• Chair: Susan Morgenstern, IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, Cleveland, OH National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress. The acting National Taxpayer Advocate will present her Annual Report to Congress. She will discuss the top issues facing taxpayers in 2019 including their scope and effect on taxpayer rights. She will also discuss legislative recommendations to improve tax administration. Finally, she will highlight research studies the Taxpayer Advocate Service undertook in 2019. Moderator: Susan Morgenstern, IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service, Cleveland, OH Panelist: Bridget Roberts, Acting National Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Washington, DC Co-sponsored by: Individual & Family Tax and Tax Policy and Simplification Innocent Spouse Litigation under the Taxpayer First Act: The Administrative Record, Newly Discovered Evidence, and Other Challenges. The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 effected major changes in the US Tax Court’s review of innocent spouse decisions. This session will review the changes to section 6015(e) and discuss how practitioners, the Service, and the Tax Court are grappling with the new standard. Important questions include what constitutes the administrative record; when the court can look beyond the administrative record; and how non-requesting spouses can effectively participate. Practitioner panelists will also provide strategies to mitigate the new limits on the Tax Court’s ability to hear evidence. Moderator: Professor Christine Speidel, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Villanova, PA Panelists: The Honorable Ronald L. Buch, US Tax Court, Washington, DC; Professor Bryan T. Camp, Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, TX; Mary Michelle Gillum, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Oak Ridge, TN; Adrienne E. Griffin, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration), Washington, DC Co-sponsored by: Individual & Family Tax, Tax Policy & Simplification, and Court Practice & Procedure Ethical Considerations in Pro Bono Representation. This panel will discuss dilemmas pro bono attorneys may face when representing tax clients at settlement days, calendar calls, and via direct representation outside of the courtroom. Discussions will include limited scope and limited time representation. Panelists will also provide advice on how to avoid the perils related to pro bono representation of taxpayer clients. This panel is the second part of a two-part series co-sponsored with the Standards of Tax Practice Committee. Moderator: Shanthy Balachanthiran, Florida Rural Legal Services Inc., LITC, 
Ft. Myers, FL Panelists: The Honorable Peter J. Panuthos, US Tax Court, Washington, DC; Jennifer Breen, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Washington, DC; Guinevere Moore, Johnson Moore LLC, Chicago, IL; Professor Caleb Smith, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN; Jennifer Auchterlonie, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration), Washington, DC Cosponsored by: Standards of Tax Practice, Diversity, Individual & Family Tax, Tax Policy & Simplification Employment Income Characterization through the Taxpayer Rights Lens. This panel will explore the consequences of improper classification of employment-related income. These consequences impact employee protections and benefits, and implicate the taxpayer’s right to pay no more than the correct tax. The panelists will discuss the tools and litigation strategies that are available to taxpayers, including substitute income reporting forms, worker options for employment status reclassification, and litigation strategies. In addition, states are beginning to look at worker classification issues anew. Moderator: Professor Sarah Lora, Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, OR Panelists: Omeed Firouzi, ABA Section of Taxation Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow, Philadelphia Legal Assistance Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Philadelphia, PA; Mari Manoogian, Michigan State Representative, Birmingham, MI; Sydney Gernstein, Branch Chief, Employment Tax Branch, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC; Charles Eiss, Law Offices of Charles Eiss, Plantation, FL; Anna Tavis, Brooklyn Legal Services, New York, NY Co-sponsored by: Tax Collection Bankruptcy & Workouts, Diversity, Individual & Family Tax, Employment Taxes and Tax Policy & Simplification
  • Chair: Roger Royse, Royse Law Firm, Menlo Park, CA Ethical Challenges Posed by the Use of Predictive Case Analytics In Tax. The use of predictive case analytics software has dramatically increased in the worlds of tax and accounting in the last couple of years. This powerful artificial intelligence tool can accurately predict court outcomes and enable users to find relevant cases and court opinions faster than ever before. While the utility of this transformative technology may be evident, tax practitioners should be cautious of the challenges related to the use of this futuristic software. This panel will discuss the ethical and practical challenges related to the use of predictive case analytics software and what tax practitioners should be aware of when they represent clients in the future. Panelists: Travis Thompson, Sideman & Bancroft LLP, San Francisco, CA; Abdi Aidid, BlueJ Legal, Toronto, ON; Robert Kovacev, Norton Rose Fulbright, Washington, DC; Lisa Nelson, The Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor, Santa Ana, CA
  • Chair: Thomas J. Phillips, von Briesen & Roper, s.c., Milwaukee, WI Closely Held Businesses Chair: Galina “Allie” P. Petrova, Petrova Law, Greensboro, NC Planning Considerations and Issues for Trusts as Owners of S Corporations and other Closely Held Business. This panel will discuss selected federal and state income tax issues that arise from the ownership of interests in closely held businesses by trustees of trusts. The panel will address a number of issues, including structuring basics, recent case law updates, qualified small business stock, section 199A , and the new partnership audit rules. Moderator: Andrew R. Comiter, Comiter Singer Baseman & Braun, Palm Beach Gardens, FL Panelists: Karen Sandler Steinert, Fredrikson & Bryon PA, Minneapolis, MN; Brad Roe, Grant Thornton, Houston, TX; Adam Abrahams, Meyers Hurvitz Abrahams LLC, Rockville, MD
  • Chair: Professor Diane Ring, Boston College, Newton, MA Opportunity Zones – Two Years In. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017 included a new provision intended to direct investment into low-income communities through a combination of tax benefits for investors (deferral, partial reductions in gains, and exclusions of future appreciation). Though the enactment of such targeted tax incentives is not entirely new, the design of this provision has raised significant questions for investing taxpayers seeking to secure the tax benefits and for public policy advocates assessing whether the Opportunity Zone provisions achieve their stated goals. To explore all of these issues, this panel will discuss the design of the new incentive, who is making the investments, where, in what projects, how much is being invested, who is securing the benefits, and what will be the likely community impact. The panel also considers the current data reporting requirements and what/whether data should be made public to facilitate assessment of the program’s success in promoting economic growth in low-income areas. Moderator: Professor Ellen Aprill, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA Panelists: Megan Christensen, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Washington, DC; Professor Edward De Barbieri, Albany Law School, Albany, NY; Jeffrey Koonce, Bernhard Capital Partners Management, Baton Rouge, LA; Professor Michelle Layser, University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, IL Co-sponsored by: Exempt Organizations and Partnerships & LLCs
  • Chair: Mark O. Norell, Ballard Spahr LLP, New York, NY Legislative, Treasury and Internal Revenue Service Update. This panel will discuss: (i) an update on the “new” Office of Tax Exempt Bonds; (ii) the status of the Final Reissuance Regulations; (iii) the proposed regulations addressing reference rates other than Interbank Offered Rates; (iv) Indian River County v. U.S. Department of Transportation (Dec. 20, 2019), (v) the Internal Revenue Service Business Plan items for 2019-2020; and (vi) the Internal Revenue Service Audit Plan (Fiscal Year 2020 Compliance Program). Moderator: Mark O. Norell, Ballard Spahr LLP, New York, NY Panelists: Adam C. Harden, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, San Antonio, TX; Michela Daliana, Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, New York, NY Repeal of Advance Refundings and the Rise of Taxable Municipal Bonds. Given the increasing popularity of taxable municipal bonds, this panel will provide a discussion on issues that arise with regard to refunding taxable bonds with tax-exempt bonds and issuing taxable bonds to refund tax-exempt bonds, with issues to include (a) reimbursement considerations related to taxable new money debt, (b) allocations related to taxable debt used to finance projects eligible for tax-exempt financings and projects ineligible for tax-exempt financings, (c) refunding Build America Bonds, (d) universal cap considerations, and (d) original issue discount considerations for taxable bonds. Moderator: Marybeth Orsini, Ballard Spahr LLP, Baltimore, MD Panelists: Chas Cardall, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco, CA; Neil Kaplan, Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, New York, NY; Mark O. Norell, Ballard Spahr LLP, New York, NY What Does Cinderella Look Like? This panel will focus on one or more Cinderella