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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

M. John Way

M. John Way



  • Tax Planning
  • Business and Corporate
  • Tax
  • Business Transitions

WSG Practice Industries


Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Washington, U.S.A.


John Way takes taxes seriously. He brings a unique perspective to tax and estate planning law. Whether assisting businesses or individuals, he guides his clients through the labyrinth of federal and state tax regulations, estate and succession planning, business transitions, and trust issues. With a background as a litigator and corporate consultant, John approaches each client’s legal issue with the heart of an advocate and the mind of a businessman.

John advises private business owners throughout the entire business lifecycle from formation, operation and growth, through eventual transition out of the business, whether by sale, reorganization or liquidation. Tackling all phases of wealth preservation and estate planning, he creates customized strategies for the most complex situations. John also represents clients in their dealings with the IRS and state and local taxing authorities, including the Washington Department of Revenue.

John is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Washington’s School of Law, teaching in the Masters in Taxation program. He is the current Chair of the American Bar Association Real Property Trust and Estate Section's Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group, a Past President of the South Puget Sound Estate Planning Council, a Fellow with the American Bar Foundation and a former City Council Member.

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • Illinois State Courts
  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts


  • Tulane University Law School, Juris Doctor degree, 1995 ‎
  • University of Washington, LL.M., Taxation, 2005‎
  • Northern Illinois University, Bachelor of Arts degree, General Studies, 1991‎
Areas of Practice

Business and Corporate | Business Transitions | Privately Held Businesses & Enterprises | Tax | Tax and Estate Planning | Tax Planning | Trusts and Estate Planning

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Advises family offices and business owners regarding multi-generational estate, business succession and tax
  • Works with families to mitigate tax and business costs resulting from incomplete or ineffective planning post-death and resolve
  • Worked with successful business owner to establish basic estate planning immediately while creating and implementing a succession plan that is diversifying his estate while providing for the ongoing success of his
  • Advised business owner to obtain forensic accounting of records and valuation of company prior to going forward with certain management and financing agreements, successfully avoiding costly long-term involvement with predatory
  • Advised client regarding tax domicile and residency for income tax purposes, authored opinion letter finding substantial authority for establishment of domicile and residency in Washington, avoiding over $1 Million in Oregon tax.
  • Helped taxpayers with federal tax liability of over $1.5 Million reach settlement for $54,000.


Washington Enacts Excise Tax on Gains from the Sale or Exchange of Certain Capital Assets
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, April 2021

Over the weekend, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that would enact a tax on gains from the sale or exchange of certain capital assets...

Additional Articles

  • Washington Enacts Excise Tax on Gains from the Sale or Exchange of Certain Capital Assets
  • OP-ED: Potential Tax Changes May Increase Cost of Passing Family Businesses
  • Transferring the Family Business to the Next Generation May Get More Expensive
  • Tax Implications of Payments Received under the Washington Paid Family Medical Leave Program
  • Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Tax Update
  • Estate Planning and Business Transition Issues Not to Overlook Before the Year-End (Updated 12/11/20)
  • Debt Forces County’s Hand—King County’s Debt Forces Property Owners to Make Second Half 2020 Property Tax Payments on Usual Schedule
  • Department of Treasury Issues Guidance Regarding Payroll Tax Deferral
  • Tax Authorities Continue to Make Moves to Address COVID-19
  • COVID-19: Taxing Authorities Make Moves to Address COVID-19
  • Schwabe CPA Shoptalk: 8 Takeaways
  • Tax Reform: What Does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Mean for the Real Estate and Construction Industry?
  • Tax Reform: What Does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Mean for the Transportation, Ports and Maritime Industry?
  • Tax Reform: What Does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Mean for the Healthcare Industry?
  • Tax Reform: What Does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Mean for the Manufacturing, Distribution and Retail Industry?
  • Tax Reform: Summary of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Business Succession for Real Estate Companies
  • Avoiding Tax and Legal Missteps: 4 Takeaways
  • Retirement plan benefit and employment tax limits for 2017
  • On Target - Tax and Estate Planning Group Winter 2016 Newsletter


  • Tax and Estate Planning Roundtable
  • Planning When Medicaid Eligibility Is An Issue
  • Undue Influence and Elder Abuse Allegations against Spouses, Family Members, and Caregivers
  • Manufacturers' Roundtable: 2021 Tax Update
  • Ties, Taxes, and the Future of Estate Planning
  • Schwabe's CPA ShopTalk | Washington

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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