“The courts have repeatedly said that there is nothing illegal or unpatriotic with planning one’s affairs so that taxes are as low as possible. My role when advising clients with a difficult or complex tax problem is to assist them with finding the optimum solution that is consistent with their objectives, but at the same time stays within the boundaries of what the law permits.”

Paul Marcotte, Jr.


301-654-0165 FAX

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Paul Marcotte, Jr. chairs the firm’s Tax practice group and is a member of its Estate Planning, Estate & Trust Administration and Nonprofit groups. He concentrates his practice on federal, state and international tax matters (both planning and controversy), estate and wealth preservation planning, probate and trust administration, nonprofit organizations, and business counseling and succession planning. Paul helps his clients by putting complicated tax issues into simple English. He makes sure that the individuals, businesses and international clients he services have help navigating our complex tax systems and avoid potential minefields such as increased levels taxation and/or penalties. 

Paul’s international tax practice also includes advising a wide spectrum of clients on cross border investment matters and international tax compliance. He counsels multinationals on the structuring of foreign investment in U.S. real estate or establishing new business ventures or subsidiaries in this country with a view to minimizing the potential impact of U.S. income taxation on the profits/gains from such activity and limiting exposure to U.S. wealth transfer taxes. The converse involves assisting U.S clients (including dual nationals) that hold interests in offshore entities subject to some rather complex and onerous tax regimes and enhanced reporting requirements including foreign trusts, controlled foreign corporations and passive foreign investment companies where penalties for non-compliance can be quite severe. He also advises on more complex international matters including expatriation planning and migrating offshore structures onshore to avoid the need for continuing reporting of such holdings and undue tax exposure by U.S. beneficiaries.

From an estate planning perspective, Paul designs sophisticated strategies for high net worth clients, including successful business entrepreneurs and real estate investors. He minimizes the adverse impact of federal wealth transfer taxes and preserves and perpetuates family wealth for future generations using the latest planning techniques including such strategies as dynasty or perpetual trusts, family partnerships, sales to intentionally defective trusts and valuation discounts.

A significant part of Paul’s estate planning practice focuses on unique estate planning considerations for multinationals including staff at various international organizations with headquarters in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, diplomatic personnel as well as business executives on assignment here from overseas employers. Paul works with these individuals to educate them as to basic legal and tax rules that apply in their special circumstances and help them navigate through an often highly complex and intricate maze of specialized tax rules. Over the years, Paul has worked with clients from all over the globe that have come to the U.S. with their own unique backgrounds and culture unaccustomed to such complexity and tax exposure. Paul also works with foreign professionals engaged by such individuals to coordinate the global planning for clients whose interests span multiple jurisdictions.

In addition to planning and compliance matters, Paul represents both individuals, estate and trust fiduciaries and business organizations before the Internal Revenue Service and state and local tax authorities in conjunction with a broad spectrum of tax controversy matters such as taxpayer examinations, non-compliant taxpayers including non-filers, penalty assessments and requests for abatement, IRS Appeals and other tax controversy proceedings including litigation before the U.S. Tax Court. He has helped many clients with undisclosed offshore accounts and other holdings come forward by making a voluntary disclosure to the IRS under various offshore voluntary compliance programs with the expectation of avoiding some of the harsher penalties that can be imposed for non-compliant taxpayers. He also counsels clients as to when less formal alternatives to a full voluntary disclosure are available with reduced penalty exposure. He works with clients in establishing tax-exempt organizations, including private foundations and those with overseas operations where extra oversight over foreign grant making is required.

Paul has served as a part-time instructor, teaching various tax courses for paralegal studies at area universities, and has been a guest lecturer at local law schools. Prior to starting his legal career, he worked as a Certified Public Accountant for an accounting firm in Silver Spring, Md.

Paul is a member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), an international group of experienced and senior professionals in the field of trusts and estates. He serves as Chair for the STEP Mid-Atlantic Branch and is a member of its Executive Committee.

He is a past Chair and current member of the Section of Taxation of the Maryland State Bar Association, the governing body which sets its overall policy and is responsible for giving testimony on proposed legislation and regulatory developments impacting the general public as well as tax practitioners.

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Bar Admissions
  • Maryland

  • District of Columbia

  • LL.M. in Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center, 1983

  • J.D., University of Baltimore School of Law, 1981
       - American Jurisprudence Award for Study of Agency & Partnerships

  • M.B.A., University of Maryland, 1981
       - Concentration in International Finance

  • B.S., University of Maryland, 1976
       - Beta Alpha Psi - Accounting Fraternity

Accolades & Awards
  • Best Lawyers in America - Best Lawyers (2018-2023)
         - Tax Law
         - Trusts and Estates

  • Best Law Firms – U.S. News & Best Lawyers
             - Tier 2 National Ranking for Trusts & Estates
             - Tier 2 National Ranking for Tax Law
             - Tier 1 Metropolitan (D.C. area) Ranking for Trusts & Estates
             - Tier 1 Metropolitan (D.C. area) Ranking for Tax Law

  • "Top Attorneys," Bethesda Magazine ​(2019)
         - Tax

  • Maryland Super Lawyers (2015-2023)

  • Washington D.C. Super Lawyers (2015-2020)

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Recent Publications
Civic & Community Involvement
  • American Bar Association - Member
         - Tax Section
         - Real Property, Trust and Estate Section
         - Business Law Section

  • Maryland State Bar Association - Member
         - Tax Section - Past Chair
         - Estates & Trusts Section

  • District of Columbia Bar Association - Member
         - Tax Section

  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) – Chair, Mid-Atlantic Branch
         - Former Treasurer

Speeches & Presentations