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Comprehensive Multi-State Tax Planning as a Cost Reduction/Recovery Strategy

September 28, 2011

Introduction: The Increasing Multi-State Tax Burden

State and local taxes are becoming an increasingly large expense for multi-state businesses.

There are multiple taxing jurisdictions, varied tax structures and a broad combination of different bases on which state and local governments seek to impose tax. Despite the complexity and magnitude of these multiple taxes, many businesses have not extended their cost reduction/recovery strategies to include a systematic, comprehensive approach to tax planning in these areas. Often, businesses simply lack the personnel and state tax-specific experience to address the numerous and complex state and local taxes. For such businesses, there often are certain areas in which a more comprehensive tax plan can be implemented to minimize state and local tax exposure in a cost effective manner. Three areas that often offer material tax saving opportunities are apportionment, sourcing, and corporate structure analysis.

Apportionment and Sourcing

Multi-state businesses bear a significant burden with respect to determining how different tax bases must be apportioned (i.e., divided among the states in which they do business) and, within the apportionment computation, how property, payroll and, in particular, sales must be sourced to different states.

Apportionment and sourcing analysis, along with a thorough review of potentially applicable elections, can be used to uncover tax savings (cost reduction)—and often refund (cost recovery)—opportunities in many instances. The variation in state tax laws and approaches to apportionment and sourcing can offer numerous planning opportunities.

Corporate Structure Analysis

Multi-state business operations are conducted in a variety of corporate structures. Moreover, states are increasingly attempting to increase the tax burden on out-of-state businesses. Depending on the states in which business activity is conducted, there may be different combinations, structuring or inter-company tax planning that can be done to minimize the overall state tax burden. Again, the varied state tax laws often provide planning opportunities.

For most multi-state business operations, there often are strategies that can be used to combat the increasing multi-state tax burden.

Taxpayers with questions about these or other state tax matters may contact Wayne D. Roberts at 616-776-7514, Steven E. Grob at 313-568-6582, or Sherrill D. Wolford at 313-568-6849.


As part of our service to you, we regularly compile short reports on new and interesting developments in taxation and the issues the developments raise. Please recognize that these reports do not constitute legal advice and that we do not attempt to cover all such developments. Readers should seek specific legal advice before acting with regard to the subjects mentioned here. Rules of certain state supreme courts may consider this advertising and require us to advise you of such designation. Your comments on this newsletter, or any Dykema publication, are always welcome. © 2010 Dykema Gossett PLLC. 

As part of our service to you, we regularly compile short reports on new and interesting developments and the issues the developments raise. Please recognize that these reports do not constitute legal advice and that we do not attempt to cover all such developments. Rules of certain state supreme courts may consider this advertising and require us to advise you of such designation. Your comments are always welcome. © 2017 Dykema Gossett PLLC.