Kathleen M. Nilles - Holland & Knight, LLP

Kathleen M. Nilles

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2012
Phone: 202-457-1815

Kathleen M. Nilles is a partner in the Washington D.C., office of Holland & Knight. She focuses her practice on resolving critical tax and business organizational issues for tax-exempt and governmental entities. She also handles federal tax policy and legislative issues for a wide spectrum of organizations, companies and governmental units.

Ms. Nilles has over 20 years of experience advising Indian tribal governments and tax-exempt hospitals on tax issues. Representative projects she has handled include:

  • structuring affiliated business enterprises of nonprofit and government entities in a tax-efficient manner
  • designing various types of compensation, retirement savings and benefits programs for directors, officers, members and employees of such entities
  • securing IRS private letter rulings on the tax treatment of tribal government instrumentalities, corporations and programs as well as on a number of novel arrangements in the health care arena
  • advising hospitals and other tax-exempt organizations on a wide variety of private benefit and unrelated business issues, including in the context of joint ventures and nonprofit hospital sales and conversions
  • designing structures to facilitate effective legislative and political advocacy by tax-exempt organizations

Ms. Nilles also handles Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits and tax controversies for tax-exempt organizations and tribal governments.



As a former Tax Counsel to the House Ways & Means Committee, Ms. Nilles is well positioned to help clients navigate key Committees of the United States Congress as well as the Treasury Department and IRS. In the legislative arena, some of her more recent accomplishments include:

  • obtaining a statutory exclusion from income for tribal government provided health care benefits
  • obtaining federal excise tax relief for medical inhalers
  • resolving a cooperative tax issue for a national hospital group purchasing organization
  • securing a special exemption from the federal unemployment tax for Indian tribal governments

Yale UniversityMA 1976University of VirginiaJ.D. 1985
Native Americans in Philanthropy National Intertribal Tax Alliance

Case History

Other Court Admissions
  • U.S. Tax Court


Office Location

800 Seventeenth Street, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
United States


Practice Areas

Native American Law
Non-Profit / Charities Law
Tax Law