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John H. Skarbnik

Of Counsel


Born and raised in New Jersey, John was inspired to practice law by his father and two uncles, all of whom were attorneys. He saw how hard his father, a general practitioner, worked on his clients’ behalf, and this left a lifelong impression on him. John learned from his father the importance of being well prepared, because people’s lives were directly affected by the outcome of his work. John strives to embody the same hard work, dedication, and commitment to clients that his father displayed.

As an economics major in his undergraduate studies, John found himself gravitating toward tax classes in law school and tax practice upon graduation. He enjoys tax law because its nature is constantly changing due to legislation, court decisions, and regulatory pronouncements.

John’s practice is dedicated to commercial and tax-related law, estate planning, and business advisement. He represents clients in a wide variety of business-related issues, including the purchase and sale of business entities, selection of the proper entity type for their business, the formation of limited liability companies, corporations, Subchapter S corporations, partnerships, estate planning, and the drafting of wills and medical declarations. He also represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service in resolving deficiency disputes.

In addition to being an attorney, John is also a certified public accountant in New Jersey. He speaks frequently before professional tax organizations, and has been published in many leading national professional tax journals. He is an editor of Murphy’s Will Clauses, a national five-volume treatise published by LexisNexis, and has revised a number of its chapters. He was published in Trusts & Estates, December, 2015: “Protecting-Pets-published-December-2015.pdf.” In addition, John has been a Professor of Taxation in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MS in Taxation Program since 1988, and was awarded Fairleigh Dickinson’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship in 2011.

John is peer-rated AV Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell organization. This is the highest peer rating available, and reflects excellence in legal ability and ethics. He was also awarded the 2014 Five Star Certified Public Accountants Award by the Five Star Professional organization, which is dedicated to helping the public identify exemplary professionals in various service fields.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Tax Section


  • “Protecting Pets,” Trusts & Estates, December 2015, pgs 49-54.
  • “Formula Clauses: Adjusting Transfers to Eliminate Tax”, The Tax Advisor, February 2013, pgs 110-116. (co-author R. West)
  • “Tax Consequences of Forfeiture, Penalties, and Restitution”, Tax Notes, Volume 133, Number 3, January 21, 2013, pgs 335-341. (co-author K. Buchan)
  • “A Primer for Tax Whistleblower”, Taxes-The Tax Magazine, April 2012, pgs 27-72. (co-authors: F. Brunetti and R. West)
  • “To Capitalize or Not to Capitalize: That May Be a Difficult Question”, Taxes, The Tax Magazine, May 2009, pgs 41-60.
  • “Agreements Restricting An Individual’s Right To Transfer and/or Bequeath Property”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, January 2004, pgs 3-15.
  • “Deducting Impact Fees – Revenue Ruling 2002-9″, The Real Estate Tax Digest, July/August, 2002, pgs 11-13.
  • “Estate Tax Repeal Adds Uncertainty to Estate Planning” The Real Estate Tax Digest, November 2001, pgs 3-14. (co-author Hammett)
  • “Divided Tax Court Approves Tax Savings from Family Limited Partnership”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, March 2001, pgs 15-18.
  • “Foreclosure Income or Loss Recognition”, Part 2 of 2, The Real Estate Tax Digest, December 2000, pgs. 427-433.
  • “Foreclosure Income or Loss Recognition”, Part 1 of 2, The Real Estate Tax Digest, November 2000, pgs. 395-397.
  • “Planning for QTIP Taxes”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, September 2000, pgs 323-325.
  • “Valuation Discounts for Equity Interests in Closely-Held Businesses”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, April 2000, pgs 121-135.
  • “Transferring Real Property to A QTIP to Reduce Estate Taxes”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, October, 1999, pgs 327- 330.
  • “Maximizing the Benefits from Residential Property”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, February 1999, pgs 55,67-78.
  • “Qualifying for Nonrecognition of Gain: The Different Standards for Involuntary Conversions and Like-Kind Exchanges”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, July, 1998, pgs. 203, 230-233.
  • “The Rehabilitation Tax Credit: A Primer”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, December, 1997, pgs. 381, 397-405.
  • “Taxation of Employment-Related Damages”, New Jersey State Bar Association – New Jersey Labor and Law Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 5, Summer, 1997, pgs. 14, 15, 17.
  • “Reducing Self-Employment Tax Through Rental Expenses”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, July 1997, pgs. 215, 240, 241.
  • “New Tax Planning Needed for Employment-Related Damages”, Taxation for Accountants, June, 1997, pgs. 343-349; reprinted in Taxation for Lawyers, July/August 1997, pgs. 39-45.
  • “Reducing the Estate Tax Through the Use of Family Limited Partnerships”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, December, 1996, pgs. 370, 390-399.
  • “Retaining the Use of Property Through a Gift or Sale Leaseback”, The Real Estate Tax Digest, November, 1996, pgs. 333, 362-366.
  • “Special Planning Issues After the RRA”, The Practical Accountant, November, 1993, pgs. 49-54.
  • “The Reverse QTIP – The Two-Way Tax Saver”, The Practical Accountant, July, 1993, pgs. 45-50.
  • “Tax Court Joins the Fold: Age Discrimination Award is fully Excludable”, The Practical Accountant, January, 1992, pgs. 34-40.
  • “Can IRS Revalue a Gift After Statute Has Run on Gifts?,” Taxation for Accountants, June, 1991, pgs. 344-348.
  • “The 1990 Tax Law’s Impact on Your Clients”, The Practical Accountant, April, 1991, pgs. 21-28.
  • “How to Purge an Illiquid S Corporation of Accumulated E & P”, The Journal of Taxation of S Corporations, Winter, 1991, pgs. 18-22.
  • “Helping Your Clients Plan for Future College Costs”, The Practical Accountant, October, 1990, pgs. 97-105.
  • “Taxability of Employment-Related Damages in Dispute”, Journal of Taxation, August, 1990, Vol. 73, No. 2, pgs. 94-101.
  • “Financing Future Higher Education Expenses”, The Mid-Atlantic Journal of Business, Winter, 1990, Vol. 26, No. 2, pgs. 69-80.
  • “Section 2036(c): Planning Opportunities After Notice 89-99”, The Practical Accountant, January 1990, pgs. 31-41.
  • “Deducting Compensatory Penalties”, Taxes-The Tax Magazine, November, 1989, Vol. 67, No. 11, pgs. 786-794.
  • “The 1988 TAMRA: Changes Affecting Businesses”, The Practical Accountant, July, 1989, pgs. 16-29.
  • “The 1988 TAMRA: Changes Affecting Individuals”, The Practical Accountant, March, 1989, 15-22.
  • “Capital Financing For the Small Business”, The Complete Lawyer, Volume 4, No. 1, Winter, 1987, 56-58.
  • “New Incentive Stock Option will provide most benefit to small but growing company”, Taxation for Lawyers, Jan/Feb 1982, pgs. 200-205, and Taxation for Accountants, December, 1981, pgs. 354-359.


