Renn Neilson is the firmwide Chair of the State and Local Tax Section and a member of the Oil and Gas M&A team at Baker Botts; his practice focuses on state and local taxation, incentives and unclaimed property. He helps clients restructure their holdings, acquire and dispose of assets and structure financing transactions to minimize tax exposure. Mr. Neilson regularly defends taxpayers in property, franchise/income and sales tax controversies.
Chambers reports that his clients praise his "overall tax knowledge and his precise, thorough analysis." (2019 Chambers USA); and that a client says: "He is an outstanding resource for several aspects of tax advice. I have complete confidence in his opinions and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone." (2018 Chambers USA).
His recent experience includes representing large corporations in major statewide property tax litigation; sales and franchise tax controversy matters spanning multiple states; advising clients on unclaimed property issues; representing industrial and energy developers in tax planning and tax incentive negotiations on a nationwide basis; drafting Texas tax legislation; Texas franchise tax restructurings; structuring capital intensive development projects; property valuation and property tax methodology cases; multistate nexus and liability planning; bundled sales and service transactions; intercorporate service transactions; managed audits; numerous state-level taxability inquiries and related negotiations with state and local tax authorities.
- Sales and use tax litigation in many states which resulted in favorable outcomes
- State and local tax incentive work, particularly involving large industrial projects and renewable energy development
- Property tax controversies involving many valuation and exemption issues, including property tax litigation for various power generation companies
- Representation of major corporate entities in state sales tax controversies involving use of manufacturing exemptions, resales, most other exemptions, and purchasing offices
- Supervising major unclaimed property audits, controversies and related legislation
- Representation of major corporate entities in state income and franchise tax controversies
- Handling state and local tax incentive work; minimizing state and local exposure arising from acquisitions, dispositions, development agreements, construction agreements and equipment acquisitions; state and local tax controversy work for major fossil fuels and alternative energy developers
- Pursuing state sales and use tax refunds; handling state and local tax structuring issues arising from asset dispositions and acquisitions
- Managing legislative matters regarding Texas and Louisiana taxation; and state tax controversy matters for a major energy distribution company
- Handling state tax issues arising in connection with the sale of significant business segments and tax-driven restructurings for major oil field service companies
- Planning for multistate asset acquisition transactions; planning for asset dispositions and internal restructuring transactions; obtaining federal and state tax rulings in connection with complicated exchange transactions; handling legislative matters regarding Texas taxation for major independent oil and gas producers
- Handling state and local tax matters arising in connection with asset acquisitions; negotiating and documenting tax increment financing transactions and similar tax incentive work for retail and residential property developers
- State and local tax issues and incentive work arising from acquisitions, dispositions and structural planning for a multinational manufacturing corporation; dealing with tax issues arising from financing transactions and the construction of manufacturing facilities; negotiating and drafting tax abatement agreements; and handling legislative matters regarding Texas taxation
- Structuring and documenting exchange transactions to take advantage of the parking arrangements allowed under Rev. Proc. 2000-37 and the built-to-suit rules for major real estate owners and developers
Awards & Community
Recognized in Chambers USA, 2016-2020
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), 2004 and a Texas Super Lawyer (Thomson Reuters), 2006-2010, 2013-2019
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward & White, Inc.), 2010-2019
Texas Lawbook, The
Global Legal Chronicle
Texas Lawbook, The
Houston Tax Executives Institute, Inc.
COST Speaker, Southwest/West Regional State Tax Seminar