312-263-2200

Sandra D. Mertens

Partner

smertens@gcklegal.com

LinkedIn

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States Bankruptcy Court
  • United States Tax Court

Education

  • J.D. with honors, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, received multiple CALI Excellence for the Future Awards for earning the highest grade in Personal Income Tax, Family Wealth Management, and Trial Advocacy classes, received Phi Alpha Delta’s esteemed Frank E. Gray Outstanding Law School Chapter Clerk Award, Member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review, 2008
  • B.A. in Business Management cum laude, Trinity International University, 2003

Sandra D. Mertens is known for her diverse skill set, practicing in the areas of federal and state tax controversy and consulting, offshore account disclosures, estate planning, probate, estate and trust administration, general business law, and commercial litigation. She brings a personalized approach to client service as she counsels and assists while providing support and comfort to her clients during a time of stress.

Tax Controversy, Consulting, and Offshore Account Disclosures. Sandra has negotiated many tax resolutions with the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue, reducing her clients’ overall tax liabilities and helping them lower their monthly payment. She has often been able to cut her clients’ tax liabilities in half or more, after a thorough analysis of the client’s financial circumstances. For example, she negotiated Offers in Compromise reducing tax liabilities from $260,000 to $20,800, from $82,000 to $3,750, and from $497,000 to $28,408. Similarly, Sandra’s engagement in Tax Court proceedings have resulted in the expungement of a $3.4 million dollar federal income tax liability based on innocent spouse relief. She has also negotiated pay plans as low as $150 per month.

Sandra also has specialized expertise in the area of foreign asset compliance since 2009, assisting U.S. residents and foreign nationals alike with disclosing offshore bank accounts and other assets and coming into compliance with U.S. tax and information reporting in a manner which both minimizes the tax burden and provides relief to clients worried about impending government action.

Since 2008, Sandra has served as a monthly contributor to Debits and Credits, a newsletter published by the Independent Accountants Association of Illinois. She is also a member of the CBA’s State and Local Tax Committee and has lectured and prepared seminar materials for accountant and attorney education on a variety of topics including Offers in Compromise, trust fund recovery penalties, IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement Program for workers, foreign reporting requirements, and the IRS’ Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and compliance procedures.

General Business Law. Sandra assists large and small businesses with all stages of their business, from formation of an entity to contracts to employee issues, and dissolution. Her diverse skill set allows for a wholistic approach to foresee and plan for the unique challenges of each business client. She also provides registered agent services in the State of Illinois.

Her article, “Series Limited Liability Companies: A Possible Solution to Multiple LLC’s,” was published in the Chicago Kent Law Review in 2009. For the Illinois Bar Journal, she authored, “Can You Pierce the Veil of an Illinois LLC?” in 2015.

Estate Planning and Asset Protection. Sandra helps clients protect their loved ones through estate planning through preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more. She also handles specialized asset protection techniques such as gift and life insurance trusts. Her tax background provides a unique perspective to planning, and her probate experience allows for tailored techniques to prevent family disputes after death.

Probate and Estate/Trust Administration. Sandra assists grieving spouses and family members by handling required probate filings and assisting with the administration of estates and trusts after their loved one passes away. She is also a member of the CBA’s Probate Practice Committee.

Commercial Litigation. Sandra represents individuals and businesses with prosecuting and defending a wide variety of claims, including breach of contract, fiduciary duty issues, commercial lease disputes, and similar causes of action. She is often called upon to manage complicated discovery for the firm’s litigation matters and conduct complex research.

Sandra is admitted to the Illinois Bar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, United States Bankruptcy Court, and United States Tax Court. She has also been admitted pro hac vice in the District Court for the District of Columbia and New York state court.