Mr. Roberts is a tax partner at the Varnum law firm. His practice includes all aspects of federal and state tax planning and tax litigation. Mr. Roberts has represented both closely held and Fortune 1000 companies in tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, the Michigan Department of Treasury, and revenue departments in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Tennessee, New York, California, and numerous other state and local taxing jurisdictions.
Mr. Roberts received his B.B.A. from Western Michigan University, his M.S. in Taxation from Grand Valley State University and his J.D. from Ohio State University. Mr. Roberts was a Public Service Fellow while at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Mr. Roberts is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Ohio and is also a registered CPA in the states of Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. He is a former Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan and is also a former Chair of the Taxation Section's State and Local Tax Committee.
Experience: Federal and state tax planning Federal tax audits, administrative appeals, and litigation matters Federal and state voluntary disclosure matters State tax audits, administrative appeals State tax litigation in the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the Michigan Court of Claims, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court Property tax appeals and litigation
Significant Decisions: Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc v. Dep't of Treasury, Mich. Ct. App. No. 309240 (January 28, 2013).
United Parcel Service v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 06-98-MT, Mich.Ct.Cl.(2007), aff'd, 281 Mich App 35; 761 NW2d 269 (2008).
Pars Ice Cream Company, Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, Mich. Ct. App. No. 305148 (August 14, 2012). B.L. Rentals, Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, MTT No. 298266 (August 10, 2004) (use tax assessment cancelled).
B. L. Rentals, Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, Mich. Ct. App. No. 257578 (February 14, 2006) (SBT). Binson's Hospital Supplies, Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 06-66-MT, Mich. Ct. Cl. (October 1, 2007) (sales tax application to prescription diabetic testing equipment).
Michigan Production Machining Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, MTT No. 409641 (June 28, 2012) (Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment granted).
B. L. Rentals, Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, MTT No. 298266 (August 10, 2004) (use tax assessment cancelled).
Seminars & Speeches
Nexus Developments, Michigan Tax Conference November 2012 After Hours Tax Law Series: Michigan Tax Law Update, Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Webcast) October 4, 2012 State Tax Update, Michigan Tax Conference November 2011 Apportionment and Sourcing, 4th Annual Michigan Tax Conference, Novi, MI November 2010 State Tax Controversy, MBT Unitary Groups, & Real Estate Transfer Tax Presentations, 3rd Annual Michigan Tax Conference, Novi, MI November 3-4, 2009 State Real Estate Transfer Tax Amendment, Grand Rapids Bar Association Forum, Grand Rapids, MI March 31, 2009 Michigan Business and Personal Taxes, State Bar of Michigan 2009 Law School for Legislators-Taxation Law February 18, 2009 Program on Michigan Business Tax Unitary Business Group "Relationship Test," Michigan Tax Conference Planning November 6, 2008 Ask the Experts—Unitary Business Group Q&A, Michigan Tax Conference Planning November 6, 2008 MBPA Tax Summit, Served on panel with Department of Treasury and Senator Steve Beida discussing Michigan Tax matters, Livonia, MI October 2008 Michigan Tax Collections, First Annual Michigan Tax Conference, Livonia, MI November 8, 2007 Introduction to the Michigan Business Tax, Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Webcast) Fall 2007 Michigan Tax Update: State Tax Reform Breakout Session, 18th Annual Summer Tax Conference, State Bar of Michigan - Taxation Section, Plymouth, MI May 26, 2005 Michigan SBT...Candid Advice for non-Michigan Companies, The 14th Annual Ohio Tax Conference, Columbus, OH January 27, 2005 Michigan Sales & Use Tax Update, National Business Institute Seminar, Southfield, MI June 21, 2002
"Transitioning to the Michigan Corporate Income Tax" Out With the Old and In With the New July 2012 91 Mich. Bar. J. 7 2012
Guidebook to Michigan Taxes (Co-editor) January 30, 2012 CCH
"Rebirth of the Michigan Corporate Income Tax" June 13, 2011 State Tax Notes, Vol.60 No.11
"Real Estate Transfer Taxes in Michigan" 2010 Real Property Taxes in Michigan, ICLE (Award winning publication)
"Practical Guide to the Michigan Business Tax" (Co-author) 2010 CCH
"Michigan Business Tax Update" A Review of the MBT After the First Filing Season December 2009 88 Mich. Bar. J. 12
"The New Michigan Business Tax: What it Means for Your Business" March/April 2008 23 Mich. Forward 2
"The New Michigan Business Tax" Fall 2007 Journal of Multi-State Taxation, RIA
"The Michigan Business Tax: In Lieu of Taxes Applicable to Financial Institutions and Insurance Companies" Winter 2007 53 Wayne L. Rev. 4
"Effectively Handling a Michigan Tax Controversy: Procedures, Resolution Strategies and Revised Deadlines" Winter 2006 Michigan Tax Lawyer
"Michigan Tax Practice Insights" (Principal author) 2006 Michigan SBT, Income & Sales and Use Taxes, Matthew Bender Tax Service/LexisNexis
"The Michigan Tool Lien Act: What Michigan Tool Makers Need to Know" July/August 2005 Business Update, Grand Rapids
"AERC, LLC v. City of Grand Rapids, 'Assessors Review Requirements Upheld'" July/August 2005 Business Update, Grand Rapids
"Tax Tribunal Asserts Authority and Jurisdiction in Recent Case" July/August 2005 MACPA Leaders Edge, (Compuware v. Department of Treasury)
"How to Run Your Business Into the Ground in Two Easy Steps" Spring 2004 Hennessey Capital Financial News
"Tax Shelter Update: A State Tax Perspective" Winter 2004 The Michigan Tax Lawyer
"Internal Revenue Service Collections: Levies Against Property Held as Tenancy by the Entireties Under Craft and Hatchett" Fall 2003 The Michigan Tax Lawyer
"Jefferson Smurfit: Michigan Site-Based CAD Upheld as Constitutional" 2003
"Michigan Oil & Gas Taxation: from Bauer to RAB 2001-5" Fall 2002 The Michigan Tax Lawyer
National Association of State Bar Tax Sections (an American Bar Association affiliate), Executive Committee Member
State Bar of Michigan, Taxation Section, Chair 2012-2013; Taxation Section Council, Officer; State and Local Tax Committee, Past Chair
American Bar Association, Administrative Procedure Committee, Member; State and Local Tax Committee,
Member Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Grand Rapids Bar Association, Business and Taxation Section,
Member Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce State Legislative Council, Member, 2010-present Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Tax Policy Committee, Chair, 2010-present
Involvement Professional/Community/Civic Activities
Adjunct Tax Faculty, Thomas M. Cooley Law School Graduate Tax Program, 2011-present
Adjunct Tax Faculty, Walsh College, 2003
Chairman of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Tax Policy Committee
Awards & Recognition Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 for Litigation & Controversy - Tax and Tax Law. Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, inducted August 22, 2011 West Michigan Business Review Thought Leadership Award (previously known as the "40 under 40" award) for leadership, 2008 MACPA Outstanding Task Force Leadership Award, planning the Michigan Tax Conference, 2008