Photo of Lynn A. GandhiPhoto of Lynn A. Gandhi

Lynn A. Gandhi

Partner
Co-Leader, State and Local Tax Practice Group

Education

New York University School of Law, LL.M.
  • Taxation
Wayne State University Law School, J.D.
  • Wayne Law Review
Kalamazoo College, B.A.

Prior Employment

  • Visteon Corporation, Tax Counsel and Director
  • CMS Energy, Senior Tax Attorney
  • Praxair, Inc. (and predecessor company), Corporate Tax Counsel

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Languages

  • Italian

Professional Affiliations

Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Board Member

Bloomberg BNA, State Tax Advisory Board, 2015-present

CCH State Income Tax Alert, Advisory Board, 2006-present

Hartman State and Local Tax Forum at Vanderbilt University Law School, Advisory Board Member, 2005-present

American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, State and Local Tax Committee

State Bar of Michigan, Taxation Section, Chair Ex Officio

Council on State Taxation, Board Member, 1986-2006

Overview
Experience
Community
News & Resources
Honors

Overview

Lynn Gandhi is a well-recognized and accomplished state tax attorney with more than three decades of experience, including 14 years as corporate in-house counsel. Lynn advises her clients on sophisticated multistate tax planning, audits, appeals, and litigation and represents them in legislative and policy initiatives across multiple industry platforms. Her clients come from across the country and include many Fortune 500 companies, as well as small and large Michigan-based businesses. She has advised clients in resolving tax disputes in almost every state.

Named by State Tax Notes as one of the “best in the profession” in a 2014 feature article, Lynn is known for her enthusiasm and for her engagement with tax policy initiatives that affect taxpayers in Michigan and beyond. In recent years she has helped to push through legislative and administrative changes large and small, which have benefitted taxpayers of all types and sizes.

Lynn is a sought out as an opinion shaper and subject matter expert in her professional community. She is a Michigan Chamber of Commerce board member, Bloomberg BNA State Tax Advisory Board member, and a former member of the Council on State Taxation (COST) board, to name a few of her many roles. She has written extensively and frequently speaks on state tax matters, having published more than 60 articles and spoken or presented at over 75 events. She presently writes a State Tax Notes column entitled Smitten With the Mitten. Lynn is also an adjunct professor at Wayne Law, her alma mater.

  • Works on tax controversy and litigation matters in Michigan and other states, appearing before state treasury departments, independent tax tribunals, and trial and appellate courts
  • Well-versed in all types of Michigan taxes, including business indirect taxes, unemployment taxes, gaming excise taxes, captive insurance company taxes, officer liability exposure, offers-in-compromise, and voluntary disclosure agreements
  • Assists clients with unclaimed property matters through reporting and oversight support, audit management, voluntary disclosure submissions, and litigation
  • Engages in tax due diligence and reviews tax risks, working with clients to assist in mitigating identified risks
  • Provides clients with guidance on incentive opportunities at the federal, state, and local level, including:
    • State and municipal grants, loans, and brownfield tax increment financing
    • Federal New Markets and Historic Tax Credits
    • Real and personal property tax abatements
    • Land bank opportunities
  • Certified Public Accountant registered in Michigan and Illinois
  • Registered lobbyist in Michigan representing clients on tax legislative initiatives

Experience

  • Currently leading a multistate personal property tax review to mitigate global automotive supplier’s potential exposure for tooling and equipment
  • Successfully defending the imposition of nexus by the City of Detroit on a passive investment company 
  • Secured a Technical Advice Letter that permitted client to retain more than $450 million in state tax credits upon corporate reorganization after client had previously received negative guidance
  • Obtained the first decision exempting cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) transactions from tax in Michigan
  • Abated multiple penalty assessments by substantiating clients’ lack of intentional negligence
  • Overturned audit findings for digital merchandiser on the basis of incorrect statistical sampling methodology resulting in minimum audit findings
  • Obtained numerous decisions granting sales tax exemptions for clients’ industrial processing equipment
  • Lead tax counsel for bankruptcy claims regarding state tax preferences
  • Obtained a favorable decision at the Michigan Supreme Court on qualification for the industrial processing sales tax exemption resulting in refunds to clients in excess of $100 million dollars
  • Successfully litigated and settled complex multi-year unitary cases in California and Illinois
  • Secured a minimum payout from a tax indemnification claim based on multistate sales tax nexus
  • Converted nexus assessment for technology client into multistate refund claims received by client in excess of $500,000
  • Successfully defended multimillion-dollar assessments in the areas of unitary group determination and multistate apportionment issues
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar incentive packages for development projects with unprecedented challenges while forging strong relationships with local officials
  • Obtained incentives and tax increment financing exceeding $100 million for industrial and commercial developments
  • Contested a multimillion-dollar unclaimed property assessment resulting in a favorable holder settlement
  • Developed unclaimed property processes and reporting procedures for a Fortune 100 company and successfully defended a multistate unclaimed property audit resulting in a minimum claim
  • Led successful initiatives to enact tax legislation to remove Michigan’s pay-to-play judicial requirement, unlimited statute of limitations waiver, and passage of affiliate group election for unitary reporting

