Forrest Milder

Forrest David Milder



Forrest David Milder is one of our lead tax partners when it comes to low-income housing tax credits, renewable energy tax credits, historic tax credits, new markets tax credits, and opportunity zones, as well as other tax-advantaged investments. He has a national practice that emphasizes the development of LIHTC, RETC, HTC and NMTC projects, setting up opportunity funds and developing OZ projects, as well as resolving disputes with the IRS.

What do you focus on?

Creative 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, involving low income housing tax credits (LIHTC), renewable energy tax credits (RETC), historic tax credits (HTC), new markets tax credits (NMTC) and opportunity zones (OZ), with sizes from hundreds of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions. I am especially known for creative solutions, such as applying concepts from other industries or interpretations based on analogous tax provisions. For example, I have developed structures to implement many of the recent changes to LIHTC rules where the IRS has not yet issued guidance. This has enabled our clients to close deals far sooner than might have been expected. And, on behalf of several NP clients, I developed much of the tax structuring associated with the rehabilitation of billions of dollars of NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties that did not make use of the low-income tax credit.

“Keeping up with the latest”

I keep a close eye on recently adopted Internal Revenue Code provisions as well as pending legislation and recent IRS guidance. I am active in several trade associations related to my practice, particularly the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), and the Historic Tax Credit Coalition (HTCC), and I keep on top of pending rules and law changes. I have drafted proposed legislation and submitted interpretations and examples to the IRS and Treasury with respect to the LIHTC, HTC, RETC and OZ rules, many of which bear great similarity to the rules that were ultimately adopted. 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 that applies to the HTC.

IRS dispute resolution

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

Thought leadership

I am an active speaker and writer in several tax equity fields, particularly speaking about LIHTC, HTC, RETC, and OZ matters. I’ve written more than 75 published articles about renewable energy tax credits, including solar, geothermal, biomass, water-based, and wind. I’ve authored a leading treatise on housing and historic credits, and I’ve had several articles on Opportunity Zones and Qualified Opportunity Funds in leading publications. In addition, I am a former chair of both the American Bar Association’s Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, and I taught legal research and writing at the Boston University Law School for several years. I continue to run the Housing Forum’s well-known listserv, where professionals discuss the low-income housing tax credit, as well as other tax credits and housing issues.

Relating to clients

I am especially known for my skill at explaining complex tax rules. I regularly make myself available to walk clients through the complex tax issues that affect their transactions. I have been told many times by clients, “I never understood that concept until you explained it” and “You make tax fun!” In addition to the many speaking appearances noted below, I also make myself available to clients to actually discuss their tax issues. For example, I have set up a bi-weekly zoom call with about two dozen participants at one of our clients where I provide a sounding board for tax questions that come up in their business as well as seminars on capital accounts and similar topics relevant to tax-equity. This benefits both of us, as I know better what transactions they are contemplating, and they understand better how the tax rules are applied to those transactions. I also have a collection of easy-to-read articles on structuring and investing in renewable energy tax credit transactions that is available on request.

What do you see on the horizon?

From my vantage point, I note three 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. As important, with rapid and significant changes in the law, we offer practical, common sense applications of new rules that enable our clients to ride the wave, while other sponsors and investors wait on the sidelines. Finally, 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

I am the author or co-author of many articles on tax advantaged investments and related matters. I have appeared many times on Bloomberg’s website, and 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. I write a monthly column on renewable energy tax credits, entitled “The Current,” for the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, and authored a BNA treatise on rehabilitation and housing credits.

I and my NP partner, John Cornell, were awarded the Paul E. Tsongas Award by Preservation Massachusetts for our work on historic tax credit projects honoring “those who have played an extraordinary role in promoting historic preservation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” I have also been recognized many times by U.S. News Best Lawyers, Massachusetts and New England “Super Lawyers,” and Marquis Who’s Who in American Law.

