Client Wins

Our clients have the benefit of our outstanding track record, both at the administrative level and in court. This not only demonstrates that we can go the distance, but our reputation for winning means that our clients get the best settlement deals when negotiating with the taxing agencies. The following are examples of some of the wins we have had over the years.

Our Results

[Redacted] Charitable Trust (November 2017)

Wiped out entire assessment of $8 million in taxes, interest, and penalties in a ...
Wiped out entire assessment of $8 million in taxes, interest, and penalties in a tax shelter case. Matter was resolved at the soonest possible opportunity in the early part of the protest phase.
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[Redacted] Fortune 500 Food Company (August 2017)

Achieved pre-hearing win for a Fortune 500 food company. The two issues involved: (1) whether ...
Achieved pre-hearing win for a Fortune 500 food company. The two issues involved: (1) whether interest expense incurred by their California subsidiary was allocable wholly to California--as asserted by the taxpayer--or whether the expense was apportionable to other states (and thus diluted); and (2) whether the subsidiary was entitled to enterprise zone credits. An agreement was reached with the FTB during the administrative hearing briefing stage, which ultimately saved the client the lion’s share of the amount in controversy—over $15 million.
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[Redacted] (July 2017)

Eliminated a $3 million tax bill for angel investor in pre-hearing resolution just weeks ...
Eliminated a $3 million tax bill for angel investor in pre-hearing resolution just weeks before hearing. Issue concerned qualified small business stock incentives.
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American Century Investments (April 2017)

Prevailed in administrative income tax appeal and saved the client company $1.9M in corporate ...
Prevailed in administrative income tax appeal and saved the client company $1.9M in corporate income tax (approx. 75% of the amount in controversy). The issue was whether taxpayer properly assigned receipts to the State of Missouri based on an agreed-upon method in an FTB closing agreement for prior years or whether a general, market-based approach should have been used instead.
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Mannco (March 2017)

Major win representing entity owned by the late Alfred Mann (noted biomedical entrepreneur, philanthropist, ...
Major win representing entity owned by the late Alfred Mann (noted biomedical entrepreneur, philanthropist, and visionary) on the issue of whether the FTB should have abated interest due to administrative delay. Successfully obtained over 90% of the total amount in dispute.
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[Redacted] Payroll Tax win before ALJ for Major Apparel Co. (February 2017)

Obtained favorable ruling before an administrative law judge (ALJ) in a payroll tax appeal ...
Obtained favorable ruling before an administrative law judge (ALJ) in a payroll tax appeal for a major Los Angeles-based apparel company. The issue was whether the company had hired employees or if the individuals in question were independent contractors. Hearing conducted pursuant to APA, which now governs income and business tax cases before the Office of Tax Appeals.
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[Redacted] California/Nevada Residency Dispute (January 2017)

Resolved a California Franchise Tax Board residency dispute with a “no change” audit determination.
Resolved a California Franchise Tax Board residency dispute with a "no change" audit determination.
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Liberty Utilities (December 2016)

Represented Liberty Utilities before BOE in state-assessed property tax appeal and obtained a $29.7 ...
Represented Liberty Utilities before BOE in state-assessed property tax appeal and obtained a $29.7 million reduction of client’s property tax value.
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[Redacted] Income Tax win for Trading Co. (November 2016)

Successfully resolved one of world’s largest privately held trading company in an FTB administrative ...
Successfully resolved one of world’s largest privately held trading company in an FTB administrative income tax appeal worth $8.15 million in tax. Issue concerned whether trading receipts should remain in denominator of sales factor or whether they should be removed as “hedging receipts.”
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G&C Equipment Corporation (July 2016) (G&C II)

Obtained $225,000 in interest abatement in sales tax case based on unreasonable administrative error ...
Obtained $225,000 in interest abatement in sales tax case based on unreasonable administrative error and delay.
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Minimed Infusion (June 2016)

Won Nevada commercial domicile case, wiping out client’s entire assessment of taxes, interest, and ...
Won Nevada commercial domicile case, wiping out client's entire assessment of taxes, interest, and penalties totaling $12 million. Obtained FTB concession during briefing before the State Board of Equalization.
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Mantels & More (November 2015)