Community

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Board of Directors

Cranbrook Art Museum and Academy, Museum Committee

Community Legal Resources, Volunteer Attorney

News & Resources

News

Press Releases

Publications

A selection of Lynn’s recent articles as the Smitten With the Mitten columnist in State Tax Notes includes the following:

  • An Interview With Michigan Treasurer Nick A. Khouri (November 20, 2017)
  • There’s a New Sheriff in Town (August 21, 2017)
  • Transformational Brownfields — A New Idea? (July 17, 2017)
  • Play Ball! The Detroit ‘Jock Tax’ (May 1, 2017)
  • Negligence, Intentional Disregard, and Fraud (March 20, 2017)
  • No Time to Intervene, It’s the End of 2016 (January 2, 2017)
  • It’s Hard to Build without a Strong Foundation (November 28, 2016)
  • The Paper Chase Goes Digital (September 7, 2016)
  • Hamilton and Taxes (August 24, 2016)
  • The Belle of the Ball — A Unitary Case of First Impression (June 20, 2016)
  • IBM, the Prequel: The Compact Election and the Single Business Tax (April 11, 2016)
  • Ticktock — Time for Refunds and More (February 22, 2016)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Other Holiday Excess (January 4, 2016)
  • Michigan's Taxation of Estates, Trusts, and Beneficiaries (November 23, 2015)
  • IBM v. Department of Treasury, Round 2 (October 5, 2015)
  • SALTy Stories, Part I (September 7, 2015)
  • Shhh, No More Pay to Play in Michigan (August 10, 2015)
  • Using Decision Tree Analysis in State Tax Controversies and IBM (May 19, 2015)
  • Did You Receive a City Assessment? Michigan Cities’ Appeals Process (June 15, 2015)
  • UP, UP, and Away (April 7, 2015)
  • Cloudy Skies Forecast (March 2, 2015)

Other recent and notable publications include the following:

  • Determining Where the Benefit of Services Is Received For Purposes of the Michigan Corporate Income Tax (November 27, 2015)
    Bloomberg BNA Tax Management: Weekly State Tax Report
  • Michigan’s Treatment of Flow-Through Entities Under Its New Corporate Income Tax Nexus Standards (April 3, 2014)
    BNA Insights: The Daily Tax Report
  • 2150 T.M., Michigan Business Tax (co-author)
    Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolio
  • 1840 T.M., State Taxation of Construction Contractors (author)
    Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolio

Seminars & Events

  • Top Ten Cases in State Tax, Paul J. Hartman State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, TN
    November 8-10, 2017, Speaker
  • City Income Taxes – The Detroit Story, MICPA Michigan Tax Conference, Livonia, MI
    November 2, 2017, Speaker
  • Requesting Advice From the States, COST Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL
    October 22-25, 2017, Speaker
  • The Year in Review: Nasty States, Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT) Sales Tax Symposium, San Antonio, TX
    September 17-20, 2017, Speaker
  • Survivor Ethics: How Well Do You Know the Ethical Rules?, Advanced State & Local Tax Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
    July 27-28, 2017, Presenter
  • COST Midwest Regional Meeting, Cincinnati, OH
    July 20, 2017
  • Update on City Income Tax – Detroit and More, State Bar of Michigan Annual Tax Conference, Plymouth, MI
    May 25, 2017, Speaker
  • Privilege and Privacy in Audits, Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (UPPO) Annual Conference, Austin, TX
    March 19-22, 2017, Speaker
  • Extrapolation and Sampling – Best Practices to Contest Their Use and Methodology, COST Sales Tax Conference & Audit Session, San Antonio, TX
    February 26-March 1, 2017, Speaker
  • Ethics – Dilemmas Facing State Tax Industry Executives, Deloitte Multistate Symposium, Orlando, FL
    February 1-3, 2017, Panelist
  • Regional Update: Michigan, Annual Ohio Tax Conference, Columbus, OH
    January 24-25, 2017, Presenter
  • Michigan Update, Institute for Professionals in Taxation Annual Conference, Traverse City, MI
    June 12-15, 2016, Moderator/Speaker
  • Top Ten State Tax Cases with Significant Impact on State Tax Policy, Annual Ohio Tax Conference, Columbus, OH
    January 27, 2016, Co-Presenter
  • Top Ten Cases, Paul J. Hartman State and Local Tax Forum, Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, TN
    October 2015, Speaker
  • Michigan Corporate Income Tax, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Novi, MI
    July 9, 2015, Presenter
  • Round-Up of Select Recent State and Local Tax Cases, State Bar of Michigan Annual Tax Conference, Plymouth, MI
    May 21, 2015, Co-Presenter

Honors

  • The Best Lawyers of America, 2010-2018
    • Recognized in practice areas of Tax Law, Corporate Law, and Litigation and Controversy - Tax
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice area of Tax Law: Business
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2011-2017
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2013-2017
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Named one of 30 “Women in the Law," 2016

Academic Appointments

  • Wayne State University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law, Multistate Taxation in the Digital Age, 2004-present