structures, including a direct lending transaction that starts with a taxable rate and either grants an option to the issuer to convert to a tax-exempt rate or requires the parties to agree in the future to convert. Moderator: David J. Cholst, Chapman and Cutler LLP, Chicago, IL Panelists: Mark O. Norell, Ballard Spahr LLP, New York, NY; Chas Cardall, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco, CA Tax Exempt Financings and Partnerships. This panel will consist of a discussion relating to financing projects owned or otherwise used by partnerships in which at least one partner is a for profit entity. It will compare and contrast how the regulations under sections 141 and 145 work when bond-financed assets are contributed to a partnership or acquired by a partnership and when improvements to partnership assets are financed. The interaction between the partnership-specific rules and the more general rules about qualified equity and eligible mixed-use projects will be explored in detail. Moderator: Chas Cardall, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, San Francisco, CA Panelists: Andrea Ball, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Washington, DC; Michela Daliana, Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, New York, NY
  • Chair: Lawrence A. Sannicandro, McCarter & English LLP, Newark, NJ Current Developments in Collection Enforcement. The panelists will provide an update on IRS enforcement efforts within the collection division, including enforcement priorities, recent hiring, the impact of the Taxpayer First Act on collections, and practical strategies when dealing with certifications to the State Department to have taxpayers’ passports revoked. Moderator: Eli S. Noff, Frost & Associates LLC, Annapolis, MD Panelists: Paul J. Mamo, Director, IRS Collection, Washington, DC; Bridget Roberts, Acting National Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Washington, DC; Fran Obeid, MFO Law PC, New York, NY; A. Lavar Taylor, Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor, Santa Ana, CA Co-sponsored by: Pro Bono & Tax Clinics Selected Issues Where Taxes Meet the Bankruptcy Court. This panel will explore some of the scenarios in which tax issues can become prominent in company bankruptcies. What kind of situations might give rise to a scenario where a proposed restructuring, or a sale of the debtor’s assets, generates a tax liability that cannot be paid, and what happens in a scenario involving that type of “stranded tax?” How do tax sharing agreements – or the lack thereof – play a role in restructuring cases, especially in light of the Rodriguez case being decided by the Supreme Court this term? While these issues have come up frequently in bank holding company bankruptcies where the question being addressed is the legal entity entitled to a cash refund, the harder tax sharing issues arguably arise in different situations that involve questions about payment for the use of tax attributes within a consolidated group. The panel may also explore some of the open questions regarding the proper treatment of certain kinds of tax claims, the bankruptcy court’s power (or lack thereof) to decide the tax consequences of a bankruptcy plan of reorganization, and the use of the IRS as a kind of “super golden creditor” for avoidance actions in bankruptcy. Moderator: Anthony V. Sexton, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL Panelists: The Honorable Christopher S. Sontchi, Chief Judge, US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Wilmington, DE; Deborah L. Paul, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, New York, NY Co-sponsored by: Corporate Tax and Court Procedure & Practice
  • Chair: Thomas J. Phillips, von Briesen & Roper sc, Milwaukee, WI Current Developments in the Federal Income Taxation of S Corporations. This panel will discuss recent legislative, administrative and judicial developments relating to S corporations and their shareholders. Moderator: Laura E. Krebs Al-Shathir, Capes Sokol, St. Louis, MO Panelists: Jeffrey B. Fugal, Quarles & Brady LLP, Phoenix, AZ; Kandyce L. Korotky, Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC; Avani Dhillon, EY, Boston, MA International Tax Provisions of the TCJA. This panel will discuss problem areas for S Corporations and their shareholders under sections 951A (GILTI Tax), 965 and other international provisions enacted by the TCJA. Moderator: Joseph E. Tierney, Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols SC, Milwaukee, Wl Panelists: Jerald D. August, Fox Rothschild LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Laura Howell-Smith, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC; Michael J. Miller, Roberts & Holland LLP, New York, NY
