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A headshot of Joe Bender, member of DRB.

Joseph E. Bender




Marquette University, J.D.

New York University School of Law, LL.M, Taxation

University of Illinois-Chicago, B.A.


District of Columbia


Wisconsin (inactive)

Joe Bender is a co-founder of the firm, focusing on federal and state tax matters for his clients. Joe is a well-respected tax attorney who regularly advises his clients on a wide variety of federal, state and local tax matters, with particular emphasis on tax issues involved with private equity investments, including investments made through pass-through investment vehicles, REITs or otherwise.

Joe generally advises clients on the entire life cycle of a transaction, including the front end investment and the back end disposition of the investment, whether in taxable or tax free dispositions and restructurings. His practice frequently focuses on maximizing tax benefits among the parties.

Joe has also represented a number of taxpayers in their defense against federal, state and local revenue taxing authorities, and has served as an expert witness in judicial hearings on tax matters.

Representative Transactions

  • Structured numerous UBIT and REIT compliant real estate investments totaling in excess of $1 billion.

  • Submitted a private letter ruling request to the IRS regarding accelerated depreciation on REIT-owned investments advocating a position that was adopted by the IRS through final regulations (T.D. 9784, August 31, 2016).

  • Advised clients on the use of REITs and taxable REIT subsidiaries in connection with multiple hotel developments and senior housing projects.

  • Coordinated a federal Historic Tax Credit Syndication with a hotel REIT/TRS development.

  • Advised clients on a $1 billion+, multi-year and multi-phase development project involving residential condominiums, apartment buildings, retail space and office buildings.

  • Created and implemented structures to develop and syndicate real estate investments in federal Opportunity Zones.

  • Representing clients in state and federal audits of private equity and real estate investments.

Professional Background

Prior to co-founding DRB in 2014, Joe was a tax partner in a national AMLaw 100 firm, where he represented clients in a variety of transactions, including corporate mergers and acquisitions, on-shoring investments, fund formation, operation and disposition and related matters.

Community Engagement/Board Appointments

Joe has been appointed to the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council, where he advises the Tax-Exempt/Government Entity Branch of the IRS regarding enhancements to IRS operations, recommends administrative and policy changes to improve taxpayer service, compliance and tax administration, and addresses matters concerning tax-exempt and government entities along with best practices for tax professionals.


Beware the Banner Ad – The New Maryland Tax on Digital Advertising (with Jamie Rubin) 2021

Associations Can Run Afoul Of Anti-Trust Rules, The NonProfit Times, September 27th, 2012

Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances 2007 (contributing author)

When is the Whole Worth More that the Part? The Use of Discounts in Valuing Corporate Distributions of Appreciated Property, Journal of Passthrough Entities, January-February 2003 (with Michael Donovan, Susan Lauer and Ken Lorch).

Peracchi and Making Something out of Nothing, or Does Debt Have a Zero Basis to its Maker and Further Ruminations on the Substance and Form of Transactions, Taxes Magazine, March 1999 (with Dick Lipton).


Adjunct Tax Faculty University of Illinois-Chicago and guest lecturer University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

Joe has been peer-rated as AV-Preeminent (the highest 10%) since 2007.

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