Thursday, June 8th
8:00 am – 5:30 pm
REGISTRATION, DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS, AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
Kathleen Costello, CMP, Assistant Director, NYU School of Professional Studies, New York, NY
Caroline D. Ciraolo, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, Washington, DC
Bryan C. Skarlatos, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, New York, NY
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE IRS? AN UPDATE FROM SENIOR IRS EXECUTIVES
There is a lot going on at the IRS! The IRS has a newly confirmed Commissioner, additional funding is in place, and the issuance of the IRS Inflation Reduction Act Strategic Operating Plan lays out what we can expect in the coming months and years. Hear directly from senior IRS executives as they discuss the IRS’ plans for the future, hiring trends, the compliance and enforcement focus and other critical areas.
Moderator: Sharon Katz-Pearlman, Esq., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, New York, NY
Douglas W. O’Donnell, CPA, Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
Holly O. Paz, Esq., Acting Commissioner, Large Business and International Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
Lia Colbert, Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service
TAX COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT UPDATE: PART I
Voluntary compliance and enforcement of the tax law are at the heart of our tax system. Over the past several years, the IRS and DOJ have been challenged to come up with new and more efficient ways to ensure that all taxpayers pay the correct amount of tax. These panels provide an update on new developments and priorities across various divisions of the government.
CHANGES AT THE IRS INDEPENDENT OFFICE OF APPEALS
In 2019, The Taxpayer First Act (“TFA”) created the newly named Independent Office of Appeals. The TFA also confirmed that the right to appeal shall generally be available to all taxpayers and enhanced taxpayers’ ability to obtain their case files. This panel provides an overview of what is going on in the Appeals Division and how the TFA has affected Appeals Conferences over the past few years.
Moderator: Todd Welty, Esq., President & CEO, Todd Welty, PC, Atlanta, GA
Andrew Keyso, Esq., Chief, Independent Office of Appeals, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
ETHICS: PROFESSIONALS UNDER FIRE
“There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only for some.” Martin A. Sullivan. In the pursuit of these breaks, taxpayers frequently engage professionals – lawyers, accountants, appraisers, actuaries, and others – to identify opportunities to minimize their tax burden. But when does tax avoidance cross the line? The IRS has prioritized its examinations of and investigations into perceived abusive tax shelters and transactions and, in doing so, is targeting the professionals involved through preparer and promoter investigations, disciplinary proceedings before the Office of Professional Responsibility, and criminal investigations. This panel addresses the potential exposure for
professionals assisting taxpayers with tax advantaged transactions, and current enforcement actions.
Moderator: Frank Agostino, Esq., Founder & President, Agostino & Associates, Hackensack, NJ
Sarah E. Paul, Esq., Partner, Eversheds Sutherland, New York, NY
Larry A. Campagna, Esq., Managing Shareholder, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, Houston, TX
Sharyn M. Fisk, Esq., Director, Office of Professional Responsibility, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
Bruce C. Wood, Principal, BW Arpeggio LLC, Alpharetta, GA
11:10 am (REFRESHMENT BREAK)
DISABILITY IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION – ARE YOU OVERLOOKING TALENT AND MISSING OPPORTUNITIES?
The legal profession can be extremely fast-paced and hypercompetitive, creating pressure among legal professionals to downplay any disability to minimize the risk of explicit or implicit bias, stigma, or simply reduced work assignments. While law firms are striving to accelerate and enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (“DEIA”) efforts for females, minorities, and LGBTQIA+ professionals, fewer firms mention or have implemented policies and practices to address disabilities in their diversity efforts. Only 1.4% of attorneys report having disabilities, but this number is three times higher than in 2019 and organizations are recognizing the need to expand their disability DEIA efforts. This panel addresses the need for “leadership by example” in the legal profession, including education and training for those with disabilities, the provision of necessary resources, and efforts to foster inclusion.
