Forrest David Milder

Forrest David Milder is one of our lead tax partners when it comes to tax credits and other tax-advantaged investments. He has a national practice that emphasizes the development of renewables, affordable housing, historic and new markets tax credit projects as well as resolving disputes with the IRS.

What do you focus on?

“Outside-the-box” solutions

My practice emphasizes structuring and bringing to closure many kinds of tax-advantaged projects, both for investors and those who need their investment. I have advised on an exceptionally wide range of ventures, with sizes from hundreds of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions. I am especially known for “outside-the-box” solutions. For example, I developed a technique that facilitated more than one hundred million dollars of renewable facilities qualifying for government grants, even though the projects were nominally owned by the government and bond-financed. I enabled another client to obtain a more than $50 million state credit as the first user of a new program by working with the applicable agency even before it had published any rules.

IRS dispute resolution

I have resolved four different multi-million dollar disputes with the IRS with the taxpayer having zero liability, and several others with only minimal adjustments. On one occasion I worked with clients and others to get the applicable Tax Code provision changed, thereby ending the audit.

Tax-advantaged investment

I have worked with countless developers and investors to close hundreds of transactions involving the low-income housing tax credit, including everything from standard ventures to “80-20” deals and “lease pass-throughs” that also involve the historic tax credit. I have written tax opinions enabling a client with an innovative renewable technology to close more than $150 million of tax credit investments.

Industry thought leadership

I work hard to stay at the forefront of the industries in which I am involved. For example, I am very active in the Solar Energy Industry Association’s Tax Committee, and I authored part of its recent proposal to the IRS on the solar tax credit regulations. I’ve also written more than 60 published articles about renewable energy, including solar, geothermal, biomass, water-based, and wind. In addition, I am a former chair of both the American Bar Association’s 7,000-member Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development and the 3,000-member MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. I’m the vice-chair of the historic tax credit coalition, and I was a major participant in helping to shape the IRS’s safe harbor on that credit. I’ve authored what is generally considered the best known treatise on housing and historic tax credits.

What do you see on the horizon?

From my vantage point, I note two things of particular importance. First, it is invaluable to be connected to both those who literally write the law and also my colleagues across the country who help interpret it. In this way, I can anticipate what is coming, how others will handle it and be sure that our clients have a role in how the rules are written and applied. Second, flexibility is the key to survival. “That’s how we’ve always done it in the past” is a thing of the past. Today’s opportunities belong to those who are fastest at matching their business to the ever-changing economic and legal landscape.

Recognition as an author

Forrest is the author or co-author of many articles on tax advantaged investments and related matters, as well as the BNA treatise, “Rehabilitation Tax Credit and Low Income Housing Tax Credit.” He has appeared many times on the front page of The Wall Street Journal (in its weekly “Tax Report” column), as well as in The Boston Globe, Banker & Tradesman, The Boston Business Journal, Mass High Tech, and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly with comments on recent and proposed tax legislation. He writes a monthly column on renewable energy, entitled “The Current,” for the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits.


  • “Solar Industry Trends–From Utility Scale to Residential,” Novogradac 2019 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Spring Conference, San Francisco, CA, May 23, 2019
  • “IRS Treasury Discussion on Low-Income Housing and Historic Credits and Tax Reform Issues,” 2019 Annual Meeting & Conference of the Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, Washington, DC, May 22, 2019
  • “Deep Dive into OZ Guidance Part II, ” Novogradac 2019 Opportunity Zones Spring Conference, Denver, CO, April 25, 2019
  • “IRS & Treasury Updates, an ITC for Storage, & More,” SEIA Finance & Tax Seminar, New York, NY, February 28, 2019
  • “Opportunity Zones and the Preservation Community,” National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Leadership Forum, January 17, 2019
  • “Basic overview of Opportunity Zones,” Novogradac Tax Credit Housing Finance Conference, Las Vegas, NV, November 29, 2018
  • “Overcoming Tax and Legal Obstacles,” Novogradac 2018 Opportunity Zones Conference, New Orleans, LA, October 2, 2018
  • Presentation on opportunity zones, Chase Opportunity Zones Luncheon, Washington, DC, September 7, 2018

Experts delve into Opportunity Zones and housing

Affordable Housing Finance | April 21, 2019

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder discusses opportunity zones and housing in this video from the AHF Live Forum.

Opportunity zone rules leave out data reporting, penalty details

Bloomberg Tax | April 21, 2019

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder is quoted in this article, discussing possible confusion stemming from the murky definition of “independent contractor” in proposed IRS rules governing opportunity zones.

INSIGHT: A dozen things you should know about setting up an opportunity fund

Bloomberg Tax | November 28, 2018

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder wrote this contributed article outlining key details that investors and developers need to know as they utilize the opportunity zone provisions created by the 2017 tax law.

The federal circuit vacates the Alta Wind decision

International Energy Law Review | October 31, 2018

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder authored this column about a recent Federal Court of Appeals ruling to overturn the Alta Wind decision, and its possible implications for the energy industry and projects involving government grants or tax credits.

Uncertainty blows through tax equity market after inconclusive court decision

Power Finance and Risk | August 15, 2018

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder is quoted in this story for his analysis of a recent U.S. Appeals Court decision that could negatively impact the reliability of valuations used in renewable project deals.

What do I need to know about repowering a facility?

Novogradac & Company | August 03, 2017

Boston Tax Credit Finance & Syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about what to consider when using renewable energy tax credits when renovating a facility.

IRS publishes regulations to apply the new post-2017 audit rules

Novogradac & Company | July 09, 2017

Boston tax credit finance and syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about the Internal Revenue Service’s proposed audits regulations.

The current: What is ‘back leverage’ and what do I need to know about it?

Novogradac & Company | May 08, 2017

Boston tax credit finance and syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this column about the increasing use of back leverage in renewable energy tax credit projects and its implications.

The current: ten things to know when combining renewable energy and low-income housing tax credits

Novagradac: Journal of Tax Credits | January 09, 2017

Boston tax credit finance and syndication partner Forrest Milder authored this article about ten things people should keep in mind when combining low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC) and renewable energy tax credits (RETC).


Forrest David Milder



Phone: 617-345-1055

Fax: 866-947-2387

Boston University, LL.M.

Harvard Law School, J.D.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.B., Phi Beta Kappa

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.M.


U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Tax Court

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Forrest was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of Tax Law. Forrest has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2013.

Forrest has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 for Tax Law in Boston, MA. He has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2013.

Forrest has been listed several times in “Marquis’s Who’s Who in American Law” and in Boston Magazine’s “Massachusetts Super Lawyers” and “New England Super Lawyers.”

Forrest is a member of the American and Boston bar associations and is the former chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. He was the 2009–2010 chair of the American Bar Association’s 7000-member Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law and he runs the Forum’s “listserv” via which nearly 1,000 participants discuss issues relevant to affordable housing and community development.

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