Geoffrey L. Gunnerson – Attorney at Law

Geoffrey L. Gunnerson joined Burbidge & White in 2017. Prior to joining Burbidge & White, Geoffrey’s practice was concentrated in federal, state and local tax matters.

Geoffrey’s practice now includes civil litigation, medical malpractice defense (including defending physicians and other health care providers in medical malpractice litigation), and education law.  Geoffrey also advises clients regarding tax controversy matters, employment tax matters, estate planning, income tax matters, gift tax matters, charitable planning, and business succession planning.  Geoffrey also assists clients with the drafting of wills, durable powers of attorney, healthcare powers of attorney and living wills, and various types of trusts including revocable trusts, defective grantor trusts, qualified personal resident trusts and charitable trusts.

Geoffrey’s practice also involves advising non-profit and tax-exempt organizations regarding formation, structuring and governance issues (e.g., unrelated business income, structuring joint ventures and service contracts, avoiding excess benefit transactions and/or excise taxes, lobbying and political campaign issues, and monitoring endowments).

Geoffrey began his professional career working as an Attorney-Advisor to Judge Robert P. Ruwe of the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C.  After nearly three years with the U.S. Tax Court, Geoffrey joined Snell & Wilmer’s general federal tax practice in Phoenix, Arizona.  While in Phoenix, Geoffrey’s practice included advising corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, nonprofit corporations and individuals on federal, state and local tax issues (including advising start-up and emerging-growth companies from formation through liquidity in matters such as governance, debt and equity financing, equity incentive compensation, real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and other tax planning matters).  Geoffrey has also advised clients on tax credit financing (e.g., new markets tax credit, rehabilitation tax credit, renewable energy tax credit), transfer taxes (e.g., estate, gift, and generation-skipping), international tax, and tax penalties and additions to tax.

Geoffrey has worked for a variety of educational facilities with respect to IRS filings and compliance, including formation, annual return reporting, and maintenance of tax-exempt status.  In addition, he has advised education clients regarding unrelated business income tax; state and local tax exemptions and credits; and certain property tax exemptions.

Representative Experience

Tax-exempt Organizations

  • Formation and application for tax-exempt status
  • Governance issues
  • Unrelated business income issues (e.g., qualified sponsorships, royalty income, rental income)
  • Private benefit and private inurement matters
  • Excess benefit transaction issues (e.g., reasonable compensation, rebuttable presumption of reasonableness)
  • Private foundation issues (e.g., self-dealing, taxable expenditures)
  • Cause-related marketing, including commercial co-venture structuring and compliance issues
  • State charitable organization, fundraiser and commercial co-venture registrations
  • Lobbying and political issues

State and Local Tax

  • Transaction privilege tax, sales tax, use tax, business privilege tax and excise tax
  • Taxation in Indian country
  • Electronic commerce
  • Income tax
  • Tax-exempt organizations
  • Property tax


  • University of Florida Levin College of Law (LL.M., Taxation, 2008)
  • University of Wyoming College of Law (J.D., 2007)
    • Dean’s List (2004)
  • Westminster College (B.S., Business, 2004)
    • Dean’s List


  • Spanish

Professional Memberships & Activites

  • American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • State Bar of Arizona, Tax Section
    • Member at Large, Executive Council, Tax Section
    • Former: Annual Convention Chair and Newsletter Editor
  • State Bar of Utah, Tax Section

Representative Presentations & Publications

  • “Unrelated Business Income,” Presenter, ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation (January 2015)
  • “Employer Identification Numbers: Updating Responsible Party Information,” Co-Author, Snell & Wilmer Legal Alert (February 18, 2014)
  • “When is a Limited Partner a Limited Partner?” Co- Author, Journal of Real Estate Taxation (First Quarter 2013)
  • “The IRS Modifies the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program,” Co-Author, Snell & Wilmer Legal Alert (January 9, 2013)
  • “Tax-Exempt Hospitals to Undergo Community Benefit Review,” Co-Author, Snell & Wilmer Legal Alert (November 6, 2012), republished by JDSupra
  • “Information and Practical Advice Regarding Current IRS Programs, Voluntary Classification Settlement Program,” Presenter, State Bar of Arizona, Tax Section (August 2012)
  • “Reducing Federal Employment Tax on Worker Misclassifications:  The IRS’s ‘Voluntary Classification Settlement Program,'” Author, Tax News, a publication of the Tax Section of the State Bar of Arizona (April 2012)
  • “IRS Announces the ‘Voluntary Classification Settlement Program’ to Reduce Federal Employment Tax on Worker Misclassification,” Co-Author, Snell & Wilmer Legal Alert (October 4, 2011)
  • “Tax Amnesty-States’ Empty Coffers Spell Opportunity,” Co-Author, Snell & Wilmer Legal Alert (September 2, 2011)

Community Involvement

  • State Bar of Arizona
    • Member at Large, Executive Council, Tax Section
  • Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster and Eagle Scout
  • VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), Volunteer

Other Professional Experience

  • Snell & Wilmer LLP, Associate (2011 – 2017)
  • United States Tax Court, Attorney-Advisor to Hon. Robert P. Ruwe (2008-2011)
  • Fidelity Investments, Senior Retirement Specialist (2000-2004)

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona
  • Utah

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Arizona
  • Supreme Court of Utah
  • United States Tax Court