WardChisholm, LLP is a firm of tax lawyers with offices in Bethesda, Maryland, McLean, Virginia, and Vancouver, British Columbia. We have a broad-based U.S. domestic and foreign tax practice. While the firm is small enough that our lawyers practice in a collegial setting, the practice of each lawyer in the firm varies. Our senior lawyers have primarily transactional practices, focusing on tax planning for individuals and businesses. Primary practice areas of other lawyers include estate administration, tax controversy representation, or cross border planning.
WardChisholm, LLP has developed a niche in cross-border planning for Canadian residents. The goals in working with Canadian clients are to answer their questions about the U.S. tax system, clearly explain the circumstances in which compliance with the revenue laws of the United States is necessary, and offer tax-effective solutions to minimize U.S. income, gift and estate tax obligations. This practice focuses on advising individuals and entities who are doing business in the United States in implementing ownership structures that allow residents of Canada to acquire U.S. real estate and business interests without becoming subject to U.S. estate taxation. The firm works closely with Canadian tax, legal and insurance advisors to review the recommendations provided to our Canadian clients in order that U.S. solutions are properly coordinated with Canadian tax and legal issues.
The core focus of the firm’s practice is integrated tax planning for owners of privately-owned businesses. WardChisholm, LLP structures the relationship between the business, the owner and the owner’s family so as to provide for the owner’s retirement, education of the family’s children and diversification into other investments in a tax-efficient manner. We design and implement most transactions arising during the life cycle of a business, including entity selection for start-ups, protection of business and personal assets from litigation and creditor claims,
design of capital infusions, employment relationships and equity participation, corporate reorganizations, and sales and acquisitions.
WardChisholm, LLP’s wealth transfer practice extends beyond preparation of traditional estate planning documents (wills and trusts) to a broader array of transactions intended to minimize and avoid U.S. gift and estate taxation. These techniques (commonly referred to as “estate freezing transactions”) shift appreciation in business and investment assets to younger-generation family members without estate and gift taxation while enabling older-generation family members to retain control over and income from transferred assets. As an important corollary to the tax
planning, wealth transfer transactions undertaken by the firm protect assets from marital and litigation claims.
The estate tax and wealth transfer planning undertaken by our firm is complemented by our estate administration practice. The firm assists fiduciaries in probate and other estate and trust administration matters, prepares and files U.S. estate and gift tax returns, and represents fiduciaries, estates and beneficiaries in the examination of those returns by the revenue
The firm’s tax controversy practice involves representation of clients before every level of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and in the U.S. Tax Court. The tax controversy practice focuses primarily on assisting non-filers to come into compliance, negotiating settlements with the collection arm of the Internal Revenue Service, and representing business owners with potential liability for the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty as a result of the failure of a business to properly pay employment taxes.
Tax planning does not occur in a vacuum. It is shaped by business, personal, and financial realities. The decades of personal experience which the lawyers of WardChisholm, LLP have accumulated gives the Firm the judgement necessary to properly advise clients and structure transactions that achieve the results for which they are intended.