TEI's spring advocacy efforts blossom.

PositionRecent Activities

TEI Testifies before Congress on Apportionment Issues, Meets with IRS and Treasury Officials, Files Amicus Brief in State Tax Case, and Addresses Canada's Harmonized Sales Tax and Place of Supply Rules

Spring came early this year as seeds of advocacy sown last fall sprouted into liaison meetings with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Treasury Department s Office of Tax Policy, and representatives of the Internal Revenue Service's Large and Mid-Size Business Division. The Institute also accepted an invitation to testify before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on state tax apportionment rules. This testimony was not the only subnational advocacy pursued by the Institute this spring. TEI submitted comments in March urging the Canadian Department of Finance to issue guidance addressing the new Harmonized Sales Tax regime, and it filed a "friend of the court" brief in a case testing states' power to retroactively eliminate taxpayer rights to claim refunds for taxes collected improperly.

Washington Liaison Meetings

Led by the Institute's International President, Neil D. Traubenberg, a delegation of Executive Committee members and committee chairs met on March 10-11, with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Chief Counsel, and officials of the IRS Large and Mid-Size Business Division (LMSB). With these meetings occurring so close to the issuance of Announcement 2010-9, relating to the disclosure of uncertain tax positions, that proposal dominated the meetings. IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman began by restating the agency's desire to make the taxpayer's relationship with the IRS more transparent and efficient. Requiring taxpayers to disclose their uncertain tax positions upfront, he continued, would allow examiners to focus their efforts on the issues of substance within a taxpayer's return. Mr. Traubenberg responded that Announcement 2010-9 has evoked considerable emotion in the corporate tax community, adding that TEI will provide detailed written comments on the UTP proposal.

Another topics discussed was the possibility of expanding the Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) to more taxpayers. The Commissioner said the IRS would like to expand this program. Before opening the program to more taxpayers, however, the IRS needs to evaluate staffing needs and ways of encouraging increased taxpayer participation.

Moving from CAP to the IRS's Appeals division, Lynn Jordan of TEI's Executive Committee asked whether LMSB's tiered issue process had affected the rate at which Appeals closes its cases. She described anecdotal evidence indicating that examiners were not willing to discuss tiered issues. Diane S. Ryan, Chief of the Appeals Division, responded that the data show the tiered issue process has not negatively affected Appeals. Even so, LMSB Commissioner Heather C. Maloy said that LMSB is reviewing its use of the tiered issue process to ensure consistent issue identification and resolution. In addition to sharing their concerns and suggestions on these items, participants discussed issues such as...

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