Individual & Family Taxation


Chair: Professor Timothy M. Todd, Liberty University School of Law, Lynchburg, VA

Recent IRS Guidance on Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currencies.
On October 9th, 2019 the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2019-24 which addressed the tax consequences of forks and airdrops as well as a series of FAQ’s that cover a number of common virtual currency situations. This panel will go through the nuts and bolts application of the October guidance, how to advise taxpayers that previously took a position contrary to the guidance, and the inherent limitations of releasing guidance by FAQ. The panel will also address some of the uncertainties of forks that still exist post R.R. 2019-24 and what future guidance is needed for virtual currencies.
Panelists: Professor Annette Nellen, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA; James Creech, Law Offices of James Creech San Francisco, CA; Christopher Wrobel, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Income Tax and Accounting, Washington, DC (Invited)
Co-sponsored by: Administrative Practice, Sales Exchange & Basis, and Teaching Taxation

Designated Orders in the US Tax Court.
The US Tax Court issues over 100 orders each day; most are unremarkable. None are precedential under Tax Court Rule 50(f). Some, however, are interesting, involving the disposition of complicated, substantive issues. Each day, the Tax Court “designates” these orders through publication on its website—an average of one order per day since mid-2017. No other federal court highlights non-precedential orders in this manner. Why does the Tax Court? What lessons can practitioners learn from these orders? This panel will discuss these questions and will present a statistical summary of the Tax Court’s designated orders for the past two years.
Moderator: Professor Keith Fogg, Federal Tax Clinic, Harvard Law School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Panelists: Professor Patrick W. Thomas, Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, IN; Professor Caleb Smith, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN; Special Trial Judge Diana Leyden, US Tax Court, Washington, DC; Richard G. Goldman, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration) IRS, Washington, DC

Due Diligence and Preparer Penalties Following TCJA: Expanded and Potentially Expensive.
The IRS conducts due diligence audits of tax return preparers as part of its overall tiered return preparer strategy. Following TCJA, tax return preparers face a possible civil tax penalty for failing to exercise due diligence when preparing an income tax return on which the taxpayer claims head of household (HOH) filing status. In addition to filing status, the penalty now applies for failing to exercise due diligence in preparing returns claiming the earned income tax credit, (EITC), the child tax credit (CTC), including the additional child tax credit (ACTC), and the credit for other dependents (ODC), and the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC). The penalty in 2018 was $520 for each failure. This panel will explore how due diligence penalties fit in with the IRS’s overall compliance efforts directed toward paid return preparers, provide a practitioner’s perspective on IRS due diligence audits, and review how preparers can challenge the penalties before the IRS and in federal court.
Moderator: Professor Leslie Book, Villanova University Widger School of Law, Villanova, PA
Panelists: Laura Baek, Acting Executive Director of Case Advocacy – Intake and Technical Support, IRS, Washington, DC; Naomi Mbugua-Dillard, Supervisory Management and Program Analyst Refundable Credit Administration – Policy Coordination, W&I, IRS, Atlanta, GA; Michael A. Lampert, The Law Offices of Michael A. Lampert, West Palm Beach, FL

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