Ricardo J. Rivera

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1601 Elm Street, Suite 4600
Dallas, TX 75201
T: 214.954.4135
F: 469.320.6802

Ricky Rivera has broad experience in matters relating to US and international taxes, corporate transactions, employee benefits, and executive compensation.  He has an extensive background in handling and structuring business transactions, partnership and corporate tax planning and corporate governance in a variety of areas.

Ricky received his B.B.A. in accounting, magna cum laude, from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus; his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law; and his LL.M. in Taxation with a Certificate in Employee Benefits Law from the Georgetown University Law Center. Ricky is also a Certified Public Accountant in Puerto Rico. 

Prior to joining Gray Reed, Ricky served as Director and Tax Counsel for American Airlines, where he was in charge of federal taxes, international taxes with a focus in Latin America, and employee benefits and executive compensation.

Representative Experience

  • Experience with US federal planning and controversy issues, including matters involving income, payroll, excise, and transaction tax issues, tax attributes, imputed income, tax-free reorganizations, post-reorganization integration issues, Section 1031 exchanges, and accounting method changes. 
  • Experience working with federal tax issues driven by international activities, including but not limited to income and transaction tax compliance, reporting and withholding requirements for effectively connected income and payments under the NRA regime, tax treaty interpretation, permanent establishment analysis, transfer pricing reporting, Subpart F income, Section 956 inclusions, dual consolidated losses, foreign tax credits, withholding taxes, and repatriation issues.
  • Experience with international tax research, planning and controversy issues, including matters involving income, payroll, property, transaction, and VAT taxation, with broad experience addressing tax issues throughout Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
  • Extensive experience in numerous types of employee benefits plans, including defined benefit and contribution plans, health and welfare benefit plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, and supplemental executive retirement plans.
  • Experience advising employers with respect to numerous aspects of qualified and nonqualified plans, including plan design and taxation, qualification requirements, fiduciary duties, terminations, and benefit reporting and withholding.
  • Experience advising employers with executive compensation matters including Code Sections 409A (deferred compensation) and 280G (change in control or “golden parachute” arrangements).
  • Experience with researching and providing tax-technical advice regarding doing-business issues, evaluating the tax impact of new products, services, and markets, and recommending tax efficient strategies.
  • Experience addressing federal and state tax withholding and reporting issues related to temporary and indefinite employment assignments, qualified and nonqualified expense reimbursement plans, expense reimbursement policies, and HR delivery issues. 
  • Experience working with tax issues related to international assignees, tax equalization calculations, withholding and reporting issues, and tax controversies in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
  • Experience negotiating contracts and drafting tax provisions in order to minimize tax risks and ensure key terms are consistent with the client’s tax strategy.
  • Experience assisting clients with ad valorem tax issues and assessments, including sales, use, and property taxes.  Extensive experience with property tax issues, including providing guidance on local compliance requirements, negotiating property valuations, identifying exempt intangibles, and preparing the legal strategy for valuation litigation.
  • Experience addressing tax issues driven by captive insurance companies, including the deductibility of insurance and reinsurance premiums and Section 4371 excise taxes.
  • Experience with tax-exempt private foundations and public charities.
  • Experience working with tax issues driven by executive compensation plans, including using trusts to fund nonqualified deferred compensation plan, withholding and reporting requirements, constructive receipt issues, Section 409A compliance, Section 280G rules for golden parachute payments, and 162(m) limitations.
  • Experience working with estate and gift tax issues.
  • Experience ensuring the appropriate tax-legal analysis and documentation of tax-legal positions under ASC 740-10 (“FIN 48”) and ASC 450-20 (“FAS 5”).

Professional Activities & Memberships

  • Puerto Rico CPA Society
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Taxation section
  • American Bar Association, International Law section



  • LL.M., Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center, 2006
  • Certificate, Employee Benefits Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 2006
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Puerto Rico School of Law, 2003
  • B.B.A., magna cum laude, Accounting, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, 1999

Bar Admissions

  • Texas
  • Puerto Rico

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Federal Claims



  • Spanish


Sherie Smith
D: 469.320.6103