Moderator: Nina E. Olson, Esq., Executive Director, Center for Taxpayer Rights, Washington, DC
Josh Beck, Esq., National Taxpayer Advocate Service, Attorney Advisory Group, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
Leslie Book, Esq., Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Villanova, PA
David Long, Lead Equal Opportunity Specialist, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Civil Rights Unit, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
12:20 - 1 pm (LUNCHEON)
Buffet lunch served
1 - 1:50 pm (BREAK OUT SESSIONS)
Audits of Exempt Orgs and Private Foundations: Tax Exempt Does not Mean No Examinations!
The IRS has an Exempt Organizations Examinations program designed to promote voluntary compliance by analyzing the operational and financial activities of exempt organizations and determining whether the organizations accurately filed required returns and reports. This panel of expert practitioners explores the complex tax, regulatory, and ethical issues that apply to exempt organizations and explains common issues that arise during exempt organization examinations and compliance checks.
Moderator: Josh O. Ungerman, Esq., CPA, Partner, Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman, Dallas, TX
John Colvin, Esq., Partner, Colvin + Hallet, Seattle, WA
Jason B. Freeman, Esq., Managing Member, Freeman Law, Dallas, TX
Emily P. Hughes, PC, Esq., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, DC
Left Holding the Bag: Withholding Agent Current Issues and Traps for the Unwary
The global marketplace and increased individual mobility has created additional scenarios where U.S. taxpayers are sending payments outside the United States and thereby making them subject to U.S. withholding and reporting requirements. IRS LB&I has a compliance campaign to examine taxpayers who make such payments but fail to meet their compliance obligations. This panel will identify the subset of taxpayers (withholding agents) who are responsible for withholding U.S. tax on payments to foreign payees, explain the surprising ways withholding agents can become liable for tax due on money paid to others, and describe how the IRS is holding U.S. withholding agents accountable for the tax liabilities of foreign payees.
Moderator: Jeffrey Dirmann, Esq., Associate, Agostino & Associates, Hackensack, NJ
Christopher Hanfling, Esq., Partner, Jones Day, Washington, DC
Victor A. Jaramillo, Esq., Member, Caplin & Drysdale, Washington, DC
Lauren Azebu, Esq., Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, D.C.
1:50 pm (BREAK)
2:10 - 3 pm (BREAK OUT SESSIONS)
LITIGATING (AND RESOLVING?) SYNDICATED CONSERVATION EASEMENT CASES
The IRS declared war on Syndicated Conservation Easement transactions and is auditing thousands of partnerships that have donated easements and taken a related charitable donation deduction. More than 750 of these cases have reached the Tax Court. This tidal wave of litigation has given rise to a host of issues around when a deduction for the donation of an easement should be disallowed in its entirety, how to value the easement, and what makes a donation fraudulent. This panel explores these issues as well as the related question of whether there is a way to resolve a majority of these cases through some type of settlement initiative or other procedure.
Moderator: Ronald Levitt, Esq., Shareholder, Dentons Sirote, Birmingham, AL
Thomas A. Cullinan, Esq., Shareholder, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, Atlanta, GA
Katherine Jordan, Esq., Director of Tax Controversy, GBX Group, Cleveland, OH
Rod J. Rosenstein, Esq., Partner, King & Spalding, Washington, DC
PUERTO RICO’S ACT 20/22 TAX INCENTIVE PROGRAM: RESIDENCY AND SOURCING UNDER THE IRS’S MICROSCOPE
Since their passage in 2012, Puerto Rico’s Acts 20 and 22, known together as Act 60 since 2019, have encouraged many individuals and businesses from the U.S. mainland to relocate to Puerto Rico. The tax benefits that Act 60 provides encourage taxpayers outside Puerto Rico to boost the Puerto Rican economy by investing, doing business, and residing in Puerto Rico. As with any tax benefit, though, Act 60 is vulnerable to abuse. This panel discusses the IRS and the DOJ’s scrutiny of taxpayers’ claims of bona fide residency and Puerto Rico-sourced income.
Moderator: Jay R. Nanavati, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, Washington, DC
Timothy P. Noonan, Esq., Partner, Hodgson Russ, New York, NY
Carlos F. Ortiz, Esq., Partner, Baker & Hostetler, New York, NY
Victor Song, Chief Operating Officer, Integritas3, Seattle, WA
3:00 pm (REFRESHMENT BREAK)
3:20–4:10 pm (BREAK OUT SESSIONS)
EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS – THE TSUNAMI IS COMING
Claims for Employee Retention Credits (“ERCs”) have proliferated exponentially. Almost everyone has seen a commercial or received a text or email offering easy money through ERC claims. The IRS has made no secret of its plans to aggressively audit ERC claims and punish abuse and fraud. This panel of experienced practitioners discusses the IRS’ targeted enforcement efforts, explains how to spot red flags indicating abuse of the ERC, and describes the penalties that apply to taxpayers, promoters, and practitioners for erroneously claiming ERC credits.
Moderator: Christopher M. Ferguson, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, New York, NY
Sandra R. Brown, Esq., Principal, Hochman, Salkin, Toscher, Perez, Beverly Hills, CA
Eric Hylton, Director of Investigations, Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav, Washington, DC
Daniel Mayo, Esq., Principal, Withum, Red Bank, NJ
EFFECTIVELY NAVIGATING THE LB&I EXAMINATION PROCESS: TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR RESPONDING TO INFORMATION DOCUMENT REQUESTS
LB&I has specific rules and procedures for how agents should use IDRs to collect information from taxpayers. Understanding these rules and procedures is essential to developing a strategy for successfully handling an examination. This panel of expert practitioners provides an overview of LB&I IDR procedures as well as practical advice on how to approach an examination and effectively communicate with the IRS.
Moderator: Sanford J. Boxerman, Esq., Shareholder, Capes, Sokol, Goodman & Sarachan, St. Louis, MO
Mary A. McNulty, Esq., Partner, Holland & Knight, Dallas, TX
Robert J. Kovacev, Esq., Member, Miller & Chevalier, Washington, DC
Barbara T. Kaplan, Esq., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, New York, NY
4:10 pm (Break)
4:30 - 5:30 pm (BREAK OUT SESSIONS)
NAVIGATING THE CRYPTO WINTER – PREPARING FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
The cryptocurrency industry is constantly changing and its underlying technologies are undeniably confusing. Faced with these obstacles, the IRS has issued informal guidance on discrete and nuanced tax issues, Treasury is poised to propose new information reporting rules, and regulatory scrutiny is tightening from all directions. This panel discusses the latest issues involving digital assets and highlights important considerations for tax counsel.
Moderator: Garrett Brodeur, Esq., Associate, Kostelanetz, New York, NY
Thomas E. Bishop, Tom Bishop & Associates, East Islip, NY
Erika Nijenhuis, Esq., Senior Counsel, Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of Treasury, Washington, DC
Del Wright Jr., Esq., Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Kansas City, MO
Caitlin R. Tharp, Esq., Associate, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, DC
The Administrative Procedure Act v. The IRS: Which Regulations, Rules and Notices will Survive?
Ever since the Supreme Court rejected tax exceptionalism in Mayo Foundation v. United States, 562 U.S. 44 (2011), challenges to tax regulations and IRS notices have proliferated, with several important decisions coming out in the last year alone. Courts have now developed a full body of jurisprudence regarding application of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) to tax cases and it appears that Treasury and the IRS are going to have to engage much more carefully with the APA as they issue new guidance. Have we reached the end of “tax exceptionalism”? What does Treasury’s “Policy Statement on the Tax Regulatory Process” mean for deference in tax litigation? How will the APA apply to the blizzard of new regulations under the TCJA? This panel addresses these questions and explores the current state of the law on the APA as it applies to tax.
Moderator: Andrew Weiner, Esq., Counsel, Kostelanetz, Washington, DC
David W. Foster, Esq., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, DC
S. Starling Marshall, Esq., Partner, Crowell & Moring, New York, NY
Joseph A. DiRuzzo, III, Esq., Partner, DiRuzzo & Company, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
5:30 pm (RECESS)