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Greenberg Traurig Advances Tax Fairness with Advocacy for Virginia Restaurant in Tax Controversy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 28, 2024 – Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP successfully guided Richmond, Virginia restaurant Philly Vegan through a highly publicized tax controversy with the City of Richmond. DeAndré R. Morrow, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney in the firm’s State and Local Tax Practice, led the matter.

The resolution not only positively settled the dispute for Philly Vegan but served as a catalyst for enhanced transparency and tax fairness for businesses throughout the city and Commonwealth of Virginia.

While registering for business taxes, Philly Vegan had relied on guidance from a city employee who initially advised that the business was exempt from certain tax obligations involving the city’s meals tax. This advice, which the city later contested, led to a multiyear dispute that encapsulated the challenges faced by small businesses navigating complex state and local tax landscapes.

The terms of the resolution with Philly Vegan and the city are confidential, but following the matter the city and the commonwealth have proposed changes to certain tax practices related to issues that Philly Vegan faced, including a recent “freeze” on penalties and interest as the city continues to review its enforcement of the meals tax. Additional proposed changes include extended repayment time and changing city code so meals tax payments are applied to the current month instead of the city processing overdue payments first.

“Philly Vegan’s journey from challenge to resolution exemplifies the positive results that can emerge from creative strategies and constructive dialogue between businesses and local officials,” Morrow said. “I am pleased for Philly Vegan to finally have this matter behind them and that our advocacy resulted in movement towards a more equitable and transparent system for all Richmond businesses.”

“DeAndre’s expertise in tax law and adeptness at engaging with government officials was pivotal in navigating our dispute to a favorable resolution,” said Samuel Veney, co-owner of Philly Vegan. “His dedication and innovative strategies not only resolved our issue but also advocated for a more equitable tax system for all businesses. His support was invaluable to Philly Vegan during this challenging time.”

About Greenberg Traurig's State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice: Greenberg Traurig’s SALT Practice assists companies in need of state and local tax counsel whether in a single location or multiple locations throughout the United States. With the largest footprint of any law firm in the United States, the SALT Practice has attorneys in 16 of the firm’s domestic offices, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Florida, New York, Oregon, and Texas. Our breadth of experience across the full SALT spectrum allows us to offer a wide range of services, including counseling and controversy. We also regularly partner with the firm’s nationally recognized Government Law and Policy Practice to help shape the tax law which affects our clients most.

About Greenberg Traurig: Greenberg Traurig, LLP has more than 2750 attorneys in 47 locations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. The firm is a 2022 BTI “Highly Recommended Law Firm” for superior client service and is consistently among the top firms on the Am Law Global 100 and NLJ 500. Greenberg Traurig is Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certified Plus by The Diversity Lab. The firm is recognized for powering its U.S. offices with 100% renewable energy as certified by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e® Energy program and is a member of the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program. The firm is known for its philanthropic giving, innovation, diversity, and pro bono. Web: