Thomas J. Nichols

Thomas J. Nichols

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business & Corporate Attorney in Milwaukee, WI

Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C.
 | 111 East Kilbourn Avenue, 19th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: 414-273-1300
Fax: 414-273-5840
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1979
Practice Areas:
  • Business/Corporate (40%),
  • Tax: Business (30%),
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (30%)
Attorney Profile

Mr. Nichols has been practicing at Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. since 1979, specializing in business, tax and estate planning matters.  For over 40  years, he has been actively involved in a wide range of matters, including substantial merger and acquisition transactions, expert testimony, tax planning and significant litigation affecting the businesses and owners he represents.  His experience and practice have involved in-depth work in many areas, including the following: business formation, tax defense and refund claims, manufacturing firms, noncompete disputes, health care, real estate, private foundations, insurance company formation and regulation, business succession, physician groups, investment firms, restaurant businesses, qualified plans, software companies, distributorships and probate.

White Papers

  • (1999) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Proposed Regulations under Section 1361(b)(3) on the Treatment of Corporate Subsidiaries of S Corporations (August 19, 1999)

  • (1990) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Temporary Regulation 18.1366-5 (Calendar Taxable Year Transition Rule) (1990)

  • (1993) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Proposed Regulations under Section 1374 (Built-In Gains Tax) (1993)

  • (1997) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Guidance under Section 1361(b)(3) on treatment of Qualified Subchapter S Subsidiaries (August 8, 1997)

  • (1987) - Recommendations on federalization of Wisconsin's S Corporation Statutes (Subchapter V and other provisions of Wis. Stats. Chap. 71) (June 22, 1987) (Note: The large majority of these recommendations were adopted as amendments to the Wisconsin statutes, 1987 Wis. Act. 92, and/or incorporated into Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue Publication 102, "Wisconsin Tax-Option Corporations and Their Shareholders")

  • (1992) - Primary Draftsperson, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Proposed Regulations under Sections 1361(b)(1)(D), (c)(4) and (5) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Single Class of Stock Rules) (February 11, 1992)

  • (1995) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on S. 758 104th Cong. 1st Sess. (1995); Proposed S Corporation Reform Act of 1995 (June 30, 1995)

  • (2006) - Primary Draftsperson, Amicus Curiae brief submitted at the request of Court of Appeals in the case of Estate of James H. Matteson v. Robert R. Matteson, Nancy L. Matteson and Matteson Communications (October, 2006)

  • (2001) - Member, Drafting Subcommittee, Wisconsin Cross-Species Merger and Conversion Provisions of Governor's Next Economy Legislation, (2001 Wis. Act 44)

  • (1991) - Principal Responsibility, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Regulations under Sections 1366, 1367 and 1368 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (S Corporation Passthroughs, Basis, Distributions) (September 11, 1991)

  • (1994) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Proposed Regulation under Section 701 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Partnership Anti-Abuse Rule) (July 7, 1994)

  • (1988) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Passive Activity Loss Regulations (Proposed and Temporary Regulations Sec. 1.469) (May 31, 1988)

  • (1992) - Principal Responsibility, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PS-260-82), Definition of Passive Investment Income Issued (April 17, 1992)

  • (1988) - Co-Primary Responsibility, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Regulatory Proposals under Section 1374 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Built-In Gains Tax) (March 11, 1988)

  • (1993) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Proposed Regulations under Section 1363(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (LIFO Recapture) (October 18, 1993)

  • (1996) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Regulations under Section 1377 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; Proposed July 11, 1995 (PS-268-82) (S Corporation Pass-Through Allocation Rules) (March 8, 1996)

  • (2007) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Treatment of Open Account Debt of S Corporations (August 31, 2007)

  • (1987) - Final Draftsperson, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Proposed Treasury Regulations Section 1.1361-1A (S Corporation Shareholder Eligibility Requirements) (May 20, 1987)

  • (1992) - Principal Responsibility, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Proposed Regulations under Sections 1367 and 1368 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (S Corporation Basis, Distributions) (1992)

  • (1995) - Recommendations on Wisconsin's adoption of Limited Liability Company Law (Wis. Stats. Chapter 183, enacted in 1993 Wis. Act 112) (February 7, 1995) (Note: Several of these recommendations were enacted as amendments to the Wisconsin statutes, 1999 Wis. Act 400)

  • (2006) - Substantive Contributor, ABA Section of Taxation Comments on Additional Options to Improve Tax Compliance Prepared by the Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (August 3, 2006)

  • About Thomas Nichols

    Admitted: 1979, Wisconsin

    Professional Webpage: http://www.mtfn.com/attorneys/attorney.php?ID=8

    Honors/Awards:

    • Elijah Watts Sells Award Winner, CPA Exam
    • Best Lawyers in America (Tax Law)

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified Public Accountant, 1983