  • John H. Skarbnik, revision author, Rabkin & Johnson Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis, Volume 10, Chapter 7, “Wills,” approximately 1,100 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of LexisNexis, Nov. 2013).
  • John H. Skarbnik, revision author, Murphy’s Will Clauses:
  • Volume 1, Chapter 3, “Federal Estate and Gift Taxation: Will Drafting and Planning Considerations,” 150 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, October 2013).
  • Volume 4, Chapter 10, “Particular Beneficiaries,” 246 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, April 2013) (with Martin L Bearg).
  • Volume 3, Chapter 9, “Marital Deduction,” 218 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, October 2012).
  • Volume 4, Chapter 17, “Tax Apportionment and Related Directions,” 121 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, April 2012).
  • Volume 4, Chapter 13, “Beneficial Aspects of Devisess: Conditions, Lapse, and Disclaimers,” 130 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, October 2011).
  • Volume 2, Chapter 3D, “Federal Income Taxation of Grantor Trusts: Drafting and Planning Consideration,” 52 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, April 2011).
  • Volume 4, Chapter 14, “Property Aspects of Devises: Changes in Assets and Liabilities,” 88 pages, (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, April 2010).
  • Volume 5, Chapter 19, “Incorporation by Reference, Facts of Independent Significance, and Pour-Over Wills,” 282 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, September 2009).
  • Volume 5, Chapter 18, “Inter Vivos Trusts,” 282 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, April 2009).
  • Volume 3, Chapter 7, “Testamentary Trusts,” 205 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, October 2008).
  • Volume 4, Chapter 15, “Appointment and Compensation of Fiduciaries,” 137 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, April 2008).
  • Volume 2, Chapter 6, “Concurrent and Successive Interests-Ownership and Devise,” 184 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, September 2007).
  • Volume 2, Chapter 5, “Testamentary Dispositions of Property-Types of Devises and Devises of Specific Types of Property,” 193 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, April 2007).
  • Volume 3, Chapter 8, “Powers of Appointment, Powers of Invasion and Powers of Withdrawal,” 142 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, October 2006).
  • Volume 1, Chapter 3, “Federal Estate and Gift Taxation: Will Drafting and Planning Considerations,” 150 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, April 2006).
  • Volume 2, Chapter 4, “Non-Dispositive Clauses,” 222 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, November 2005).
  • Volume 3, Chapter 9A, “Limitation on the Freedom of Testation: Spousal Protection,” 241 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, April 2005).
  • Volume 1, Chapter 2, “Estate Planning and Will Drafting Considerations,” 274 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, October 2004).
  • Volume 5, Chapter 18A, “Estate Planning: Agreements and Documents Affecting the Transferability of Assets,” 335 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, October 2003).
  • Volume 3, Chapter 9, “Marital Deduction,” 216 pages, (Matthew Bender & Company, December 2002).
  • John H. Skarbnik, Esq. and Eric Michaels, Esq., revision authors, Rabkin and Johnson’s Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis, Volume 6A, Chapter 16, “Corporation Reorganizations and Liquidations,” (Matthew Bender & Company, May 1996).

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • B.A., Rutgers University, with honors, 1976
  • LL.M., New York University, 1984
  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 1979


  • Five Star Certified Public Accountants Award, 2014*
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rating*
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship, 2011