Honors and Awards

Michael I. Sanders Named a 2021 Top 25 Attorney by Opportunity Zone Magazine

2021 Top 25 Attorney by OZ Magazine

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Michael I. Sanders, lead partner in the firm's Washington, D.C., Tax group and head of the firm's Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds group, was named a 2021 Top 25 Attorney by Opportunity Zone Magazine, which has honored him since 2019 as a leading Opportunity Zone influencer.

This annual tribute list recognizes the industry's leading and most influential Opportunity Zone professionals in five categories: attorneys, tax specialists, policy influencers, fund managers and developers, and professionals in specialized fields.

To view the 2021 Opportunity Zone Magazine special digital edition, please click here.

Top 25 Attorney Profile, as published in Opportunity Zone Magazine

Michael I. Sanders

Michael I. Sanders
Blank Rome

Michael Sanders is the lead partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office tax group. He focuses his practice in the area of taxation, offering knowledge in matters affecting partnerships, limited liability companies, S-corporations, real estate, tax controversy, Opportunity Zone funds, and estate planning. He also has a large practice in exempt organizations involving healthcare and low-income housing, associations and joint ventures between for-profits and nonprofits, as well as structuring New Markets Tax Credit, Historic Tax Credit transactions, and Opportunity Zone Funds. Sanders is an adjunct professor of tax in the graduate program at Georgetown Law Center and George Washington law school. He also advises funds, investors, and real estate companies on the OZ program requirements and provides up-to-date guidance.

What new trends are you seeing in the Opportunity Zone industry?

"In view of anticipated legislation and the resulting impact of tax laws on OZ investments, including the anticipated increase in capital gain rates, we anticipate a significant growth of investments in OZ funds. The higher the rates, the more valuable OZs are. Since gain realization is coming in 2026, tax planning needs to be considered to mitigate its impact, but the real benefit is exclusion after 10 years. Both Congress and practitioners are seeking to improve the program, especially in view of COVID-19 delays in the public improvement process. But at least $29 billion has been invested in OZs per GAO. Expect to see changes in census tract designations and taxpayer compliance. Shovel-ready properties are preferred."