Live Video-Broadcast: June 8, 2023 - June 9, 2023
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The NYU School of Professional Studies is pleased to present the 15th Annual Tax Controversy Forum. The Tax Controversy Forum brings together representatives from the government and expert private practitioners to compare perspectives on a variety of topics involving tax audits, appeals, and litigation. The Forum covers a wide range of topics across the tax compliance and enforcement spectrum, from policy updates, to procedural seminars, substantive programs, international issues, ethical problems, current enforcement initiatives, sensitive audits, and civil and criminal tax penalties.
Tax compliance and enforcement are essential elements of our federal tax system. The Tax Controversy Forum is an opportunity to stay current on new developments, exchange ideas, and share practice tips that can contribute to a better functioning system. Participants qualify for CPE, CLE, and CE credits.
As a premier educational institution, the NYU School of Professional Studies is committed to providing the highest standard of professional enrichment.
Key topics to be discussed: (DAY 1)
Key topics to be discussed: (DAY 2)
This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.
Date / Time: June 8, 2023
Date / Time: June 9, 2023
Sharon Katz-Pearlman, Esq | Greenberg Traurig
Sharon Katz-Pearlman focuses her practice on the representation of large multinationals, partnerships, and other taxpayers, before the IRS. She represents clients from the pre-exam phase (voluntary disclosures, pre-filing agreements) through examination, appeals, and into litigation if necessary. In addition, Sharon has represented clients using the full range of IRS Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques which are available to taxpayers, and advises large companies on the IRS’s Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) and other IRS specialty programs.
Sharon has deep experience with the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) and the Advanced Pricing Agreement program (APA) working with Competent Authority to reach resolution on a variety of transfer pricing issues. She also consults with multinationals dealing with enforcement activity around the world, assisting them in developing practices and procedures which ensure consistency and a full understanding of the entity’s global disputes landscape. She consults frequently with clients on application to the OECD’s International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP) process.
Douglas W. O’Donnell, CPA | Internal Revenue Service
Doug O’Donnell, the deputy commissioner for services and enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service, has been appointed to serve as acting head of the agency.
Holly O. Paz, Esq. | Internal Revenue Service
Acting Commissioner, Large Business and International Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC.
Lia Colbert | Internal Revenue Service
Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC.
Daniel Rosen, Esq. | Todd Welty, PC.
Dan Rosen is of Counsel to Todd Welty, P.C. He is a veteran trial lawyer with over 24 years of experience in private practice and with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel. Over the course of his career, Dan has litigated some of the largest, most complex, and most sensitive tax cases before the United States Tax Court. Dan has litigated precedent-setting cases involving a wide variety of international and domestic tax issues, including tax incentive syndications, partnerships, civil fraud, leasing transactions, transfer pricing, hybrid instruments, regulatory challenges, corporate and individual tax shelters, and research and development tax credits. In addition, Dan has significant experience representing clients in tax and tax related disputes before the federal district courts and the Court of Federal Claims. Dan is ranked by Chambers USA (New York-Tax) and is recognized by Legal 500 as a Recommended Lawyer (U.S. Taxes-Contentious).
During his time with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Dan served as a Special Trial Attorney and was a key participant in the drafting of published guidance and administrative directives involving judicial doctrines for the IRS Large Business and International Division (LB&I). Dan is a frequent speaker for George Washington University School of Law, the Practising Law Institute, Tax Executives Institute, the Global Business Alliance, and the American Bar Association.
Dan graduated from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, where he served on the editorial board of the Hofstra Law Review. Aside from his work with Todd Welty, P.C., Dan is Senior Counsel with an international law firm, where he consults on federal tax disputes and regularly authors articles on tax practice and procedure.
Andrew Keyso, Esq. | Internal Revenue Service
Keyso, who has an extensive background with the IRS and Chief Counsel organizations, will set strategy and oversee the operations of Appeals, which seeks to resolve tax controversies between taxpayer and the IRS without litigation. Keyso has served as the Deputy Chief of Appeals since July 2017 and has been acting as the Appeals Chief since January.
