Barnwell Consulting, LLC

Barnwell Consulting, LLC is not a traditional tax advisory firm. Although we employ CPAs and attorneys, we are a specialized firm that does not seek to compete with your incumbent advisors. Our goal is to work with you to bring tax savings to your organization through “compounded obscurity” – insight that may only be obtained from a different, fresh, and entirely value-focused perspective.


All companies – big and small, in all industries, even non-profit – pay state and local taxes. In most cases state taxes in aggregate exceed federal taxes. Issues are varied and often complex or esoteric. We have several dozen active opportunities for companies like yours to immediately bring value by reducing costs and increasing profitability through tax savings (often above-the-line). For this reason our client base is quite varied, to include:

  • Household name retailers
  • e-commerce
  • Construction materials
  • Software and technology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Public, Private, LLCs, S-Corporations, Partnerships

Practice Areas

All of our practice areas are based on certain firm values:

Our relationship is paramount. Barnwell Consulting LLC does not have fee disputes.

We elevate relationship over firm goals and objectives – in other words, relationship is our highest value.

Barnwell Consulting is dedicated to “finding money”. We thank you for the opportunity to discuss our services.

State Income and Franchise Taxes

The Irony of State Tax Planning – “After the Add-Backs”

Over the past several years states have enacted complex anti-abuse provisions to thwart state tax planning strategies. These provisions include for example expanded nexus rules, the add-back of intercompany expenses attributable to intangible assets, and more states adopting combined or unitary reporting. This landscape has important implications for most multi-state corporate taxpayers. Of greatest importance, the value of traditional planning techniques has eroded significantly. Even worse, structures implemented prior to 2000 now can actually result in increased state income taxes and risks. We also understand that the rules under ASC 740-10, requiring companies to account for tax uncertainty, can lead to an ironic new kind of “double taxation”.

Barnwell Consulting, LLC professionals have a long suit in understanding these complex implications. We were “there” during the implementation of historical state tax plans – and we understand the counter measures states have taken. With that knowledge we are able to keep companies out of harm’s way. We are also able to think through the implications of these new accounting implications.

In short, state tax planning has become extraordinarily complex. But, it has also become possible to implement a new kind of planning that, like “traditional planning,” results in meaningful positive impact on the bottom line. Moreover, we believe ASC 740-10 brings a “kind of honesty” to the equation that did not exist before. No longer can planners count on the “audit lottery” – or the notion that aggressive planning is justified based on the slim chance that all issues will be audited in all states.

Barnwell Consulting has the background and ability to help companies “structure out” of traditional planning. Bottom line, we are able to understand the double entendre or irony of current state taxation and lower the overall cost. Our services are contracted to bring value.

Refund Analysis

Barnwell Consulting will review your state income tax for open years for refunds. If we find refunds we will discuss the possibility of preparing and filing amended returns on your behalf. Most importantly, and unlike other firms in the state and local tax industry, you are under no obligation to file refund claims should you decide such filings are not in your best interest. Also Barnwell Consulting will always look for exposure areas – and we will not demand any client file a return where offsetting exposure exists. Candidly we have seen this kind of behavior in the marketplace. Our commitment is to bring value, over the long term, and grow our relationship with you.

ASC 740-10 (FIN 48) Mitigation

If your company has significant ASC 740-10 reserves we can probably help. Help comes in the form of developing and implementing strategies that will enable your company to reverse these reserves – often translating into a direct increase in book income. A collateral benefit of our strategies is the ability to simplify tax accounting. Companies with large multi-state ASC 740-10 reserves face complex and arcane accounting entries. Such accounting is quite burdensome and carries with it a high degree of risk of error.

Sales and Use Taxes

Barnwell Consulting provides help to companies with complex sales and use tax issues. Services include:

  • Voluntary disclosure – identifying exposure and resolving such exposure in a manner that minimizes potential penalties and interest on back taxes.
  • Audit defense – helping companies under audit with strategy, protest development and drafting, administrative hearings, research, and settlement negotiations.
  • Compliance – helping companies design and implement compliance processes; outsourcing sales/use tax compliance.
  • Use tax collection policies; nexus analysis – helping companies determine if and/or when to collect taxes, assistance with analysis of changing nexus profiles, strategies to resolve exposure for failure to collect; counsel on changing technical requirement and nexus standards in various states and at the federal level.
  • Development of sales/use taxability and decision matrices.

Business License Administration

Local taxation and licensure has over the past few years become an important component of Barnwell Consulting’s practice. We like to say we are increasingly focused on the “L” in SALT (State and Local Taxation). We observe escalating city budgets, translating into new levies, fees and audit activity. Using local license software with the capability of filing over 70,000 different forms we are able to assist multi-location companies with this burdensome compliance obligation. We are also able to assist with local-focused voluntary disclosures, audit defense and issue resolution.

Property Tax Compliance, Appeals, Abatement

Barnwell Consulting, LLC provides assistance to companies in aggregate with over 6,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Using up-to-date compliance software we are able to assist companies with compliance, bill payment, accruals, abatements and appeals. In some cases we become an outsource service provider, in other cases we perform some or all of the property tax function. Our focus is on bringing value in the area of appeals, and on becoming the low cost provider of compliance services.

Wage Based Credit Services

Barnwell Consulting has extensive experience processing the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other credits based on wages such as the Indian Employment Tax Credit, Georgia Jobs Credit, and similar credits at the federal and state level. Using proprietary software with state of the art data security we are able to bring companies low cost non-intrusive tax credit processing services.

Other Negotiated Incentives

Working with e-commerce B2C and B2B Barnwell Consulting designs and implements significant long-term tax incentive programs, primarily in eleven states that use the “origin” basis of sourcing local sales taxes.

  • Economic Development
  • ASC 740-10 Mitigation
  • Sales & Use Tax
  • Income / Franchise Taxes
  • Business License Compliance
  • Property Tax Appeals and Abatements
  • Escheat
  • Payroll Tax
  • Credits and Incentives
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit