John McGown is an experienced tax attorney, with depth in a broad range of tax-related areas achieved through over 35 years of practicing law with Idaho’s oldest and largest law firm. He has taught graduate courses in estate planning, partnership tax, state taxation, tax-exempt organizations, and personal financial planning.
Also a certified public accountant, he has been a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1997 and currently serves as the Idaho State Chair.
A frequent lecturer, John McGown has conducted over 100 continuing education presentations to various professional groups.
John has served as Chair of the Section of Taxation of the Idaho State Bar and of the Idaho Tax Practitioner Liaison Committee (to the IRS). He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America by having been selected in (1) Tax Law and (2) Trusts and Estates annually since 2007. For 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 he was selected as Boise Tax Law Lawyer of the Year. For 2018 he was selected as Boise Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the year. John has been recognized by Super Lawyers, where he was selected in Tax (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018).
John was selected to receive the Distinguished Lawyer Award in 2014. It is the highest singular recognition bestowed upon any individual member of the Idaho State Bar. This award is given to an attorney (or attorneys) each year who has distinguished the profession through exemplary conduct and many years of dedicated service to the profession and to Idaho citizens.
For almost 20 years, John served as the column editor for “Tax Thoughts” in The Advocate, a monthly publication of the Idaho State Bar Association. He is the author of numerous articles in TAXES – The Tax Magazine, Taxation for Lawyers, Tax Notes, the ACTEC Law Journal, The State and Local Tax Lawyer, The Journal of Taxation, The Journal of State Taxation, and the Idaho Law Review.
In his spare time, John enjoys being active outdoors and has completed 17 Races to Robie Creek (toughest half marathon in the West) and reached the Summits of McGown Peak and Mt. Borah, Idaho’s highest point.
Specialties: John McGown practices general tax law, estate planning, tax disputes, tax-exempt organizations, and probate law.
Law School: University of Denver, LL.M., in Taxation, 1981, top five percent of class
University of Colorado, J.D., 1974
Undergraduate: University of Kentucky, B.S., Accounting, 1971
Law Day Volunteer, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
Pioneer Toastmasters 1990-2011, President 1991
Sunday School Teacher, 1998-1999, 2003-2004
Volunteer Mediator for Idaho State Bar Fee Dispute Program, 2003-present
Boise Senior Center Volunteer (Legal Advice, 2008, 2012, 2016-2018)
Planning Committee for St. Luke’s Charitable Estate Tax Seminar, since 2001
Visiting Professor, University of Idaho College of Law, 2010
Adjunctive Faculty, University of Idaho College of Law, 2006, 2015
Adjunctive Faculty, Boise State University teaching Research in Federal Taxation, 1983
Associate Professor, Boise State University, 2000-2002 (graduate faculty)
Deputy District Attorney, Weld County, Colorado, 1975-1978
Certified Public Accountant: Colorado, 1975 (inactive); Idaho, since 1982