“Andy has a wide range of experience and expertise inside the IRS as well as Chief Counsel,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “His leadership will complement the talented team of Appeals employees. Andy and Appeals have done a fabulous job of helping continue their important work during this challenging time.”
Appeals is independent of the IRS compliance functions, including the examination and collection functions that make tax assessments and initiate collection actions. Appeals’ mission is to resolve tax controversies without litigation on a basis that is fair and impartial to both the government and taxpayers. Appeals has approximately 1,200 employees across the country.
Prior to joining Appeals, Keyso had more than 25 years of experience across the IRS, including serving as the IRS Chief of Staff. Before joining the Chief of Staff’s office, he served for 18 years in various positions in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, including as Associate Chief Counsel of the Income Tax and Accounting Division. He previously served as Special Counsel to the Chief Counsel and as an attorney in the Procedure and Administration Division. Prior to joining Chief Counsel, Keyso was a revenue agent in the former Newark, New Jersey District, where he later served as a technical advisor to the Chief, Examination Division.
Keyso is a graduate of Temple University School of Law, a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and a certified public accountant.
Frank Agostino, Esq. | Agostino & Associates, PC.
Frank Agostino is the founder and president of Agostino & Associates, P.C. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Agostino was an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service’s District Counsel in Springfield, Illinois and Newark, New Jersey. He also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, where he prosecuted primarily criminal tax cases. As an adjunct professor, Mr. Agostino taught tax controversy at Seton Hall University W. Paul Stillman School of Business and Rutgers School of Law. He also served as the co-director of the Rutgers Federal Tax Law Clinic.
Mr. Agostino is a frequent speaker and author on tax controversy and litigation matters. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Tax Practice and Procedure. Mr. Agostino is actively involved with the American Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association. Mr. Agostino is also the President of Taxpayers Assistance Corp., which provides tax and legal advice to low income taxpayers in the NY/NJ area.
Sarah E. Paul, Esq. | Eversheds Sutherland
Sarah Paul’s practice spans all areas of white-collar defense, with a particular focus on government, internal, and cross-border investigations, tax controversy, and cybersecurity and privacy law. She has extensive experience litigating complex criminal and civil cases. Sarah currently serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and is the Co-Global Head of Corporate Crime and Investigations.
Sarah joined Eversheds Sutherland from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she served for over nine years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division. As a member of the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit for nearly six years, she worked on sophisticated white-collar cases involving the investigation and prosecution of institutions and individuals for a variety of financial crimes, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, wire fraud, bank fraud, cybercrime, international money laundering, sanctions violations, securities fraud, health care fraud, and Bank Secrecy Act violations. She also served in the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit, where she litigated substantial asset forfeiture matters, including significant art fraud cases. In 2019, Sarah was recognized by the Women in Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, which selected her from a nationwide pool of female federal prosecutors to receive the Top Prosecutor Award.
During her time as federal prosecutor, Sarah led numerous high-profile cross-border investigations, including an investigation resulting in the first US indictment in connection with the Panama Papers leak, an investigation resulting in a $547 million resolution with a Swiss bank and the guilty pleas of two Swiss bankers, and an investigation resulting in the guilty pleas of Cayman Islands investment brokerage and trust companies. Sarah also conducted fourteen federal jury trials, and briefed and argued multiple appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In 2016, she became the Tax Coordinator for the Criminal Division. During her two and a half year tenure as the Tax Coordinator, she supervised all criminal tax matters in the Southern District of New York, including hundreds of investigations and dozens of publicly charged cases, and she worked extensively with the Internal Revenue Service and the Tax Division of the Department of Justice.
Prior to her time as an Assistant United States Attorney, Sarah was a defense attorney for two prominent New York law firms, where she advised clients on anticipating, managing and mitigating legal and regulatory risks related to government enforcement and represented clients in all phases of criminal and civil litigation. She also worked as a federal law clerk for the Honorable Berle Schiller in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Larry A. Campagna, Esq. | Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, PC.
