Ms. Kendall Houghton is a nationally recognized expert whose practice focuses on state and local tax planning, tax controversies and unclaimed property/escheat matters. She leads the Alston & Bird SALT practice and serves on the firm’s Partners’ Committee.
She previously served as general counsel to the Council On State Taxation (COST), where she filed U.S. Supreme Court briefs in cases impacting state taxation of multistate commerce and led a tax policy initiative addressing taxation of Internet transactions.
Ms. Houghton has represented clients on a multi-jurisdictional basis with respect to significant tax disputes; negotiated favorable settlements with state and local jurisdictions; developed and advocated state tax policy and legislative positions that benefited client interests; and collaborated with clients to design transactional and organizational structures that have optimized direct and indirect tax burdens.
Ms. Houghton also advises clients with respect to unclaimed property/escheat compliance, voluntary disclosure initiatives, planning opportunities, single- and multi-state audit defense, and litigation of state unclaimed property assessments.
Ms. Houghton is co-author of Bloomberg BNA’s Multistate Tax Management portfolios entitled “Unclaimed Property” and “Drop Shipment Transactions.”
She is a guest lecturer on unclaimed property and state tax topics for the L.L.M. in taxation program at Georgetown University as well as a featured speaker at national state tax conferences and schools hosted by COST, TEI, IPT, and the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization, Georgetown University School of Law and the New York University School of Law.
- District of Columbia
- Emory University (LL.M., 1994)
- New York University (J.D., 1989)
- Harvard College (A.B., 1986)
- Advisory Board, CCH Journal of State Taxation
- American Bar Association
- D.C. Bar Association
- California Bar Association
- Advisory Board, BNA Multistate Tax Management
- UPPO Super Nova Award recipient – 2016
- Obtained very favorable settlements with the California Franchise Tax Board, Settlement Bureau, with respect to the inclusion of treasury function gross receipts in the taxpayers’ California sales factor.
- Represents many of the largest financial sector companies (introducing and clearing broker-dealers, mutual fund complexes, banks, etc.) as well as insurance companies in defense of industry-focused multistate unclaimed property examinations conducted by contract audit firms Verus, Kelmar and the Unclaimed Property Clearinghouse (UPCH).
- Co-authored an amicus brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court that suggested grounds upon which the Court eventually disposed of state tax discrimination challenge.
- Assisted numerous clients with the successful defense of multistate unclaimed property audits conducted by third-party audit firms, and negotiated settlements with audit participating states.
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