Walter Haverfield Attorney

Gary A. Zwick

  • Partner
    Tax & Wealth Management Chair
  • Cleveland Direct: 216.928.2902
  • Cleveland Fax: 216.916.2340

Overview

Gary has a general tax practice, with emphasis on tax planning for closely-held and family businesses and their owners, and high net worth individuals. This encompasses not only income tax planning, but also estate planning, retirement plans and planning, business and individual taxation, Subchapters C & S, mergers and acquisitions, employee benefits and IRS, and tax court practice and controversy work.  Mr. Zwick also handles criminal tax matters working in conjunction with Ralph Cascarilla, our Managing Partner and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Before joining Walter | Haverfield in 1997, Gary, who is also a Certified Public Accountant, spent 21 years in public accounting, including serving for many years as Director of Tax Operations and Head of the Cleveland Office Tax Department for a large regional Bowman 100 CPA firm.

Gary is the principal author of the book "Tax & Financial Planning for the Closely Held Family Business," published by ALI-ABA, and a co-author of the book "Transferring Interests in the Closely Held Family Business," also published by ALI-ABA. Both books will continue to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing, beginning in 2016. He has also authored or co-authored over a dozen feature articles for major tax publications including a chapter entitled "Transfers of Property in Exchange for Services - Section 83," for the Lexis Nexis Online Tax Encyclopedia, published in January 2007. For many years, Gary was the Tax Clinic editor of the August rotation in the Tax Adviser, the AICPA's national tax publication. He is also a contributor to the ALI-ABA Practice Checklist Manual on Advising Business Clients II and the book, "Golden Opportunities," by Amy and Armond Budish. Gary is a frequent speaker, both locally and nationally, on tax subjects, with hundreds of speaking engagements to tax professionals. He is board certified in federal tax by the Ohio State Bar Association and former Chair of the Federal Tax Specialty Board of the Ohio State Bar Association. He continues to serve on the Federal Tax Specialty Board of the Ohio Bar Association. He was an adjunct professor of Wealth Transfer Tax and Estate Planning at Case Western Reserve School of Law and also was an adjunct professor of Tax Law and Wealth Transfer Tax at Cleveland State University College of Law.

Experience

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS & ERISA
  • Consults on qualified plan design, including defined benefit/defined contribution combinations
  • Drafts and implements individually designed qualified plans
  • Handles qualified plan audits and interface with the IRS to obtain qualification letters for the plans
  • Designs and implements VEBAs for larger employers and assists small employers with their employee benefit plans
  • Designs, drafts, and implements non-qualified deferred compensation, stock options, restricted stock plans
  • Implements IRA and other retirement strategies
ESTATE PLANNING
  • Consults and handles matters in estate and wealth planning for owners and operators of closely held and family businesses
  • Works closely with high net worth individuals and their families
  • Solves liquidity problems in estates that are largely illiquid
  • Works with multiple generations to assure that plans implemented are carried out
FEDERAL, STATE, & LOCAL TAX
  • Creatively structures and negotiates purchases and sales of businesses to reduce or eliminate taxes
  • Designs compensation, benefits and qualified plan systems for closely held and family businesses to maximize benefits and minimize costs
  • Structures optimal entity selection, accounting periods, and methods and situs of closely held entities to reduce tax exposure for entrepreneurial businesses
  • IRS, state, and local tax practice including hundreds of audits, appeals, and court cases on the federal, state, and local level; regularly obtains private letter rulings and interface with all levels of administrative entities
  • Manages family business and other shareholder disputes
  • Works closely with individuals and their families to design and implement multi-generational estate and wealth planning strategies
  • Estate and trust administration