Larry Campagna has established a reputation as an authoritative litigator in matters of business litigation and white collar criminal defense, as well as federal, state and local tax controversies. For more than 45 years, he has resolved thousands of civil and criminal litigation matters, many of which involved sophisticated and complex legal issues that established precedent in courts at the federal, state and local levels.
Highlights of Mr. Campagna’s career include: representing the first taxpayer to be awarded attorneys’ fees by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; serving as lead counsel in one of the largest project cases in the history of the United States Tax Court; and successfully defending one of the world’s largest accounting firms in a tax malpractice case.
Mr. Campagna teaches a course in the law of Tax Crimes and Money Laundering as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center. He has served the American Bar Association Section of Taxation as Chair of the Employment Taxes Committee; as Chair of the Subcommittee on IRS Investigations and Procedures of the Committee on Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties; and as Chair of a Task Force on Offshore Credit Card Cases of the Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee.
Sharyn M. Fisk, Esq. | Internal Revenue Service
Sharyn Fisk, formerly a partner at Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, PC, is a tax attorney who specializes in federal and state tax controversy matters. Ms. Fisk is a Certified Tax Law Specialist with the California State Bar. In 2017, she was appointed to the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC). She has served as Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Taxation Section Executive Committee, a board member of the Inland Empire Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and a member of Taxation Section of both the American Bar Association and California Bar Association.
Bruce C. Wood, CPA/ABV, CVA, MTx | Brady Ware
Focused on helping clients with business appraisals and litigation support related to tax disputes and other transactions, Bruce brings nearly 30 years of experience to the marketplace. Often faced with decisions or situations impacting the value of a transaction or business, Bruce helps navigate the complexities of those situations most often during personal or corporate divorces, mergers & acquisition activity, estate, gift and trust transactions along with other business disputes. Business types in which Bruce has helped in his career include professional services, manufacturing, distribution, food service, mining, technology, retail and other business sectors. While he can assist clients nationwide, most of his career has been spent in and throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area including Atlanta’s southside. With an exceptional network of contacts, Bruce can also help clients connect with other areas of expertise such as within the legal community.
His accreditations include being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), and a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). His education includes a Master of Taxation (MTx) from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in accounting from Georgia Southern University.
Nina E. Olson, Esq. | Center for Taxpayer Rights
Nina E. Olson is the Executive Director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. From March 2001 to July 2019, Nina served as the National Taxpayer Advocate of the United States, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service , dedicated to assisting taxpayers resolve their problems with the IRS and making administrative and legislative recommendations to mitigate those problems systemically. She has submitted 39 annual reports to Congress, and testified before congressional committees over 60 times. Before serving as the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina founded and directed The Community Tax Law Project, the first independent Low Income Taxpayer Clinic in the US. She also maintained a private legal practice, representing taxpayers in disputes with the IRS.
Nina has received many awards and recognitions, including the American Bar Association Section of Taxation’s Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Service, Pro Bono Award, and Jules Ritholz Memorial Merit Award for Outstanding Dedication, Achievement, and Integrity in the Field of Civil and Criminal Tax Controversies; the Tax Foundation’s Public Sector Distinguished Service Award; and Pro Bono Awards from the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association, and the City of Richmond Bar Association. In 2016 she was recognized by Tax Analysts as one of the Top 10 Outstanding Women in Tax (internationally).
Nina received her LLM in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, her JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law, and her AB (in fine arts) from Bryn Mawr College.
Josh Beck, Esq. | Internal Revenue Service
National Taxpayer Advocate Service, Attorney Advisory Group, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC.
Leslie Book, Esq. | Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Professor Book is a Professor of Law at the Villanova Charles Widger School of Law. While at Villanova Professor Book has served as Director of the Federal Tax Clinic, Director of the Graduate Tax Program, and Director of the Online Graduate Tax Program. He also served as a Professor in Residence with the IRS, Taxpayer Advocate Service in 2019.
