Alexander J. Szilvas

Firm: Baker & Hostetler LLP
Location: Cleveland - OH

  • Key Tower, 127 Public Square, Suite 2000
    Cleveland, OH 44114
  • Tel : 216.861.7883
  • Fax : 216.696.0740

Alex Szilvas is a tax partner who has practiced law at BakerHostetler for more than 30 years. He has significant experience dealing with the tax aspects of real property transactions and is co-chair of the firm’s Tax Credit Finance and Economic Development Incentives team. Alex advises regularly on the tax considerations and structuring of transactions involving real estate, as well as on partnerships and other legal entities that own, operate, develop, lease and manage real estate.

Alex works extensively in the areas of tax planning and structuring for projects seeking to utilize federal and state tax credits, especially historic tax credits and new markets tax credits, and other nontraditional funding sources. He assists a wide range of clients with their tax planning, from major public corporations to closely held developers and other businesses and their owners to investors and nonprofit organizations.

Alex is a frequent speaker on tax-related topics at numerous accredited continuing legal education (CLE) programs, including national conferences on historic and new markets tax credits. He also has spoken on a variety of tax subjects at the Cleveland Tax Institute, the Ohio State Bar Association Annual Convention and the Ohio CLE Institute. Alex is a past chairman of the Cleveland Tax Institute and a recent past president of the Tax Club of Cleveland, which is the premier tax industry association in northeast Ohio whose membership is composed of leading legal, accounting and corporate tax practitioners in the area. Alex also has published outlines and articles on various tax topics, such as an article that he co-authored on like-kind exchanges under Internal Revenue Code Section 1031, which was featured in the prestigious national BNA Daily Tax Report, and an article on the Final Opportunity Zone Regulations that was published in the Journal of Taxation of Investments.

Select Experience

Real Estate Tax Credit Financing Transactions

  • Has done significant work involving the tax planning, structuring and financing of projects utilizing federal and state tax credits throughout the United States, especially historic tax credits and new markets tax credits, with particular experience advising on sophisticated joint ventures and leasing arrangements in the context of facilitating project financing and achieving tax efficiencies.
Real Estate Section 1031 Transactions
  • Has worked extensively in the area of tax-free like-kind exchanges of real estate under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, including complex planning under the deferred exchange, multiple property exchange and reverse exchange rules, as well as in the areas of tenancy in common structuring and installment sale transactions.
Real Estate Tax Planning and Structuring
  • Has substantial experience in advising on the tax planning and structuring of acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, split-ups, financings, refinancings, leases, exchanges and other transactions involving real property.
Tax Controversy
  • Has significant experience in tax controversy work and the successful resolution of such matters. Has represented clients in a variety of tax controversies in the federal court system, including the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Federal District Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, as well as at the IRS audit and appeals levels. These cases have involved many diverse substantive areas of tax law, including debt/equity classification, employee/independent contractor characterization, amortization of intangible assets and accumulated earnings tax application.


  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Recommended in Tax: U.S. Taxes – Non-Contentious (2022)
  • Chambers USA
    • Tax in Ohio (2020 to 2022)
      • Band 1 (2020 to 2022)
    • Real Estate in Ohio (2018)
      • Recognized Practitioner (2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2012 to Present)
    • Ohio: Tax Law
      • Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” (2016, 2021 to 2022)

Baker & Hostetler LLP

For more than 100 years, the attorneys at BakerHostetler have helped clients effectively manage one of their most significant costs—taxes—by providing clients with sound and practical advice in federal, international, employee benefits, private wealth, tax exempt and state and local tax matters.

With more than 80 attorneys serving 17 offices, BakerHostetler’s Tax Group is one of the legal profession’s strongest. Clients rely on us for effective, practical judgment and technical advice and structuring tax-efficient transactions in arranging business operations to minimize compliance burdens and optimize tax synergies. We also routinely handle federal, state and local tax controversies including tax litigation. Our international tax practice helps companies plan and implement global tax strategies around the world. We complement our planning and controversy practices with an active rulings practice, regularly obtaining private rulings on behalf of clients in complicated merger and acquisition transactions, joint ventures, spin-offs, accounting methods and similar issues.

Members of our team have served in senior positions at the Department of Treasury, the IRS, the Department of Justice, the Joint Committee on Taxation and on Capitol Hill. Our tax attorneys also serve the academic community and the legal profession as adjunct professors, tax committee chairs and officers of various tax organizations. Twenty-eight of our team members are listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers, with four earning “Lawyers of the Year” awards. Our Tax team is also ranked in Chambers USA and in Who’s Who in Legal in “Corporate Tax.”

We understand that in tax law, facts matter. Our attorneys are committed to providing responsive service to our clients and to establishing the long-standing, deep client relationships necessary to enable us to command the facts necessary for effective counsel and representation in tax planning and controversy matters.