Stephen M. Breitstone
Equity Partner of the Firm
Recognized as a leading authority on matters related to taxation, Steve also has expertise in structuring business and investment activities, including tax and estate planning for high net worth individuals and foreign investors in the United States.Areas of Practice:
Heads Meltzer Lippe's Tax Group.
Tax and estate planning strategist.
Expertise in structuring business and investment activities.
Frequent lecturer and author of numerous published articles.
Taught tax courses as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School.
Steve leads the Private Wealth and Taxation Group at Meltzer Lippe. He is counsel to many of the firm’s wealthiest and most prominent clients, providing sophisticated tax and estate planning advice for several large New York real estate families, private equity funds, Wall Street investment bankers, fund managers, corporate executives, large states and others. He has pioneered many novel tax planning techniques – some combining his broad knowledge of partnership taxation and estate planning. Steve began his practice in large New York City law firms, after graduating from law school in 1982.
While beginning to practice as a tax lawyer, Steve studied for his LL.M in Taxation at New York University School of Law and taught courses as an adjunct professor in taxation at Cardozo Law School. During that period, his clientele was comprised mainly of large domestic and international institutions and public corporations. After practicing for some years in the large public corporate arena, Steve decided to reestablish his practice and began representing a more entrepreneurial clientele. He started to represent high net worth individual with real estate holdings and closely-held businesses. During the early 1990's Steve’s practice evolved with the changing economic climate. He became increasingly involved in structuring and negotiating real estate workouts and joint ventures. As economic conditions improved, with the rise of the bull market and rapidly accelerating merger and acquisition activity, Steve played a key role as tax advisor in connection with Meltzer Lippe’s prominent corporate practice in structuring transactions. He also played a key role in structuring the tax aspects of Meltzer Lippe’s technology oriented client activities.
Steve is a frequent lecturer and author of numerous published articles on taxation of real estate transactions and estate planning for real estate owners. Steve currently teaches the course in Tax and Business Planning for Real Estate Transactions as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School. Steve has lectured at the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation, Practicing Law Institute, Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Conference, Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Real Estate Board, Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Estate Planning Board, National Multi-Housing Conference; and the Federation of (1031) Exchange Accommodators and for many more institutions. Steve has also lectured at the American Bar Association Tax Section on topics such as Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate and Income Tax and Estate Planning for leveraged real estate and many other topics.
He is a leader in development of the partnership freeze, an estate planning technique that avoids many income tax pitfalls for leveraged real estate and maximizes the bases step up at death. Steve is a nationally recognized authority on section 1031exchanges.
On behalf of the firm’s clients, Steve has interfaced with top policy makers Washington, DC including the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to discuss legislative proposals and reforms such as estate tax reform or repeal and carried interest proposals. As the Fiscal Cliff was approaching, Steve moderated a program on Tax Policy at the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation. Steve has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business subcommittee at hearings regarding the repeal of the estate tax. Steve has been in high demand from national news media for expert commentary on issues pertaining Carried Interest, Tax Treatment of Ponzi Scheme Victims, Estate tax matters impacting celebrities, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Intentional Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT) and more. As a result, Steve has been interviewed by CBS Evening News, ABC News, Fox News, Fox Business News, News 12, Long Island, Accounting Today, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, etc..
Steve’s style of practice is personal, not institutional; and his client’s goals and objectives are his priority. Steve resides in Melville, Long Island with his wife Jill, who is also a lawyer. He has two children in college. He enjoys sailing, skiing, woodworking, politics and charitable work including a number of pro-Israel organizations.