Professor Book is a national authority on tax procedure and tax administration. He is the successor author for the Thomson Reuters treatise IRS Practice and Procedure and the cofounder and one of the primary bloggers at Procedurally Taxing. He has written numerous law review articles and three research reports submitted to Congress on behalf of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, including a 2019 report containing a series of proposals to improve the administration and delivery of refundable credits.
Book has testified before Congress on the fair administration of our nation’s tax laws and on the future of tax administration. In 2007 he won the ABA Tax Section Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award, and Book continues to directly assist low income and underrepresented taxpayers through pro bono litigation. In 2018 he was the inaugural winner of the Diane Ambler Award for faculty curricular innovation for his work in creating the Villanova Online Graduate Tax Program with his colleague Joy Mullane. In 2021, Book won the Diane Ambler Faculty Scholarship Impact Award for scholarship that has had a significant impact on the law, the academy, the legal profession or policy debates.
Book is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the governing Council of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, and a founding Board Member at the Center for Taxpayer Rights.
Professor Book received his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College (magna cum laude), his J.D. from Stanford University School of Law, and his LL.M (Taxation) from New York University School of Law. At Stanford Law School, he was a founding editor of the Stanford Law & Policy Review, and at New York University School of Law he was a student-editor at the Tax Law Review.
David Long | Internal Revenue Service
Lead Equal Opportunity Specialist, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Civil Rights Unit, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC.
Josh O. Ungerman, Esq., CPA | Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman
Mr. Ungerman’s experience as a former IRS Senior Trial Attorney and Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Assistant U.S. Attorney are invaluable in helping clients with IRS civil tax and criminal tax controversy matters at all levels along with tax and estate planning. The tax and estate matters in which Josh is involved are typically very complex from both a factual and legal perspective. These matters often require legal and accounting skills. Josh is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Ungerman is involved in defending Taxpayers & issues against IRS inquiries and actions. The IRS defense practice covers Civil and Criminal Exams, Investigations and Trials. Many of Josh’s Tax Controversy matters include an offshore component.
Mr. Ungerman is often called upon to remediate non-compliant offshore structures and advise on offshore compliance requirements.
Mr. Ungerman is selected to many “Best of” attorney lists by his peers including: Best Lawyers, D Magazine and Texas Monthly. Mr. Ungerman has been recognized by the Best Lawyers® in America as the 2023 Litigation and Controversy-Tax Law “Lawyer of the Year” in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He was also selected to the Texas Super Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers list.
Prior to joining the firm in 1994, he was a civil prosecutor for the Internal Revenue Service, Dallas District Counsel office. He was also a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice in Dallas during his time as a civil prosecutor. Prior to becoming an IRS Attorney of a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Carolyn M. Parr at the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C.
Josh is a frequent speaker on tax topics including domestic and offshore IRS exams, IRS estate tax strategies, tax shelter defense, recent tax legislation, IRS criminal tax investigation techniques, state tax controversy issues and IRS offshore compliance issues.
Mr. Ungerman was admitted to practice in Texas in 1990.
John Colvin, Esq. | Colvin + Hallet
John draws from his almost three decades of practice and experience in tax law to develop legal theories and strategies in defense of his clients. John keeps a close eye on developments in the tax law, which enables him to provide his clients an unparalleled awareness of current developments and their implications.
John is a very active and respected member of the American Bar Association Tax Section, having served as Chair of the Committee covering tax controversy matters, and currently overseeing Tax Section comments on government regulatory efforts in the procedural areas as part of the Committee on Government Submissions. He is often sought out to speak at a national level on various tax law issues, and has been intimately involved in drafting comments to proposed regulations on a variety of topics on behalf of the ABA Tax Section. He also teaches Tax Crimes: Investigations, Prosecutions, and Penalties at the University of Washington School of Law.
John is a wine and food connoisseur and is always on the lookout for Seattle’s next great restaurant. He enjoys swimming and, in addition to tax news, is an avid reader of non-tax materials.
Jason B. Freeman, Esq. | Freeman Law PLLC
Mr. Freeman is the founding member of Freeman Law, PLLC. He is a dual-credentialed attorney-CPA, author, law professor, and trial attorney.
