Shane Hamilton has represented tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations in connection with their federal tax and nonprofit governance matters for over two decades, including family- and company-sponsored private foundations, publicly supported charities, supporting organizations, social welfare organizations, and trade associations. He regularly counsels tax-exempt organizations on a wide range of matters involving governance best practices, obtaining and maintaining federal tax-exempt status, the unrelated business income tax (UBIT), excess benefit transactions (intermediate sanctions), private foundation excise taxes, and other legal requirements applicable to tax-exempt organizations.
In addition to advising tax-exempt clients on their tax and legal issues, he offers clients practical advice on navigating the challenges presented when business or mission-oriented goals conflict with the tax laws. Over the years, Mr. Hamilton has acted as outside general counsel for many different organizations; currently he serves in that role for The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas.
Mr. Hamilton has helped a variety of tax-exempt organizations resolve tax controversies during the IRS examinations (audits), at IRS Appeals, through closing agreements, and in court. When the stakes are high, Mr. Hamilton teams with other law firms as co-counsel in litigation matters.
Considered by many lawyers and other professionals to be a "lawyer’s lawyer," Mr. Hamilton advises in-house counsel and tax departments on complex tax-exempt organization issues. He also serves as co-counsel with corporate and criminal defense lawyers in matters that involve or raise issues related to tax-exempt organizations. Mr. Hamilton often assists accounting firms when their nonprofit clients face unique or especially thorny tax-law issues or require representation before the IRS.
Before forming Hamilton | Vopelak P.C., Mr. Hamilton was a Member of Miller & Chevalier Chartered in Washington, D.C. and was the head of that firm’s tax-exempt practice group. While attending the University of Virginia School of Law, he served as an Executive Editor and the Tax Cite Editor of the Virginia Tax Review. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, University of Virginia.
Rankings and Recognition
- The Best Lawyers in America: Tax Law: 2012 - present
- The Tax Law of Private Foundations: 2022 Cumulative Supplement
- The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations: 2023 Cumulative Supplement
- Virginia, 1997
- District of Columbia, 1998
- Texas, 2012
Federal Court Admissions
- U.S. Tax Court
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1997
- M.A. (English), University of Virginia, 1997
- B.A. (Economics), University of Virginia, 1993
David M. Coolidge*
David Coolidge practices in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation. Mr. Coolidge’s practice covers design, implementation and compliance work for all forms of tax-qualified pension, savings, and welfare benefit plans, including defined benefit, 403(b) and 401(k) plans, as well as executive compensation arrangements and other incentive arrangements.
Mr. Coolidge drafts and negotiates all relevant plan and trust documents and contracts, drafts employee disclosures, prepares government filings and obtains agency rulings. He has assisted employers with voluntary compliance proceedings at the IRS and Department of Labor to protect benefit plans against potentially disqualifying errors.
Mr. Coolidge’s practice also covers many of the laws that regularly attach to employee benefits, such as the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, COBRA, and the Medicare secondary payer rules; age and other employment discrimination labor laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act; and the securities law aspects of employee benefit plans. He regularly advises clients on Affordable Care Act interpretive issues, compliance requirements, and support around IRS assessments and audits; on the preparation of group health plan amendments and implementing resolutions; and on consumer-driven health care matters, such as integrated health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements.
* David Coolidge is an independent contractor to Hamilton Vopelak | P.C. and is not licensed in Texas.
- Maine, 2003
Federal Court Admissions
- U.S. Tax Court
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1996
- B.A., Stanford University, 1988
Bruce R. Hopkins (1941 – 2021)
Remembering our dear friend, colleague, mentor, legal sage, and Dean of the Tax-Exempt Bar, Bruce Hopkins. You will be sorely missed but will live on in our hearts and minds, not to mention in the four dozen books on our shelves that comprise a spectacular nonprofit law library in themselves.