Tax Planning

Wayne Zell has over 33 years experience as a certified public accountant and over 28 years experience as a tax attorney on which he has built his practice in representing clients on estate planning and business planning matters. Tax planning is the underpinning of all individual investment decisions and all business decisions.

To schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you, contact Wayne Zell today at 703-967-7070 or email him at Our office is located in Reston, Virginia and we serve clients throughout Northern Virginia (including Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Fauquier County, Fairfax City, Alexandria City, and Arlington County), Maryland (including Montgomery County and Prince Georges County), and Washington, D.C.

Mr. Zell provides sophisticated international, federal, state and local tax advice to advance clients’ interests in an environment of complex and rapidly changing tax laws. He advises clients in their ongoing and transactional planning, tailoring structures to meet business and financial goals in a manner that makes the best use of tax incentives and minimizes the impact of taxation.

Wayne Zell also represents clients in civil tax controversies and regularly serve as special tax counsel to other law firms, accounting firms, and investment banks. Mr. Zell  has assisted clients in structuring legislative proposals and presenting them to Congress, the Treasury Department, the IRS, other agencies, and industry coalitions.

Closely-Held Businesses

Mr. Zell’s closely-held business clients include mature businesses, often owned by family members and operating as limited liability companies or S Corporations, and start-up businesses that may have the potential to become publicly-held companies. He advises clients on a variety of matters, including the right form of organization for their enterprises; the structure of executive compensation packages (especially in start-up situations), the interaction between business tax planning and estate planning; and the tax aspects of particular business and financial matters that arise in the course of business. For start-up and later-stage companies in high technology areas such as electronics, computer components and software, planning often includes venture capital financing, technology licensing and corporate joint ventures. At the same time, Mr. Zell utilizes extensive knowledge of estate planning to structure the most tax-effective succession plans for business owners.

Partnerships and Joint Ventures

Mr. Zell is experienced in structuring complex economic relations among parties doing business in the form of entities taxed as partnerships, including limited liability companies. These arrangements may be joint ventures formed for a limited purpose among otherwise independent businesses or may be a single business operating in the flexible mode afforded by a tax pass-through entity. He regularly structures entities that include complex, disproportionate allocations of economic and tax incidents, and designs flexible executive equity incentives that are particular to the tax pass-through regime.

Tax-Exempt Entities

Mr. Zell has represented many tax-exempt entities, such as health care and educational organizations and private foundations, in obtaining tax-exempt status and provides these organizations with advice on issues of particular concern in their ongoing operations, including related taxable and exempt activities. He also counsels clients in their ongoing restructuring as they enter into taxable ventures and establish for-profit affiliates to improve their cash flow, enabling them to benefit from unrelated business opportunities while maintaining their exempt status. Mr. Zell has represented pension funds and tax-exempt investors in structuring investments to achieve maximum rates of return while avoiding unrelated business taxable income.