Mr. Freeman has been named by Chambers & Partners as among the leading tax and litigation attorneys in the United States and to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list. He is a former recipient of the American Bar Association’s “On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers” in America award. Mr. Freeman was named the “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas for 2019 and 2020 by AI.
Mr. Freeman has been recognized multiple times by D Magazine, a D Magazine Partner service, as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, and as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service. He has previously been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top 100 Up-And-Coming Attorney in Texas.
Mr. Freeman currently serves as the chairman of the Texas Society of CPAs (TXCPA). He is a former chairman of the Dallas Society of CPAs (TXCPA-Dallas). Mr. Freeman also served multiple terms as the President of the North Texas chapter of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs. He has been previously recognized as the Young CPA of the Year in the State of Texas (an award given to only one CPA in the state of Texas under 40).
Mr. Freeman serves on the law school faculty at SMU’s Dedman School of Law, where he has taught a course in the law of federal income taxation for nearly a decade, and he is a frequent public speaker across the country, presenting and educating on various legal topics.
He is also a Forbes contributor for tax and white-collar legal matters.
Mr. Freeman represents clients in litigation and disputes, with a particular focus on federal and state tax controversies, as well as white-collar and financial disputes, both civil and criminal. He handles IRS audits and other investigations and represents clients facing tax and white-collar or financial-related charges. He also advises and assists clients with tax and regulatory compliance, including domestic and international tax planning and regulatory reporting requirements, as well as cryptocurrency and Blockchain matters.
Mr. Freeman serves as trial counsel in complex business and commercial disputes, trying cases to juries and to the bench. He is experienced in civil cases involving an array of disputes, including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, civil RICO, executor and trustee litigation, complex probate litigation, negligence, trade secrets, partnership disputes, breach of contract, and other matters.
Mr. Freeman frequently serves as an expert witness. He also represents professionals—including attorneys and CPAs—before regulatory boards and in disciplinary hearings.
Leveraging his CPA background, Mr. Freeman often represents clients in complex financial and regulatory matters that involve sophisticated forensic accounting analyses. He has handled hundreds of IRS audits and other investigations and has represented clients facing a broad array of tax and white-collar or financial-related charges, including tax evasion, bank fraud, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act violations, securities fraud, computer intrusion and Medicare fraud, as well as clients in disputes with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). He also represents clients in asset forfeiture cases.
Mr. Freeman’s litigation experience includes serving as trial counsel in a criminal tax evasion and conspiracy jury trial in the Federal District Court for the United States Virgin Islands. In addition, Mr. Freeman represents clients in appellate matters, serving as lead appellate counsel, presenting oral argument in a case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Emily P. Hughes, PC, Esq. | Kirkland & Ellis
Emily P. Hughes is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Her practice focuses on counseling and defense of companies, partnerships, individuals, and non-profits in civil and criminal matters, particularly where tax or other complex financial matters are involved. Emily is a problem solver who is uniquely attuned to the needs and issues confronting closely-held enterprises, including private equity sponsors and their founders and shareholders in private companies.
Emily’s government and regulatory investigation experience includes representations before the IRS and DOJ, ranging from civil examinations to grand jury and trial proceedings. She has led multidisciplinary teams in complex and sensitive internal investigations. Emily is experienced in crisis management and has guided CEOs, senior executives, and Board of Directors through crisis preparedness, mitigation, and response in the context of both internal and governmental investigations.
Emily litigates on behalf of and defends corporations, partnerships, and individuals in matters involving tax reporting and treatment, international tax and information reporting (including Section 965 transition tax disputes), voluntary disclosures and closing agreements, securities and financial fraud, fiduciary duty claims, and tax disputes arising in the bankruptcy context.
She also has litigated and counseled on a range of disputes in closely-held business contexts, including the defense of founders’ business interests in founder break-ups and marital dissolution and partner business disputes.
Emily is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and previously served as vice-chair and chair of the D.C. Bar’s Tax Audits and Litigation Committee.
