Mark W. Schweighofer

Mark W. Schweighofer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Tax Attorney in Rockville, MD

Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC
 | 25 West Middle Lane, Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: 301-838-3233
Fax: 301-354-8133
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020
Selected to Rising Stars: 2015 - 2018
Licensed Since: 2010
Practice Areas:
  • Tax: Business (60%),
  • Business/Corporate (20%),
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (20%)
Attorney Profile

Mark Schweighofer believes that clear and consistent communication is vital to providing superior legal representation, and he takes pride in being accessible to his clients. Through this attentive approach, he is able to create customized solutions that provide valuable legal protection, while also addressing clients' business objectives.

As a member of Stein Sperling’s Tax Practice group, which is one of 36 law firms in the United States to be rated Tier 1 Nationally in Tax Litigation and Controversy in U.S. News & World Report 2018 “Best Law Firms,” Mark provides transactional tax and business advice in matters related to entity formation and structure, including drafting partnership agreements, limited liability company operating agreements and stockholders' agreements. In addition, a large portion of Mark's practice focuses on serving the needs of existing businesses through equity and debt financing transactions as well as business sales, reorganizations (both taxable and tax-free) and other exit events. Mark also advises clients on the implementation of employee incentive plans, including incentive stock options, nonqualified stock options, phantom equity and other nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.

Mark has extensive experience in international tax matters and assists both domestic and foreign clients in structuring their affairs with sensitivity to U.S. income tax considerations. He frequently counsels clients on matters related to Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs) and other sensitive matters related to assets held outside of the United States.

Mark represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service on complex tax controversy matters in a wide variety of areas including partnership and corporate income tax examinations, employment taxes and personal income tax matters. In addition, he regularly works with tax-exempt organizations to navigate complex rules to ensure the protection of the organization's tax exempt status.

Mark is a frequent speaker on business and tax matters as well as issues surrounding buying and selling businesses, the rules related to nonqualified deferred compensation subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 409A, the various Internal Revenue Service programs related to offshore compliance, as well as the recent centralized partnership audit regulations enacted as a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Prior to joining the firm, Mark practiced law in Palo Alto, CA. There, he participated in the Bay Area Young Tax Lawyers Section of the California State Bar. Outside of work, Mark can be found spending time with his wife and two kids, usually joined by the family’s two dogs.

About Mark Schweighofer

Admitted: 2010, Maryland

Professional Webpage: http://www.steinsperling.com/our-people/p/schweighofer

Honors/Awards:

  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent peer review rating

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Maryland State Bar Association, Section of Taxation (2010-present)
  • Montgomery/Prince George's County Tax Study Group
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation (2006-present)
  • California Bar Association, Taxation Section (2006-present)
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County (2010-present)     Taxation Law Section, Co-Chair (2013-present)