Secured win for construction contractor at appeals conference level in sales/use tax case saving ...
Secured win for construction contractor at appeals conference level in sales/use tax case saving client $800,000. Issue involved whether sale took place in California or out-of-state, which affected whether purchaser-client was obligated to pay use tax. BOE held that sale took place in California due to local participation in sale and because evidence showed that title passed to our client in the state.
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[Redacted] Regional Transportation Company (June 2015) Video

Argued before State Board of Equalization as lead counsel in sales tax administrative appeal. ...
Argued before State Board of Equalization as lead counsel in sales tax administrative appeal. The issue involved the proper determination of claimed exempt sales in a period with missing records. Board unanimously held in favor of the taxpayer resulting in three quarters of a million dollars in savings.
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Tax Analysts v. Franchise Tax Board (April 2015)

Dakessian Law founder Marty Dakessian successfully represented tax news publisher Tax Analysts in a ...
Dakessian Law founder Marty Dakessian successfully represented tax news publisher Tax Analysts in a state-level freedom of information case forcing the California Franchise Tax Board to turn over records that it sought to keep secret. Dakessian filed the suit on behalf of Tax Analysts after the FTB refused to comply with a request under the state Public Records Act for access to a pair of multistate audit worksheets that it references on its public website. One worksheet is used to analyze the materiality of audit assessments based on changes to income and factor adjustments. The second worksheet was used to compute the tax effect of forcing unitary combination on corporate entities. Although the FTB denied Tax Analyst's February 2014 public record request, it turned over the records after Dakessian and his team filed the action in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Dakessian also obtained payment of $33,000 in attorneys' fees by the FTB.
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SpaceX (November 2014) Video

Win before Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board involving whether space flight equipment qualified ...
Win before Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board involving whether space flight equipment qualified as exempt business inventory for property tax purposes.
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Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board (September 2014) (Cutler II)

Argued before State Board of Equalization as lead counsel in sales tax administrative appeal. ...
Argued before State Board of Equalization as lead counsel in sales tax administrative appeal. The issue involved the proper determination of claimed exempt sales in a period with missing records. Board unanimously held in favor of the taxpayer resulting in three quarters of a million dollars in savings.
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Daniel V, Inc. v. Franchise Tax Board (April 2013)

Lead trial counsel in 3-day bench trial involving whether investment company’s commercial domicile was ...
Lead trial counsel in 3-day bench trial involving whether investment company’s commercial domicile was in Nevada, its state of incorporation, or in California, and thus subject to California corporate income tax, as argued by the FTB. ReedSmith state tax team obtained a judgment ordering a full refund of all taxes, interest and penalties, thus reversing the administrative decisions of the FTB and the State Board of Equalization. Due to the overwhelming evidence proving Nevada domicile and questionable FTB conduct, Dakessian and his team filed a motion for attorneys' fees. On June 14, 2013, Los Angeles County Court Judge Mark V. Mooney ruled that the FTB's position lacked "substantial justification" and ordered the FTB to pay Daniel V $1.2 million in attorneys' fees - one of the largest known awards under Rev. & Tax. Code Sec. 19717. Judge Mooney said that the FTB's position was "surprisingly weak" and admonished the FTB for its mistreatment of Daniel V during the administrative process.
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Parmar v. State Board of Equalization (2012) 196 Cal.App.4th 705

Court of Appeal affirmed invalidation of tax agency’s longstanding policy of assessing corporate officers ...
Court of Appeal affirmed invalidation of tax agency's longstanding policy of assessing corporate officers during a period of corporate suspension despite lack of statutory or regulatory authority. Appellate court also affirmed taxpayer's right to attorney fees. Trial court eventually awarded fees of $879,432 against the state because of the significant benefit conferred on the public by plaintiffs' counsel under the private attorney general provisions of Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.5.
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Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board (August 28, 2012) 208 Cal. App. 4th 1247 (Cutler I)

Argued before Court of Appeal as lead counsel and obtained published appellate opinion holding ...
Argued before Court of Appeal as lead counsel and obtained published appellate opinion holding that California's qualified small business stock tax incentives facially discriminate against interstate commerce because of their California property and payroll requirements in violation of Commerce Clause of U.S. Constitution. FTB unlawfully denied refund on grounds that businesses taxpayer invested in have insufficient California property and payroll.
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Santander Auto Finance (June 2012)

