Richard P. Sills is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office and practices in the areas of trusts and estates, taxation, and tax-exempt organizations. He serves as the chair of the firm's Tax-Exempt Organizations Group and represents tax-exempt organizations in a broad range of tax and governance issues. Among other topics, he advises boards of directors regarding their fiduciary responsibilities and regarding the policies required to satisfy the recommended "good governance" practices of the IRS. He also represents individual clients interested in charitable giving and philanthropy, either during their lives or as part of their estate planning. He advises publicly supported charities including universities, private foundations (operating and non-operating), support organizations, community foundations with donor advised funds and charitable trusts, as well as noncharitable exempt organizations such as trade associations and clubs.

He has more than 40 years of experience in the exempt organizations area and has successfully obtained tax-exempt status in numerous cases, as well as  private letter rulings from the IRS in the exempt organizations area. He advises tax-exempt organizations on how to manage their affairs to avoid jeopardizing their exempt status and to avoid penalty excise taxes. He advises clients on issues relating to the unrelated business income tax and on complex transactions such as mergers of tax-exempt organizations. He has given speeches and written articles regarding the IRS Form 990, and is often called upon to make recommendations to exempt organization clients regarding the preparation of their returns.

Mr. Sills' practice also includes estate planning and the preparation of wills and trusts, all aspects of estate and trust administration and the representation of clients in audits and tax controversies.

He served as attorney-advisor to Judge Charles R. Simpson of the United States Tax Court from 1969 to 1971, and then worked in the IRS Chief Counsel's Office, as an attorney-advisor and an assistant branch chief in the Legislation and Regulations Division, from 1971 to 1974. Since 1974, he has engaged in the private practice of law in Washington, D.C., and he joined Holland & Knight as a partner in 1993.

Mr. Sills' professional articles have appeared in such journals as Taxation of Exempts, The Washington Lawyer, Taxation for Accountants, District Lawyer, Journal of Taxation and Journal of Real Estate Taxation. He has extensive teaching and lecturing experience, including coursework for the District of Columbia Bar Continuing Legal Education Program, the Georgetown University Law Center, the George Washington University National Law Center and the Albany Law School Estate Planning Institute.

Mr. Sills has taught courses including: "Federal Tax Treatment of Charities and Other Nonprofit Organizations", "Taxation of Partnerships and Subchapter S Corporations", "Estate Planning and Subchapter S Corporations", "Practicing Before the U.S. Tax Court" and "Taxation for the General Practitioner" for the Continuing Legal Education program operated by the District of Columbia Bar and the George Washington University National Law Center. In addition, he served for several years as editor of Holland & Knight's Business and Tax Newsletter.

Mr. Sills gives speeches and other presentations on current tax developments and exempt-organization-related topics for the Holland & Knight Institute, various Holland & Knight offices and other educational programs.


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, LL.B., Taxation, with highest honors
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A.
  • The George Washington University Law School, LL.M., Taxation, with highest honors
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Chairman, Steering Committee, Tax Division, 1984-1985
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
Honors & Awards
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements