Cannabis Industrial Marketplace

Ryan Milam

Polston Tax Resolution and Accounting
Tax Strategist & Enrolled Agent

Session Title: Into the Weeds: Cannabis Case Law

Professional Summary

Ryan Milam was born and raised in Oklahoma City. Prior to joining Polston Tax, Ryan worked at Apple, an international Fortune 500 company, for over 8 years. Despite making one of the largest account sales in the entire company and traveling the world, Ryan wanted to make a long-term career change to help people. He knew that working in tax resolution and strategy would allow him to change lives by serving local business owners as they navigate complex tax issues.

After coming to Polston Tax, Ryan became an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service. This certification earned him the ability to represent taxpayers before the IRS in all 50 states. From there, Ryan went on to become a Certified Tax Strategist through the CTC.

Ryan typically spends 10 hours per week in continuing his education to stay up to date on tax law changes. As an expert on the thousands of pages of legislative intent as published by the IRS each year, Ryan serves as a lead on both our personalized proactive tax reduction strategies team, as well as within our cannabis accounting department. Ryan is passionate about attaining the most up to date, relevant continuing education possible to better serve his clients.

When not at work, Ryan enjoys playing golf, traveling, and trying different types of cuisine with his significant other, Kaley.

Session Abstract

Is your cannabis business paying significantly more in taxes than your competitors? Are you worried about being audited? In a highly engaging presentation, Ryan addresses:

  • Tips on how to structure your business correctly and avoid facing serious tax penalties.
  • Insight on being audited by the IRS and what to avoid.
  • Navigating Section 280E and Cost of Goods Sold.
  • How to avoid improper layout of facility and poor bookkeeping.
  • Tax Court Ruling in Alterman v. Commissioner - This case was about a business in Colorado that grew and sold marijuana products when they were audited by the IRS and had the amount of taxes they owed increased by almost HALF A MILLION DOLLARS! The owners of the business tried to preserve some of the deductions the IRS had disallowed by arguing in Tax Court that their business sold non-marijuana merchandise along with their marijuana products. They argued the sale of pipes, papers and other items constituted a second business separate from the marijuana business and was not subject to Section 280E. This argument was denied by Tax Court because the non-marijuana sales only accounted for 4% of the income.