Tax and Abatement


As part of our comprehensive representation of owners and developers, Davis Malm attorneys offer tax guidance in planning and controversies relating to real property.

Our tax attorneys assist with planning for real estate transactions, design Section 1031 exchanges, and advise our clients regarding the Massachusetts deeds excise tax and real estate transfer taxes in neighboring states. Our lawyers also assist clients in tax planning for anticipated development, including the negotiation of tax abatement agreements with local governments and the development of property restrictions designed to minimize or defer the burden of property tax.

We represent property owners large and small in tax abatement cases. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to litigate real estate valuations. We review appraisal methods, ensuring that all factors are properly considered and that the tax is correctly calculated. We study the availability of exemptions and pursue exemption applications.

We assist property owners at both the administrative and judicial levels of appeals. We prosecute abatement applications in municipalities and we handle appeals before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.

Representative Matters

  • Developed a specialized partnership structure for real estate investments in order to maximize depreciation and allocate tax losses to the high-income partner.
  • Arranged for the tax-free conversion of a 122-unit apartment building from a housing cooperative to a condominium form of ownership. Read more.
  • Assisted a private school in the "change of use" of its building, financed with tax-exempt bonds.
  • Helped a church maintain its tax-exempt status and property tax exemptions during the relocation of its main facility.
  • Assisted a religious association in the tax-free sale of its building.