Wayne Berkowitz, CPA, J.D., LL.M is a tax partner and head of the State & Local Tax Group at Berdon LLP in Jericho. Berkowitz advises on the unique requirements of governments and municipalities across all 50 states. Dealing with the ever–increasing complexity of state and local tax requirements, Berkowitz is a recognized expert in this challenging area.
He advises a wide range of clients in an array of industries including real estate, advertising, manufacturing and professional services — planning their tax strategies, assisting them in resolving controversies, and representing them in tax audits.
As the firm’s leader in directing state and local tax projects, Berkowitz monitors tax law in developments in the states and municipalities. With this approach, he is able to anticipate and prepare for changes to guide clients in compliance and identify money saving opportunities.
"One of the more significant changes coming down the pike is the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA), now on the bumpy road to ratification in the House," Berkowitz said. "It would require online retailers to collect sales tax for state and local governments, even if they lack a physical presence in the state. It is that rare moment where the federal government is making a serious effort to unify sales tax collection standards."
Opponents argue that the MFA may create new taxes and make life even more complicated for businesses, Berkowtiz said. "I disagree," he said. "My reading is that no new taxes will be created and, once the administrative issues have been fully worked out, passage will level the playing field for all retailers, large and small, webbased and not. In fact, passage could mean lower sales tax rates as a large portion of the tax base that is currently not being reported would now be generating additional tax revenue. Also, the final version of the Act may include an exemption for small online retailers with annual sales of less than $1 million."
Serving on a number of state accounting society and bar association committees, Berkowitz is influential in state and local tax reform; analyzes the impact of new and proposed laws; and has helped develop ideas for new legislation. He has served on the New York City Commissioner’s advisory panel and has been a member of the state advisory panel.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Active in attorney associations as well, he is a member of the New York State Bar Association and Association of the Bar of the City of New York where he is a member of the State and Local Tax Committee.
Berkowitz earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Hofstra University. He earned a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School and a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. He is licensed as a certified public accountant in New York.
Founded in 1917 and ranked among the nation’s top 30 CPA firms, Berdon LLP advises many prominent closely held organizations and the people that lead them. The firm, with offices in New York City and Jericho, Long Island, recognizes and plans for the complex interplay between the needs and goals of the business, the family, and the individual.
With nearly 400 professionals and staff, Berdon is a full–service firm with specialized expertise and dedicated service teams to advise on almost every aspect of a business, from startup through growth and diversification to transition.