Overview

Cindy Strom Arellano is head of the firm's business and tax team.  Her practice focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation, qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation and retirement plans, health and welfare benefit plans, ERISA, tax audits and other tax controversy matters, and MBE/WBE/DBE certification. She also works with nonprofits, including educational foundations, auxiliary organizations, charitable organizations, and trade associations, and represents clients in general corporate transactional matters, business formations, compensation structuring, and mergers and acquisitions.

Ms. Arellano regularly assists clients with drafting and reviewing executive and deferred compensation plans and agreements and advises both public and private sector clients on a variety of issues relating to 401(k), 403(b), 457 and other deferred compensation/retirement plans. She also assists clients with controlled group issues and with correcting qualified plan errors through IRS and DOL compliance programs. In addition, Ms. Arellano has considerable experience counseling clients with respect to their health and welfare benefit plans, Section 125 cafeteria plans, GASB 43 and 45 plans, voluntary disability plans, fringe benefit arrangements, and COBRA issues arising in mergers, acquisitions and/or restructuring of businesses.

Ms. Arellano has represented numerous clients in the trucking, construction, entertainment, and other industries in connection with tax audits and controversies with the Employment Development Department (EDD), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and State Board of Equalization (SBE). Audits and tax controversies handled by Ms. Arellano have covered a multitude of issues including worker misclassification, sales, income and employment tax disputes and trust fund recovery penalty assessments. Ms. Arellano has successfully appealed many tax assessments, and has negotiated many favorable alternate payment arrangements and settlements of disputed tax liabilities on behalf of clients who are in collections, under audit or, who have a pending appeal of an assessment by the IRS, EDD, SBE and/or FTB.

Practice Areas

News & Publications

Firm News

Events & Speaking Engagements

Ms. Arellano is an experienced presenter and has addressed numerous organizations, including the California Community College Internal Auditors (CCIA), California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), Network of California Community College Foundations (NCCCF), and the Association of Chief Human Resource Officers (ACHRO), among others.

Publications

Ms. Arellano recently published an article for the National Club Association's, NCA Connect, "Independent Contractor or Employee? New Standards for How the IRS Determines Worker Classifications".

Ms. Arellano is also a frequent contributor to the firm’s publications, including:

  • Tips For Surviving An EDD Audit (Part 3 – Top 5 Tips for Navigating Post-Audit Options)
  • Tips For Surviving An EDD Audit (Part 2 – Top 5 Tips for Interacting with Auditor and Minimizing Assessment)
  • Tips For Surviving An EDD Audit (Part 1 – Top 5 Tips for Managing Your Business Prior to an Audit)
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of an LLC for Contractors
  • IRS Expands Availability of the Voluntary Worker Reclassification Program
  • IRS Expands Ability For 403(B) Plan Sponsors To Correct Deficiencies In Their 403(B) Plans
  • Is the IRS’ Voluntary Worker Reclassification Program Right for Your Business?
  • Guidance On Political Activities For Nonprofit Organizations
  • Tax-Exempt Organizations Beware IRS Has Revised The Form 990… Again
  • Could a Small or Disadvantaged/Women Owned Business Enterprise Certification Be the Boost Your Company Needs? (Tips on Getting Certified on Your First Submission)
  • Community College Auxiliary Organizations, Educational Agency JPAs Now Subject to EERA
  • Is Your Nonprofit In Danger of Losing Its Tax Exempt Status?
  • New COBRA Subsidy Notice is Out: Where’s the Guidance?
  • Congress Passes COBRA Subsidy Affecting Laid-Off Workers and Employers
  • Partial Delay of New Requirements for 403(b) Plans: Should We Re-Think What We Are Doing?

Community Involvement

Community & Professional

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member
  • American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Member
  • California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), Member
  • Women's Council of the Building Industry of Southern California, Member

Education

LL.M., University of San Diego School of Law
J.D., University of Nebraska College of Law
B.A., University of Central Florida

Admissions

  • 1993, California
    U.S. District Court, Central District of California
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