Pietra G. Lettieri

Ms. Lettieri is a member of the firm.  She practices in the Tax Law, Public Finance and Economic Development, and Government Compliance and Investigations Practice Groups and serves on the Energy and the Telecommunications and Media, and the Financial Institutions and Capital Markets Industry Teams.  Selected as a member of the 2013 Buffalo Business First’s “40 Under 40” class, in the area of tax dispute resolution, Ms. Lettieri represents clients in federal and state tax disputes from the audit level through the appellate process with respect to controversies involving taxes such as business tax, personal income tax, and sales and use tax.  In the public finance and economic development area, she assists companies in obtaining tax savings through transactions with Industrial Development Agencies.  She also works with clients to obtain tax savings through the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program.

Ms. Lettieri also conducts complex corporate investigations, including those involving financial components and compliance issues arising across numerous states.  Her investigative experience has involved not only internal investigations, but also investigations conducted in the light of external components, such as government compliance and enforcement, which experience involves detailed understanding and application of complex accounting principles, and intersection of such principles with corporate financial statements.

Prior to joining Harris Beach, Ms. Lettieri was an associate in the office of a “Big 4” New York City accounting firm where she consulted individual and corporate clients on audit defense of New York state and New York City income and net worth based franchise taxes.

Recent Significant Representations and Represented Cases:

  • Co-leader as independent counsel to international client in connection with corporate financial investigation, including co-managing Harris Beach’s relationship with the client to conduct multi-state, complex investigations.
  • Matter of Wendt, New York Division of Tax Appeals, ALJ, DTA Nos. 824856; 824857; 824858; 824859, November 6, 2014.  Successfully represented S Corp shareholders’ claims for Qualified Empire Zone Enterprise (QEZE) tax credits. The ALJ found the tax division improperly calculated the tax factor of a tax reduction credit for the QEZE S Corp shareholders, finding the division should have used each shareholder's tax attributable to the business's income as the tax factor.
  • In Re Forestview Restaurant, LLC, New York Division of Tax Appeals, ALJ, DTA Nos. 823465 and 823466, June 28, 2012. Successfully represented taxpayer in defense of sales and use tax audit.  ALJ determined that the New York Division of Taxation incorrectly determined that additional sales and use taxes were due from the taxpayers, finding that the audit methodology chosen by the division was not supported by a rational basis in the record.
  • In Re Eastern Paramedics, Inc. and Lasalle Ambulance, Inc., New York Division of Tax Appeals, ALJ, DTA Nos. 822836 and 822837, September 2, 2010.  Successfully represented the taxpayers' claims for qualified empire zone enterprise (QEZE) sales tax exemptions for purchases of medical supplies that were used on ambulances.
  • In Re Chapin Manufacturing, Inc., New York Division of Tax Appeals, ALJ, DTA No. 822653, April 1, 2010.  Successfully represented the taxpayer's entitlement to a qualified empire zone enterprise (QEZE) credit for eligible real property taxes on a combined return in the name of the taxpayer and its subsidiaries for New York corporate income tax purposes.

Professional & Community Activities

Ms. Lettieri is a member of the Erie County Bar Association, serving as chair of the Banking Law Committee and past chair of the Erie County Bar Association's Young Lawyers Committees.  She is also a 2009 graduate of the Erie County Bar Association Leadership Institute.  Ms. Lettieri is past president of the Board of Directors of the University of Buffalo Alumni Association GOLD Group, and currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the UB Law Alumni Association.  She is also a community volunteer as a member of the Junior League of Buffalo.  She was named among Buffalo’s Who’s Who in Law by Buffalo Business First and Buffalo Law Journal in 2012, and is a recipient of Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2013.  In 2015, Ms. Lettieri received her Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification from the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, as a volunteer member of the Junior League of Buffalo Transforming Spaces team.

Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member

Named among Buffalo’s Who’s Who in Law by Buffalo Business First and Buffalo Law Journal in 2012