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Lawyers from the firm assisted a tribe in securing the first California law to recognize the concurrent criminal jurisdiction of an Indian tribe by recognizing tribal law enforcement vehicles as emergency vehicles and the authority of tribal law enforcement.

Attorney Biography

Wendy S. Pearson
Of Counsel
Tel: 425.512.8850
Fax: 206.812.8085
Email: wpearson@hobbsstraus.com

Wendy Pearson has been practicing tax law for nearly 30 years. After obtaining a Masters in Tax from the University of Florida in 1987, she began her career as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service in the Office of Chief Counsel, Seattle, Washington. At the IRS, she handled cases involving a multitude of complex tax issues, including natural resource and timber taxation, corporate and partnership tax, tax shelter litigation, and Alaska Native Corporation cases.

Since leaving the IRS in 1993, Wendy’s legal practice has focused primarily on resolution of federal tax controversies, such as defense of clients in IRS tax audits and litigation, as well as Bank Secrecy Act audits of Indian gaming facilities. Ms. Pearson has extensive background in IRS policy and practice involving Tribal Governments and exempt organizations. She regularly represents Tribal Governments and their enterprises on a wide range of complex transactional and compliance matters, including tax planning to optimize opportunities for providing tax-favored benefits to tribal members. Wendy has achieved positive outcomes for her clients on numerous federal tax audit matters, including obtaining favorable IRS rulings for the tax-exempt status of trust per capita payments, tax-deferred treatment of IGRA trusts for minors, and exclusion from income of tribal general welfare benefits. Ms. Pearson was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Taxation (ACT) for the Indian Tribal Governments division of the IRS in 2010 and was instrumental in developing the ACT recommendations which led to IRS changes to the General Welfare Exclusion as applied to Tribal government programs.

Ms. Pearson is the immediate Past-Chair of the ABA Committee on Indian Tribal Tax and presently serves on the Board of the National Intertribal Tax Alliance. Wendy also works with tribal organizations such as NCAI and NAFOA to advance tribal tax policy issues.

In her spare time, Wendy volunteers regularly to charitable organizations in her local community. And, when not doing that, she loves to hike, golf, kayak and cook.

Education:
University of Florida School of Law, LL.M in Taxation, 1987
Gonzaga School of Law, J.D., 1986
University of Nevada Reno, B.S., 1982
Bar Admissions:
Washington State
Practice Concentration:


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