Recognition

  • September 2016 - Recognized as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.
  • May 2014 - An article co-authored by Gary and published in the Journal of Financial Service Professionals was recently awarded one of three Kenneth Black, Jr. Journal Author Awards for best article of the year. This article, titled "Why Tax Minimization is Overrated in Estate Planning," appeared in the Journal in March 2013 and was co-authored by James Jurinski, a professor at the University of Portland and a practicing attorney in Oregon.
  • April 2011 - In honor of his outstanding contributions in the field of estate planning, Gary was selected as the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Estate Planner Award by the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland.
  • Recognized by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Certified Specialist in Federal Taxation Law since 2002; is currently serving as a member of the OSBA Specialty Board for Federal Taxation
  • 2009-2018 - Selected for inclusion in the 2009-2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America©. Listed in the current edition for his Tax Law practice.
  • Selected for inclusion since 2009 in Cleveland's Best Lawyers, for his practice of Tax Law
  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2004-2018 - Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers list. Areas of practice: Tax; Estate Planning & Probate; Employee Benefits/ERISA.
  • 2005-2007: Named to Worth magazine’s list of the nation’s "Top 100 Attorneys" in recognition of his expertise in the area of "tax and wealth management"; he was one of only three attorneys in Ohio to receive this honor in 2007
  • Article of the year award winner in the Tax Adviser, 1993
  • Adjunct Professor of Wealth Transfer Taxation – Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (2008)
  • Adjunct Professor of Income Taxation – Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (2004-2008)
  • Adjunct Professor of Wealth Transfer Taxation – Case Western Reserve University School of Law (2002–2005)
  • Adjunct Professor of Wealth Transfer Taxation – Cleveland State University, Masters of Accounting and Information Systems Program (2001)
certified specialist
Best Lawyers Award Badge
super lawyer
super lawyer

Articles

Presentations

Ohio Society of CPAs Mega Tax Conference – “Selected Planning Topics for S Corporations,” Columbus, Ohio (12/12/2017)

American Tax Planning Institute (APTI) Summit – “Selected Creative Insurance and Tax Planning Ideas for Middle Market and Entrepreneurial Clients with High Income and Net Worth,” presented with Cullen Fischel, New York, New York (11/29/2017)

Society of Financial Service Professionals – “High Net Worth Planning,” Independence, Ohio (11/15/2017)

Canton Estate Planning Forum – “A Potpourri of Creative and Possibly Aggressive Estate Planning Ideas,” Walsh University (11/8/2017)

West Virginia Tax Institute – “Federal Tax Updates,” Charleston, West Virginia (10/29/17)

Cleveland Accounting Show – “Most Tax Efficient Methods of Transferring a Family Business to the Next Generation” and “State and Local Tax Issues: Quirks that Affect Middle Markets and Closely-Held Businesses” (State and Local Tax Issues presented with Stephen Hall and Charles Federanich), Cleveland, Ohio (10/25/17 to 10/26/17)

Tri-State Tax Institute – “Flexibility and Low Risk: The Manta in Estate Planning Today,” Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, West Virginia (10/24/17)

Boy Scouts of America – 12th Annual Estate Planning Seminar – “Update on Family Limited Partnerships and Family Limited Liability Companies,” Cleveland, Ohio (9/18/17)

National Business Institute (NBI) – Business Law Start to Finish – “Handling Common Business Tax Issues,” Akron, Ohio (9/15/17)

Ohio Society of CPAs – Mega Tax Conference – “Most Tax Efficient Methods of Transferring a Family Business to the Next Generation,” Columbus, Ohio (12/13/16)

Akron Tax and Estate Planning Council – “A Potpourri of Unusual and Possibly Aggressive Estate Planning Techniques,” Akron, Ohio (11/21/16)

Lorain County Bar Association Fall 2016 Probate Seminar – “Planning for Lifetime Transfers Utilizing Irrevocable Trusts,” Elyria, Ohio (11/10/16)

Ohio State Bar Association Tax Institute – “Federal Tax Law Updates,” Columbus, Ohio (11/1/16)

West Virginia Tax Institute Annual Meeting – “Federal Tax Updates,” Charleston, West Virginia (10/23/16)

Estate Planning Council of Cleveland – Panel Discussion – Estate Planning “War Stories,” Cleveland, Ohio (10/18/2016)

National Business Institute – Estate Planning and Administration: The Complete Guide – “Key Laws and Client Intake/Goal Setting"; "Transfers During Life and Inter-Vivos Irrevocable Trusts"; "Tax Consequences of Trusts,” Cleveland, Ohio (8/11/16 - 8/12/16)

AICPA – Advanced Estate Planning Conference – “How CPAs Work With Lawyers"; "Business Succession Planning"; "Tax Aspects of Decanting,” Washington, D.C. (7/18/16 - 7/20/16)

