TEI members and guests from around the globe flocked to the shores of Lake Michigan this fall from October 24 to 27 to participate in the Institute's 65th Annual Conference. The conference was held at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel in downtown Chicago. With the release of Schedule UTP, the looming expirations of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the 2010 election, and tax policy debates in both the Nation's capital and states around the country, the conference provided an opportunity for attendees to gain insight from speakers including top Treasury and IRS officials, top-notch practitioners, and experienced tax executives.
TEI President Paul O'Connor opened the conference On Monday, October 25, noting that "Together with FIN48 and Sarbanes-Oxley, the continuing drive for transparency by tax administrators evinced by Announcement 2010-9 and Schedule UTP has placed a premium on managing tax risks and financial statement disclosures. This conference presents a great opportunity to fully assess how to manage the required disclosures and balance the competing demands of tax planning for our companies." He then introduced Heather Maloy, Commissioner of the IRS's newly named by Large Business & International Division.
Commissioner Maloy focused not only on Schedule UTP but on LB&I's priorities in the coming year, including (1) selecting the best cases to work; (2) efficiently and effectively working those cases; and (3) getting resolution on issues as soon as possible. She observed that, in order to improve in these areas, there needs to be a change in the Division's culture, which necessitates promoting a more cooperative or "consultative" work environment. "In the past, our agents have felt like they were alone on the case, in charge, and made the decisions," she observed. "We really have to change that." Discussing her second area of focus, Ms. Maloy said that to more efficiently select the best cases to work, LB&I must make better use of both information and technology, which will be helped by a successful implementation of the new Schedule UTP. Moreover, as part of the reorganization, LB&I international examiners and economists will report within the division's international structure, which is headed by Michael Danilack, Deputy Commissioner (International). Also, the agency hopes to encourage better audit planning through the use of the recently revised quality examination process (QEP) program.
Ms. Maloy next discussed the division's effort to...