Kaplin leads the Corporate Practice Team and advises clients regarding business formation and transactions, including choice of entity, joint ventures and LLCs, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, shareholder and partner disputes, and tax planning. He structures tax-free reorganizations and like-kind property exchanges, phantom stock and deferred compensation plans for executives, and advises tax-exempt and nonprofit corporations.
In 2014, Kaplin led clients to two significant wins in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: one holding that a client could deduct a large lease termination expense when it bought the property it leased; and the other holding that an LLC did not need to pay a withdrawing member.
Advises clients regarding choice of entity and transactional tax planning; structures tax-free reorganizations and like-kind property exchanges; sets up and advises tax-exempt and nonprofit corporations; handles audits and appeals hearings; commences and settles tax litigation; formulates and drafts tax opinions; prepares IRS ruling requests; develops and consults re tax legislation.
Formed over 200 limited liability companies, partnerships, and joint ventures; structured mergers and conversions regarding same; advised regarding tax planning and buyout provisions.
Advises and prepares documents for formation of corporations (profit and nonprofit) and partnerships (general and limited); structures joint venture and option arrangements; consults regarding shareholder agreements, and management and split-up issues; assists in financing projects.
Consults regarding nonqualified compensation planning; drafts nonqualified and incentive stock options; develops and drafts plans involving stock appreciation rights, phantom stock, and unrestricted stock; analyzes "golden parachute" problems; prepares employment agreements and bonus formulas; consults regarding rabbi trusts, key man insurance and other nonqualified benefits.
Honors & Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America® since 2013
Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) - Grand Rapids, 2018
Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Tax Law - Grand Rapids, 2015
Leading Lawyers: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Tax Law - Business
Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
American Bar Association
District of Columbia Bar Association
Grand Rapids Bar Association
Grand Valley State University: Master of Science in Taxation Program, Advisory Board, past member
State Bar of Michigan: Taxation; Tax Council, 1998 - 2000
Utah State Bar Association
Grand Rapids Public Museum Friends Foundation, counsel
President Ford Field Service Council, Executive Board
News & Publications
- August 16, 2017
- August 26, 2016
- December 15, 2014
- January 27, 2009
- Automotive Blog Post, August 3, 2016
- Tax Advisory, January 30, 2015
- Tax Advisory, June 20, 2014
- Real Estate Reporting Expanded by New Regs.46 Taxation for Accountants 133, 19 Taxation for Lawyers 324, 1991
- Taxpayer Bill of Rights Requires Disclosure of IRS Methods and Expands Civil Remedies17 Taxation for Lawyers 260, 42 Taxation for Accountants 180, 1989
- If It Ain't Broke . . . Another Viewpoint on Section 83(b)66 Taxes 798, 1988
- New Reporting Requirements for Sales or Exchanges of Real Estate Described inRecent Regulations16 Taxation for Lawyers 88, 1987
- Another Acronym Comes of Age, or Will New FIRPTA Withholding Requirements Freeze Foreign Investment in the U.S.?63 Taxes 459, 1985
George Washington University,
The National Law Center
LL.M., Taxation, with highest honors, 1983
Brigham Young University,
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Brigham Young University
B.S., Accounting, magna cum laude, 1978
B.A., English, summa cum laude, 1977
- District of Columbia
- All Michigan state courts
All Utah state courts
All District of Columbia courts
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States Tax Court