William D. Fournier

William D. Fournier: Attorney with Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
  • Associate at Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
  • One Thomas Circle NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005
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William D. Fournier, an Associate in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office, joined the firm in 2011. He was previously a Summer Associate with the firm.


Mr. Fournier works on a broad range of tax issues for tax-exempt organizations and assists high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and their families in achieving their philanthropic objectives.

Mr. Fournier provides a diverse set of tax-exempt organizations with comprehensive legal advice. He offers guidance to private foundations, public charities, educational institutions, religious organizations, social welfare organizations, and other tax-exempt entities on a variety of legal matters, including:

•assisting with IRS compliance and reporting;
•guiding clients in matters involving corporate governance and general operations;
•advising on international grantmaking and cross-border operations, including associated withholding and reporting requirements;
•counseling on the creation of joint ventures and the operation of subsidiaries and affiliated nonprofits;
•minimizing unrelated business income tax; and
•helping clients establish or re-establish exempt status following automatic revocation.

In addition, Mr. Fournier assists HNWIs and their families in designing and implementing strategies to achieve philanthropic goals. Examples of Mr. Fournier's legal services include:

•advising on the operation and governance of family foundations;
•devising philanthropic plans that utilize direct charitable giving, donor advised funds, charitable remainder trusts, and family foundations; and
•assisting domestic and international clients with developing sophisticated estate plans, including planning for lifetime gifts, charitable giving, and dynastic transfers.

Government Experience

Judicial Intern, Honorable Elizabeth Crewson Paris, U.S. Tax Court, 2009-2010


Prior to attending law school, Mr. Fournier served as a Nuclear Submarine Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Recent Publications

• UPDATED: Year-End Charitable Giving Ideas: IRA Rollovers and Bunching Charitable Deductions, with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Anne J. O'Brien, Megan E. Wernke, and Alison F. Egan, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, November 28, 2018
• IRS Issues Guidance on Calculating Unrelated Business Income Tax, with Meghan R. Biss, Sharon P. Want, and Douglas N. Varley, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, August 23, 2018
• IRS Donor Disclosure Requirements Eliminated for Most Nonprofit Organizations, with Sharon P. Want, Meghan R. Biss, Douglas N. Varley, and William M. Klimon, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, July 17, 2018
• New IRS Procedures Will Impact Nonprofits, with Douglas N. Varley, Sharon P. Want, and Meghan R. Biss, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, January 25, 2018
• Possible Repeal of the Estate Tax in 2017, with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Anne J. O'Brien, and Megan E. Wernke, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, December 5, 2016
• 2016 Federal and State Estate Gift Tax Exemptions for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Anne J. O'Brien, and Megan E. Wernke, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, December 28, 2015
• Charitable IRA Rollovers Made Permanent In Recent Extenders Bill, with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, December 21, 2015
• HR1104 Would Unintentionally Eliminate Private Foundation Safeguards, The Hill, June 16, 2015
• Maryland Taxpayers Win Income Tax Case in Supreme Court, with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, May 20, 2015
• Maryland Estate Tax Exemption Set to Rise, with Megan E. Wernke, Anne J. O'Brien, and Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, May 16, 2014
• New York Adopts Substantial Changes to Laws Regulating Nonprofits, with Douglas N. Varley and William M. Klimon, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, December 20, 2013
• Wisconsin Court Holds Parsonage Allowance Unconstitutional, with Douglas N. Varley and William M. Klimon, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, November 27, 2013
• Washington Post Releases Database of Reported Nonprofit Asset Diversions, with Matthew C. Hicks, Douglas N. Varley, and William M. Klimon, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, October 30, 2013
• Stalled Applications for Section 501(c)(3) Status: Is it Time to Sue the IRS?, with Matthew C. Hicks, Douglas N. Varley, and William M. Klimon, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, August 16, 2013
• IRS Confirms Deductibility of Contributions to Domestic Disregarded Entities, with William M. Klimon and Douglas N. Varley, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, August 3, 2012

Recent Speaking Engagements

•Form 990-PF Workshop, The University of Texas School of Law CLE, Nonprofit Organizations Back to Basics Workshop, January 16, 2019
•Speaker, Nonprofit Organizations Network Call, Association of Corporate Counsel, September 11, 2018
•Speaker, Employee Sharing: The Lay of the Land, and Where You Can Go Wrong, TEGE Exempt Organizations Council Program: TEGE Exempt Organizations Update, June 15, 2018
•Speaker, Recent Developments in Federal Estate and Gift Tax, The Maryland Association of CPAs, November 15, 2016
•Speaker, Chan-Zuckerberg & Friends: Using Philanthrocapitalism to Accomplish Charitable Goals: Will Foundations Become an Endangered Species?, ABA Business Law Section, September 9, 2016
•Speaker, Form 990 and Other IRS Reporting Issues for Related Organizations, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Nonprofits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats - Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
•Panelist, Auto-Revocation Reinstatement Procedures, D.C. Bar Tax Section, Exempt Organizations Committee, May 21, 2014

Recent News

•Caplin & Drysdale Honors All Who Served in Our Nation's Military, Caplin & Drysdale, November 11, 2016
•Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Comment on Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Tax Notes, December 11, 2015
•Caplin & Drysdale Salutes Our Veterans, Caplin & Drysdale, November 11, 2014
•Exempt Organizations Group Hosts Nonprofit Leaders, Caplin & Drysdale, October 6, 2014

Areas of Practice (2)

  • Exempt Organizations
  • Private Client

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(202) 862-5079  Phone
University Attended:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., 2003
Law School Attended:
Georgetown University, J.D., cum laude, Final Editor, The Tax Lawyer, 2011; Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., with distinction, 2013
Year of First Admission:
District of Columbia Court of Appeals; 2011, District of Columbia

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association, Sections of Taxation and Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law


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Documents (9)

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Washington, District of Columbia

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