Emily is the Co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) in Kirkland’s DC office and a member of the firmwide Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She also serves as a member of the firmwide Litigation Associate Review Committee, the DC office Operations Committee, and is chair of the DC office Practice Assistant Review Committee.
Jeffrey Dirmann, Esq. | Agostino & Associates PC.
Mr. Dirmann is an attorney at Agostino & Associates, P.C., where his practice focuses on general tax controversy matters, including collections matters, litigation, and criminal investigations.
He has represented numerous individuals and businesses before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Tax Court, and the United States District Court.
Christopher Hanfling, Esq. | Jones Day
Chris Hanfling practices primarily in the areas of U.S. federal and international taxation. He advises clients on the tax aspects of complex transactions, including international and domestic mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs, with a particular emphasis on tax planning, compliance, post-acquisition restructuring, and tax-efficient structures for cross-border transactions and arrangements. Chris also assists clients to maximize their tax efficiency, with a particular focus on tax credits, transfer pricing, and other cross-border tax considerations.
Chris has drafted opinion letters, intercompany agreements, and cost sharing agreements and has helped clients navigate a variety of complex tax issues, both internally and before the Internal Revenue Service, including transfer pricing, tax compliance, and tax treaty matters.
Chris works with clients to secure and maintain tax-exempt status for nonprofit organizations and advises on the federal tax implications for these organizations.
Chris is coauthor of the Practical Guide to U.S. Transfer Pricing and is a member of the D.C. Bar Association (Tax Section).
Victor A. Jaramillo, Esq. | Caplin & Drysdale
Victor Jaramillo is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He advises multinational corporations, financial institutions, and individual clients on a broad range of tax matters, including tax controversies, risk management and international compliance, and cross-border structuring. He also utilizes his Spanish fluency to advise Spanish-speaking clients.
Mr. Jaramillo’s major areas of practice include subpart F, tax treaty issues and competent authority proceedings, FATCA entity classification and compliance, withholding and information reporting, financial products, and individual compliance.
Mr. Jaramillo also advises on the international tax issues of high-net-worth clients with respect to pre-immigration and structuring cross-border investments. He has extensive experience advising both U.S. taxpayers and individuals living abroad with undisclosed foreign assets on U.S. tax compliance issues, especially those with foreign business and trust interests.
Lauren Azebu, Esq. | Steptoe & Johnson
Lauren Azebu focuses her practice on US federal income taxation issues for domestic and international clients, including high-net worth individuals. She regularly advises both US- and foreign-owned businesses and individuals on the US tax consequences of cross-border investments, cryptocurrency issues, business structurings, withholding obligations, and FATCA compliance. She also advises clients on planning and structuring corporate transactions, including tax-free spinoffs.
In addition to advising clients on tax planning issues, Lauren counsels clients on competent authority issues and represents clients in IRS examinations. She also is actively involved in Steptoe’s pro bono program, and has assisted several clients in settling tax issues with the IRS and state tax agencies.
Before joining Steptoe, Lauren worked as a tax accountant at one of the Big Four accounting firms. In this role, she gained considerable skills working with audit teams to calculate quarterly tax provisions for corporate entities, and handling tax return preparation for business and individual clients.
Lauren is a co-chair of Steptoe’s Women’s Forum, which is devoted to connecting, developing, and supporting Steptoe’s women professionals.
Michelle Abroms Levin, Esq. | Dentons
Michelle Abroms Levin is a shareholder in Dentons Sirote’s Huntsville, Alabama office, where she is a member of the Tax practice group and manages the Huntsville office. She represents clients during all phases of federal income tax controversies, including IRS audit, administrative appeals, and court proceedings in the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, federal district court and the Courts of Appeals. Michelle has secured major victories for her clients in the Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Tax Court, elevating important Administrative Procedure Act issues in the tax controversy context. Her experience includes a wide range of complex tax issues. Michelle also counsels clients in tax and business planning. She works with clients to structure transactions in a manner that maximizes tax benefits, reduces risk, and complies with tax law at local, state, and federal levels.
