Butzel’s Tax Practice Department provides our clients with a wide variety of income and business tax services involving federal, state, and local income and business taxes. Our experienced attorneys advise and consult on the tax implications of proposed and executed transactions. We provide tax analyses of proposed transactions and provide advice on alternatives to address tax costs or to take advantage of tax savings. Some avoided tax costs or obtained savings are immediate and direct while others are long-term in nature.

Advice on completed transactions will involve the likely treatment by governmental agencies and more importantly, an analysis of the sustainability of more favorable tax treatment. Our advice ranges from informal written advice to formal opinion letters.

Our advice can relate to the structuring of a business organization, including the choice of entity. The firm’s Corporate practice often seeks our assistance with structuring mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and similar transactions. The Tax Practice Department’s capabilities extend beyond transactions and into structuring employee ownership plans, exit strategies, and ordinary course transactions. Our attorneys frequently assist tax preparers looking to us for technical assistance with the reporting of transactions on applicable tax returns.

Clients also depend on us for services extending beyond giving advice on defending tax positions, regardless of our prior involvement. Our tax controversy services can start with handling and providing advice in connection with inquiries from or audits by taxing authorities and lead to representing clients in administrative appeals or litigation. Our services range from providing an objective review of issues and advice regarding the strength of positions taken to developing the defense of positions taken and presentation and negotiation with taxing authorities.

Butzel’s Tax Practice Department provides insight into the initiatives of taxing authorities to gauge the likely stands and challenges that may be implemented. Our goal is to defend and advocate on behalf of our clients and to provide analyses of issues with which to assess the economic impact of adverse determinations and the cost of appealing those determinations.


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  • Successfully resolved an IRS claim for penalties relating to foreign financial accounts (FBARs) for $20,000, when IRS position would have led to penalties of $10,000,000 and a realistic projection of penalties was in the vicinity of $500,000.
  • Filed amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 13 state-specific mutual-bond funds, addressing the issue of whether income-tax exemption for interest income from in-state municipal bonds violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause
  • Represented major law firm partner in income tax fraud matter.
  • Prepared numerous filings and applications to present to the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of clients to facilitate the determination that the clients’ employee pension benefit plans remained tax-qualified.
  • Assisted Lakeshore Engineering Services Inc. in their acquisition of Toltest Inc., creating Lakeshore Toltest Corp., one of the largest federal and municipal contracting companies in the Midwest.
  • IRS audit re auction house's 401(k) plan contributions
  • Sales tax/use tax litigation; summary judgment for taxpayer
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