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Dirk Giseburt

Dirk Giseburt is a tax law attorney representing a diverse clientele in industries such as health care, financial services, telecommunications, forestry, food distribution, and nonprofits. He litigates state and local tax assessments, refund claims and exemptions at the trial and appellate levels and in state and municipal administrative appeals, seeking to ensure lawful administration of state and local tax systems. Dirk also advises clients concerning structuring transactions and ongoing business operations to control state and local excise taxes.

Dirk also represents donors in conservation easement transactions.

Representative Experience

Due process defense against retroactive tax

Counsel of record in two Supreme Court petitions for certiorari to overturn unlawful retroactive amendments of state tax laws enacted after judicial decisions adverse to the state. Dot Foods, Inc. v. Washington Department of Revenue, No. 16-308 (2016-2017); Hambleton v. Washington Department of Revenue, No. 14-1436. (2014-2015)

Washington B&O tax health care deduction

Obtained Board of Tax Appeals decision holding that the health or social welfare deduction applies to Medicaid reimbursements from other states’ programs, not just Washington’s. On appeal. PeaceHealth v. Washington Department of Revenue, Docket Nos. 14-123, 14-124 (Wash. Bd. Tax App. 2016)

Seattle square footage tax audit defeated

Obtained settlement of City of Seattle square footage tax assessment based on taxpayer’s entitlement to use separate accounting as its baseline apportionment method, in light of substantial doubts about legality of the square footage tax. (2015)

Property tax exemption, Virginia Mason Medical Center

Obtained Board of Tax Appeals decision holding that hospital’s expansion building was entitled to property tax exemption for periods before direct patient-service activities occur. Docket Nos. 12-017 to 12-019 (Wash. Bd. of Tax App. 2013) Affirmed on appeal. (2014)

Telecommunications tax compliance initiatives

Guided nationwide state and local tax compliance initiatives for two new wireless carriers. (2010-2012)

Internet, ITFA and telecommunications taxes for national cable company

Won trial court order refunding $2.1 million in taxes paid by national cable company to the City of Seattle on cable Internet service. Won unanimous Washington Supreme Court decision affirming the judgment on appeal. 164 Wn.2d 35, 186 P.3d 1032 (2008)

Property tax exemption, Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital

Obtained Board of Tax Appeals decision holding that hospital's outpatient imaging center was entitled to property tax exemption because of clinical integration with hospital. Decision was affirmed on appeal to superior court, leading to a rulemaking proceeding to adopt the Legacy holding in 2009. Docket Nos. 06-062 and 06-063 (Bd. of Tax  App. 2007)

City tax on NIH research grants for nonprofit medical research institute

Obtained administrative reversal of Seattle's position that National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants are subject to gross receipts tax when received by nonprofits. (2006)

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., v. Washington Department of Revenue

Court held that Washington's method of income apportionment was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Forced a change in the B&O tax apportionment regulation. Docket No. 02-2-01461-2 (Thurston Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2004)

Pro bono representations

Representation of pro bono qualified nonprofit organizations on state and local taxes, federal tax exemption issues, corporate governance, impact of tax legislation. Representation of indigent individuals and families on tax and related financial matters.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Co-chair, SALT Task Force on Retroactive Tax Laws, Tax Section, American Bar Association, 2015-present (on leave during Dot Foods cert petition)
  • Co-chair, SALT Task Force on ABA Model Transaction Tax Overpayment Act, Tax Section, American Bar Association, 2013-2015
  • Chair, SALT Subcommittee on Miscellaneous Taxes and Industries, Tax Section, American Bar Association, 2007-2013
  • Committee on State and Local Taxes, Tax Section, American Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, 2000-present; President, 2004-2006 – E.B. Dunn Historic Garden Trust
  • Board of Directors and Secretary, Washington Mennonite Fellowship, 2015-present
  • Editorial Committee, International Oak Society, 2016-present

Professional Recognition

  • Named a "State Tax Practitioner of the Year" by Tax Analysts Inc., 2017