Tax

Our Tax Practice Group understands the business and legal intricacies of complex transactional tax planning at both the domestic and international level.  Our attorneys stay well-informed on changing tax laws and practices, leveraging their expertise to develop the most effective tax structures and strategies for your business, and prepared to defend taxpayers before the IRS and State of Hawai`i Department of Taxation, including in court as necessary.

We offer a broad range of expertise; our clients include private and public companies, institutional investors and lenders, private equity funds, tax exempt organizations, foreign investors, joint ventures, venture capital, fund sponsors and advisors, real estate partnerships, limited liability companies, and individuals.

  • Business Tax Planning
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Housing Development Tax Credits
  • International Tax
  • Leveraged Leasing
  • Partnership Taxation
  • Pensions and Defined Compensation
  • Real Estate Tax Issues
  • Renewable Energy Tax Credits
  • Tax Audits, Appeals and Litigation
  • Tax Exempt Organizations

Business Tax Planning 
From emerging startups to established industry leaders, our attorneys have helped in all stages of tax planning to obtain the best outcomes for our clients.  Our expertise includes planning and executing financings, mergers, acquisitions, purchase and sale of assets, corporate reorganizations and bankruptcies for both public and private companies.

Housing Development Tax Credits 
As Hawai`i’s preeminent full service law firm, we leverage our tax structuring, financing and development expertise to provide comprehensive representation in all aspects of project development.  Our attorneys have experience representing for-profit and not-for-profit developers, contractors and operators of low-income tax credit projects in coordination with federal, state and local programs.

International Tax
Counseling both U.S. and non-U.S.-based clients on cross-border tax matters, including cross-border investment structures, the tax treatment of international transactions, the international tax aspects of financial products, ongoing tax planning for multinational companies and individuals, and international transfer pricing, our attorneys have a deep understanding of complex tax matters at the state, federal and international levels.

Leveraged Leasing 
Building on the firm’s broad knowledge in secured and unsecured financings, our attorneys are experienced in navigating the increasingly complex leveraged leasing industry, including structuring multi-tier, double dip and cross-border leases.  Having represented both the debt and equity sides of leveraged lease transactions, our attorneys have a fuller understanding of the most effective leasing structures for your needs.

Partnership Taxation
Bringing considerable experience in the organization and operation of partnerships and limited liability companies, our attorneys have helped clients with tax planning, asset distributions to partners and redemption of partnership interests.  Whether you are considering a partnership as the form of organization for your start-up or exploring a partnership to facilitate a real estate investment, our attorneys will guide you through the intricacies of tax liabilities.

Pensions and Defined Compensation 
Highly experienced with the technical rules of ERISA, our attorneys have helped small and large employers set up federally compliant executive and employee benefits plans.  Our attorneys have provided guidance on pension and profit sharing plans, health and welfare benefit plans, issuance of stock options or other equity incentives, 401(k) plans, cafeteria plans and other non-qualified deferred compensation plans.

Real Estate Tax Issues 
Experienced working with underwriters and REITs as well as the purchase and sale of commercial real estate, our attorneys have extensive understanding of multi-site, cross-jurisdictional real estate and finance transactions.  From the formation of REITs to the purchase and sale of REIT entities, our clients benefit from the extensive knowledge of our attorneys to plan and create an effective tax strategy.

Renewable Energy Tax Credits 
Our attorneys regularly assist taxpayers seeking federal and state renewable energy tax credits for solar, wind, and other alternative energy projects. Our team can help to evaluate the tax consequences of funding mechanisms, structure transactions to maximize tax credits and efficiency, and obtain administrative rulings confirming the tax credit treatment of projects.

Tax Audits, Appeals and Litigation
Our team represents clients through all phases of tax dispute resolution, including audits, administrative appeals, and court litigation.  Our attorneys regularly handle matters before the IRS Appeals office, the Hawai`i Board of Review, and the federal and state tax courts, blending technical tax expertise with experience in resolving disputes including settlements.

Tax Exempt Organizations
We guide tax-exempt organizations through their formation, application for tax exemption, operation, and occasionally termination.  We assist our clients in managing unrelated business income taxes, the use of joint ventures and subsidiary entities, and fundraising including deferred or planned gifts.  Our clients include local, national, and international tax-exempt organizations who seek our assistance in navigating both federal law and the intricacies of operating a tax-exempt organization in the State of Hawai`i.

Representative Engagements

  • Represented international manufacturer in Hawai`i General Excise Tax audit and administrative appeal
  • Represented national bank in successful appeal of Hawai`i General Excise Tax audit
  • Represented Hawai`i corporation before IRS Appeals office resulting in substantial reduction of federal tax liability
  • Represented individual taxpayer in U.S. Court of Federal Claims to pursue significant refund claim

Representative Clients

  • Hawai`i Permanente Medical Group, Inc.
  • Hawai`i National Bank
  • First Insurance Company of Hawai`i, Ltd
  • Outrigger Hotels Hawai`i
  • Kaneohe Ranch Company, Ltd.

Practice Chair

Attorneys