Presentations

  • “Hot Topics in Tax Credit Transactions,” 2022 Forum on Affordable Housing Annual Meeting, May 27, 2022
  • “IRS & Treasury Discussions on LIHTC and Opportunity Zone Issues – Part 1 and Part 2,” 2022 Forum on Affordable Housing Annual Meeting, May 25, 2022
  • “Tax Structuring Trends,” Novogradac 2022 Spring Renewable Energy and Environmental Tax Credits Conference, May 20, 2022
  • “Understanding the Numbers: Sources, Uses, and More,” IPED’s Learn the Basics: Housing Tax Credits 101, Boston, MA, March 24, 2022
  • “Structuring Your Transaction for Success,” Novogradac 2021 Fall Renewable Energy and Environmental Tax Credits Conference, Washington, DC, November 5, 2021
  • “Project Finance Primer,” Novogradac 2021 Fall Renewable Energy and Environmental Tax Credits Conference, Washington, DC, November 3, 2021
  • “The Impact of New Partnership Audit Rules,” NCSHA Housing Credit Connect 2021, June 23, 2021
  • “Renewable Energy & Storage Project Tax Structuring and Strategies,” EUCI's Virtual Program, June 15, 2021
  • “LIHTC Hot Topics,” ABA Forum on Affordable Housing & Community Development Law 2021 Annual Meeting, May 21, 2021
  • “Tax Equity Part 1-Landscape and Trends,” Novogradac 2021 Spring Renewable Energy and Environmental Tax Credits Virtual Conference, May 20, 2021
  • “Renewable Energy Tax Credit Fundamentals & Monetization Online Workshop,” Novogradac 2021 Spring Renewable Energy and Environmental Tax Credits Virtual Conference Workshop, May 11, 2021
  • “Implementation of the Minimum 4 Percent Housing Credit Rate,” Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, January 27, 2021
  • “State of the Market – Equity/Debt and Developers’ Insights,” 2021 CARH Virtual Midyear Meeting, Webinar, January 26, 2021
  • “Tax and Structuring Issues,” Novogradac 2020 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Fall Virtual Conference, November 5–6, 2020
  • “Project Finance Primer,” Novogradac 2020 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Fall Virtual Conference, November 5–6, 2020
  • “Current Issues,” Novogradac 2020 Historic Tax Credit Virtual Conference, September 25, 2020
  • “Renewable Energy Opportunity Zones,” EUCI Renewable Energy Opportunity Zones Conference, New Orleans, LA, November 13, 2019
  • “Opportunity Zones and Renewable Energy,” Novogradac 2019 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Conference, Washington, DC, November 8, 2019
  • “Tax Issues and Structuring Trends Session,” Novogradac 2019 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Conference, Washington, DC, November 7, 2019
  • “Real Estate,” Novogradac 2019 Opportunity Zones Fall Conference, Chicago, IL, October 24, 2019
  • “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

Ten things to know about opportunity zones and renewable energy investment tax credits

Journal of Tax Credits | April 07, 2022

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder contributed this article examining what investors should know about pairing the opportunity zone incentive with the renewable energy investment tax credit.

Hebrew SeniorLife receives financing for expansion of affordable community near Boston

Seniors Housing Business | March 03, 2022

This article on client Hebrew SeniorLife closing financing to build 45 new units of affordable senior housing in metro Boston mentions NP for advising on the project. Boston Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Jeff Sacks led the NP team, which also included Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder, and AHRE senior counsel Don Cooper, counsel Karla Chaffee, associate Ali Sisson, and paralegal Vienna Kim, all of the Boston office.

Foreign opportunity zone investors face hurdles under new rules

Bloomberg Tax | April 13, 2021

In this article about new proposed IRS rules for foreign investors in opportunity zones, Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder is quoted on the challenges these investors could face in trying to benefit from the tax breaks.

SECs Division of Examinations asks about opportunity zones

Regulatory Compliance Watch | March 08, 2021

In this article on how opportunity zones have attracted examiner interest, Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder is quoted on IRS guidelines around opportunity zones, the delays caused by COVID, and what constitutes a qualified asset.

OCC rule misaligned with some tax equity safe harbors

Law360 | March 08, 2021

This contributed article, which examines the OCC’s finalized rule governing national banks’ ability to participate in equity-based finance structures involving tax credits, was authored by Project Finance & Public Finance partner Ellen Friedman and Global Finance senior counsel Larry Fruchtman, both in New York City; Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder in Boston; and Community Development Finance partners Michael Goldman and Shariff Barakat, both in Washington, DC.

The year of big tax changes

Tax Credit Advisor | March 01, 2021

This article quotes Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder on the 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit floor included in COVID-19 legislation, specifically related to parties that acquired used facilities in 2020 with 2021 bonds.

Federal rule opens tax-equity investment to national banks

Inframation News | January 25, 2021

This article on the new rule by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that may allow national banks and federal savings associations to engage in certain tax-equity finance transactions cites a recent NP tax credit alert. The alert was written by Project Finance & Public Finance partner Ellen Friedman and Global Finance senior counsel Larry Fruchtman, both in New York City; Community Development Finance partners Shariff Barakat and Michael Goldman, both in Washington, D.C.; and Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder.

Approach to LIHTC Regulations Should Be Reconsidered, Individuals Say

Tax Notes | December 28, 2020

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder co-authored this letter to the IRS, republished by Tax Notes, related to income averaging regulations for low-income housing tax credits.

Congress Gives Boost to Affordable Housing, Hotel Occupancy Misses the Holiday Spirit, Personal Income Falls

CoStar News | December 23, 2020

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder and Washington, D.C. Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Richard Price comment on the low-income housing tax credit rate being fixed at 4% in Congress’ recently passed spending bill, and what that could mean in practical terms.

Treasury Offers Broad Opportunity Zone Investor Relief

Bloomberg Tax | June 05, 2020

This article quotes Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder on new Treasury guidance related to opportunity zone investors, noting what he’s been seeing in the space as well as issues that remain unaddressed.

INSIGHT: Highlights of the final Opportunity Zone regulations

Bloomberg Tax | January 06, 2020

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder wrote this contributed article analyzing the recently finalized IRS regulations governing opportunity zones.

First take on final OZ regulations

Affordable Housing Finance | December 26, 2019

Boston Community Development Finance partner Forrest Milder wrote this contributed article analyzing the final IRS regulations governing opportunity zones, the tax-advantaged investment opportunity created by Congress in 2017.

Contact

Forrest David Milder

Partner

Boston

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.

Massachusetts

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, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 in the field of Tax Law. Forrest has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2013.

Forrest has been listed several times in Marquis 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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