The Tax Group at Cades Schutte is the largest in the State of Hawai‘i and understands the business and legal intricacies of complex transactional tax planning for clients doing business domestically and internationally. Our attorneys stay well-informed on changing tax laws and practices, leveraging their expertise to develop the most effective and practical tax structures and strategies for your business, and prepared to vigorously defend taxpayers before the IRS and State of Hawai‘i Department of Taxation, including in court as necessary.
Cades Schutte is the only Band 1 firm recognized in this area by the Chambers and Partners USA Guides, and in the 2021 edition we were recognized for having an “Impressive bench of tax attorneys with notable strength in both transactional and contentious mandates.”
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.
What We Do
- Business Tax Planning and Mergers and Acquisitions
- Real Estate Transactions, including 1031 Exchanges
- Corporate and Partnership Taxation
- International Tax
- Tax Audits, Appeals, and Litigation
- Housing Development Tax Credits
- Leveraged Leasing
- Pensions and Defined Compensation
- Renewable Energy Tax Credits
- Opportunity Zones
- Tax-Exempt Organizations
Business Tax Planning and Mergers and Acquisitions
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, taxable and tax-free mergers and acquisitions, purchase and sale of assets, corporate reorganizations, and debt workouts for both public and private companies.
Real Estate Transactions
Our tax attorneys have extensive experience working with real estate investors on structuring real estate holdings and acquisitions in Hawai‘i and the U.S. Mainland to maximize their eligibility for capital gains or deferred and reverse 1031 exchange treatment. We also advise on the Hawai‘i conveyance tax, general excise tax, HARPTA withholding, and bulk sale aspects of Hawai‘i real estate transactions. We also have expertise in the tax aspects of syndicated real estate investment offerings and real estate joint ventures. Our clients in this area include many of the largest private institutional landowners in the State of Hawai‘i.
Bringing considerable experience in the organization and operation of partnerships and limited liability companies, our tax attorneys have helped clients with tax planning, formation, asset distributions to partners, and redemption and sales of partnership interests in a tax-efficient manner. Our extensive experience includes drafting complex allocation and distribution provisions of partnership and LLC operating agreements.
We counsel U.S. and non-U.S.-based clients on cross-border tax matters, including cross-border investment structures, the tax treatment of international transactions, and ongoing tax planning for multinational companies and individuals, and advising on controlled foreign corporations and subpart F, Global Intangible Low Tax Income (GILTI) planning, and Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) analysis.
Tax Audits, Appeals, and Litigation
Our team represents clients through all phases of federal and Hawai‘i tax dispute resolution, including audits, administrative appeals, and court litigation. Our attorneys regularly handle matters before the IRS and the IRS Appeals office, the Hawai‘i Department of Taxation and Administrative Appeals Office, Hawai‘i Board of Review, and the federal and state tax courts, leveraging technical tax expertise with experience in resolving disputes and settling cases.
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, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), 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.
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.
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.
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 as well as developers of such projects and tax equity funds. Our team can help to evaluate the tax consequences of funding mechanisms and structure transactions to maximize energy tax credits and efficiency, including partnership flips, leasing, and sales-leaseback transactions.
We guide tax-exempt organizations through their formation, application for tax exemption (including exemption from the Hawai‘i general excise tax for qualifying activities), 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.