Three years after the reorganization: TEI members find many ways to interact with the IRS.

Author:Bernard, David L.
 
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Since the IRS reorganization in 1999, TEI members have found several ways in which to communicate their concerns to the IRS's Large and Mid-Size Business Division. At the national, industry, regional, and local levels, TEI members are discussing a wide range of issues, ranging from the taxation of financial products to alternative dispute resolution techniques. Thus, although the titles may have changed, TEI's members are finding innovative ways to remain in contact with LMSB personnel at all levels of the organization.

National Liaison Activities

At the national level, TEI's Executive Committee, committee chairs, and senior staff continue to meet regularly with IRS representatives. The highlights of this liaison activity are TEI's annual liaison meetings with LMSB Commissioner Larry Langdon plus senior LMSB officials, complemented by a separate meeting with the IRS Commissioner and senior representatives at the national level. These meetings provide a forum for discussing the myriad comments TEI submits during the course of the year. The February 2002 LMSB meeting focused on several industry and fast-track initiatives, as well as technical issues relating to the research credit regulations and capitalization issues, and a March 2002 meeting with Commissioner Rossotti reviewed the currency of audits and leadership transition issues. TEI is gearing up for its 2003 meeting with Commissioner Langdon. If you have issues that you believe should be discussed at this meeting, please call the TEI legal staff at 202.638.5601, or email them to asktei@tei.org. The staff can direct you to the appropriate committee chair.

There are also regular meetings on more discrete issues. For example, TEI representatives recently met with Commissioner Rossotti, LMSB Commissioner Langdon, and other IRS and Chief Counsel personnel to discuss the new IRS procedure for obtaining tax accrual workpapers; another meeting with LMSB Commissioner Langdon focused on the recent geographic realignment. TEI representatives have also met with IRS International Director Carol Dunahoo and her team to discuss revising the Form 5471, and with IRS (and Treasury) representatives to discuss the book/tax difference filter in the tax shelter disclosure regulations. Focused meetings such as these take place throughout the year.

Industry Points of Contact

The formation of the LMSB Division--with its five industry groups--presented particular challenges in the liaison area. Two years ago, in response to requests the Institute received from several IRS design teams, TEI's IRS Administrative Affairs Committee (with the cooperation of LMSB) established a "point of contact" structure to facilitate interaction between TEI and the industry groups. TEI encourages LMSB to use these national contacts as the conduit through which to raise issues, discuss possible resolutions, and coordinate meetings on industry-specific issues. The TEI contacts direct LMSB requests to the appropriate TEI resource and solicit input from TEI members (e.g., by postings on TEI Online or through emails to committee members). These national points of contact work to keep the lines of communication open between TEI and the LMSB Industry Groups.

For LMSB, the points of contact are the Industry Director and the Senior Industry Adviser. On the TEI side, the committee has identified 10 members as the national points of contact with LMSB (a primary contact and a back-up contact within each of the five LMSB industry divisions).

The TEI points of contact for each of the LMSB industry groups are, as follows:

Communications, Technology & Media Primary Contact: Michael J. Bernard, Microsoft Corp. Secondary Contact: Cheryl A. Andersen, Intel Corp. Financial Services and Healthcare Primary Contact: Alan A. Todryk, Nationwide Insurance Co. Secondary Contact: Robert E. Zysk, Nortwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Heavy Manufacturing, Construction and Transportation Primary Contact: Jennifer L. Bradley, Marriott International Inc. Secondary Contact: Steven J. Rogozinsi Natural Resources Primary Contact: Mark C. Silbiger, The Lubrizol Corp. Secondary Contact: Ralph J. Coselli, Shell Chemicals Retailers, Food and Pharmaceuticals Primary Contact: Nan E. Smoot, Mary Kay Inc. Secondary Contact: Christopher T. Riley, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. In the last 18 months, TEI has worked with the LMSB Industry Groups to hold meetings to discuss specific industry-focused issues. TEI Chapters generally host these meetings. Thus, TEI's New York Chapter has held two conferences on the financial services industry. Chapters in Detroit and Cincinnati have sponsored programs, respectively, on heavy manufacturing and retail industry issues. These forums address technical issues in a timely manner and give TEI members (and others) an opportunity to network with LMSB personnel.

Regional Liaison

At the regional level, TEI's Regional Vice Presidents continue to coordinate liaison meetings with a cross section of LMSB representatives, including representatives from the National Office and...

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