Walter Doggett.

Date01 March 2022

A great teacher can often make an epic difference in your life. Just ask Walter Doggett, the executive tax director of E*Trade Financial Corporation and incoming TEI international secretary.

While attending the University of Virginia, Doggett took elective tax courses from David LaRue, an experience that greatly influenced his future career path. "He was an extraordinary professor, and his classes inspired me to pursue a career in the field of taxation. This is a great example of the profound impact a college professor can have on the lives of their students," Doggett says.

Doggett has spent most of his career in the banking industry, and the experience has been an education unto itself. "During the last twenty-four years, I have served as the head of tax at four publicly traded banks," he says. "Unfortunately, all four of those financial institutions have been acquired by large financial institutions. This has taught me a very valuable lesson about the importance of keeping my skills current. When you work for a publicly traded company, you never know when you may be forced to look for a new position due to an acquisition."

The E*Trade Experience

Doggett says there's a strong culture of teamwork at E*Trade. "We work in a cross-functional environment with close interaction between many departments," he explains. "E*Trade is a customer-focused company. The company is always focused on providing the best possible trading and banking experience for our retail customers. E*Trade also has an entrepreneurial spirit, with many new product offerings."

What's the most interesting tax issue he's worked on at E*Trade? "The company had a significant tax reserve related to a complicated debt/equity refinancing issue dating back to the financial crisis of 2009," he says. "E*Trade was selected for an IRS audit, and the examiner immediately focused on this key issue. Two years later, we were able to obtain a no-change letter coupled with a closing agreement which allowed us to fully release the tax reserve. Having the opportunity to work this issue through the various levels of the IRS hierarchy was a great learning experience."

The TEI Experience

Doggett is very bullish on the value of TEI: "It is truly the premier organization for corporate tax professionals in the world. I have greatly benefited from many excellent educational offerings at the national, regional, and chapter levels. The networking opportunities have also been invaluable. Some of my best...

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