Neil Birkhoff works to find solutions to tax-related legal needs for private clients, businesses, and nonprofits.
His practice includes federal, state, and local tax planning for individuals and businesses, estate planning, and estate and trust administration. He represents businesses and individuals before tax authorities and in court on tax matters.
Neil assists clients with a variety of employee benefit plans, ERISA, and benefit-related tax issues, including retirement plans and welfare plans, as well as fiduciary liability issues, and taxation of employee benefits. Neil also provides counsel regarding Section 457 plans for tax-exempt organizations and non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Neil can advise and assist employers with insured and self-insured health plans, life insurance plans, cafeteria plans, and dependent care plans.
Neil is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a past chair of both the Virginia State Bar’s Section of Taxation and the Virginia Bar Association’s Section of Taxation. Prior to joining Woods Rogers in 1987, he was a trial attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Neil is a contributing author to several continuing legal education publications. He has been recognized for excellence in tax law in Best Lawyers in America and by Virginia Super Lawyers.
Neil is an adjunct professor of law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he currently serves as Interim Director of the Tax Clinic and where he taught classes on nonprofit organizations and trusts and estates.
His community involvement has included service on the board of directors for Feeding America Southwest Virginia and the advisory board for The Community Tax Law Project.
American Bar Association—Taxation Section; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
American College of Tax Counsel—Fellow
Roanoke Bar Association
Roanoke Valley Estate Planning Council
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)- National
Virginia Bar Association—Wills, Trusts and Estates Section; Taxation Section/Past Chair
Virginia State Bar—Trusts and Estates Section; Taxation Section/Past Chair
Neil’s efforts to find solutions for his clients include:
- Assisting a charitable trust and individual philanthropist in structuring and implementing a $50 million structured gift to a higher education institution to support biomedical research. The charitable gift planning included obtaining favorable private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service.
- Representing federal and Virginia historic rehabilitation tax credit investors in projects including the rehabilitation and restoration of the former Roanoke YMCA building, the former Ponce de Leon Hotel building, and the Center in the Square building.
- Developing and successfully litigating a strict textualist interpretation of a local merchants capital tax situs rule, resulting in a favorable decision from the Supreme Court of Virginia that set precedent for interpreting state tax statutes, and saved the taxpayer several hundreds of thousands of dollars in local taxes each year on a forward basis.
- Developing and successfully litigating an interpretation of the “definite place of business” rule under Virginia’s business license tax regime. The Supreme Court of Virginia’s decision not only changed the way local commissioners of revenue apply the business license tax, but provided substantial tax savings on an on-going annual basis to the taxpayer.
- Using his knowledge and experience with Virginia’s sales and use tax statutes and regulations to successfully pursue an administrative appeal with the Virginia Department of Taxation that resulted in the full abatement of a six-figure use tax penalty involving the out-of-state purchase of an aircraft.
Estate Planning After The Presidential Election | November 13, 2020
Like-Kind Property Exchanges Under the 2017 Tax Act | June 11, 2020
Western Virginia Charitable Gift Planners | Tax Reform and Charitable Giving | May 4, 2018
Virginia State Bar CLE: Eminent Domain- State and Federal | Tax Aspects of Condemnation Awards | April 13, 2018
SEMINARS + EVENTS
Tax Reform 2018: It is No Longer About Winners or Losers, but How We Implement Effective Change | October 24, 2018
37th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar Series | September 20, 2018
Provisions of the New Tax Act Affecting Pass-Through Entities | February 7, 2018
31 Woods Rogers Attorneys Listed as “Legal Elite” and “Rising Stars” | November 30, 2020
“Legal Elite” Ranking Lists 30 Woods Rogers Attorneys | December 10, 2019
Six Woods Rogers Attorneys Named a Roanoke Lawyer of the Year | August 15, 2019
Twenty-two Woods Rogers Attorneys Named 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers | April 11, 2019
Thirty Woods Rogers Attorneys Recognized as 2016 Best Lawyers in America | August 19, 2015
33 Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America 2014 | August 15, 2013
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