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • State Bar of Wisconsin: Director, Business Law Section (2002 - 2009); Chairman, Unincorporated Businesses Committee (limited liability companies and partnerships) (2000 - present); Legislative Committee (1997 - 2002); Business Law Committee (1995 - 1996)
    • National Health Lawyers Association (1995 - present)
    • S Corporation Association:  Director (2018 - present); Chairman, Board of Advisors (2012 - 2018)
    • American Bar Association: Committee on S Corporations (Section of Taxation): Chair (2008 - 2010), Vice-Chair (2004 - 2008); Liaison, Limited Liability Company Task Force/Subcommittee (2000 - 2004); Chair, Subcommittee on Comparison of S Corporations with other Pass-Thru Entities (1994 - 2004); Chair, Subcommittee on Proposed and Temporary Regulations (1991 - 1994); Committee on Partnerships (2001 - present); Member (1987 - present)
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    • Milwaukee Bar Association (1979 - present)
    • Member (1983 - present) and Past Chairman (1989 - 1991), Wisconsin Taxation Committee of Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    • The Group, Inc. (2002 - present)

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Mentor, Nativity Jesuit Middle School
    • Tutor, Milwaukee Academy of Science, Sarah Scott Middle School

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Panelist, "State and Local Tax Issues Affecting S Corporations" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (May 11, 2001)
    • Panelist, "State Taxation of Qualified Subchapter S Subsidiaries" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (May 12, 2000)
    • Speaker, "Favorable New Developments in the Income Tax Treatment of Plaintiffs' Attorneys' Fees and Expenses: Planning and Drafting Retainer and Settlement Agreements to Optimize Results for You and Your Client" (Milwaukee Bar Association) (March 14, 2000)
    • Panelist, "Proposed Section 1366 Regulations" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (January 15, 1999)
    • Panelist, "Doing Business in Wisconsin - Recent Trends, Historical Perspectives, and a Look to the Future" (Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. Symposium) (October 28, 1998)
    • Speaker, "Tax Planning for Hospital-Based Physician Groups" (Milwaukee Bar Association) (October 22, 1998)
    • Moderator, "Doing Business in Canada" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (July 31, 1998)
    • Speaker, "State and Federal S Corporation Issues" (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Annual Tax Conference) (November 6, 1997)
    • Speaker, "The New Rate System, C Corporations, Personal Service Corporations" (Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. Symposium) (October 10, 1997)
    • Client Presentation, "Maximizing Tax Savings From Your Individual Service Corporation" (March 4, 1997)
    • Client Presentation, "Estate Planning" (October 1, 1996)
    • Moderator and Panelist, "Choice of Entity and Limited Liability Companies" (Corporate Practice Institute) (December 7, 1994)
    • Speaker, "Liability Audit for Business Owners" (Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. Symposium) (March 19, 1994)
    • Client Presentation, "Estate Planning for Physicians" (December 7, 1993)
    • Panelist, "Wisconsin's Limited Liability Company Statute" (Corporate Practice Institute) (December 2, 1993)
    • Speaker, "Fundamentals of S Corporations, Passthrus, Distributions and Basis: A Workbook of Examples Covering the Fundamentals of S Corporation Operations and Planning Opportunities" (Accounting  Continuing Professional Education Network "ACPEN") (November 19, 2008)
    • Speaker, "The Revised S-Corp. Second Class of Stock Regulations; What's Left to Worry About?" (Milwaukee Bar Association) (May 29, 1992)
    • Speaker, "Cross Species Mergers and Conversions Involving C Corporations, S Corporations, Partnerships and LLC's" (New York University 67th Institute on Federal Taxation; New York: October 22, 2008; San Diego, November 12, 2008)
    • Panelist, "S Corporations: The Revised Second Class of Stock Regulations" (UWM Tax Association) (November 19, 1991)
    • Moderator and Panelist, "Charitable Contribution Technical Amendment" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (May 9, 2008)
    • Panelist, "Tax Law Update" (Corporate Practice Institute) (December 7, 1990)
    • Moderator, "New Charitable Giving Incentives for S Corporations under the Pension Protection Act of 2006" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (January 19, 2007)
    • Speaker, "Tax Savings with S Corporations" (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants) (September 11, 1990)
    • Moderator and Panelist, "Book-Tax Reconciliation for S Corporations & Partnerships Proposed: New Schedule M-3" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (May 5, 2006)
    • Speaker, "Passive Activities and S Corporations" (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants) (August 8, 1989)
    • Moderator, "Nuts and Bolts of S Corporations: Pass-throughs, Distributions and Dispositions; Regulatory Guidance and Unanswered Questions" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (September 16, 2005)
    • Speaker, "Wisconsin's New S Corporation Rules" (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Annual Tax Conference) (November 10, 1988)
    • Moderator, "Nuts and Bolts of S Corporations: Pass-Throughs, Distributions and Dispositions; Regulatory Guidance and Unanswered Questions" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (May 20, 2005)
    • Speaker, "Corporations: Tax Planning Techniques" (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants) (October 6, 1988)
    • Panelist, "Buy-Sell Agreements for LLCs and S Corporations" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (March 30, 2005)
    • Speaker, "Buy/Sell Agreements for S Corporations" (Estate Counselor's Forum) (September 2, 1987)
    • Panelist, "Shareholder Agreement/Partnership Agreement" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (January 21, 2005)
    • Moderator and Contributor, "S Corporations and Tax Planning Techniques" (Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants) (January, 1986)
    • Speaker, "Planning with the Flow-Through and Distribution Rules under Subchapter S" (New York University 63rd Institute on Federal Taxation) (October 20, 2004)
    • Planning with the Flow-Through and Distribution Rules under Subchapter S (New York University 63rd Institute on Federal Taxation - Chapter 14) (Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. 2005)
    • Speaker, "What Type of Entity: C Corp., S Corp., LLC or Something Else?" (State Bar of Wisconsin) (May 5, 2004)
    • Panelist, "Cross-Species Mergers and Conversions Involving C Corporations, S Corporations, Partnerships and LLCs" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (May 9, 2003)
    • Cross‑Species Mergers and Conversions (Journal of Pass-Thru Entities, 2005)
    • Panelist, "Planning for After-Tax Results Without the Benefit of Before-Invest Rules" (The Group, Inc.) (January 15, 2003)
    • What Type of Entity Should I Be: C Corp., S Corp., LLC or Something Else Entirely? (Wisconsin Lawyer, Vol. 1, 2004)
    • Speaker, "Tax Consequences of Cross-Species Mergers and Conversions" (State Bar of Wisconsin-Annual Tax School Seminar) (December 5, 2002)
    • Next Economy Legislation: Allowing Complex Business Reorganizations (Wisconsin Lawyer, 2002)
    • Panelist, "Website Project for Multi-State Tax Guide" (ABA Section of Taxation Committee on S Corporations) (October 18, 2002)
    • Reducing Current Gain from Installment Sales of S Corporation Assets, Journal of S Corporation Taxation (Warren Gorham Lamont, 1992)
    • Speaker, "Wisconsin's Next Economy Legislation; Tax Consequences of Cross-Species Mergers and Conversions" (State Bar of Wisconsin-Madison) (October 4, 2002)
    • S v. C Decision Maker Software Program (Aardvark/McGraw-Hill, 1986)
    • Speaker, "Tax Simplification" (Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C. Symposium) (April 30, 2002)
    • Tax Return Treatment of Original Issue Discount on Tax Exempt Obligations (Wisconsin CPA - December, 1984)
    • Panelist, "The Life Cycle of a Limited Liability Company - The Middle Ages" (Corporate Practice Institute) (December 12, 2001)