Prior to joining Dentons Sirote (formerly Sirote & Permutt, PC), Michelle worked as a trial attorney at the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, where she represented the United States in federal district court.
Thomas A. Cullinan, Esq. | Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, PC.
Tom Cullinan is a Shareholder in the Firm’s Atlanta office. Tom joined the Firm from the IRS, where he served as the Counselor to the IRS Commissioner and then as the acting IRS Chief of Staff.
While at the IRS, Tom was a member of the Commissioner’s core leadership team, and he advised the IRS Commissioner on the most critical issues facing the agency, including the IRS strategic plan and budget, staffing, internal operations, enforcement of tax laws and service to taxpayers. He was particularly involved in high-level enforcement issues. Among other things, Tom either conceived or helped launch the Office of Fraud Enforcement, the Office of Promoter Investigations, and the Joint Strategic Emerging Issues Team, all of which should be key IRS enforcement tools in the coming years. Tom also helped implement various policies pertaining to cryptocurrencies and served as an invited IRS representative to several Financial Stability Oversight Council meetings regarding cryptocurrencies.
Before joining the IRS, Tom spent twenty years as a tax attorney representing taxpayers in tax controversy matters. He has represented hundreds of taxpayers, including low-income individuals in pro bono matters, high net-worth individuals, partnerships, trusts and estates, and corporations in IRS audits, administrative appeals, and litigation, on a wide variety of tax issues often with significant amounts at issue. Tom pursues every possible opportunity to resolve tax disputes and is adept at negotiating acceptable resolutions. Yet, litigation is sometimes inevitable and he has a notable track record in that regard. Notable public representations include:
American International Group, Inc. vs. United States – Tom was lead tax counsel in the insurance company’s dispute with the United States regarding its entitlement to foreign tax credits.
Klamath Strategic Investment Fund, LLC vs. United States – Tom represented the taxpayers in what is now one of the most cited cases arising out the last wave of so-called tax shelter litigation, where the courts held that the taxpayers were not subject to penalties and were entitled to deduct some of their fees and costs for entering into what the IRS called a “Son of Boss” transaction.
BASR Partnership vs. United States – Tom represented the taxpayers in the Court of Federal Claims and the Federal Circuit, where those courts disagreed with Tax Court precedent to hold that an advisor’s fraud was insufficient to hold open the statute of limitations for assessing tax and, for the first time ever, that a “TEFRA” partnership was entitled to a recovery of litigation cost from the United States pursuant to the qualified offer provisions.
Tom works in the Firm’s tax controversy practice where he draws on both his extensive background representing taxpayers and his deep knowledge of the IRS organization, operations, and procedures.
Katherine Jordan, Esq. | GBX Group
As Director of Tax Controversy at GBX Group, Katherine is responsible for managing the firm’s federal tax audits, appeals, and litigation. Katherine is well-versed in tax controversy matters and works to ensure that GBX’s tax transactions are fully compliant with all federal tax laws.
Prior to joining GBX, Katherine practiced as a Tax Controversy and Litigation Associate at Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, where she represented clients in audits and administrative appeals before the Internal Revenue Service and in litigation before the United States Tax Court. Katherine also previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph W. Nega of the U.S. Tax Court, where she drafted opinions, orders, and decisions and conducted legal research on a wide variety of tax matters.
Katherine co-authored the Tax Notes article “Eroding Conservation, Preserving Abuse – A Flawed IRS Strategy”, which Tax Notes recognized as one of the 10 best federal tax articles of 2020.
Katherine earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Duke University and her Juris Doctor from The University of Virginia School of Law where she concentrated in tax law.
Rod J. Rosenstein, Esq. | King & Spalding
Drawing upon three decades of experience as a federal prosecutor and senior government official, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein helps clients resolve sensitive regulatory, enforcement and litigation challenges. His practice focuses on government investigations, crisis management, national security and cyber issues, tax controversies, compliance and monitoring.