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • This two-part (125 contact minutes; 2.5 CPE hours) CLE seminar will cover the interworkings of an LLC operating agreement as well as hot topics in tax as they relate to CPAs and Financial Planners. At our seminar, you will learn about: Partnership Allocations Maintenance of Capital Accounts Minimum Gain Chargebacks Liquidation of Assets Dispute Resolution Recent Developments from the IRS, Anatomy of an LLC Operating Agreement and Latest Developments from the IRS, 2014
  • Karen Shapiro and Mark Schweighofer to present the anatomy of buying or selling a business to the Maryland Association of CPAs.  It will cover the lifecycle of a transaction from the first steps of dealing with brokers, the execution of NDA's and the Letter of Intent, through financial disclosures, due diligence, and negotiations surrounding the definitive agreements, and will end with a discussion on closing and post closing issues. This presentation will include a discussion of the joint efforts of attorneys and accountants working on the various tax considerations (including sales/use tax, federal and state tax concerns, payroll, new 83(b) elections, assumption/cancellation of options, election under IRC Section 338(h)(10) and tax-free transactions under Section 368)., Karen Shapiro and Mark Schweighofer to present “Anatomy of the Deal”, 2014
  • The seminar provides detailed information on the requirements imposed by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 on the small business owner. The act mandates small businesses to make decisions concerning their healthcare. Mr. Schweighofer and Mr. Chao will cover contributions, grandfather plans, mandates and costs., Mark Schweighofer to present on Health Care Reform, 2013
  • Mark Schweighofer has been invited by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Annapolis Study Group to speak to its members about the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." He will cover basic information on the passage of the legislation in 2010, changes in effect now, as well as significant changes yet to come. In addition, Mr. Schweighofer will address fundamentals to the law, including the Medal System of health insurance plan categories and the exchange marketplace. He will delve further into the information on the Individual Mandate (IRC 5000A), such as exemptions from the mandate and penalties for non-compliance, as well as the basic mechanics of the Refundable Tax Credit (IRC Section 36B). From an employer's perspective, Mr. Schweighofer will explain the Shared Responsibility Penalty (IRC Section 4980H), which takes effect when "large employers" (50 or more employees): Do not offer health care coverage; Do not offer minimum coverage that is affordable (>9.5% household income); or Do not offer adequate coverage (plans share of the costs less than 60%). He will elaborate further on how an employer can determine whether it owes a penalty under 4980H. The remainder of Mr. Schweighofer's presentation will focus on a new 3.8% Medicare tax on net investment income (IRC Section 1411), as well as a new 0.9% Medicare tax on high-wage earners.  He also will focus on additional revenue raisers under the  Affordable Care Act, including: New excise tax on tanning services;  New fees on HSA distributions not used for medical expenses;  New cap on Flex Spending Accounts;  Increased adjusted gross income (AGI) floor; New excise tax on medical device manufacturers; Transitional reinsurance fees; and New 40% tax on "Cadillac" plans. More information on the NAPFA Annapolis Study Group and this presentation is available online., Mark Schweighofer to speak on the Affordable Care Act to Annapolis-area financial advisors, 2013
  • Mark Schweighofer and Karen Shapiro will be presenting "The Anatomy of a Deal: Legal and Tax Aspects of Buying or Selling a Business". This continuing education class for certified public accountants, public accountants, and enrolled agents provides 4 hours of CPE credit.  It is an intermediate level class that will cover the basics of buying or selling a business - including lifecycle of a transaction from the first steps of dealing with brokers, the execution of NDA's and the Letter of Intent, through financial disclosures, due diligence, and negotiations surrounding the definitive agreements, and will end with a discussion on closing and post closing issues., Mark Schweighofer and Karen Shapiro to present a CPE Update, 2013
  • Mark Schweighofer will be presenting at "Explore the Advantageous Uses and Benefits of LLCs" hosted by the National Business Institute.  The conference will provide attendee with the information they need to make informed decisions on taking advantage of LLCs. Mr. Schweighofer will explain how LLCs comply under state laws by covering the following topics: Avoiding trouble with concise articles of organization How much protection from liability do LLCs provide? Handling mergers and conversions Proper property transfers Guiding clients through dissolution Practical uses for one person LLCs Why foreign LLCs? Special rules for regulated professionals Exceptions to limited liability  Register, Mark Schweighofer will be presenting at “Explore the Advantageous Uses and Benefits of LLCs”, 2013
