Toast to Women in Tax

JurisdictionCalifornia,United States
AuthorAs summarized by Adria Price
CitationVol. 32 No. 1
Publication year2023


As summarized by Adria Price1

Celebrating its seventh time to be featured at the Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and California Tax Policy Conference, the 2022 Toast to Women in Tax honored three female tax practitioners who have distinguished themselves in the profession: National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins (EC), Honorable Chief Judge Kathleen Kerrigan of the United States Tax Court (KK), and Carley Roberts, Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (CR). The Toast was moderated by another female tax practitioner with an impressive resume of professional accomplishments: Laura Buckley, President of Buckley Tax Law, APC and outgoing Chair of the Taxation Section Executive Committee (LB).

The discussion focused on leadership, a fitting topic for our honorees and moderator. Here is a look at some of what was discussed during the Toast:

LB—How did you become a tax attorney?

EC—I was totally clueless. Probably still am. I took one tax class-Estate and Gift. I know nothing about estate and gift tax. Participated in an honors program where you are hired before you even take the bar. I worked with Frank Phillips with ADC in LA and told him that I never wanted to litigate and never wanted to do public speaking. Think it is what you make of it. If you volunteer, they will put you on things. I had a lot of opportunities. Savings and Loan-spent 5 years in DC. Just became pregnant and my daughter traveled with me. When she entered 1st grade, I had to stop traveling and became a special trial attorney. Ken Jones had started KPMG controversy practice. He hired me. Hindsight, I would not have changed anything.

LB—If you knew what you know now, would you have come out of retirement?

EC—Yes, but I would have done it better. NTA [National Taxpayer Advocate] has to file reports with Congress which is a tremendous undertaking. Is a lot of work and I am responsible to make proposals. The last two years have been very challenging for taxpayers. There are two things that we have accomplished. First, we stopped those automated notices. IRS had a correspondence backlog and the computer didn't know you had responded. It is still suspended. This provided a huge benefit for taxpayers. Second is the penalty abatement for 2019-2020 tax returns. Over $5 billion was abated. IRS did it automatically. Extra bonus is that it was not considered a first time abate but considered a Covid waiver. Still protected your right to get the first time abate. We were one of many who were pushing that-AICPA, ABA. It was a team effort.

LB—Chief Judge Kerrigan, how did you become a tax...

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