When unable to resolve a state or federal tax dispute with the government, a taxpayer must decide whether to pay the disputed tax or litigate the controversy. Arriving at this decision can be difficult because taxpayers may be unfamiliar with the available avenues. Creighton Castle assists taxpayers plan for litigation by counseling taxpayers about their options. For example, one major consideration and advantage taxpayers have before beginning any course of litigation is where the petition should be filed.

Prior to filing a tax petition it’s important to be educated, counseled and comfortable with the available avenues because of what is at stake. For more information, contact Creighton Castle.

Business Planning

We devote a major portion of our attention to matters dealing with businesses and their problems. We have expertise in many areas of corporate and tax law that require significant experience with the cumbersome statutory and regulatory requirements. The area of corporate taxation has experienced radical changes in recent years, including the repeal of many favorable provisions for taxpayers.

Business Taxation

An appropriate tax strategy can create substantial savings for businesses of all types. Our lawyers understand the state and federal tax benefits that are available to Illinois businesses, assist in structuring transactions to minimize tax liability and can provide counsel and representation regarding a wide variety of taxation issues.

Corporate and Partnership Tax

We provide assistance in the following:

  • Choosing the proper entity for the business organization, whether corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship, giving consideration to corporate, legal, and tax implications, liability concerns, and the need for an effective management structure.
  • Business planning assistance concerning mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate reorganizations.
  • Family business succession techniques and buy/sell agreements.
  • Use of Subchapter S, limited liability companies, and partnerships to utilize lower individual tax rates and avoid double taxation.
  • Representation before the Internal Revenue Service or Illinois Department of Revenue regarding income, sales, and use taxes.
Employee Benefits

Maintaining compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a challenge for any business. Our attorneys can assist in the design, implementation, modification and transfer of all manner of employee benefit plans, can provide counsel regarding compliance matters and, if necessary, can provide representation before the United States Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

We provide services in the following areas:

Benefits Litigation

Enforcing subrogation rights; defending participant claim denials; fiduciary litigation; alternative dispute resolution; and counseling and negotiation.

Employee Communications

Summary plan descriptions; summaries of materials modifications; administrative forms; denials of claims and appeals.

Executive Deferred Compensation

Salary deferred agreements; supplemental executive retirement plans; responding to the annual compensation limitation; special rules for tax-exempt employers; rabbi trusts; corporate owned life insurance; split-dollar arrangements; and phantom stock plans.

Fiduciary Matters

Review of fiduciary liability insurance policies; ERISA Section 404(c) compliance; conducting internal audits; exempt ESOP loans; investment management agreements; and handling DOL audits.

Governmental Relations

IRS determination letters; prohibited transaction exemptions; DOL advisory opinions; IRS private letter rulings; "VCR" and "CAP" submissions; PBGC advisory opinions; IRS and DOL audits; and informal inquiries to government officials.

Governmental Reporting

Annual reports (Form 5500 series) review; summary annual reports; IRS Form 990; and resolution of reporting penalties.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Advising on benefits-related issues; purchase and sale agreements; and post-acquisition planning.

Prohibited Transaction Issues

Advising on transactions; applications for exemptions; and structuring exempt ESOP loans.

Qualified Retirement Plans

Designing and drafting of profit sharing plans, defined benefit pension plans, money purchase pension plans, Section 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans, and target benefit plans; plan amendments and terminations; plan mergers and spin-offs; statutory and regulatory compliance; interpretation of plan provisions; Social Security integration requirements; compliance with USERRA; Qualified Domestic Relations Orders; deductibility of employer contributions; advising on participant appeals; and multiple employer plans.

Tax-Exempt Employers

Tax-sheltered annuities (Section 403(b) plans); Section 457 plans; governmental and church plans.

Welfare Benefit Plans

Designing and drafting health plans, cafeteria plans, life insurance plans, disability plans, flexible spending arrangements, tax-exempt welfare benefit trusts; advising on cafeteria plan administration; avoiding or complying with state regulation; retiree medical benefits (including FAS 106); COBRA compliance and forms; employer deduction limits; IRS nondiscrimination rules; Americans with Disabilities Act; Family and Medical Leave Act; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and Qualified Medical Child Support Orders.

Estate Planning and Gift Taxation

The federal government taxes the gratuitous transfer of property whether made during life or at death. The gift and estate tax laws have been combined so that, for most purposes, it doesn't matter whether you give it away now or later. From simple wills and trusts to complex tax savings plans and probate litigation, our attorneys' skills and expertise ensure our clients' families are secure for generations to come. In addition to our estate planning and estate and trust administration services, we provide related services to our clients, including representation with respect to residential and commercial real estate transactions, organization of business entities, and implementation of other business and corporate transactions. We counsel clients on the selection and establishment of appropriate business entities, the design of ownership agreements, and the purchase and sale of existing businesses. We also provide ongoing services such as maintenance of corporate records, drafting employment contracts and commercial leases, and designing buy-sell agreements between business owners. We have found that for the majority of our clients, such real estate and business transactions are integral components of their overall estate plans.

Tax Exempt Organizations

We assist many charitable organizations. We can provide assistance with:

  • Minimizing director and officer liability in the conduct of an organization’s charitable activities.
  • Obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status for an organization.
Tax Litigation

We represent clients before the Illinois Secretary of State, the Tax Court, Federal District and Appeals Courts, and other state and federal tribunals concerning all types of tax controversies, including interpretations of statutory or regulatory provisions and valuation determination and other questions of fact.

Copyright © 2019 Giffin, Winning, Cohen, & Bodewes, P. C.

1 West Old State Capital Plaza | Suite 600 Myers Building | Springfield, IL 62701