The Group, Inc. – Annual Tax, ERISA and Health Care Law Meeting – “DO 8-3 Closing Agreement Program for Disqualified Plans and What does it really mean if a plan is disqualified?,” “§ 1202 Stock,” “Basis Stuffing with Grantor Trusts,” “Several Reorg/Sale Techniques,” “Late S Elections under RPs 2007-62 and 2013-30,” “Elections Under § 1368 for S Corporations to Distribute E & P and Deemed Re-contribution After Year-End to Attain Basis for Losses,” Santa Monica, California (1/31/16 - 2/2/16)

Ohio Society of CPAs - MEGA Tax Conference - "Selected Problems and Planning for Mergers & Acquisitions," Columbus, Ohio (12/7/15)

Ohio Society of CPAs - Accounting Show - "Charitable Giving" and "Succession Planning in Family Businesses," Cleveland, Ohio (10/22/15)

West Virginia Tax Institute - "Federal Tax Update," Daniels, West Virginia (10/18/15)

Boy Scouts of America Estate Planning Seminar - "Current Update on Family Limited Partnerships," Cleveland, Ohio (9/10/15)

Canton Estate Planning Forum - "Post Mortem Planning for S corporations," Canton, Ohio (9/9/15)

Ave Maria Law School Estate Planning Institute - "Estate and Succession Planning for Closely Held Businesses," Naples, Florida (5/1/15)

Served as a panelist in a discussion on "Succession Planning," at the AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Institute, in Chicago, Illinois (7/23/14)

Served as Chair for the "Jewish Community Federation's 42nd Charitable Tax Seminar," in Beachwood, Ohio (6/3/14)

Spoke in Akron, Ohio on the topic, "Tax Savings Strategies During Acquisitions," at an NBI Seminar ("Helping Your Client Buy or Sell A Small-To-Medium-Sized Business") (6/1/14)

The Ohio Society of CPAs - Mega Tax Conference - "S Corporation Distributions" and "Beneficiary Defective Trusts," Columbus, Ohio (12/18/13)

Tennessee Federal Tax Conference - "Creative Retirement Planning for our Service Professional Clients," Nashville, Tennessee (11/20/13)

Ohio Society of CPAs, Cleveland Accounting Show - "Fun and Games with Disregarded Entities," Cleveland, Ohio (10/24/12)

AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference - "Entities Used by Taxpayers in Estate Planning" and "Tax Aspects of Partnerships and LLC Interests in Estate Administration," Las Vegas, Nevada (7/23/12 and 7/24/12)

American Institute on Federal Taxation - "Roth Conversion, Recharacterizations and Reconversions," Birmingham, Alabama (6/21/12)

National Business Institute - "Tax Implications of the Deal Structure," Cleveland, Ohio (6/7/12)

Financial Planning Association / Northeast Ohio Chapter - "Estate Planning with Annuities" and "Planning for Estates Under $1 Million including Planning for Distributions from IRAs and Pension Plans," Cleveland, Ohio (1/19/12)

Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Seminar - "A Practical Analysis of the Federal Estate Tax After December 17, 2010," Cleveland, Ohio (12/17/11)

Howard, Wershbale & Co. - "Advanced S Corporation Tax Issues," Cleveland, Ohio (12/15/11)

The Ohio Society of CPAs - Mega Tax Conference - "Advanced S Corporation Tax Issues," Columbus, Ohio (12/7/11)

Tennessee Federal Tax Conference - "New Options for Retirement Planning for Attorneys, CPAs and other Dilatory Clients/Procrastinators," Nashville, Tennessee (11/17/11)

The Ohio Society of CPAs - Cleveland Accounting Show- "Fun & Games with Grantor Trusts," Cleveland, Ohio (10/26/11)

Rea & Associates - "Creative Tax Planning for Businesses and Their Owners," Aurora, Ohio (10/19/11)

Boy Scouts of America Estate Planning Seminar - "Family Limited Partnerships and Family LLCs," Cleveland, Ohio (9/15/11)

Estate Planning Council of Cleveland - "Advanced Post-mortem Issues and Planning Related to S Corporation Stock," Cleveland, Ohio (9/13/11)

Financial Planning Private Study Group - "Creative Tax Planning for Closely Held Businesses and Their Owners," Cleveland, Ohio (8/18/11)

AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference - "What CPAs Need to Know when Reviewing an Operating Agreement for a Family Partnership/LLC" and "Formula Clauses," Boston, Massachusetts (7/18/11 and 7/19/11)

National Constitution Center - "Estate Planning Tax Issues-Navigating Portability, Rates & Exclusion," Webinar (7/7/11)

Lorman Education Services - New Era of Estate Planning - "Planning for Retirement Benefits," "The Tax Relief Act of 2010," and "The Zeroed Out Grantor Retained Annuity Trust," Cleveland, Ohio (6/30/11)

YPO Group - "Choices of Trustees and Uses of Trusts in Estate Planning," Hudson, Ohio (6/7/11)

Society of Financial Service Planners - "Creative Tax Planning for Businesses and Their Owners," Cleveland, Ohio (4/20/11)

2011 Probate Seminar - Lake County Bar Association - "Federal Estate Tax Update and Issues," Painesville, Ohio (2/21/11)

Mahoning-Shenango Valley Estate Planning Council - "Federal Estate Tax Update and Issues," Boardman, Ohio (2/17/11)

National Business Institute - "Tax Planning for Trusts and Estates," Cleveland, Ohio (2/9/11)

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's 37th Annual Estate Planning Institute Video, co-presenter on, "Planning for 2011 and Clean-up for 2010," Cleveland, Ohio (12/13/10)

Ohio Society of CPAs Mega Tax Conference - "Tax Planning for High Net Worth Individuals," Columbus, Ohio (12/8/10)

Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association Annual Estate Planning Seminar - "Planning for Estates Under $1 Million and Planning for Distributions from IRAs and Pension Plans," Cleveland, Ohio (11/13/10)

Stark Community Foundation’s Fall Seminar for Professional Advisors - "Creative Tax Planning for Closely Held Business and their Owner Operators," Canton, Ohio (11/4/10)

2010 Cleveland Tax Institute - "Deemed Asset Sales of 'S' Corporations Under IRC Sec. 338(h)(10)," Cleveland, Ohio (11/3/10)

Cohen & Co. - "Estate Planning for Persons Dying in 2010 and Afterward under the "New" Estate Tax Regime and Tax Effective Charitable Giving Techniques," Aurora, Ohio (11/3/10)

Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center - "Estate Planning for Persons Dying in 2010 and Afterward under the 'New' Estate Tax Regime and Tax Effective Charitable Giving Techniques," Chagrin Falls, Ohio (10/29/10)

OSCPA Accounting Show - "Estate and Income Tax Planning with Commercial and Private Annuities," Cleveland, Ohio (10/28/10)

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Estate Planning Institute - "Planning for 2011 and Clean-up for 2010," Cleveland, OH (10/26/10) 

AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference - "Closing Held Business Succession Planning," Washington, D.C. (7/26/10)

American Institute of Federal Taxation - "Current Trends for Designing Qualified Plans for Closely Held and Family Businesses," Birmingham, Alabama (6/24/10)

The Ohio Society of CPAs Members Summit - "Using Grantor Trusts in Effective Succession Planning," Columbus, Ohio (6/17/10)

National Constitution Center - Audio Conference - "The Care and Feeding of Family Limited Partnerships and Family LL’s," Cleveland, Ohio (5/19/10)

National Business Institute - "Family Limited Partnerships," Independence, Ohio (5/13/10)

Society for Financial Services Professionals - "Estate Planning with Annuities," Cleveland, Ohio (3/17/10)

Ohio Society of CPA's - "Maximizing Cash Flow for Retirement," Canton, Ohio (1/13/10)

National Business Institute - "Advanced Issues in Business Entity Selection," Cleveland, Ohio (12/8/09)

National Business Institute - "Advanced Issues in Business Entity Selection," Youngstown, Ohio (12/7/09)

Ohio Society of CPAs Mega Tax Conference - "Tax Planning for High Net Worth Individuals," Columbus, Ohio (12/3/09)

2009 Cleveland Tax Institute - "Tax Relief for Victims of Ponzi Schemes," Cleveland, Ohio (11/5/09)

Community Foundation of Collier County - "Sale to Grantor Trust and Variations" and "The Care and Feeding of Family Limited Partnerships and Family LLC's," Naples, Florida (10/22/09)

