• Chair: Edward J. Leyden, Leyden Law LLC, Washington, DC IRS Employment Tax Update. An overview of important developments since the Fall Meeting, including pertinent Supreme Court decisions, guidance projects in connection with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, and proposed legislation. Moderator: Prya C. Schwartzburt, PwC, Philadelphia, PA Panelists: Janine Cook, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (TEGE), Washington, DC (Invited); Sydney Gernstein, Branch Chief, Employment Tax Branch, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC (Invited) IRC Section 409A: It’s Never Easy to Say Goodbye! Since its enactment in 2004, IRC Section 409A has seemed like a minefield for lawyers advising companies and the executives who have come to the end of the line in their employment relationship. This program will attempt to dispel some of the mystery behind section 409A, enabling attorneys on both sides of an employment termination event to more confidently assess potential risks and rewards. Moderator: Edward J. Leyden, Leyden Law LLC, Washington, DC Panelists: Kurt Lawson, Hogan Lovell, Washington, DC Creative Use of Federal Tax Statues as Enforcement Tools in Employment Controversies. An emerging strategy being utilized by counsel for workers in employment controversies is the invocation of the federal tax laws as an affirmative weapon against employers that have been targeted for Wage & Hour and similar claims. This session will discuss the plaintiffs’ bar evolving use of this and other tax enforcement strategies in non-tax cases. Moderator: Edward J. Leyden, Leyden Law LLC, Washington, DC Panelists: Richard Neuworth, Lebeau & Neuworth, Towson, MD; Jay Holland, Joseph Greenwald & Laake, Greenbelt, MD
  • Chair: Martha N. Steinman, Hogan Lovells US LLP, New York, NY The SECURE Act. As the most extensive retirement legislation since 2006, the recently enacted SECURE Act, much of it effective January 1, 2020, raises important planning and compliance issues and opportunities for participants, plan sponsors, practitioners, service providers, savers, and regulators. This session, presented by a Committee member involved in developing and negotiating a number of the new provisions, will address the major SECURE Act provisions and the issues they raise relating to lifetime income; open MEPs; nondiscrimination relief for frozen and closed plans; and changes affecting timing of plan adoption, 401(k) auto enrollment safe harbor, adoption of 401(k) safe harbor status, RMD rules, coverage of part-time employees, tax credits for new plan startups and for auto enrollment, IRAs, etc. Moderator: Martha N. Steinman, Hogan Lovells US LLP, New York, NY Panelist: J. Mark Iwry, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC & Wharton School, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA What’s in a Name? Association Health Plans and Association Retirement Plans: These Cousins Couldn’t Be More Different. This panel of experts will dive into the fray and analyze the battle lines drawn over association health plans and association retirement plans as a microcosm of the battle between red states and blue states. Find out whether proponents of association health plans oppose association retirement plans (and vice versa), and learn the projected location of the upcoming battlefields. Join us as we provide an up-to-the-minute update on association health plan and association retirement plan litigation, regulation and guidance focusing on the issues that all plans, employers, insurance carriers, participants, and service providers need to know now. Moderator: Erin M. Sweeney, Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC Panelists: Christopher E. Condeluci, CC Law & Policy, Washington, DC; Joel R. Hurt, Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec LLC, Pittsburgh, PA; Anthony F. Shelley, Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Hot Topics. Representatives from the Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will provide updates on the latest guidance and developments affecting employee plans. Moderator: Harold Ashner, Keightley & Ashner LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Gregory Katz, Attorney, Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Washington, DC; Kimberly Neureiter, Attorney, Bankruptcy, Transactions and Terminations Department, Office of General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Washington, DC; Constance Donovan, Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Washington, DC; Camille Castro, Senior Associate, Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Washington, DC Department of Treasury / IRS Hot Topics. Representatives from the Department of Treasury and the IRS will provide updates on the latest guidance and developments affecting employee plans. Moderator: Bret Hamlin, Hill Ward Henderson, Tampa, FL Panelists: Carol Weiser, Benefits Tax Counsel, Office of Benefits Tax Counsel, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC; Victoria Judson, Associate Chief Counsel, Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, and Employment Taxes, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, Washington, DC; Stephen Tackney, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits), Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, and Employment Taxes, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, Washington, DC; Kevin Knopf, Senior Technician Reviewer, Health and Welfare Branch, Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations and Employment Taxes, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC
  • Chair: Mark F. Sommer, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY Trends in Statutory Interpretation in State Tax Cases. Speaker: Professor Steve R. Johnson, Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, FL
  • Chair: Lany L. Villalobos, Dechert LLP, Philadelphia, PA Earned Income Tax Credit: Ideas for Reform. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the most significant earnings-based refundable credit in the Internal Revenue Code. In Tax Credits for the Working Poor: A Call for Reform, Michelle Lyon Drumbl discusses the use of domestic revenue systems in the United States and other countries to deliver and administer social welfare benefits to low-income individuals and families. There have been many proposals to modify or replace the EITC to address some of the current limitations in the EITC, including the Len Burman’s proposal for a new Universal EITC. In light of Drumbl’s recent book and these proposals, as well as last year’s National Taxpayer Advocate Special Report to Congress, Making the EITC Work for Taxpayers and the Government, the panelists will identify challenges for low-income taxpayers with respect to EITC administration and will discuss recent plans for EITC reform. Panelists: Professor Michelle Lyon Drumbl, Washington & Lee University School of Law, Lexington, VA; Professor Leslie Book, Charles Villanova University Widger School of Law, Villanova, PA; Leonard Burman, Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Urban Institute/Tax Policy Center, Syracuse, NY; Margot Crandall-Hollick, Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC Co-sponsored by: Pro Bono & Tax Clinics
  • Chair: Alexandra Minkovich, Baker & McKenzie, Washington, DC Limited Scope Representation: Expanding Access to Legal Services. In May of 2019, the Tax Court announced that it adopted procedures to permit practitioners to enter a limited appearance at scheduled trial sessions. The procedures recently took effect at the beginning of the 2019 Fall Term. This panel will discuss the rules regarding the Tax Court’s new procedure as well as compare and contrast those rules and similar rules in other jurisdictions. This panel will also address the practical considerations and implications of representing a taxpayer under a limited scope appearance. Moderator: Annie Wurtzebach, DLA Piper, New York, NY Panelists: Special Trial Judge Diana L. Leyden, US Tax Court, Washington DC; Derek Richman, Senior Attorney, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Miami, FL (Invited); Mitchell I. Horowitz, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Tampa, FL; Phillip Colasanto, Agostino & Associates, Hackensack, NJ
  • Chair: Amish Shah, Eversheds Sutherland, Washington, DC Energy Industry Tax Updates Roundtable. This roundtable session will be a discussion among attendees of recent legislative, judicial and regulatory tax developments impacting the energy sector and companies engaged in renewable, alternative and traditional energy transactions, investments and operations in the power, fuels and carbon capture industries. Moderator: Amish Shah, Eversheds Sutherland, Washington, DC Panelists: Jennifer Bernardini, Attorney, Branch 6, Passthroughs and Special Industries, IRS, Washington, DC (Invited); Hannah Hawkins, Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel, Department of Treasury, Office of Tax Policy, Washington, DC (Invited); Brian Americus, Deloitte, Washington, DC; Deborah Gordon, KPMG, Washington, DC; Brad Seltzer, Eversheds Sutherland, Washington, DC
  • Chair: Carolyn (Morey) O. Ward, Ropes & Gray LLP, Washington, DC News from the IRS and Treasury. Representatives from the IRS and Treasury Department will discuss topics of current interest to exempt organizations practitioners. Moderator: Celia Roady, Morgan Lewis, Washington, DC (Invited) Panelists: Victoria A. Judson, Associate Chief Counsel, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (TEGE), Washington, DC (Invited); Janine Cook, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (TEGE), Washington, DC (Invited); Elinor C. Ramey, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Tax Policy, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited) Up in Smoke: Marijuana, Tax-Exempt Organizations and the Criminality Doctrine. What can tax-exempt organizations do when they are caught between state laws legalizing marijuana sale and use and federal laws that prohibit such activities? Don’t worry, be happy may not be the right