For over 21 years, James has focused on state and local tax issues including state and city sales, use, gross receipts, privilege, excise and severance taxes, as well as income, real, and personal property taxes. Before entering private practice, James served as Chief Auditor and Principal Tax Analyst for the Transaction Privilege (Sales) and Use Tax Division of the Arizona Department of Revenue. He has advised and represented clients of all sizes and from many industries in a wide range of tax matters. During his time at the Department of Revenue, James argued and settled cases for the Department, advised the Director on tax policy issues as a member of the Uniformity Committee, and acted as liaison to the Attorney General’s office. As Chief Auditor, he administered Arizona’s sales, use and severance tax audit programs, including the Cities Program, which conducts audits for 74 Arizona municipalities. James co-authored the Judicial Review of Taxation chapter in the Arizona Appellate Handbook published by the State Bar of Arizona, and lectures extensively on state and local tax topics. Some of the state and local tax services James provides include: • Amnesty and Voluntary Disclosure Negotiations • Assistance with Controversies (Audits, Appeals, Negotiations & Litigation) • Credits and Incentives • Due Diligence and Planning for Mergers and Acquisitions • Nexus Studies • Personalized In-House Training • Private Taxpayer Rulings • State, County and City Taxes, including Speculative Builder Taxes • Tax Policy Assistance (Review, Analyze, and/or Draft Proposed Legislation) • Tax Reviews (Reverse Audits) and Refund Claims • Transactional Analysis and Strategic Planning.
Associations & Activities
- State Bar of Arizona, Tax Law Section, Past Chair
- State Bar of Arizona, Tax Law Section, Legislative Liaison
- State Bar of Utah, Member
- Arizona Legislature’s Property Tax Appeals Study Committee, Member
- Arizona Tax Research Association, Board Member
- Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, Arizona Tax Liaison, Tax Legislative Committee, Past Member of Board of Directors
- Arizona State Board of Accountancy, Law Review Advisory Committee, Past Member
- Streamlined Sales Tax Business Advisory Council, Member
- Phoenix Tax Advisory Board, Member
- American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow, 2017
- Boy Scouts of America, Assistant Varsity Coach
- Boy Scouts of America, Former Venturing Crew Advisor
- Dayspring Preschool and Kindergarten, Past Board Member
- Arizona, 1996
- Utah, 1997
News & Publications
Paycheck Protection Program Loans, Bankruptcy Protection, and Environmental Considerations Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The recent State of Arizona Declaration of Emergency *COVID-19* and Executive Order 2020-07 issued by Governor Douglas A. Ducey on March 11, 2020, forced the Arizona economy into a screeching halt. To provide a robust and integrated response to successfully combat the...
At The Cavanagh Law Firm, we are happy to announce a new leading attorney that has been added to the Firm. Giselle Alexander has joined our Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust team. We are excited to have her on our team! Getting to Know Giselle Alexander Ms....
Steven Plitt Recognized as Top Arizona Lawyer in 2020 Attorney Steven Plitt is a top lawyer in many ways. Mr. Plitt is one of Arizona's premier insurance coverage lawyers. Steven Plitt is highly skilled in insurance coverage litigation. He is regularly engaged to...
Top Arizona Attorneys Every year the best of the best lawyers get recognized by their peers for their professional achievements in law. The Super Lawyers Top 50 Lawyers for Arizona has been announced and The Cavanagh Law Firm attorneys have made the grade. Super...
As the world continues to respond to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), The Cavanagh Law Firm has decided to have all employees work remotely, effective Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. The scale of the impact is still unknown and as a Firm, we are committed to do...
Who Has Your DNA? Home DNA testing kits have exploded in popularity for learning about family history, but how secure is the genetic data being gathered? John Wittwer, a Senior Member of the Cavanagh Law Firm, was asked by ABC15 about just that. Attorney Wittwer deals...
The evaluation and disclosure of environmental liabilities may represent one of the key responsibilities for Environmental Attorneys and/or Environmental Managers (“EM”). Generally the financial reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)...
Effective in 2020, there are changes that apply to a qualified retirement account such as IRA or 401k. Designated beneficiaries will be required to distribute the qualified retirement account in 10 years instead of over a lifetime. Sharon Ravenscroft suggests to her...
In 2020, the estate tax exclusion increases to $11.58 million. The present gift exemption remains at $15,000. Most Americans can avoid any tax when passing assets during their lifetime or after death. Sharon Ravenscroft finds that her clients' largest concern remains...