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Testimony Before House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures; Hearing on Ways & Means Small Buusiness Tax Reform and Pass-Through Entity Discussion Draft (Washington, D.C.), 2013
    • Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access, Committee on Small Business, U.S. House of Representatives (Washington, D.C.) Regarding the Role Closely Held Businesses Play as Employers, 2015
    • Testimony Before Congress:  IRS Hearing re: 1099A Comments (Washington, D.C.), 2018
    • Member, Drafting Subcommittee, Wisconsin Cross-Species Merger and Conversion Provisions of Governor's Next Economy Legislation (2001 Wis. Act 44), 2001
    • Chairman, Partnership Committee, Wisconsin Revised Uniform Partnership Law (2015 Wis. Act 295), 2015
    • Primary Draftsperson, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Proposed Regulations under Section 1361(b)(1)(D), (c)(4) and (5) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Single Class of Stock Rules) (February 11, 1992), 1992
    • Principal Responsibility, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Proposed Regulations under Sections 1367 and 1368 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (S Corporation Basis, Distributions) (1992), 1992
    • Recommendations on federalization of Wisconsin's S Corporation Statutes (Subchapter V and other provisions of Wis. Stats. Chap. 71) (June 22, 1987) (Note: The large majority of these recommendations were adopted as amendments to the Wisconsin statutes, 1987 Wis. Act. 92, and/or incorporated into Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue Publication 102, "Wisconsin Tax-Option Corporations and Their Shareholders"), 1987
    • Recommendations regarding Wisconsin's Limited Liability Company Law (Wis. Stats. Chapter 183,) (February 7, 1995) (Note: Several of these recommendations were enacted as amendments to the Wisconsin statutes, 1999 Wis. Act 400), 1995
    • Primary Draftsperson, ABA Section of Taxation Comments Concerning Regulations under Sections 1366, 1367 and 1368 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (S Corporation Passthroughs, Basis, Distributions) (September 11, 1991), 1991

    Educational Background:

    • J.D. Marquette University Law School, 1979
    • Certified Public Accountant, 1983
    • B.A. (honors, summa cum laude) Marquette University, 1976

    Industry Groups

    • Accounting And Law Firms
    • Billing
    • Charitable Organizations
    • Construction
    • Distributorships
    • Equipment Maintenance
    • Health Care
    • Insurance Agents
    • Insurance Companies
    • Manufacturing
    • Physician Groups
    • Publishing
    • Real Estate
    • Restaurants
    • Securities And Investment Firms
    • Social Services
    • Software
    • Venture Capital
    Show More
    Office Location for Thomas J. Nichols

    111 East Kilbourn Avenue
    19th Floor
    Milwaukee, WI 53202

    Thomas J. Nichols:

    Last Updated: 7/31/2019

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