  • Chair: Sheryl Flum, KPMG, Washington, DC Life Insurance Product Update. This panel will discuss tax issues related to life insurance product development, including guidance on reportable policy sales and treatment of advisory fees. Moderator: Alison Peak, Davis and Harman LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Sarah Lashley, Transamerica, Baltimore, MD; Kathryn Sneade, Senior Technician Reviewer, IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions & Products), Washington, DC Insurance Tax Guidance Update. This panel will discuss recent guidance regarding changes made to the Tax Code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Moderator: Sheryl Flum, KPMG LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Mark Smith, PwC, Washington, DC; Clarissa Potter, KPMG LLP, New York, NY; Kathryn Sneade, Senior Technician Reviewer, IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions & Products), Washington, DC Insurance Company Corporate Tax Issues. This panel will cover Subchapter C issues specific to insurance companies with a focus on sections 163(j) and 382. Moderator: Graham Green, Eversheds Sutherland, Washington, DC Panelists: Lori Jones, Scribner Hall & Thompson LLP, Washington, DC; M. Kristan Rizzolo, Eversheds Sutherland, Washington, DC; Christopher W. Schoen, Eversheds Sutherland, Washington, DC
  • Chair: Craig Gibian, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC Section 871(m) Update. This panel will discuss practical issues under section 871(m) and areas in which revisions to the section 871(m) regulations or further guidance might be warranted. The topics that will be discussed include the combination rule, qualified derivatives dealers, non-delta-one derivatives, qualified indices, and derivatives over partnerships. Moderator: Jeffrey Hochberg, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, New York, NY Panelist: Jay Klein, PwC, New York, NY; Erika Nijenhuis, Senior Counsel, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited) Transitioning from LIBOR. This panel will discuss the proposed regulations released in October 2019 regarding the tax implications of transitioning away from LIBOR. Topics will include the application of section 1001 and the VRDI rules. Moderator: Lucy Farr, Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York, NY Panelist: Diana Imholtz, IRS, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (FI&P), Washington, DC (Invited); Jeff Maddrey, PwC, Washington, DC; Brett York, Acting Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited) Section 163(j): Peaking (or is that PIKing) your Interest. If final regulations are issued in time (or proposed regulations are reopened), this panel will discuss the definition of interest and other rules under section 163(j) that are particularly relevant to the financial transactions community. To the extent there is a deferral in the issuance of regulations, this panel will convert into a discussion of issues that currently arise under section 163(j), including under the proposed regulations, and other debt-related topics. Moderator: Michael Yaghmour, EY, Washington, DC Panelists: Diana Imholtz, IRS, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (FI&P), Washington, DC (Invited); Brett York, Acting Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited); Michael Mou, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC
  • Chair: Alexandra Minkovich, Baker & McKenzie, Washington, DC Current Developments. This panel will include a report from the Tax Court, discussion of significant IRS guidance and litigation, an update on Tax Division priorities, a report from Treasury, and a discussion of significant pending litigation. The panel will also briefly discuss the final rules promulgated by the Court concerning BBA issues with partnership cases. Moderator: Jeffrey M. Glassman, Meadows Collier Reed Cousins Crouch & Ungerman LLP, Dallas, TX Panelists: Chief Judge Maurice B. Foley, US Tax Court, Washington, DC (Invited); Richard G. Goldman, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration), Washington, DC (Invited); Joshua Wu, Deputy Assistant Attorney General (Policy and Planning), Department of Justice, Tax Division, Washington, DC Collections of Foreign Tax Judgments: When Your Other Problems Come Home. This panel will explore the means and methods by which foreign governments come onshore to try and collect their tax determinations and judgments in the United States, including through the use of bilateral tax treaties and US judicial proceedings. The panel will also identify the defenses and limitations to such actions, including through jurisdictional limits such as the Revenue Rule a longstanding principle of the US and international law that prohibits one sovereign from using courts of another sovereign to enforce its revenue laws. Moderator: Mark D. Allison, Caplin & Drysdale Chartered, New York, NY Panelists: Nathaniel B. Parker, Senior Counsel, IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International), Washington, DC (Invited); Zhanna A. Ziering, Caplin & Drysdale Chartered, New York, NY; Lawrence A. Sannicandro, McCarter & English LLP, Newark, NJ Conservation Easements – Trying Times. Conservation easements have been under extraordinary IRS scrutiny in recent years resulting in numerous examinations. Many of those examinations are now in litigation or headed toward litigation. From that perspective, this panel will discuss what it takes to try a conservation easement case. The panelists will discuss relevant expert witnesses, expert reports, key fact witnesses, and other considerations for the litigating counsel. Moderator: Anson Asbury, Asbury Law Firm, Decatur, GA Panelists: Frank Agostino, Agostino & Associates, Hackensack, NJ; Jenny Ware Johnson, Johnson & Moore, Chicago, IL; Ronald Levitt, Sirote & Permutt, Birmingham, AL
