Year in review: yes, we did.

AuthorTraubenberg, Neil D.
PositionTax Executives Institute's role in advocacy work and other developments

What an eventful spring it has been for TEI. The Table of Contents of this issue reflects the breadth of the Institute's technical activities. From congressional testimony on state tax apportionment issues to an amicus brief in a case involving the States' ability to retroactively change the rules governing refund suits, TEI manifested its enhanced role in shaping state tax policy. Similarly, the Institute's continuing work on the harmonization of provincial sales taxes with Canada's federal Goods and Services Tax demonstrated the benefits of persistence: TEI first testified before the Canadian Parliament in favor of harmonization in 1989, and more than two decades later it saw two more provinces--British Columbia and Ontario--take tangible steps in the right direction.

Liaison Meetings

The Institute's three Washington liaison meetings--with Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Mundaca and his colleagues in the Treasury's Office of Tax Policy, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and other senior officials of the Internal Revenue Service (including Chief Counsel William Wilkins), and LMSB Commissioner Heather Maloy and her colleagues--provided the Institute with forums in which to discuss its concerns on a broad array of issues. Among other things, the Institute's Executive Committee and committee chairs discussed prospects for making the Compliance Assurance Process program permanent, the effect of the tiered issue process on Appeals, the efficacy of a U.S.-Singapore Tax Treaty, open questions about section 457A (relating to nonqualified deferred compensation plans of foreign employers), and audits of employer-provided cell phones. The minutes of these meetings will appear in the next issue.

What loomed over the liaison meetings, however--and, indeed, over the entire year--was another topic: IRS Announcement 20109. In early March when the liaison meetings were held, draft Schedule UTP had not yet been released, so our discussion was not as focused as it became later in the spring, but it was still animated and, from TEI's perspective, helpful in allowing us both to better understand the IRS's motivations in issuing Announcement 2010-9 and to convey the concerns of tax executives about the initiative.

Midyear Conference

Transparency also dominated this year's Midyear Conference, with multiple sessions touching on the fallout from Announcement 2010-9 and the IRS Commissioner's related "conversation with the board room." The Institute is very grateful that Commissioner Shulman and LMSB Commissioner Heather Maloy addressed the conference, as did Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Emily McMahon, who discussed the Treasury's guidance priorities in the aftermath of Health Care Reform and the HIRE Act. LMSB Deputy Commissioner Michael Danilack and IRS Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate) William Alexander also participated in the conference. Mr. Danilack noted that transfer pricing, withholding on nonresidents, and offshore compliance will be a major area of emphasis this year, and Mr. Alexander fielded many questions about the codification of the economic substance doctrine. The conference...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT