Sales tax help in Any and All States

Whether it’s called a sales tax, transaction privilege tax, gross receipts tax, general excise tax, or any other name, and whether the Department of Tax and Fee, Department of Revenue, State Comptroller’s Office, State Tax Commission, or any other agency enforces the tax, our sales tax consultants can help you negotiate your state’s maze of regulations and minimize your tax burden.

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Our Northern CA Team

Jesse McClellan, Esq. Managing Partner
Jesse McClellan, Esq. Managing PartnerSales Tax Attorney
Jesse W. McClellan, Esq. is among a very limited group of individuals in the sales and use tax consulting profession that can draw upon the knowledge and experience that comes from being a licensed attorney and a former state sales and use tax field auditor. Jesse’s unique skill-set, experience, and unwavering commitment to his clients, has allowed him to obtain a significantly high success rate in representing a broad range of complex issues on behalf of businesses and individuals before state taxing agencies. He has personally been responsible for saving his clients millions of dollars, having prevailed on several seven and eight figure cases before the California State Board of Equalization.

Before joining forces with Dan to form McClellan Davis, LLC, Jesse worked as an internal auditor for a Fortune 500 public corporation, where he helped ensure that retail locations across the nation remain in compliance. He then became a sales and use tax auditor for the California State Board of Equalization, accumulating a wealth of insider experience auditing a wide variety of businesses. Upon leaving the state, Jesse joined our predecessor company where he served as its vice-president and audit division lead consultant.

Jesse has provided expert witness testimony for sales and use tax purposes in civil litigation matters, written articles on a variety of tax-related topics and has spoken at several taxation and accounting seminars. Jesse also leads our firm’s ongoing efforts to initiate and draft new laws, regulations and procedures that are intended to provide for the protection and advocacy of taxpayers. He is credited with initiating and leading the effort to establish standard of proof guidelines for California’s audit staff, serving as the principal author of the published guidelines.

Jesse graduated third in his class at Lincoln Law School of Sacramento and with honors from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

Dan Davis, MBA (Taxation), CPA, CFE (ret.)
Dan Davis, MBA (Taxation), CPA, CFE (ret.)Sales Tax Specialist
Dan has practiced in the tax field for over 35 years. His career started with the California State Board of Equalization, where he worked as a senior sales tax auditor, branch office supervisor, and district audit reviewer.

After leaving the Board, Dan spent 11 years as the managing partner of his own CPA firm. He then sold the firm to become a full-time sales and use tax manager/consultant, working in that capacity for Fujitsu America Inc., Arthur Consulting Group, Inc., and Associated Sales Tax Consultants, Inc. During that period he accumulated extensive “hands-on” experience in dealing with both California and multi-state sales and use tax issues.

In addition to nearly two dozen articles, Dan has written two major reference books on sales and use tax matters. The books, which are published online by CCH, Inc. and updated annually, include the Multistate Guide to Sales and Use Tax Audits and the Multistate Guide to Sales and Use Tax: Construction. Dan has also taught and lectured on a variety of tax and auditing topics at graduate and postgraduate levels.

James Dumler, CPA
James Dumler, CPAPartner
James R. Dumler, CPA, is a partner at McClellan Davis and he has successfully represented hundreds of clients from a wide variety of industries. He has personally been responsible for saving his clients millions of dollars by way of reductions to their business tax audit liabilities. James has also filed claims for refund in multiple states, helping his clients recoup over $1,000,000 in overpaid taxes.

James actively participates in the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s (CDTFA) rule making process on behalf of his clients and all California taxpayers. He continues to author meaningful recommendations for changes to California’s regulations and policies to ensure taxpayers’ rights are protected. His articles on sales and use tax have been published in industry specific, professional trade magazines and online forums. James was also the lead research analyst for a multistate sales and use tax continuing education course for accounting/legal professionals published by a major national provider.

James currently specializes in California and multi-state sales and use tax matters including, but not limited to the hospitality, medical, high-tech, ecommerce, cannabis and automobile industries. James also established and manages McClellan Davis’ vehicle, vessel and aircraft exemption program.

Prior to joining McClellan Davis, James worked in the hospitality industry as a general manager of a well-respected, publicly traded restaurant. James owned/operated his own restaurant prior to joining McClellan Davis. His experience as a business owner helps him relate to his clients, particularly in matters related to tax compliance. This unique perspective helps him fully understand the challenges business owners face in dealing with, and successfully over coming, sales and use tax audits.

James graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management with an emphasis in accounting, and has completed the CDTFA’s auditor training program. He is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and holds an active CPA license (CA# 132576).

Mitchell R. Stradford
Mitchell R. StradfordSenior Sales Tax Specialist
Mitchell Stradford is a Senior Tax Specialist at McClellan Davis, LLC, a firm which specializes in sales, use and excise tax matters. Before Mr. Stradford began work at McClellan Davis in 2014, he worked for over 3 years as an Associate Sales Tax Auditor with the California State Board of Equalization, now known as the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. While working as an auditor at the Board of Equalization, Mr. Stradford audited numerous types of businesses, including car dealerships, restaurants, and construction contractors as well as other various business types. His experience as an auditor gives him great insight into the inner workings of the audit process and the types of errors and omissions auditors commonly make while performing their work.