answer. Moderator: James P. Joseph, Arnold & Porter, Washington, DC Panelists: Professor Philip Hackney, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA; Evalina Norwinski, Arnold & Porter, Washington, DC A “20/20” Look at the 2017 Tax Act. This panel will discuss any newly released guidance under sections 512(a)(6) and 4960 impacting tax exempt organizations. Moderator: Gil Ghatan, Ropes & Gray LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Victoria A. Judson, Associate Chief Counsel (EEE), IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC (Invited); Janine Cook, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (EEE), IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, DC (Invited); Elinor C. Ramey, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Tax Policy, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited); Chelsea Rubin, Morgan Lewis, Washington, DC; Robert A. Wexler, Adler & Colvin, San Francisco, CA Exempt Organizations Committee Luncheon Rising Seas: Facts v. Fiction Speaker: John Englander, Oceanographer, Author of High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis Section 501(c)(3) and Hate Speech. While the Internal Revenue Code is silent on standards for speech, the Treasury Department and the IRS have endeavored to craft guidance that comports with the First Amendment while minimizing the use of tax-exempt organizations as vehicles for the promulgation of hate speech. This panel will look at current issues relating to 501(c)(3) status and non-educational speech, particularly speech that constitutes hate speech. Moderator: Marcus Owens, Loeb & Loeb LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Professor Frances R. Hill, University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, FL; Ryan Oberly, Wagenmaker & Oberly, Charleston, SC Controversial Gifts: Solutions Through Policy and/or Agreement. The panelists will discuss tax and other legal considerations in structuring, negotiating, and accepting charitable gifts that involve donor naming and/or donor-imposed restrictions on the use of the gift, with a focus on finding practical ways to avoid or minimize controversy and disputes with donors through the use of institutional policies, contract clauses, and internal training and protocols. Moderator: John Sare, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, New York, NY Panelists: Deborah G. Marx, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; Donna J. Snyder, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Chair: Jana S. Lessne, KPMG LLP, Washington, DC A “Quick Dip” in the Water – A Summary of Recent Transfer Pricing Issues. This program will provide a “refreshing dip” into the latest and most significant transfer pricing issues. We will dive into the OECD’s recent proposal for a Unified Approach to the tax challenges of digitalization, including the proposed new tax nexus rule for in-scope taxpayers, revised profit allocation rules, and pending key questions. We will then splash around in the final and proposed BEAT regulations, focusing on issues such as non-recognition transactions that may give rise to base erosion payments, the lack of an exception for payments to foreign entities that are subject to GILTI and/or Subpart F, and additional clarification on whether payments can be netted against one another to reduce base erosion payments. We will next take a couple of laps through the recently released functional cost diagnostic model or “FCDM”, including some observations on how this model has been used in actual APA negotiations. Lastly, we will catch a few rays, shedding some light on recent transfer pricing litigation, discussing recent developments in major cases such as Amazon, Altera, Medtronic, and other significant cases. Moderator: Heather Gorman, EY, New York, NY Panelists: Christopher J. Bello, Branch Chief, Branch 6, IRS Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International), Washington, DC (Invited); Professor William Byrnes, Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth, TX; Professor Mindy Herzfeld, University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville, FL; Professor Steve Johnson, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; Donna McComber, Baker & McKenzie Consulting LLC, Washington, DC; Robert Stack, Deloitte Tax LLP, Washington, DC
