Published May 21, 2013
Volume 21, Number 5

Astrov Brings Tax Planning Expertise to Mid-Market Companies       
Law Firm Offers Assistance with Domestic, International Transactions, Structuring

Harry-Todd Astrov opened his law firm last July, after a dozen
years with Chevron.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Harry-Todd Astrov had more than two decades of experience providing counsel on a wide range of domestic and international tax matters before establishing the Astrov Law Firm last July. Targeting middle-market public and privately held companies and high net-worth individuals, the firm offers assistance with inbound and outbound tax planning and structuring as well as with resolution of tax controversies.

Astrov’s proactive approach helps clients understand what types of business matters require close tax scrutiny in order to make informed economic decisions and develop a supportable tax optimization strategy.

“A lot of people think of taxes as simply filling out tax returns, and that attorneys get involved only when going to tax court or buying or selling a business,” observes Astrov, who corrects these misconceptions by pointing out that tax attorneys can play a far more significant role. Much of their focus centers on ongoing planning, asking questions such as, “How are the transactions structured? Are the contracts and documentation in place to prevent later problems?”

“Attorneys are trained to use wide-ranging expertise and experience to do a deep dig on solving problems, or anticipating problems that could occur,” he explains. “I often support CPAs and corporate attorneys, enhancing relationships by providing unique, specialized expertise.” 

Astrov’s dozen years of domestic and international tax planning at Chevron have given him singular insight into the burgeoning touchpoints of the global marketplace. It is not just the large multinational corporations that can benefit from his knowledge base. Today, many businesses have an international component of some sort, whether developing technology outside the U.S. or providing a service to a customer in another country.

“Just because a business is physically located in the U.S. does not mean that tax consequences won’t arise outside the U.S.,” he says. “If you are arranging for an overseas service provider or sending employees to regularly conduct business outside the U.S.—these things can give rise to non-U.S. tax consequences, too.”  

Astrov strongly believes that regular consultations are the most cost-effective way to benefit from a tax advisor. Clients might not know the right questions to ask, which makes systematic contact all that much more critical. “Is the business thinking of changing the supply chain so it will be sourcing goods from another country? Or selling into another country?” he asks. Keeping an eye to the future allows the appropriate planning to be done before entering a transaction.

Even if there is no cross-border activity, less obvious organic changes always occur. “It’s good to get into healthy tax planning habits when a business is smaller, because as it grows matters only become more complicated,” he notes. 

Astrov, who earned his law degree at The Ohio State University and holds an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, located his new firm in a turnkey office suite in Pleasanton Business Solutions at 4695 Chabot Drive. “As soon as I saw the space I knew it was perfect--very professional, in a great location.” He has also been enjoying interaction with fellow PBS occupants. “It’s healthy to be around other business people and entrepreneurs,” he comments.

For more information, visit www.astrovlaw.com

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