the tax laws that apply to their unique circumstances. We have particular experience advising large companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production, oilfield services, refining, mining and natural resources, manufacturing, transportation (including land, pipeline, brown water and blue water), telecommunications, broadcasting, paper and pulp products, and health care.

Clear, Focused Counsel

Our attorneys regularly advise national and multinational clients on the full spectrum of day-to-day state and local tax questions. Among other issues, we provide guidance on income, franchise, net worth, gross receipts, sales/use, business and occupational license, severance, ad valorem property, and other miscellaneous taxes. We also help prepare and file state and local tax returns, and work closely with clients’ in-house accounting and legal departments.

In addition to our general tax counseling services, we have developed specific areas of focus that enable us to provide value-creating solutions to clients. These include the following:

Business transactions. We regularly conduct state and local tax due diligence for a broad range of corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, as well as sales of distressed assets and other matters that arise out of bankruptcies, restructurings and workouts. We also help clients assess the tax implications of moving facilities, operations and corporate headquarters across jurisdictional lines.

Dispute resolution. Our tax litigation team is among the country’s finest. We have handled virtually every form of tax dispute and have won key victories for clients at every level of federal and state courts, including administrative tribunals, appellate courts, state supreme courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. We regularly represent clients in audits and hearings, and negotiate tax amnesty and voluntary disclosure agreements that can help businesses limit exposure.

Tax and business incentives. State and local governments offer an ever-changing array of tax and business incentives designed to attract out-of-state businesses, encourage the growth of local companies, stimulate investment and strengthen regional economies. Together with the experienced economic development consultants at our subsidiary firm, Jones Walker Consulting, LLC, we help clients identify hidden or lesser-known incentives and tax advantages, determine the tax and business implications of expanding, relocating or consolidating operations, and negotiate effective agreements in light of changing market conditions.

Government relations. Our experienced government-relations advisors help clients influence tax and public policy before it is signed into law, and promote business-friendly rules and policies in the execution of state and local statutes. We recognize that cooperation, not confrontation, is often the best method for achieving pro-business results. Drawing on our longstanding, positive relationships with elected and appointed officials at every level of government, we help ensure that our clients’ points of view are brought before the right people, at the right time and in the right manner.