  • Chair: Heesun Grace Kim, Grant Thornton LLP, Washington, DC Hot Topics. This panel will discuss recent developments in the area of partnership taxation, including legislation, regulations, administrative guidance and noteworthy cases. Moderator: Tom West, KPMG LLP, Washington, DC Panelists: Bryan Rimmke, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Tax Policy, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited) How Far Will You Carry Your Client? Section 1061 As It Stands Today. This panel will discuss section 1061 (the so-called “carried interest” provision) enacted under the TJCA. The panel will outline the technical aspects of section 1061 and highlight some of its ambiguities. The panel will further discuss current developments that have occurred since its enactment—including specific guidance recommendations made by the Partnership Committee. The panel will also discuss what the future proposed regulations under section 1061 may provide. Moderator: Todd Golub, EY, Chicago, IL Panelists: Kara Altman, IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Passthroughs & Special Industries), Washington, DC (Invited); Audrey Ellis, PwC, Washington, DC; Morgan Klinzing, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Mike Scaramella, Deloitte LLP, Chicago, IL Tax Issues of Dry Partnerships. This panel will address tax issues that arise when a partnership owns stock in a corporation as its sole or primary asset, including section 704(b) allocation issues (e.g., with regard to preferred distribution rights), issuance of compensatory partnership interests to employees of the corporation, and the application of section 704(c). Moderator: Eric Sloan, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, New York, NY Panelists: Josh Brady, Grant Thornton LLP, Washington, DC; Erin Cleary, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, New York, NY
  • Chair: Richard C. LaFalce, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington, DC Non-US Investors in Private Funds. This panel will discuss recent US tax developments that impact private funds that admit non-US investors and the practical implications for private funds. The panelists will address tax reporting and managing the downward attribution rules for controlled foreign corporations, the formation and structuring of corporate blockers, withholding tax issues and negotiating side letter provisions for non-US investors in the private fund context. Moderator: Ryan Au, Sherman & Sterling, Washington, DC Panelists: Jeffrey Tate, Arent Fox, Washington, DC; David Richardson, KPMG, New York, NY; Friedemann Thomma, Venable, San Francisco, CA Overview of Collective Investment Trusts: Popular Alternative to Mutual Funds for Institutional Investors. This panel will discuss collective investment trust structures used by institutional retirement investors as alternatives to mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles. Topics will include their regulation, organization and operation, key similarities and differences between trusts and mutual funds, and other vehicles, investment-related tax law considerations, and recent market trends. Moderator: Amy Snyder, The Vanguard Group Inc., Malvern, PA Panelists: Charles M. Horn, Morgan Lewis & Bokius LLP, Washington, DC; Marcy Kempf, Cohen & Company, Milwaukee, WI; Laura Parello, PwC, New York, NY The Latest in Drafting Investment Fund Agreements. This panel will discuss carried interest waivers, management fee waivers, 1446(f) indemnities, and BBA provisions. Moderator: Anthony Tuths, KPMG, New York, NY Panelists: Jon P. Brose, Seward & Kissel LLP, New York, NY; Janicelynn Asamoto Park, Proskauer, New York, NY
  • 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
  • Chair: Sam Weiler, EY, Columbus, OH Current Developments and Update on Pending Guidance. This panel will cover the important recent developments in the areas of capital recovery and leasing. Moderator: Jessica Hawn, Andersen, Chicago, IL Panelists: Kathy Reed, Branch Chief, Branch 7, Office of Chief Counsel – Income Tax & Accounting, IRS, Washington, DC (Invited); Wendy Friese, Tax Policy Advisor, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited); Andrew Eisinger, Crowe, Atlanta, GA Transactions and Bonus Depreciation. This panel will discuss various corporate and partnership transactions and their impact on the availability of bonus depreciation under section 168(k). Moderator: Nicole Field, EY, Washington, DC Panelists: Kathy Reed, Branch Chief, Branch 7, Office of Chief Counsel – Income Tax & Accounting, IRS, Washington, DC (Invited); Wendy Friese, Tax Policy Advisor, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited); Mark Weiss, Branch Chief, Branch 2, Office of Chief Counsel – Corporate, IRS, Washington, DC (Invited); Bryan Rimmke, Attorney-Advisor, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited); Jason Dexter, KPMG, Washington, DC; Richard Nugent, Jones Day, New York, NY Implementing the Bonus Depreciation Regulations. This panel will be focused on the procedural aspects of implementing the final and re-proposed bonus depreciation regulations under section 168(k), with a specific focus on the issues and opportunities raised by the recent guidance and the actions that taxpayers can take to align their current and prior year return positions with the regulations. Moderator: Jane Rohrs, Deloitte, Washington, DC Panelists: Kathy Reed, Branch Chief, Branch 7, Office of Chief Counsel – Income Tax & Accounting, IRS, Washington, DC (Invited); Wendy Friese, Tax Policy Advisor, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC (Invited); Jaime Park, Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel – Income Tax & Accounting, IRS, Washington, DC (Invited); Andrea Mouw, Eide Bailley, Minneapolis, MN