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A Better Partnership

Tax Law


Warner’s Tax Law Practice Group provides legal counsel and representation to a variety of businesses and families across the state of Michigan and beyond. We offer transactional tax strategies for entity formation, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and other transactions to get your business off the ground and keep you in business for years to come. Our practice includes the utilization of tax credits and economic incentives, including Opportunity Zones, for an array of real estate development projects. And, we stand together with clients on the front lines when our administrative appeal, audit, criminal tax, investigative and litigation services are needed to defend against impending tax issues or claims.
Many of our tax attorneys have experience working for CPA firms and some are licensed or registered CPAs, so we understand tax law from every angle. We have relationships with CPA firms, consultants and financial advisors to build upon an already cohesive approach to practical, client-centered advice and strategy that focuses on the now and the future.
The services we provide include:


Sean H. Cook



Related Publications


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Jason Byrne
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Sean Cook
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Cameron DeLong
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Carl Dufendach
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Sarah Harper
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Philip Haywood
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Frank Henke
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Paul Jackson
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Laura Jeltema
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Jay Kennedy
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Stephen Kretschman
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William Lentine
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Nina Lucido
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John Martin
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Sara Nicholson
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Jeffrey Segal
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Bruce Young

Representative Experience

Warner Helps Taxpayer Achieve Penalty Abatement
When an individual taxpayer or business fails to file a tax return or multiple tax returns on time, these compliance failures can lead to significant penalties and interest, even though there could be a good reason for the failure. However, the IRS will abate penalties for reasonable cause – a standard that is difficult to meet. Recently, Warner helped a taxpayer who had been assessed penalties of approximately $500,000 for late filing. We submitted a detailed penalty abatement request on behalf of the taxpayer detailing the circumstances for the compliance failure and provided detailed legal arguments as to why the taxpayer should be granted a full abatement. After some communication, the IRS granted the full abatement. This was a tremendous outcome for the taxpayer.
Tax Consultation Leads to Big Profits for U.S. Company with Global Operations
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly changed the way United States businesses (both domestic and with global operations) are taxed. Warner recently reviewed the operations of a business and all of its separate companies located within and outside the U.S. Due to the 2017 Act, our findings determined that based on the company’s future plans, it would be better served to structure as a single organization with the primary location being the U.S. business. It could then be taxed as a fiscally transparent corporation by assembling all of the separate companies with varying ownership under one U.S. parent company while maintaining operational and risk exposure separation. The long-term tax benefits will be immeasurable for this organization and allow it to reinvest the profits into exponential growth and value.
Tax Credits Used to Finance Equipment for New Manufacturing Plant
The federal new markets tax credit program provides federal income tax credits to investors who invest in low-income communities. Warner helped a company obtain financing from four community development entities using new markets tax credits to purchase and install nearly $50 million of equipment for a new 350,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in a rural community.


Understanding Tax Law
Tax Counsel for Now and Tomorrow


Transactional Tax Services and Regulatory Issues
Our transactional and regulatory tax law solutions provide a framework for any business seeking a practical and proactive approach to structuring or expanding its business to maximize profitability while minimizing risk. These services include general transactional tax work, entity structures, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, recapitalizations and many other corporate-type tax strategies. Our Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group has worked on some of the most interesting and complicated deals in the region.
In addition, our funds and investment experience provides insight into the taxation of financial products, debt instruments, options and derivatives to ensure your financial portfolios are strong and future-focused. We counsel multinational corporations on cross-border transactions and have strong industry experience in aerospace and defense, agribusiness, automotive, cannabis, health care, infrastructure and P3s and many more. Click on the links to learn more about our Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group and our Funds and Investment Services Industry Group.    
Business Succession and Estate Planning
Federal estate tax laws now place a greater focus on income tax planning in conjunction with estate tax planning. The decisions you make now can greatly affect how your assets are taxed later. We help implement a balanced strategy that promotes and protects the needs of both the family and the business, with tax planning across all aspects of federal, state and local taxation. This can involve separate transitions of management and ownership and assistance with family meetings to discuss and plan for these transitions including the use of ESOPs which we have extensive experience. We represent businesses and families of all sizes, from small businesses to large multi-billion-dollar international organizations. We are passionate about guiding clients through all areas of succession planning, tax planning, gift planning, generation-skipping and various value-freezing and sale techniques. We also defend clients’ tax positions when under audit by the IRS and state agencies. Learn more about our Trusts and Estates Practice Group by clicking on the link.
Real Estate Tax Credits and Incentives
We represent developers and tax credit investors in real estate transactions involving Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Our attorneys also provide tax advice and counseling on real estate property taxes, investment property taxes, assessed values, taxable values, exemptions and abatements. Warner’s Tax Law attorneys work closely with our Real Estate Services Practice Group attorneys to collaborate our efforts for efficient and exceptional work. Learn more about our Real Estate Services and Economic Incentives Practice Groups by clicking on the links.
Opportunity Zones
Our Opportunity Zone counsel spans investors, fund sponsors, developers and municipalities on the tax benefits and incentives, such as tax deferrals on capital gains, for investments in low-income communities in Michigan and nationwide. Our team of tax attorneys plays a crucial role in revitalizing cities and neighborhoods with the help of progressive incentive programs like Opportunity Zone and PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) which provide tax benefits and help control costs.
Tax-Exempt and Nonprofit Organizations
From private foundations to large health systems, Warner represents all types of nonprofit organizations in a variety of tax matters. Our tax services include the formation and qualification for tax-exempt status, preparation of annual reports and tax returns, guidance through necessary state and federal regulations and addressing tax sensitive governance issues. We help nonprofits, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), with fundraising, socially responsible investing and tax-exempt financing, litigation and other matters involving the formation, governance and management of nonprofits. Learn more about our commitment to nonprofits by visiting our Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group website page.
Tax Controversies, Criminal Investigations and Litigation
Our tax attorneys provide representation in audits with the IRS and other tax-collection agencies and when disputing assessments, collections and tax defense at the criminal level. We have a dedicated White Collar Criminal Defense and Compliance Practice Group devoted to protecting and defending your rights before the IRS and in local, federal and state courts. We regularly negotiate on behalf of clients with tax authorities and provide a wide range of internal investigations, audits and compliance solutions designed to keep your business running and out of court. For more information about our White Collar Criminal Defense and Compliance Practice Group, click on the link.

Case Studies



Sep 2021
September 30, 2021

Cannabis Law Seminar – Industry Insights and Trends From the Legal Perspective

Lansing Center

Warner Norcross + Judd presented an in-person seminar titled “Cannabis Law Seminar – Industry Insights and Trends From the Legal Perspective,” at the Lansing Center on Thursday, S...

Nov 2020
November 17, 2020

Webinar: Considerations for Remote Employees


Warner attorneys Sean Cook, Nathan Steed, Allyson Terpsma and Anne Steen presented a webinar focused on challenges and opportunities with having a remote workforce. As more companies have moved to ...

Jun 2020
June 04, 2020

Webinar: IRC 754 Elections for Tax Counsel: Mastering Structuring Considerations of Basis Adjustments


William C. Lentine, partner at Warner Norcross + Judd, along with another panelist, provided tax counsel with comprehensive guidance on the 754 election for partnerships. They discussed the basis a...

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