  • Chair: Lany L. Villalobos, Dechert LLP, Philadelphia, PA TCJA Recent Developments and Policy Considerations Concerning Payments Related to Sexual Harassment Under Code Section 162(q) and Fines and Penalties Under Code Section 162(f). The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act amended the Internal Revenue Code to address the deduction of certain payments related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse settlements that involve nondisclosure agreements and the deduction of payments that constitute restitution or amounts paid to come into compliance with any law. This panel will discuss recent technical developments (including recent guidance) with respect to these payments under Code Sections 162(f), 162(q) and 6050X and policy considerations related to the federal tax treatment of these payments. Moderators: Rayth Myers, EY, Washington, DC; Susan Grais, EY, Washington, DC Panelists: John Moriarty, Associate Chief Counsel, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting), Washington, DC; Sharon Horn, Senior Attorney, IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting), Washington, DC; Connie Cheng Cunningham, BDO USA LLP, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chair: Guinevere Moore, Johnson Moore LLC, Chicago, IL Vice-Chair: Matthew Cooper, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC Ethical Issues in Federal Tax Practice – The Government Perspective. This panel will provide an update on recent guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department, discuss issues of concern and areas of focus for the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of Chief Counsel, and give an update on pending cases that relate to tax practice standards. Moderator: Aaron Esman, Caplin & Drysdale Chartered, New York, NY Panelists: Sharyn M. Fisk, Director, IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, Washington, DC; Emily Lesniak, Special Counsel (Procedure & Administration), IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC Ethical Considerations for Limited Scope Engagements. Ethical considerations in pro bono representation, whether practicing before the IRS or before the Tax Court. Panelists will discuss dilemmas pro bono attorneys may face when representing tax clients at settlement days, calendar calls, and via direct representation outside of the courtroom. Discussions will include limited scope and limited time representation. Panelists will also provide advice on how to avoid the perils related to pro bono representation of taxpayer clients. This panel is the first part of a two part series co-sponsored with the Pro Bono Committee. Moderators: Shanthy Balachanthiran, Florida Rural Legal Services Inc., LITC, Ft. Myers, FL Panelists: The Honorable Peter J. Panuthos, US Tax Court, Washington, DC; Jennifer Breen, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Washington, DC; Guinevere Moore, Johnson Moore LLC, Chicago, IL; Scott Hessell, Sperling & Slater, Chicago, IL; Jennifer Auchterlonie, Special Counsel (Procedure & Administration), IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC Ethical Considerations Arising Out of the BBA Partnership Audit Rules. Now that the BBA partnership audit regime is in full swing, interesting ethical questions are arising in both the IRS examination and partnership amended return contexts. This panel will explore practitioners’ ethical considerations relating to the broad authority of the partnership representative, the lack of participation and notice rights to all partners, the submission of administrative adjustment requests, and other novel issues under the BBA rules. In addition, this panel will discuss giving advice to partnerships and partners who may have conflicting interests as to the best way to resolve an IRS audit or correct a partnership return. Moderator: Matt Cooper, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Emily Lesniak, Special Counsel (Procedure & Administration), IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC (Invited); Sheri Dillon, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington, DC; Rochelle Hodes, Crowe LLP, Washington, DC; Alice Harbutte, EY, Denver, CO