National Center for Family Business - "Tax Magic," Cleveland, Ohio (10/5/09)

OSCPA Ohio Accounting Show - "Social Security" and "Succession Planning for Small Business," Cleveland, Ohio (9/23/09)

AICPA - "Closely Held Business Succession Planning and Caring and Feeding FLP's," Cleveland, Ohio (7/19/09)

National Business Institute - "Advanced LLC Issues: Mastering Estate Planning Techniques," Akron, Ohio (6/22/09)

ASPPA Benefits Council of Cleveland - "Roth Ira vs. Non-Roth Ira/Conversions And Non-Traditional Alternatives To Wealth Preservation," Cleveland, Ohio (6/18/09)

John Carroll University, "The Heights" - "Advanced Planning for the Closely Held Family Business and their Owner Operators," Cleveland, Ohio (6/9/09)

Society of Financial Planning Services - "Roth Ira vs. Non-Roth Ira/Conversions And Non-Traditional Alternatives To Wealth Preservation," Cleveland, Ohio (4/22/09)

Ohio Society of CPAs - "Choice of Entity," Cleveland, Ohio (3/10/09)

The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants - Mega Tax Conference - "Tax Planning for High Net Worth Individuals," Columbus, Ohio (12/11/08)

NBI - LLC Trends and Developments - "Formation and Operation" and "Understanding Complex Tax Issues," Cleveland, Ohio (12/9/08)

Kentucky Institute on Federal Taxation - "Creative Tax Consulting for the Closely Held Family Business and their Owner Operators," Louisville, Kentucky (11/18/08)

Cohen & Company - "Preferred Limited Partnerships," Cleveland, Ohio (11/6/08)

Institute for Continuing Professional Education - "Sale to a Grantor Trust and Variations," Bucyrus, Ohio (10/8/08)

Lorman Education Services, The 8 Greatest Estate Planning Techniques - "Sale to a Grantor Trust and Variations," "Advanced Planning for Dynasty Trusts," "The Zeroed Out Grantor Retained Annuity Trust," and "Advanced Estate Planning for the Elderly," Cleveland, Ohio (9/24/08)

The Ohio Society of CPAs 2008 Cleveland Accounting Show - "Social Security" and "Succession Planning for Small Businesses," Cleveland, Ohio (9/18/08)

Ohio Society of CPAs - "Choice of Entity," Cleveland, Ohio (8/5/08)

AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference - "Family Limited Partnerships and Family LLC’s," Chicago, Illinois (7/27/08)

Sterling Education Services Inc., Trust Planning and Drafting Techniques - "Charitable Trusts," Cleveland, Ohio (7/22/08)

American Institute on Federal Taxation - "Section 529 Plans" and "Section 409A - Overview, Selected Topics and Practical Applications," Birmingham, Alabama (6/18/08)

Cleveland Bar Association - "Elder Law for the Practitioner: The Tax Man Cometh! Watch out for These Tax Issues," Cleveland, Ohio (6/3/08)

36th Annual Jewish Welfare Fund Charitable Tax Seminar - "Baby Boomer Retirement Planning: The Triple Decker Sandwich Squeeze," Cleveland, Ohio (6/2/08)

American Cancer Society Planned Giving Committee - "Retirement Planning Strategies: How Can You Retire with Enough Money and Ancillary Considerations," Cleveland, Ohio (5/21/08)

National Business Institute - "Advanced LLC Issues," Akron, Ohio (5/19/08)

Many more dating back to 1984

Associations

  • Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel
  • Gary participates in numerous professional and community activities. He is on the Board of Advisors of the Small Business Council of America, a national lobbying group on small business issues, the ABA Tax Section, the AICPA Tax Division, and the Tax Club of Cleveland. He previously participated in presenting community estate planning seminars for the Southwest Community Health Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation.
  • Institute for Creative Living - past President, former member of the Board of Trustees
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association - General Tax Committee and the Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law sections
  • Member, Kent State University's National Alumni Board of Directors (elected to three- year term which runs from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019)
  • Creator and Chair of the Great Lakes Federal Tax Institute - 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011
  • Member of Internal Revenue Service TE/GE Advisory Liaison Group for the Great Lakes Region (2001-2004)

Podcasts

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