Donald H. Read

Donald H. Read

Contact Information:

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Practice Areas:

Business and Real Estate
Family Law
Estate Planning


B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1964
J. D., Columbia University, 1968
L.L.M. (Tax), New York University, 1972

Professional & Community Affiliations:

American Bar Association, Taxation Section;
Washington State Bar Association;
Hawaii Bar Association;
East Bay Tax Club (past President)

Donald H. Read is a certified tax law specialist who emphasizes tax aspects of marital dissolutions in his broad tax practice. He has been named a Northern California SuperLawyer since 2008 and is past chair of the Taxation Committee of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association. In May 2010 he obtained a landmark private letter ruling from the IRS fully recognizing the community property rights of registered domestic partners in California. From 2015 to 2018 he served on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), a public forum for senior IRS executives and representatives of the public to discuss relevant tax administration issues. Focused on broad policy matters, the IRSAC reviews existing tax policy and recommends policies with respect to emerging tax administration issues.

Don has served as Tax Counsel to Lakin Spears since 1987. In the mid-1970’s, he was an attorney-advisor in the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, and in the late 1980’s he was an adjunct professor at USF School of Law. Don provides tax law support to each of our practice groups and is particularly active in the family law tax area.

Don previously served as vice-chair of the Domestic Relations Committee of the ABA Taxation Section and represented the Section in the development of Revenue Rulings 2002-22 and 2004-60 (division of stock options and nonqualified deferred compensation on divorce). He also represented the taxpayers in PLR 199427009 (stock redemptions on divorce), PLR 200442003 (buyout of nonqualified deferred compensation after divorce), PLR 200519011 (division of community property stock options on divorce) and PLR 200737009 (division of incentive stock options on divorce). He has been actively involved in tax issues of California registered domestic partners and same sex spouses. He is a frequent speaker to county bar association family law sections, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and California Continuing Education of the Bar. For more information on Don’s divorce-related tax practice see

In the business and real estate area, Don represented the taxpayers in PLR 200730002 (related party section 1031 tax-free exchange), PLR’s 200021051 and 200140075 (S corporation elections)  and in PLR 200738009 (partnership section 754 election). In the estate planning area, Don represented the taxpayer in PLR, 200932040, 201014043 and 201014033, all involving reformation of charitable remainder unitrusts.