Find CA Certified Specialist in Taxation Law

California Bar Board of Legal Specialization

At Lawyer Legion we recognize the importance of board certification programs in taxation law. These programs provide a powerful tool when the public begins their search for a tax law attorney in California. The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization certifies attorneys as specialist in taxation law.

Only California attorneys board certified in taxation law can advertise or identify themselves as "certified specialists" or "board certified" in California for that field.


The Standards for Certification in Taxation Law

The Rules Governing the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists govern the program requirements and should be read in conjunction with the standards for certification in Taxation Law. Among other requirements, the attorneys must pass the legal specialist examination, demonstrate substantial involvement, and complete continuing education requirements.

Attorneys who are certified in Taxation Law in California must apply for re-certification every five years after the initial certification date.


Definition of Taxation Law under California's Board Certification Program

For purposes of California's board certification program the term "taxation law" is defined to include the field of law involving the Internal Revenue (IRS) Code and other local, state and federal tax statutes and interpretive material in connection with matters in which issues of taxation are significant.


Requirements for Certifications in Taxation Law in California

One of the requirements for board certification is a showing of substantial involvement in the practice of taxation law, including handling matters in one or more of the following areas:

  • Individual Income Tax (defined as federal and California tax law relating to individual personal taxes, including family matters and foreign tax matters as well as California and Federal tax law relating to individual business tax matters including forms of business entities, real estate and other investments);
  • California Taxes (defined as California personal and corporate income, property, sales and use and other local taxes);
  • Tax Procedures (defined as the California and Federal income, estate and gift tax law relating to the preparation of returns, elections, audits, appeals, and litigation in criminal and civil matters);
  • Real Estate Income Tax (defined as the California and Federal tax law relating to the acquisition, development, operation and disposition of real estate);
  • Partnership Income Tax (defined as the California and Federal tax law relating to the formation, operation, reorganization and liquidation of partnerships and the tax status of particular kinds of partnership entities);
  • Corporate Income Tax (defined as California and Federal tax law relating to the formation, reorganization, operation, and liquidation of corporations, and the tax status of particular kinds of corporate entities);
  • Compensation and Benefit Tax (defined as the California and Federal income, estate and gift tax law relating to employee compensation, including stock options and other payments in kind; employee benefit plans, including ERISA and other qualified and non-qualified retirement and fringe benefit matters);
  • International Tax (defined as California and Federal tax law relating to the taxation of foreign entities, non-resident aliens, and foreign related transactions);
  • Tax Exempt Organizations (defined as California and Federal tax law relating to tax exempt organizations); and
  • Estate and Gift Tax and Estate Planning (defined as California and Federal tax law relating to disposition of property including estate planning).

Substantial involvement in taxation law for purposes of the application can be shown through the following activities:

  • authoring written tax opinions, advice letters to clients, memoranda or similar documents concerning substantive tax issues;
  • participating in administrative tax examinations, ruling requests, determination letters or similar matters; and
  • participation in tax litigation proceedings at any level, including appearances before the Appeals division of the IRS or any local or state tax agency or revenue authority.

Continuing Educational Requirements for Certification in California in Taxation Law

In order for the attorney to obtain certification in taxation law, the attorney must show that he or she has completed not less than 45 hours of educational activities specifically approved for taxation law.

Additionally, credit may be given for an LL.M. degree in taxation law from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association or an equivalent degree.


For more information on specialty certification contact the:

California Board of Legal Specialization - Taxation Law
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone 415-538-2120


Finding a Board Certified Taxation Attorney in California

The search for a good tax attorney can be a daunting task. At Lawyer Legion we make that task easier by properly recognizing board certified attorneys in our online directory. This article was last updated on Saturday, October 18, 2014.