  • Mark Schweighofer will be serving on a panel of exit strategists and business specialists at a Business Exit Forum Educational Event. The event will be covering keys to a successful employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) transition. Mark will be part of a discussion about exit strategies for business owners and the related tax implications., Mark Schweighofer to participate on a panel for The Business Exit Forum, 2013
  • Stein Sperling attorneys will cover the basics of business and employment law that every business owner should know. Millard Bennett, Mark Schweighofer, Karen Shapiro and Don Sperling will guide attendees through the following topics: Ownership Agreements & Executive Compensation Plans Owners often find themselves in trouble and without up-to-date documents. Learn how to be proactive! Employment Law Survival Guide Employees are the lifeblood of any business. This session will update you on current federal, state and local laws! Exit Strategies and Estate Planning No matter the transition you’re planning (buy, sell, merge), this discussion will help you anticipate what lies ahead! The schedule for the program is as follows: 7:30 a.m. Breakfast 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Program 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Optional In-Depth Breakout Discussions, Stein Sperling attorneys to present at M&T Bank event for business owners, 2013
  • Karen Shapiro and Mark Schweighofer will be conducting a seminar on the anatomy of buying and selling a business for the Maryland Society of Accountants. This presentation will begin with a discussion on valuing a business. It will cover the lifecycle of a transaction from the first steps of dealing with brokers, the execution of NDA's and the Letter of Intent, through financial disclosures, due diligence, and negotiations surrounding the definitive agreements, and will end with a discussion on closing and post closing issues. This presentation will include a discussion of the joint efforts of attorneys and accountants working on the various tax considerations (including sales/use tax, federal and state tax concerns, payroll, new 83(b) elections, assumption/cancellation of options, election under IRC Section 338(h)(10) and tax-free transactions under Section 368)., Karen Shapiro and Mark Schweighofer to speak to the Maryland Society of Accountants, 2012
  • Mark Schweighofer will be conducting a seminar on Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in the Current Form 990 at an upcoming CFO/COO luncheon and roundtable discussion. The Non-Profit Cooperation Circle, in conjunction with Institutional Investor Counsel, American Asset Management Group, Inc., is holding this seminar for its members.  Mr. Schweighofer’s presentation will cover basics of the Form 990, what the Form 990 says about your organization and reporting requirements., Mark Schweighofer to present “Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in the Current Form 990”, 2012
  • Karen Shapiro, Eric Rollinger and Mark Schweighofer will be conducting a seminar on the anatomy of buying and selling a business for the Maryland Association of CPAs. This presentation will begin with a discussion on valuing a business. It will cover the lifecycle of a transaction from the first steps of dealing with brokers, the execution of NDA's and the Letter of Intent, through financial disclosures, due diligence, and negotiations surrounding the definitive agreements, and will end with a discussion on closing and post closing issues. This presentation will include a discussion of the joint efforts of attorneys and accountants working on the various tax considerations (including sales/use tax, federal and state tax concerns, payroll, new 83(b) elections, assumption/cancellation of options, election under IRC Section 338(h)(10) and tax-free transactions under Section 368)., Karen Shapiro, Eric Rollinger and Mark Schweighofer to speak to the Maryland Association of CPAs, 2012
  • After months of debate, Congress passed the most significant health care reform legislation since the creation of the Medicare program in the 1960s. Register now and learn what this legislation means to you. This is an opportunity for employers to assess best-practice programs and make the decisions necessary to develop plans that work with the new requirements. This seminar is designed to give you, the employer, the information you need to move forward in addressing the issues associated with health care and to give you some insight into the health care movement and what it means for employers., Mark Schweighofer to speak to employers on “Tax Aspects of Health Care Reform”, 2011
  • David S. De Jong and Mark W. Schweighofer to present "Tax Provisions of Health Care Reconciliation Act (and Other Federal Tax Developments)". This program will cover all of the major federal tax developments of the last 12 months, including laws, regulations, cases and rulings affecting both business and non-business taxpayers. It will cover important highlights of the year. Planning tips will be offered throughout the program., Tax Provisions of Health Care Reconciliation Act and Other Federal Tax Developments, 2010
  • Stein Sperling's Mark Schweighofer joins a panel on "Too Taxing??? — Essential Tax Issues for Non-Tax Lawyers" at the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland, 121st Annual Meeting and Law Day Celebration on Friday, April 17, 2015., Speaker, Too Taxing??? — Essential Tax Issues for Non-Tax Lawyers, The Bar Association Of Montgomery County, 2015
