Joseph Bray: Giving clients a voice

Born and raised in San Francisco by an East Coast conservative father and West Coast liberal mother, Joseph Bray grew up in a divided household, one where heated political and legal debates were commonplace at the dinner table. By the time Bray was a high school sophomore, years of robust dialogue over the ramifications of various legislative measures had already taught him something crucial: “If you want to have a voice, you need a law degree.”

“I’ve been on track to be an attorney since I was 16,” Bray explains. Though he originally intended to pursue a career in politics, Bray knew that a thorough understanding of the legal system was essential to effect any real change. After obtaining his B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Davis, in 1994, Bray moved on to McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento. There, Bray decided that rather than applying his law degree to the political sphere, he would use his knowledge to give others a voice by going into practice.

Never shy in the face of a challenge, Bray has negotiated real estate settlements, tax disputes and civil litigation, and is continually looking to expand his professional scope.  Bray was initially drawn to tax law precisely because of the vast array of cases that fall under this seemingly niche category.

“Everything has potential tax consequences,” he notes. So, by practicing in this realm of the law, he has the ability to handle claims, oversee settlements and manage disputes relating to corporate agreements, property sales, international transactions, and more.

As an associate tax attorney at Moskowitz LLP, Bray has helped many clients in the San Francisco area resolve their tax issues by advocating on their behalf before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), California State Franchise Tax Board (FTB), California State Board of Equalization, (BOE), and California State Employment Development Department (EDD).

Bray notes that, in many cases, an individual’s first instinct is to ignore an official notice from these tax-collecting agencies. “It’s the letter that you put on the bottom of the stack,” he said, adding that “it just festers.” Therefore, I recommend that if you receive such a letter from the taxing agency, contact a tax attorney before the situation spirals out of your control.