Brett Carter


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  • Georgetown University, LL.M. (Taxation), 2000

  • University of Memphis School of Law, J.D., 1998, Research Editor, University of Memphis Law Review

  • University of Tennessee, B.S., 1994, Student Body President


  • United States Tax Court

  • United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee


  • United States Tax Court Clerk

    • Judge Mary Ann Cohen (1998)

  • The Best Lawyers in America®

    • Litigation & Controversy-Tax, 2014-2019

    • "Lawyer of the Year," Nashville, Litigation and Controversy-Tax, 2015

  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Tax, 2012-2018

Brett represents clients in state and local tax disputes involving all Tennessee taxes, including sales and use tax, franchise and excise tax, property tax, and business tax. Brett's clients span numerous industries, including cable, telecom, technology, manufacturing, financial services, transportation, entertainment, hospitality, healthcare, insurance, retail, and construction.

Brett has significant experience in tax litigation, mergers and acquisitions, leasing transactions, airplane transactions, nexus, Tennessee tax exemptions (including the manufacturing exemption), state tax incentives, voluntary disclosures, and tax enforcement matters. Brett also advises companies on the taxation of computer software, in light of emerging technologies and the use of cloud computing.

In addition to state and local tax, Brett routinely represents businesses, nonprofits and individuals on federal tax planning, audit defense, and Tax Court litigation.

Brett also assists businesses with tax-related business disputes and collections matters.

Brett has developed a broad following for his use of social media to track state and local tax matters as the Tennessee Tax Lawyer--@TNTaxLawer. 


Ace American Ins. Co. v. State (Tennessee Supreme Court 2015)

Co-Counsel in successful appeal of Tennessee retaliatory tax dispute involving Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation insurers doing business in Tennessee.

DirectTV, Inc. v. Roberts 2015 WL 899025 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2015)

Represented interests of Tennessee Cable Telecommunication Association in case filed by satellite companies involving the constitutionality of the exemption for cable services.

Level 3 Communications, LLC v. Roberts, 2013WL5373143 (Tenn. Ct. App 2013)

Lead Counsel in a successful appeal of refund case involving the taxation of internet access services.

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CAO Holdings, Inc. v. Roberts, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court, Sept. 29, 2011).

Lead counsel in a successful trial against the Tennessee Department of Revenue in a case on remand from the Tennessee Supreme Court (CAO Holdings, Inc. v. Trost, 333 S.W.3d 73 (Tenn. 2010). Following a multiple day trial, our client obtained a significant use tax refund, interest and attorneys’ fees, relating to the out-of-state purchase of a Cessna aircraft and its subsequent in-state use exclusively for leasing.

Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue, 2008 WL 2415483 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008).

Lead counsel on appeal involving the application of Tennessee’s taxpayer confidentiality statutes to discovery requests in tax litigation. The Tennessee Court of Appeals held in the taxpayer’s favor concluding that taxpayer information prepared by the Department of Revenue, and in the possession of the Department, must be disclosed.

Telescripps Cable Company v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court).

Lead counsel on successful motion for summary judgment against Tennessee Department of Revenue. We prevailed on a significant issue for the cable industry involving the Tennessee sales tax exemption for cable set-top boxes and remote controls.

In re: Premier Global Productions (Tennessee Board of Equalization)

Lead Counsel on appeal of property tax assessment against entertainment production company involving the application of Tennessee’s personal property tax statutes to the lease of staging and lighting equipment. We succeeded in overturning the assessment through the administrative appellate process.

Bristol Motor Speedway v. Farr, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court)

Lead counsel on successful motion for summary judgment against Tennessee Department of Revenue involving the application of Tennessee's Business Tax to the sale of intangibles.

Nissan North America v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue (Davidson County, Tennessee Chancery Court)

Co-counsel in successful litigation involving application of Tennessee sales tax to preventative maintenance services provided by contractors.

Elephant Sanctuary of Tenn. v. Tennessee Board of Equalization, (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court)

Lead trial counsel on case involving application of charitable property tax exemption. The Chancery Court ruled in the taxpayers favor concluding that the Elephant Sanctuary was entitled to a full exemption from Tennessee property tax.

Eastman Chemical Co. v. Chumley, 2004 WL 51822 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2004)

Co-counsel on lawsuit involving the application of Tennessee’s manufacturing exemption to catalysts. The Court of Appeals ruled in the taxpayer’s favor, affirming the Chancery Court’s grant of summary judgment that the exemption applied.

ExxonMobil Corporation v. Johnson (Davidson County, Tennessee, Chancery Court)

Co-counsel on lawsuit involving franchise and excise tax. Chancery Court ruled in taxpayers favor, concluding that affiliated indebtedness should be included in calculation of net worth tax base.

Holston Defense Corporation v. Chumley, Commissioner of Revenue (Sullivan County, Tennessee, Chancery Court)

Co-counsel on multi-day trial on the issue of whether HDC was a manufacturer for Tennessee sales and use tax purposes. Chancery Court concluded that one of the two facilities operated by HDC qualified for manufacturing exemption.


Filed multiple amicus briefs on behalf of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce an Industry. Most recent filing: Pfizer, Inc. v. Roberts, Commissioner of Revenue (Tennessee Court of Appeals) (Pending decision).