  • "2016 Deadline Extended for Affordable Care Act IRS Forms", 2016
  • "Key Provisions of the PATH Act", The Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD Newsletter, 2016
  • "Ins and Outs of Offshore Asset Disclosure," presented to financial professionals , 2015
  • "Tax Implications of the Affordable Care Act," presented to financial professionals, 2015
  • Foreign Asset Semina covering: So-called “quiet disclosures”; Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP); Opting Out; and The Non-resident/Non-filer Streamlined Filing Compliance Program., Maryland Society Of Accounting And Tax Professionals (MSATP), 2015
  • "Anatomy of the Deal", Maryland Society Of Accounting & Tax Professionals (MSATP), 2015
  • "Most Important Income Tax Issues Estate Planners Should Know", Speaker, Maryland Sate Bar Association, 2015
  •  "Too Taxing??? — Essential Tax Issues for Non-Tax Lawyers", Speaker, The Bar Association Of Montgomery County, 2015
  • As competition for top talent grows, many businesses find that traditional compensation plans are insufficient to attract and retain top talent. To incentivize and retain key employees, more and more companies are turning to equity-based compensation arrangements, which can take many forms and have proven to be an excellent mechanism to ensure that the employee’s goals are in lockstep with those of the business., Author, Attracting and Retaining Top Talent: Moving Beyond the Traditional Compensation Plan, 2016
  • This trio of presentations will update accountants and financial planners on topics affecting their clients. Attorneys from Stein Sperling’s Tax Law, Employment Law and Estates + Trusts departments will offer three sessions moderated by David S. De Jong in one program for a total of 3 CPE credits.Assisting the Troubled Taxpayer • Eric J. Rollinger, J.D., CPA, CVA; Mark W. Schweighofer, LL.M. • 1 CPE CreditThis presentation will cover the latest strategies in dealing with the IRS in examination and collection matters from audits to appeals, from installment agreements to offers in compromise and from innocent spouse status to bankruptcy. We’ll also cover updates to alternative voluntary disclosures of foreign bank accounts. Asset Protection • Steven A. Widdes, LL.M.; Mark W. Schweighofer, LL.M. • 1 CPE CreditParticipants will learn strategies for protecting the vulnerable client’s assets from creditors, reviewing titling alternatives, sheltering children and other beneficiaries from claims of a current or future spouse and the interplay between basis step-up rules and new gifting techniques. In addition to the aspects of personal planning for individuals, this program will also review appropriate protection through selection of the best entity. Specifically, we will review whether an LLC or Corporation is the right selection depending on certain tax, debt and business needs and concerns in addition to the goals involving the sheltering of assets., Speaker, Trifecta of Hot Topics, 2016
  • Stein Sperling tax attorneys David De Jong and Mark Schweighofer will review the changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Individual changes including: New tax brackets for individuals;Dramatic changes in itemized deductions;Modifications to education incentives;Doubling of estate tax unified credit;Changes in alimony rules; and moreBusiness changes including: 21% rate for C corporations;Special deduction for unincorporated businesses;Expanded cost recovery;Expansion of cash basis accounting;Business interest deduction limitation;New operating loss rules; and more, Speaker, Tax Law Changes - What Accountants and Financial Planners Need to Know, 2017
  • Stein Sperling's Mark Schweighofer will cover some of the legal issues that commonly arise for an emerging business, including: Choosing between different types of business entities; Retaining and motivating employees; Determining how much capital you need and what form it should take; and Planning for a successful exit, Speaker, Legal Issues for Emerging Businesses, 2015
  • Working with the 2018 Partnership/LLC Audit RulesPresented by Mark Schweighofer, LL.M.We are short months away from the start of the new regime for partnership and LLC audits in 2018. Who can opt out of unified audit proceedings? Should an eligible entity run fast from the new rules? What are the deadlines? This session will focus on the unique structure of unified audits and available choices., Speaker, Update for Accountants and Financial Planners, 2017
  • "Streamlined Filing Procedures for Disclosing Foreign Assets and Income", Co-author, The Tax Adviser, 2016
  • The topics covered will include: Estate Planning in the time of the Trump AdministrationEstate Planning for the Non-CitizenEstate and Fiduciary Tax ElectionsShould You Avoid Probate – and How?Contending with Income in Respect of a DecedentChoice of Domicile for Retirement – and Death, Speaker, comprehensive overview of estate administration, Maryland Society Of Accounting And Tax Professionals, 2017
  • "FBAR: The Four-letter Word You Need to Know", Author, Bethesda Magazine, 2016
