As a former in-house counsel for a 65 man company, I can help you with many tax and legal questions that your tax adviser cannot. For example, recently a client who owns a real estate business came to see me because he received a notice from the Tennessee Secretary of State saying that the State had revoked his LLC status. This loss causes a variety of disadvantages, including the inability to borrow or use the courts. What to do?

My father once wrote the corporate questions on the Tennessee Bar Exam, and I learned from his experience. The rules for LLCs and corporations are very similar, and in my 35+ years, I have handled this revocation problem many times. First, I researched the Secretary of State website to find out the grounds for the revocation. I discovered that the LLC had failed to file two “Annual Reports.” This is grounds for revocation. Further research showed me that the LLC had failed to file some Franchise and Excise Tax returns, a second failure that would cause revocation. As a lawyer who used to work with government employees, I called the Secretary of State and asked their advice as to the easiest way to take care of these multiple problems. The person I dealt with instructed me to file the FAE returns first and then approach the Secretary of State. This simplified my tasks. It pays to have government experience!

Following the Secretary of State instructions, I first filed each missing Franchise and Excise Tax return for the LLC. Since I do tax preparation, I have Proseries Professional, Intuit’s flagship tax preparation software. With it, I can file tax returns in all fifty states for individuals, LLC’s, partnerships, corporations, trusts, and estates.

My Advice: Whether you are forming or buying or operating an LLC or corporation, use an experienced lawyer, not a non-lawyer or internet form.

Tax Tip: Add a little pleasure to your business travel. If most of your days are for business, you can deduct air fare. If your trip includes business activities on a Friday and the following Monday, the cost of the weekend is deductible even though you spend it on pleasure.

About Wis Laughlin

I help clients with tax preparation and IRS representation, estate planning, and complex contracts, including LLC's. As a former IRS tax attorney in their National Office. Law.com picked Wis in 2017 and several prior years as one of the Top Tax and Estate Lawyers in Tennessee. I am your advocate, not your accountant. I don't tell you what you can't do. I show you how to do it.
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