Sarah Beard litigates cases involving state and local tax issues at all levels, and offers transaction planning, regulatory and legislative experience to assist clients in reaching their financial goals.

Sarah has more than 25 years of experience advising businesses on state and local tax issues.  Her practice covers all state and local taxes but concentrates on assisting businesses with Maine income tax and sales and use tax issues.  Her practice includes state and local tax controversy work at administrative levels and in court, as well as counseling and transactional planning. Sarah has significant experience assisting clients with multistate nexus issues and voluntary disclosure agreements.

Sarah clerked for Chief Justice Vincent McKusick of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court immediately after law school. Following her clerkship she joined Pierce Atwood where she has practiced ever since, in the state and local tax area.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Tax Law since 2005
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell 

Professional Activities

  • Member, Advisory Board, New England State and Local Tax Forum
  • Member, Maine State Bar Association, 1987- present
  • Member, American Bar Association, Taxation Section (State and Local Tax Committee), 1993-present
  • Member and past Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Bar Tax Section
  • Past Co-chair of the Maine State Bar Association Tax Section


  • Sarah contributes the Maine Tax Developments chapter to fall and spring Council on State Taxation audit conference publications.
  • “Conflicting Schemes for Apportionment of Service Businesses,” Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT) Tax Report, June 2014. This article received IPT’s 2015 Income Tax Article of the Year Award.

Civic Activities

  • Board of Directors, Education Foundation of Freeport, 2003-2006

Practice Areas

Representative Experience

  • Successfully litigated income apportionment issue for multistate student loans and financial services provider, using costs of performance analysis
  • Obtained full abatement for multistate taxpayer at administrative appeal level in Maine of tax resulting from inclusion in tax base of dividends from a non-unitary partnership
  • Obtained full abatement for multinational taxpayer at administrative appeal level in Maine of tax plus additional refunds, on issue involving applicability of income tax throwback rule
  • Negotiated VDA on behalf of company seeking to come into compliance with Service Provider Tax on telecommunications services
  • Obtained full abatement at the administrative appeal level of Maine use tax assessed on fleet of corporate aircraft on the basis that they were exempt as instrumentalities of interstate commerce
  • Obtained ruling for family limited partnership regarding applicability of lodgings tax
  • Obtained published guidance on behalf of manufacturing industry group and printers and publishers on application of manufacturing exemptions