Kelly Hellmuth is a private wealth services attorney based in Holland & Knight's Jacksonville office, where she focuses on charitable and nonprofit issues on a national scale. She represents public charities, private foundations, trustees of charitable trusts, religious institutions, trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations, in addition to donors. Since 2019, The Florida Bar has certified Ms. Hellmuth as a Board Certified Specialist in Tax.

Ms. Hellmuth guides her clients through all aspects of the complex world of nonprofit law and tax exemption. She assists with structuring tax-exempt entities, obtaining exemption from federal income tax, complying with tax rules, adopting good governance principles and best practices, and planning and substantiating gifts. She has significant experience with issues including unrelated business taxable income, private inurement and private benefit, excess benefit transactions, self-dealing, excess business holdings, taxable expenditures, minimum distributions, fundraising regulations and endowments.

Ms. Hellmuth also provides advice regarding charitable gift planning and the charitable aspects of estate planning, probate administration and trust administration, including through the traditional use of charitable trusts, bargain sales, charitable gift annuities and conservation easements, as well as innovative tax strategies.

In addition, as a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation, Ms. Hellmuth served on a committee that submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding its Notice 2021-56 on the ability of LLCs to qualify as 501(c)(3) organizations. In this role, she shared principal responsibility for preparing the comments.

Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Hellmuth served as a legislative assistant for the late U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.).

Representative Experience

  • Assisted in the merger of two public charities, including harmonization of membership provisions
  • Provided advice to a trade association analyzing whether activities would be related to its exempt purpose or generate unrelated business taxable income
  • Drafted and helped negotiate membership agreements between parent exempt organizations and their chapter organizations
  • Assisted with the spinoff of a division of a public charity into a new tax-exempt entity
  • Developed corporate governance documents, provided policies and procedures for board members and obtained IRS recognition of tax-exempt status for public charities and family and corporate private foundations
  • Assisted with development of grant-making and scholarship procedures for private foundations and public charities
  • Provided advice on Form 990 and Form 990-PF annual reporting and filing requirements for a variety of tax-exempt organizations
  • Assisted with the division of a family foundation into two new private foundations and termination of the old foundation
  • Provided advice and guidance on tax classification issues, including conversions from a private foundation to a publicly supported charity and from a Type III supporting organization to a Type I supporting organization status
  • Assisted a public charity with obtaining a group exemption ruling recognizing the tax-exempt status of its subordinate chapters

  • Advised a community foundation in negotiating the acceptance of a gift of business assets with accompanying investment management agreement
  • Assisted in a tax controversy arising from an IRS examination of charitable gifts of a closely held business interest to a supporting organization and donor-advised fund
  • Represented a donor regarding a charitable gift of conservation easement and the proper substantiation of a gift for federal tax purposes and assisted in state tax credit filings associated with conservation easement
  • Provided analysis and advice regarding options for charitable giving, including charitable gifts annuities and charitable remainder trusts

  • Advised charter school on tax issues of structuring capital improvements through an EB-5 investment program
  • Formed, obtained tax-exempt status, and provided tax and governance advice for a medical college
  • Advised private school on tax issues of refinancing and restructuring a promissory note held by the school's founder
  • Represented private schools regarding endowment issues and modification of restricted gifts
  • Advised a university foundation regarding excess benefit transaction issues, internal policies and gift agreements
  • Provided advice to a college alumni association regarding lobbying activities and political campaign issues
  • Developed and prepared planned giving forms for a university, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts

  • Provided advice and assisted in litigation and appeals regarding the modification of charitable trusts
  • Assisted with termination of cemetery trusts
  • Advised fiduciary regarding modification of charitable remainder trust to qualify for estate tax charitable deduction and claim for refund of estate tax


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow; Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committee
  • Chapter 617 Task Force (Corporations Not For Profit Statute), The Florida Bar
  • Tax Law Certification Committee of the Florida Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • The Florida Bar, Tax Section, Tax-Exempt Organizations Subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2018-2023; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committee, Co-Vice Chair, 2021-2023
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Exempt Organizations Committee; Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section, Charitable Planning and Organizations Group
  • Virginia State Bar, Trusts and Estates Section
  • The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Downtown Professional Advisory Council
Honors & Awards
  • Florida Fellows Institute of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Graduate of Class II
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021


Speaking Engagements