Mark E. Wilensky is a Partner in the firm’s Business & Real Estate Taxation Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm, Mark was a tax attorney in the New York City office of Roberts & Holland LLP for twelve years.
In September 2017, Mark was elected a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel (or “ACTC”) in recognition of his exceptional degree of professional commitment to the practice of tax law. ACTC is a nonprofit professional association of tax lawyers in private practice, in law school teaching positions and in government who are recognized for their excellence in tax practice and for their substantial contributions and commitment to the profession.
A large part of Mark’s practice involves advising clients looking to sell, exchange, lease, or refinance real estate and take advantage of the tax deferral opportunities offered by section 1031 exchanges, installment sales, and long-term lease agreements. Mark frequently works with real estate counsel at the Firm advising clients operating as partnerships, limited liability companies, or S corporations on ways to achieve tax deferral from an exchange of property without triggering gain from receipt of taxable “boot.”
Another large part of Mark’s practice involves working with the Firm’s corporate counsel advising business entities on ways to divide a business among shareholders or partners without triggering taxable gain or otherwise counseling clients operating as limited liability companies or S corporations on ways to take advantage of the lower tax rates on capital gains when selling all or a portion of a business.
Mark also has experience settling New York State and City residency audits and advising clients on New York State and City real estate transfer tax, mortgage recording tax, and sales taxes.
Mark chaired the American Bar Association Tax Section’s Sales, Exchanges & Basis Committee (presiding over section 1031 practice) from 2012 through June 2014 and is a frequent speaker at Tax Section meetings. Mark was honored by the Tax Section as a Nolan Fellow in 2011. Mark is a member of the Bloomberg BNA Pass Through Entities Advisory Board.
Mark, testified at the Department of Treasury/IRS hearing in Washington D.C. on the proposed Treasury regulations regarding investments in Qualified Opportunity Funds. Mark had principal responsibility for the ABA Tax Section’s comments on the proposed regulations that were submitted to members of the Department of Treasury and the IRS in January 2019.
Some of Mark’s recent presentations include a discussion of the tax treatment of so-called “drop & swap” section 1031 exchanges, changes to the federal partnership audit rules, planning for the new federal 20% deduction for pass-through entities, and tax planning for investments in qualified opportunity zones.
Mark has taught the Federal Income Tax course at Hofstra School of Law and Taxation of Real Estate Transactions at Cardozo School of Law. He has also guest lectured on section 1031 exchanges at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Mark brings a sense of humor to the table. An improv enthusiast, Mark regularly takes classes with some of New York City’s finest improv performers and periodically takes the stage himself with his classmates for performances at venues in New York City.
Mark and his wife Aysen keep busy raising their lovable domestic shorthair cats, Findik, Fistik, and Badik.