Wendi L. Kotzen


Tel 215.864.8305
Fax 215.864.9804

Wendi L. Kotzen is a Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Tax Group. She advises clients on the taxation of all types of real estate transactions, has an extensive background in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia realty transfer tax planning, and advises clients on mergers and acquisitions. Wendi is also experienced working with REITs; real estate partnerships (both for developers and investors); leasing transactions, including sale-leasebacks; Pennsylvania state tax incentives; and structuring like-kind exchanges (forward, reverse, and TIC exchanges).

Wendi represents clients before federal, state, and local tax agencies contesting proposed adjustments and in connection with obtaining rulings on tax issues. She provides tax advice in labor and other litigation matters and withholding tax issues. She also regularly advises on Pennsylvania state and local tax planning and opportunities. Through 2018, Wendi has focused on the new Qualified Opportunity Zone tax incentive to assist clients to form and structure qualified opportunity funds. She leads the firm's Qualified Opportunity Zones Group.

Professional Activities

Philadelphia Bar Association, past Chair (2000-2001), Tax Section; past Chair, Tax Section State and Local Tax Committee (2005-2006)

American College of Tax Counsel, elected member

Mayor's Task Force on Tax Policy & Economic Competitiveness, appointee of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, 2009

Philadelphia Tax Supper Club, past President

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA, tax law, (Pennsylvania), 2016-2020

The Best Lawyers in America, tax law, 2005-2021; "Lawyer of the Year," Tax Law (Philadelphia), 2020

Selected Publications

Co-author, "Stimulus Bill Resolves PPP Loan Deductibilty, Enhances Employee Retention Credits, Provides Other Tax Relief," Ballard Spahr alert, December 22, 2020

Co-author, "IRS Confirms Taxpayers Cannot Deduct Expenses Paid With PPP Loans If Forgiveness Is Reasonably Expected," Ballard Spahr alert, November 23, 2020

Co-author, "Court Reverses Philadelphia's 2018 Assessment of Many Commercial Real Properties," Ballard Spahr alert, July 23, 2019

Co-author, "Pennsylvania 2019 Tax Bill Adds Opportunity Zone Conformity for Personal Income Tax, Adopts New Sales Tax Provisions, and Amends Other Tax and Credit Provisions," Ballard Spahr alert, July 16, 2019

Co-author, "Update on Qualified Opportunity Zones: First Set of Guidance Issued," Ballard Spahr alert, October 26, 2018

Co-author, "IRS Designates Remaining Qualified Opportunity Zones," Ballard Spahr alert, June 18, 2018

Co-author, "IRS Announces First Wave of Opportunity Zone Designations," Ballard Sphar alert, April 24, 2018

Co-author, "Deadline Approaches for Phila. Tax Appeals – Increased Assessments & Potential for School District Appeals," Ballard Spahr alert, September 11, 2017

Co-author, "Payments to LLC Members Subject to Unemployment Compensation Tax," Ballard Spahr alert, October 28, 2015 

"Choice of Entity in Pennsylvania," Ballard Spahr online article, August 2012

Co-author, "Disregarded Entities Are Now Responsible for Their Own Employment Taxes," Practical U.S./Domestic Tax Strategies, WorldTrade Executive, Inc., July 2009

Co-author, "Tax Shelter Disclosure and List Maintenance Rules," The Practical Tax Lawyer, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2005

Co-author, "The REIT Transaction: Strategies and Hints (An Update)," ALI-ABA, 2003

Selected Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Qualified Opportunity Zones," Ballard Spahr webinar, Philadelphia, May 22, 2019

Panelist, "Deconstructing the Opportunity Zones incentive (OZ) – an A to Z guide," iGlobal Forum's Opportunity Zones Investments Dealmakers Meeting, February 21, 2019

Panelist, "Structuring Investment Funds for Qualified Opportunity Zones: Maximizing Tax Benefits and Preserving Flexibility," Strafford webinar, December 19, 2018

Panelist, "In the Zone: CRE Investment in Qualified Opportunity Zones," CREFC Annual Los Angeles Symposium 2018, November 28, 2018

Panelist, "Qualified Opportunity Zones," Ballard Spahr webinar, Philadelphia, November 1, 2018

Panelist, "Qualified Opportunity Zones," Ballard Spahr webinar, Philadelphia, July 25, 2018

"Realty Transfer Tax Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 1, 2018

"Strategies for Real Estate Taxation: Are You Using the Whole Toolbox to Maximize your Investment?" Marcum Commercial Real Estate Summit, October 25, 2017  

"Cashing in on New Tangible Property Regulations," Ballard Spahr breakfast briefing, November 12, 2014

"What You Don't Know Might Bite You: The Tax Consequences of Debt Restructuring," Ballard Spahr, Commerce Real Estate Solutions, and Wisan, Smith, Racker & Prescott presentation, January 12, 2012

"Independent Contractor v. Employee; Repercussions of Misclassification," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 2011

"Dancing with the Distressed Debt Tax Devil – The (Too) Slow Waltz and the (Taxing) Tango: Legal and Practical Implications To Consider when Addressing Debt," ICSC, November 2010

"State and Local Tax Update," Philadelphia Tax Conference, November 2010

"Reporting Uncertain Tax Positions," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 2010

"Distressed Commercial Mortgage Loan Workouts," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2010

"Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Tax Amnesty," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 2010

"Hot Issues – Philadelphia Business Taxes," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 2009

"Troubled Debt and Workouts," Ballard Breakfast Briefing, June 4, 2009

"Tax Aspects of Workouts," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, May 2009, November 2010

"Advanced – Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 2009

"Tax Aspects of Workouts," NAREIT, March 2009

"Basic – Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, January 2009

"Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Update," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, January and June 2009

"Protecting Your Client, Protecting Yourself – Operating a Tax Practice under Pennsylvania & Federal Rules," December 2008

"Update on State and Local Taxes Including Pennsylvania," Philadelphia Tax Conference, 2006-2008

"Modern Real Estate Transactions," Tax–ALI-ABA, 2004-2007

George Washington University Law School (J.D. 1981, with honors)

New York University School of Law (LL.M., taxation, 1982)

University of Pennsylvania (B.A., magna cum laude, 1978)


New Jersey