  • The growth of any successful business involves careful strategy and planning on the part of its owner(s). This means contemplating scenarios you can expect − and those you can’t! M&T Bank invites you to attend this Future Focus seminar, featuring Stein Sperling's Millard Bennett, Mark Schweighofer, Karen Shapiro and Steve Widdes, which will outline two key components for continuing the success of your business into the future, both near- and long-term., Speaker, Future Focus, 2015
  • Stein Sperling's Millard Bennett, Mark Schweighofer, Karen Shapiro and Steve Widdes will speak to Leadership Montgomery members and class participants about developing leadership and succession plans for your business. Current and emerging leaders will hear about two key components of continuing the success of your business into the future, including: Cultivating talent and planning for succession., Speaker, Leadership Montgomery Breakfast Business Academy, 2015
  • With another tax season upon us, it is critical that we remind clients of the Internal Revenue Service's continued focus on the disclosure of taxpayers' offshore assets. Our firm continues to observe that many individuals are unaware of the need to disclose certain foreign assets and the staggering penalties that can apply for failure to properly disclose. For instance, every U.S. citizen or resident who owns or has signing authority over one or more foreign bank accounts with an aggregate balance over $10,000 is generally required to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) by June 30 of each year. In addition to any back taxes, penalties and interest on any unreported income associated with such accounts, criminal exposure can range from up to $500,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. Civil penalties can reach the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the aggregate balance of the foreign account(s) each year for a period of six years. In some cases, the penalty can exceed the value of the account.While the FBAR gets most of the press, similar draconian penalties can apply to taxpayers who fail to: Report "specified foreign assets" in excess of certain thresholds; Report distributions received from a foreign trust; Report gifts received from foreign persons; or Disclose ownership of foreign entities.The penalties for any of these violations start at $10,000 per violation and quickly escalate.The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program ("OVDP") remains an option for individuals who failed to disclose in prior years. While the OVDP generally allows avoidance of any threat of criminal prosecution, it is not appropriate in all instances and can result, in some cases, in higher penalties than might otherwise apply outside of the program.While the IRS has not announced an end date for the current version of the OVDP, it has cautioned that it could terminate the program at any time. Additionally, given the increased information sharing between the IRS and foreign governments, a strategy of avoidance is becoming increasingly untenable. Accordingly, time is running out for noncomplying individuals to get ahead of the IRS on matters relating to foreign asset disclosure.Given the complexities of the issues and the magnitude of the penalties, it is important for individuals to consult with qualified counsel in connection with the disclosure of their offshore assets. In some cases, it may be possible to avoid penalties entirely. In others, it may be possible to pay a significantly reduced amount.Mark Schweighofer, a principal of Stein Sperling's tax department, has extensive experience assisting clients in this area, and a record of success in reducing or avoiding penalties, which makes him uniquely qualified and willing to advise on such matters. If you have any questions about foreign asset disclosure, including the terms of the OVDP, please contact Mark at (301)838-3233 or by e-mail., Offshore Assets: Can You Afford Not to Disclose?, 2013
  • This program will cover all of the major federal tax developments of the last 12 months, including laws, regulations, cases and rulings affecting both business and non-business taxpayers. It will cover important highlights of the year. Planning tips will be offered throughout the program, David De Jong and Mark Schweighofer to speak on Health Care Legislation and Federal Tax Updates, 2010
  • Karen Shapiro and Mark Schweighofer will offer members of the Maryland Society of Accounting & Tax Professionals insight into the lifecycle of a business transaction.  They will cover early steps, such as dealing with brokers, the execution of NDA's and the Letter of Intent, through later steps like financial disclosures, due diligence, and negotiations surrounding the definitive agreements, and will end with a discussion on closing and post-closing issues. The presentation will include a discussion of the joint efforts of attorneys and accountants working on the various tax considerations including sales/use tax, federal and state tax concerns, payroll, 83(b) elections, tax on net investment income, partnership tax considerations, assumption/cancellation of stock options, elections under IRC Section 338(h)(10) and tax-free transactions under Section 368., Karen Shapiro and Mark Schweighofer outline the lifecycle of a business transaction, 2014
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Office Location for Mark W. Schweighofer

25 West Middle Lane
Rockville, MD 20850

Mark W. Schweighofer:

Last Updated: 6/18/2019

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