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Tax & Employee Benefits

Tax masters

We have advised individuals, families and privately held businesses on tax and employee benefit matters for decades, so we know how to position you for optimal results.


Tax laws and regulations are a maze – complex and confounding for the uninitiated. But with more than 30 years of experience guiding clients through tax and employee benefit matters, Chuhak & Tecson attorneys are masters of the fine art of navigating the Internal Revenue Code to minimize tax and thereby preserve assets – for individuals, families and their businesses. We know the full universe of issues: how to plan for favorable capital gains treatment, solve payroll tax issues, obtain the best results from a large windfall or heavy loss, establish and maintain executive compensation and employee benefit plans, and more. We not only understand the nuances of the tax code, we have extensive experience in representing clients in tax audits, appeals and litigation. If you currently have an audit or tax controversy or if one should arise down the road, we are right there with you in helping to resolve the problem.

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Tax & Employee Benefits Services

Employee benefits and executive compensation

Helping businesses attract and retain talent. We work with management and boards of directors to design executive compensation and employee benefit packages to attract C-suite employees, managers and other key employees who can provide value and growth to a client’s business. The Chuhak & Tecson Tax & Employee Benefits Group advises on a full range of issues, including:

  • Executive compensation
  • Creating and managing welfare and retirement plans
  • Stock option grants, profits interest grants, phantom equity and associated tax issues
  • Planning, reporting and disclosure issues
  • Fiduciary liability
  • COBRA continuation
  • ERISA litigation, including defending against employee claims for plan benefits, unemployment compensation and employment discrimination.

In addition to advising employers, Chuhak & Tecson also serves as general counsel to numerous Chicago-area benefit consulting firms.

Individual and business tax planning

Holistic tax planning. Chuhak & Tecson attorneys have significant experience advising on the intersection of individual and business income taxes and related tax planning. Working with clients to defer taxable income, minimize taxable income and maximize taxable deductions, we advise on:

  • Business formation and helping clients determine what form of entity would be most tax effective.
  • Business income tax planning during the operation of the business and on termination of the business (including advising on business transfer, liquidation, mergers and acquisitions, sales of assets, sales of stock and reorganizations).
  • Individual income tax planning, including like-kind exchanges, converting ordinary income to capital gain income, realizing taxable losses, coordination of individual income tax planning with employee benefit plans and estate planning, alternative minimum tax (AMT), state and local income tax issues, installment sale transactions and real estate sale transactions.
  • Sales tax issue planning, including for aircraft and other retailers and other states asserting nexus.
  • Private letter rulings seeking advice from the IRS on potential transaction or for relief in the event of a failure to file a tax election.
Estate and gift tax returns and compliance

Minimizing taxes while transferring assets. Estate and gift tax liabilities can severely impair wealth transfer from one generation to the next. Through proactive and detailed planning, our attorneys focus on transferring assets in an efficient manner to achieve our client’s objectives. Members of the Chuhak & Tecson Tax & Employee Benefits Group advise on the full range of estate and gift tax issues, including:

  • Gift tax liability
  • Gift tax exclusion
  • Lifetime gift tax exemption
  • Estate planning to maximize estate/gift tax exemption
  • Estate tax minimization through installment sales to grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, annuity arbitrage transactions and QTIP trusts for state estate tax purposes.
Tax return preparation

Preparing tax returns of all types. Chuhak & Tecson attorneys interact with shareholders, officers, directors, managers and owners of closely held businesses on a daily basis, so we are in an excellent position to identify and resolve tax issues. We bring this issue-spotting and problem-solving mindset to the preparation of tax returns as well, as we prepare, or support the client’s accountant who prepares, federal, state and local tax returns for:

  • Individuals
  • Partnerships
  • C corporations
  • S corporations
  • Limited liability companies
  • Nonprofit corporations
  • Private foundations
  • Trusts
  • Charitable trusts
  • Estates
  • Gift taxes
Tax audits, controversies and litigation

Representing individuals and businesses in all types of tax disputes. Working collaboratively with a client’s accountant, Chuhak & Tecson lawyers represent clients and/or support accountants who are engaged in audit and tax controversy matters. We review the facts and applicable tax law and frame a protest putting the taxpayer’s position in the best light. Many of the IRS agents and appeals officers are familiar with our firm and know we will not hesitate to take a case before the U.S. Tax Court if we do not get a favorable resolution and believe doing so is in our client’s best interests.

Because we have extensive experience litigating matters in tax court, the IRS knows that we will represent our clients zealously, which frequently allows us to obtain a more favorable settlement of a tax matter.

We also work with our clients in structuring installment agreements, making offers in compromise, handling collection due process hearings, reversing certification of tax debt to the U.S. Secretary of State (to limit effect or cancel a passport) and defending against IRS summonses.

Transaction support and consultation

Understanding and planning for the tax consequences of business transactions. The purchase or sale of a business can take many forms, and proper structuring of the purchase or sale is instrumental in closing a transaction to maximize tax benefits. Chuhak & Tecson attorneys work with clients to understand the tax consequences of a transaction at the earliest stages, adding significant value to the transaction by reducing the costs of the transaction itself, the tax consequences following the transaction, or both. Our lawyers have advised on the tax consequences of:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Stock and asset purchases and sales
  • Spin-offs
  • Split-offs
  • Reverse mergers
  • Leases
  • Loans
  • Restructurings arising from financial distress, insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Tax-free reorganizations
  • Section 1202 small-business-favored transactions
  • Transactions involving employee benefit plans