In addition to his experience as an auditor, since 2014, Mr. Stradford has personally represented, or has been directly involved with, hundreds of cases before the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (formerly Board of Equalization) as well as taxing agencies from other states; successfully resolving numerous high-value, complex cases at all levels of the administrative appeals process.

Lucian Khan
Lucian KhanAttorney at Law
Lucian Khan, Esq., has over 30 years of professional experience working at the California State Board of Equalization, including more than 20 years within the agency’s Legal Department. Lucian started at the Board of Equalization as a Business Tax Representative, providing legal advice, and assisting taxpayers with registration and compliance with the sales and use tax law.

After earning his Juris Doctor degree and becoming a licensed attorney, Lucian worked as a Deputy District Attorney, where he prosecuted more than 50 jury trial cases. He then returned to the Board of Equalization, first as a Business Tax Appeals Hearing Officer, and subsequently as an Appeals Supervisor. During that time, Lucian authored over 700 tax decisions and reviewed more than 5,000 decisions. He was also instrumental in developing the formatting and review policies, which are currently used for processing California sales and use tax decisions. Many of his decisions and opinions have formed the basis for sales and use tax annotations, published by the Board of Equalization.

Prior to leaving the Board of Equalization, Lucian spent five years in the Settlement Division, where he handled complex appeals, as a Settlement Officer and reviewer. Lucian’s extensive and unique experience makes him a tremendous resource for our California and multistate clients.

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Our Southern CA Team

Stephen Stafford, CPA
Stephen Stafford, CPASales Tax Specialist
Prior to creating the multistate sales & use tax practice of Stafford & Associates, Inc., Steve headed up Deloite and Touche LLP’s multistate sales & use tax practice for the Orange County and San Diego offices. Steve has over 25 years experience working with industry leaders in the multistate sales & use tax area.

Steve works with most industry types large and small. His experience includes audit representation through the appeal process, voluntary disclosure programs and credit studies through the claim for refund process.

Steve was also a member of the interest party committee representing various industries in working with the State to rewrite a number of sales & use tax regulations. These rewrites not only greatly reduced sales tax charged to industry customers but also alleviated costly sales & use tax audit liabilities.

Steve also teaches multi-state sales & use tax CPE classes to CPA firms and MCLE classes to Law firms.

Steve is a licensed CPA and graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration (Accounting).

Melissa Clark
Melissa ClarkSales Tax Specialist
Melissa Clark is a Multistate Sales and Use Tax Consultant with more than 25 years of experience specializing in sales and use tax audit management, sales and use tax compliance and registration, and sales and use tax planning for all U.S. sales tax states.

For 12 years, Melissa worked at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) (formerly the California State Board of Equalization) where she held various positions, including Senior Sales and Use Tax Auditor.

At CDTFA, Melissa conducted sales and use tax audits on medium to large sized companies in all industries. Melissa also trained incoming auditors and taught classes on sales and use tax laws and auditing techniques. Additionally, Melissa regularly presented educational sales and use tax seminars on behalf of CDTFA to the general business public.

After leaving CDTFA, Melissa joined Stafford & Associates, Inc., a multistate sales and use tax consulting firm, where she spent 13 years representing companies across a diverse array of industries in sales tax audits, planning, registration, and compliance. In 2020, Stafford & Associates, Inc. was acquired by McClellan & Davis, LLC.

Melissa graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance. Melissa and her family reside in San Diego, California.

Ted Matthies. CMI
Ted Matthies. CMISales Tax Specialist
Ted graduated from San Diego State University in 1986 where he earned his degree in accounting. Upon graduation, Ted began his career with the California State Board of Equalization (now known as the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration), where he worked as a sales and use tax auditor, audit trainer, investigator, and a Business Tax Appeals Hearing officer. As a hearing officer, he issued more than 200 decision and recommendations covering a variety of different industries and issues. In 2018, Ted received a gubernatorial appointment to become the Tax Consultant Expert for the elected Member of the Board of Equalization’s Fourth District.

During his appointment, Ted worked closely with the agency’s Business Taxes Committee and interested parties to address topics via the Board of Equalization’s formal rule making process. He was involved in improving and/or developing audit policies and procedures and he worked with taxpayers to provide insight into the appeals process and how to prepare for an appeal.

After his retirement from the Board of Equalization, Ted spent over 3 years in public accounting with KPMG. During his time with KPMG, Ted managed audits, pursued appeals and worked with businesses for tax compliance purposes with a focus on multi-state sales tax issues. He assisted businesses in determining which states they may have filing/reporting obligations with and also assisted them in establishing taxability guidelines for their businesses. Ted has completed voluntary disclosure agreements and has represented taxpayers in sales/use tax audits and/or appeals in multiple states, including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Washington.

Our Happy Clients

“Your professional and successful handling of our Petition for Redetermination of a sales tax audit by the State Board of Equalization is very much appreciated. The expert approach in working through the technical minefield … certainly speaks well of your ability to restrain an obsessive government agency.”
G.A.B. , President of a steel company
“We were very pleased with the sales tax work you did for us. The thoroughness with which you handled our situation was evident by the savings to our company.”
Fred Lennard, Mt. Shasta Veneer, Inc.
“Our experience with the people of your firm has been of the highest order, definitely five star all the way! We have found everyone to be courteous and astute, efficient and prompt, highly responsive and especially well-informed. Your firm made a most satisfactory settlement and conclusion of our case.”
Pauline Rosenberg, Reliable Maintenance Service