Detroit Tax Lawyers | Michigan Property Tax Attorneys | Wayne County Business Taxation
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Practice Areas


The tax attorneys at Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker provide individuals, businesses, trusts and estates, and tax-exempt organizations with creative tax planning in a responsive and cost efficient manner.

Business Taxation
We combine business planning and tax to assist clients in structuring transactions that meet business objectives in the most tax-effective manner.  We often work on transactions in the early stages to not only avoid tax problems, but to ensure that all tax planning opportunities are explored.  We provide tax input in clients' transactions, including the creation, sale, purchase and dissolution of business and real estate entities, partnership issues, pension planning, employee benefits and executive compensation.

Real Estate Taxation
We work closely with our real estate clients in structuring real estate deals and transactions, including like-kind exchanges, installment sales, loan restructurings, and foreclosures. We also regularly represent commercial real estate owners before state taxing authorities on seeking reductions in real property assessments. While we are willing and able to advance a client's position at the Tax Tribunal or higher appellate levels, we are often able to save our clients legal fees by obtaining a reduction of a client's assessment through negotiations with the local Property Assessor.

Lender Representation in Restructuring of Real Estate Loans
We handle the tax aspects of work-outs and represent lenders in the restructuring of real estate loans.

Estate and Trust Taxation
Without proper planning, transfer taxes can deprive surviving family members of a significant portion of the estate that a client has created by a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice. Our tax and estate planning lawyers work together to create estate plans and gifting programs designed to meet our client's goals of transferring wealth to future generations in the most tax-efficient manner. To achieve this objective, our tax attorneys thoroughly analyze the income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax implications of transfers and work with our estate planners to structure estate plans and lifetime gifting programs creatively. Our tax attorneys also work with our estate and trust administration attorneys to review post-mortem tax planning opportunities available to increase the amount passing to a deceased client's surviving family.

Tax-Exempt and Charitable Entities
We also counsel tax-exempt entities on qualification, formation, and operation issues. We obtain tax-exempt status rulings from the IRS, and register tax-exempt organizations at the state level. We also advise tax-exempt entities on UBTI issues and structuring joint ventures with for-profit entities.  On the personal planning side, we create and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status for private foundations. Our tax lawyers advise clients in connection with numerous charitable giving techniques, and act as advisers to major national and international charities as well.

Tax Controversy and Litigation
We represent clients in IRS audits at each stage of the audit and appeal process.  While we are often able to resolve issues at the IRS level, we will, when necessary, advance our client's position at the lower court (U.S. Tax Court, District Court, or Court of Claims) and appellate court levels.

Pre-Immigration U.S. Tax Planning
We work closely with foreign nationals, typically Non-Resident Aliens, pursuing lawful permanent residency in the United States by visa programs including EB-5 and E-2. We combine business, estate and gift, and tax planning to plan and implement strategies that minimize a client’s tax burden associated with obtaining a green card and becoming subject to the United States’ system of worldwide taxation. We work closely with clients and their existing immigration counsel and professional team from early stage pre-immigration planning to post-immigration planning and counsel on issues of compliance and reporting obligations.