Joel Swearingen

Joel Swearingen is an associate in the firm’s Project Finance and Public Finance practice groups, where he works closely with group members representing issuers, underwriters and borrowers on a variety of public finance transactions. He also has substantial experience in the field of tax withholding and information reporting, both internationally and domestically.

What do you focus on?

I primarily focus on tax-advantage obligations described in Section 103 of the Code, including tax-advantaged state and local obligations and qualified 501(c)(3) financings.

Nonprofit Organizations

I represent for-profit and nonprofit organizations during IRS examinations involving unrelated business income taxation (UBIT) and transfer pricing.

I advise exempt organizations on the constraints imposed by federal election laws and federal income tax laws with regard to their lobbying and campaign activities.


I have substantial experience in international taxation including Section 881 foreign withholding taxes, effectively connected taxable income, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR). I also have experience with domestic information reporting and withholding at both the state and federal levels.


  • “Complex Path Ahead in Post-Deadline FATCA Universe,” Bloomberg/BNA
  • “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act: U.S. Payors Need to Act Now to Avoid Taxation Later,” Nixon Peabody Tax Alert, May 31, 2012 (Coauthor)

Representative Experience

  • Successfully remediated $6 million of tax exposure for clients with undocumented foreign payees subject to 30 percent foreign withholding under Section 881
  • Represented corporate taxpayers in successfully abating over $1 million of penalties assessed by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to Sections 6721 and 6722 of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Managed multiple foreign and domestic information reporting projects for multinational clients

Los Angeles makes tender offer ahead of taxable MICLA refunding

The Bond Buyer | February 18, 2021

This article mentions the firm as bond counsel on the City of Los Angeles’ hybrid tender offer and refunding related to the Municipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles lease revenue bonds. The NP team includes Los Angeles partners Jade Turner-Bond and Dan Deaton; San Francisco partner Travis Gibbs; Washington, D.C. associate Joel Swearingen; and Los Angeles associate David Song—all of the Project Finance & Public Finance group.

New York State's over $2.1 PIT bond sale should see demand, analysts say

The Bond Buyer | December 14, 2020

This article mentions the firm as co-bond counsel to Empire State Development Corporation’s scheduled issuance of PIT bonds on behalf of New York State in a competitive deal to fund capital projects, for the work by New York City partner Chris Reitzel, counsel Abbie Olsen and associates Adam Gordon and Kate Stack, and Washington, D.C. partner Bruce Serchuk and associate Joel Swearingen, all in the Project Finance & Public Finance group.

DASNY sells over $2.5B of PIT bonds; munis unchanged in face of large supply

The Bond Buyer | October 08, 2020

This article on the state of the municipal bond market covers the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York’s sale of almost $2.5 billion of personal income tax receipt bonds. The firm is mentioned as bond counsel for the work by New York partners Chris Reitzel and Virginia Wong, and associates Adam Gordon and Kate Stack; Albany counsel Jeff Pohl; and Washington, D.C. partner Bruce Serchuk and associate Joel Swearingen, all of the Project Finance & Public Finance group.


Joel Swearingen


Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8280

Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6115

Fax: 844-698-3758

Georgetown University, LL.M., Taxation

Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D.

Ohio State University, B.S., Economics

District of Columbia

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