Multi-million win in case involving client’s entitlement sales tax bad debt deduction. Obtained complete ...
Multi-million win in case involving client's entitlement sales tax bad debt deduction. Obtained complete victory at Appeals Conference resulting in cancellation of entire assessment of taxes, interest, and penalties.
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M/Y Bellissima (October 2011)

Win before the Orange County Assessment Appeals Board on the property tax assessment of ...
Win before the Orange County Assessment Appeals Board on the property tax assessment of a vessel. Marty and his team were able to reverse a determination of untimely filing by previous counsel and then obtain 80 percent relief regarding a vessel originally enrolled with a value of nearly $16 million.
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1033 Tax Deferred Exchange (October 2011)

Win before Franchise Tax Board in case involving a 1033 exchange. After adverse decisions ...
Win before Franchise Tax Board in case involving a 1033 exchange. After adverse decisions at audit and protest, Marty and his team were able to persuade FTB management to withdraw the assessment in full.
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Mica Industries, Inc. (September 2011)

Mica Industries, Inc. Win before State Board of Equalization on issue involving fabrication labor ...
Mica Industries, Inc. Win before State Board of Equalization on issue involving fabrication labor and relief under Rev. & Tax. Code Sec. 6596 (reliance on previous audit advice).
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Alan Berman Trucking, Inc. (August 2011)

Alan Berman Trucking, Inc. Win before Administrative Law Judge in payroll tax appeal. Issue ...
Alan Berman Trucking, Inc. Win before Administrative Law Judge in payroll tax appeal. Issue involved whether individuals in question were employees or independent contractors.
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[Redacted] Franchise Tax Board (June 2011)

Win before the Franchise Tax Board in a case involving apportionment issues, net operating ...
Win before the Franchise Tax Board in a case involving apportionment issues, net operating losses and federal adjustments. Marty and his team were able to get two years' worth of assessments in excess of $6 million in tax totally withdrawn.
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Communities to Save Enterprise Zones (January 2011)

Counsel for Communities to Save Enterprise Zones. Represented broad coalition of Enterprise Zone employers ...
Counsel for Communities to Save Enterprise Zones. Represented broad coalition of Enterprise Zone employers in the legal challenge against Gov. Brown’s efforts to retroactively repeal California’s Enterprise Zone program.
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Cyntron v. Housing and Community Development (November 2010)

Pre-emptive litigation filed against state agency in Sacramento County Superior Court for potential regulatory ...
Pre-emptive litigation filed against state agency in Sacramento County Superior Court for potential regulatory violations involving documentation requirements for Enterprise Zone Hiring Credit. Lawsuit dismissed after agency made requested concessions.
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B&R Industries (July 2009)

Win before State Board of Equalization on issue of successor liability. Case was won ...
Win before State Board of Equalization on issue of successor liability. Case was won after a petition for rehearing was granted and assessments were totally withdrawn. Taxpayer was represented by other counsel in original hearing.
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Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office (April 2009)

Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office resulting in a 65 percent reduction ...
Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office resulting in a 65 percent reduction in property taxes for a large multi-parcel mixed-use property in downtown Los Angeles.
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Argonaut Group, Inc. (January 2009)

Win before the State Board of Equalization involving factor representation for dividend income of ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization involving factor representation for dividend income of noninsurance parent from out-of-state insurance subsidiaries.
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DeVry, Inc. (August 2008)

Win before the State Board of Equalization involving the definition of “qualified employee” for ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization involving the definition of “qualified employee” for purposes of the Enterprise Zone Hiring Credit.
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Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office (February 2008)

Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office in a change-in-ownership matter involving a ...
Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office in a change-in-ownership matter involving a family partnership. Marty and his team saved the taxpayer nearly $150,000 per year in property taxes.
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Jessica McClintock, Inc. (August 2007)

Win before the State Board of Equalization involving the definition of “qualified employee” for ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization involving the definition of “qualified employee” for purposes of the Enterprise Zone Hiring Credit.
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Enterprise Rent-A-Car (December 2006)

Win before the State Board of Equalization involving sales tax treatment of customer satisfaction ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization involving sales tax treatment of customer satisfaction discounts.
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Granite Construction, Inc. (November 2006)

Win before the State Board of Equalization involving the definition of “qualified property” for ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization involving the definition of “qualified property” for purposes of the Manufacturers’ Investment Credit.
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Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office (July 2006)

Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office reversing a change-in-ownership determination involving property ...
Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office reversing a change-in-ownership determination involving property taken under eminent domain.
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Ventura County Assessor’s Office (January 2006)

Win before the Ventura County Assessor’s Office. Saved $10 million per year in property ...
Win before the Ventura County Assessor’s Office. Saved $10 million per year in property tax for residents in Ventura County in a case involving the property tax consequences of residential developments on leased land.
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Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office (October 2005)

Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office. Marty and his team were able ...
Win before the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office. Marty and his team were able to reverse a change-in-ownership determination involving a family partnership.
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Trend Offset Printing (June 2003)

Win before the State Board of Equalization on the Manufacturers’ Investment Credit. Issue involved ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization on the Manufacturers’ Investment Credit. Issue involved qualified costs for purposes of the MIC.
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Kia Motors (September 2002)

Win before the State Board of Equalization on sales tax issue involving fair rental ...
Win before the State Board of Equalization on sales tax issue involving fair rental value for company cars.
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Testimonials

"We retained Marty Dakessian and his team to assist with an FTB controversy worth tens of millions of dollars to our company that had been ongoing for several years. Using his contacts within the agency, his knowledge of the process, and his stellar reputation, Marty was able to help us break the logjam and bring the case to an extremely favorable resolution in less than a year. We could not have done it without Marty and I would recommend him and his team unequivocally to handle the largest and most complex California tax matters."  — A.I., Chairman, Major privately held real estate firm
"Marty Dakessian and his team did an outstanding job helping my clients with $8 million in tax, interest, and penalties assessed by the Franchise tax Board. The income tax controversy involved an alleged tax shelter. We retained Marty's firm right after the assessments had been issued by the FTB. Marty and his team deftly navigated the administrative process, personally met with the key FTB agents and persuaded the agency to withdraw the assessments in full at the protest level. This was by far the best possible outcome achieved at the earliest possible stage in the process. My clients and I are grateful for the fantastic work Marty and his team did and give them our highest recommendation." — R.Weiner, CPA, JD
"Marty Dakessian is a talented lawyer. He understands the intricacies of California tax law, not only in terms of the substantive law but also how to maneuver through a complicated and intimidating process. What sets Marty apart is his ability to communicate a complex tax issue in simple, but persuasive terms. He did an extraordinary job during our superior court trial, winning back everything we paid the FTB and also getting us over a million dollars in attorneys' fees. He is an extremely loyal and honest person, and I count him among my friends." — Ron Lane, Lane Kuhn Pacific
"Marty helped my client, a regional transportation company, with its payroll tax appeal before an administrative law judge. At the hearing, Marty and his team methodically took apart the auditor's case. The results speak for themselves. The administrative law judge ruled 100% in my client's favor, nullifying the Department's assessment. Marty gets my highest recommendation." — M.Wallace, CPA
“In early 2017, we had a California payroll tax hearing before an administrative law judge. Marty’s trial skills were on full display in this setting. His cross-examination of the auditor, his timely objections to the auditor’s testimony, and his ability to discredit the audit report were keys to our success. He followed up by drafting a persuasive post-hearing brief that we submitted to the judge. We received a decision in the mail several weeks later. The administrative law judge ruled in our favor for 94% of the employees at issue and ordered that the Department pay nearly all of our claimed refund. Marty is a natural in this setting and I would not hesitate to recommend him to clients who have cases pending before administrative law judges." — Vice President of Taxes, major Los Angeles-based apparel company
"I would recommend Marty to anyone with a California tax issue. We had a sales tax problem spanning multiple audit cycles. Although it wasn't easy, Marty did what any company executive would like to see--he got the Department to concede without ever having to expend the time, money, and stress of a tax appeal hearing. This resulted not only in a cancellation of the assessments at issue in the case, but solved the problem going forward. Marty's knowledge of the process and the substantive law is unparalleled. But perhaps his greatest assets are his passion for his clients, and his determination. He never gives up. - Principal, California-based manufacturing and design firm." — Principal, California-based manufacturing and design firm
"Marty Dakessian did a great job representing us in our state-assessed property tax case before the State Board of Equalization. His reputation, knowledge of the process, and ability to clearly present complicated tax concepts were all invaluable in getting us the result that we wanted. It was a significant win for us and our ratepayers. We would recommend Marty without reservation to prospective clients." — Greg Sorensen, President, Liberty Utilities (West Region)