12800 Center Court Drive
Cerritos, CA 90703
Cindy Strom Arellano, head of the business and tax team, is a partner in the Cerritos office. Ms. Arellano’s practice focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation, qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation and retirement plans, health and welfare benefit plans, ERISA, tax audits and other tax controversy matters, and MBE/WBE/DBE certification. She also works with nonprofits, including educational foundations, auxiliary organizations, charitable organizations, and trade associations, and represents clients in general corporate transactional matters, business formations, compensation structuring, and mergers and acquisitions.
Ms. Arellano regularly assists clients with drafting and reviewing executive and deferred compensation plans and agreements and advises both public and private sector clients on a variety of issues relating to 401(k), 403(b), 457 and other deferred compensation/retirement plans. She also assists clients with controlled group issues and with correcting qualified plan errors through IRS and DOL compliance programs. In addition, Ms. Arellano has considerable experience counseling clients with respect to their health and welfare benefit plans, Section 125 cafeteria plans, GASB 43 and 45 plans, voluntary disability plans, fringe benefit arrangements, and COBRA issues arising in mergers, acquisitions and/or restructuring of businesses.
Ms. Arellano has represented numerous clients in the trucking, construction, entertainment, and other industries in connection with tax audits and controversies with the Employment Development Department (EDD), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and State Board of Equalization (SBE). Audits and tax controversies handled by Ms. Arellano have covered a multitude of issues including worker misclassification, sales, income and employment tax disputes and trust fund recovery penalty assessments. Ms. Arellano has successfully appealed many tax assessments, and has negotiated many favorable alternate payment arrangements and settlements of disputed tax liabilities on behalf of clients who are in collections, under audit or, who have a pending appeal of an assessment by the IRS, EDD, SBE and/or FTB.
Ms. Arellano received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida and her Juris Doctor, with distinction, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. While at the University of Nebraska, Ms. Arellano served as a staff member of the “Nebraska Law Review.” Ms. Arellano received her LL.M. in taxation from the University of San Diego.
Publications and Speaking Engagements
Ms. Arellano is an experienced presenter and has addressed numerous organizations, including the California Community College Internal Auditors (CCIA), California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), Network of California Community College Foundations (NCCCF), and the Association of Chief Human Resource Officers (ACHRO), among others.
Ms. Arrellano recently published an article for the National Club Association's, NCA Connect, "Independent Contractor or Employee? New Standards for How the IRS Determines Worker Classifications".
Ms. Arellano is also a frequent contributor to the firm’s publications, including: