Mary Benton’s practice is focused on multistate tax controversy and litigation involving all tax types. She handles all aspects of SALT disputes—audits, administrative conferences and hearings, judicial appeals (both bench and jury trials, as well as motions practice) and appellate work. She has a vast amount of experience negotiating with revenue departments to obtain the best resolution for clients, through settlement when possible, or by prosecuting the matter all the way through trial and appeal when necessary.
Ms. Benton also maintains a multistate transactional practice, helping clients navigate through complexities in acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations. She has extensive experience working with clients in the process of expanding or adding headcount, relocating or opening a new facility to identify, claim and maintain state tax credits that directly benefit a company’s bottom line.
Ms. Benton maintains a robust schedule of speaking on state tax topics at national conferences and symposia, including COST, IPT, TEI and NYU. She is included in Best Lawyers in America for Tax and Litigation – Tax and Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2012 and 2013.
Ms. Benton also serves as the Pro Bono Partner and leads all pro bono and community service efforts firm wide.
- Litigated the multimillion-dollar assessment of Mississippi income and franchise taxes for a Fortune 500 provider of hospital management services.
- Represented a national provider of credit services in a procedural issue of first impression at the Mississippi Supreme Court.
- Represented a construction company in a $3M sales and use tax appeal, achieving settlement for $10,000.00.
- Represented a national paint manufacturer in securing a refund of sales taxes on the distribution of color cards – Grant of summary judgment was affirmed at the Georgia Court of Appeals.
- Represented a national nonprofit organization to obtain a property tax exemption – Grant of partial summary judgment was affirmed at the Georgia Court of Appeals and the remainder of the case settled during a one-day mediation.
- Represented venture capital companies in diligence efforts to determine state tax exposure related to cloud computing issues at the target companies.
- Represented numerous corporations in multistate voluntary disclosure projects.
On March 14, 2013, Managing Partner Richard Hays and Pro Bono Partner Mary Benton were on hand at Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C. office to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of State for the firm’s pro bono efforts regarding the International Child Abduction Project. By the award, the U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction lauded Alston & Bird for its work in the department’s all-volunteer pro bono Hague Convention Attorney Network.
March 25, 2013
One hundred and forty-seven Alston & Bird attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The publication is universally regarded as among the few definitive guides to legal excellence, and its rankings are based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.
September 18, 2012
In the Press
June 7, 2012
In the Press
January 16, 2012
In the Press
September 12, 2011
In the Press
“Has the Due Process Clause Gotten Its Groove Back?" State Tax Notes, Vol. 64, Number 10, June 4, 2012.
June 4, 2012
“(Good) Faith No More: The Evolving Exemption Certificate Standard Under the SSUTA,” State Tax Notes, Jan. 23, 2012
January 23, 2012
“State Tax Issues Associated with Digitally-Delivered Goods and Services,” New York University Institute on State and Local Taxation , June 2011.
June 28, 2010
“Should States Adopt Circular 230 Rules Applicable to Written Tax Advice?” New York University Institute on State and Local Taxation, July 8, 2006.
- Georgia State Bar – Taxation Section (past chair)
- Atlanta Bar – Taxation Section
- National Association of State Bar Tax Sections (immediate past chair)
- Institute for Professionals in Taxation (sales, income and property tax sections)
- Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Advisory Council
- Atlanta Legal Aid Advisory Board
- Emory University Board of Visitors
- Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Policy Board of Directors
- Truancy Intervention Project Board of Directors (Chair)
- Georgia’s 2011 Legal Elite