Rod served in leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Justice during the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, including as Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for Maryland. He personally represented the United States in 23 jury trials and argued 21 appeals in various appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
As the second-highest ranking Department of Justice official from 2017 to 2019, Rod was responsible for overseeing 115,000 employees nationwide in the litigating divisions, law enforcement agencies and U.S. Attorney’s Offices. He revised policies concerning corporate criminal prosecutions and parallel domestic and foreign investigations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, and health care fraud cases. He also reviewed significant proposed criminal and civil enforcement actions, False Claims Act settlements, and
corporate monitor appointments. Rod led the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud and the Cyber-Digital Task Force, and he handled national security matters reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Jay R. Nanavati, Esq. | Kostelanetz
Mr. Nanavati is a criminal tax defense attorney and a fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Tax Counsel. According to Chambers USA, which has ranked him nationally for the last seven years, Mr. Nanavati “is held in high regard for his strength in handling criminal tax matters . . . . He is an excellent trial attorney, he’s very sophisticated. His judgment is excellent.”
Mr. Nanavati represents individuals and entities facing investigations and prosecutions by the IRS, the FBI, state investigative agencies, U.S. Attorney’s offices, and the Department of Justice Tax Division. His clients rely on his ability to analyze cases from the government’s perspective and trust his sound judgment to guide them through their most difficult challenges.
Mr. Nanavati has defended clients against federal investigations and charges throughout the country. He regularly handles matters involving allegations of offshore tax evasion, employment tax violations, cryptocurrency reporting violations, use of shell companies, currency reporting violations, and underreporting of business income. He also has substantial experience representing clients accused of promoting or participating in so-called tax shelters, including captive insurance programs, conservation easements, and Puerto Rico’s Act 20/Act 22 program. In many instances, Mr. Nanavati represents tax professionals facing such accusations.
Mr. Nanavati spent more than a decade as both a federal and a state prosecutor. At the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, he supervised more than 30 federal tax prosecutors and oversaw criminal tax enforcement for a region covering 22 states. He investigated and prosecuted, among many other tax offenses, an e-commerce tax fraud scheme, a thoroughbred race horse tax fraud scheme, an abusive trust scheme, and numerous individuals and businesses engaged in tax evasion. In addition to the cases that he prosecuted, he was also responsible for reviewing and authorizing criminal tax grand jury investigations and prosecutions in the various U.S. Attorney’s Offices in his 22-state region. He is a veteran trial lawyer, having conducted dozens of jury trials and hundreds of bench trials.
Mr. Nanavati is a member of the ABA’s Section of Taxation, Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, as well as of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee, and a member of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court.
From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Nanavati assisted the White House Office of Presidential Personnel in a pro bono capacity by vetting potential presidential appointees for possible tax-related problems.
Timothy P. Noonan, Esq. | Hodgson Russ
Tim focuses his practice in the state and local tax area. His work primarily involves New York State and New York City tax litigation and controversy. Over the past 23 years, he has handled more than 2,000 personal income tax, sales tax, corporate tax, or other New York tax audits. Tim also has handled about 100 cases in New York’s Division of Tax Appeals.
Tim leads the firm’s Tax Residency Practice and he is one of the leading practitioners in this area of the law. He has handled some of the most high-profile residency cases in New York over the past decade, including a 2014 win in the Gaied case, one of the first New York residency cases to ever reach New York’s highest court. He is often quoted by media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal The New York Times and Forbes, on residency and other state tax issues. And under his direction, the Tax Residency Practice authored What to Expect in a Residency Audit, a detailed guide to residency rules and audits in New York and other states.
As the “Noonan” in “Noonan’s Notes,” a monthly column in Tax Notes State, Tim is a nationally recognized author and speaker on state tax issues. He co-authored the 2018 edition of the CCH Residency and Allocation Audit Handbook and Contesting New York State Tax Assessment- Fourth Edition, published by the New York State Bar Association. In addition, Tim has served as a contributing author or editor for several other tax publications and treatises, including the American Bar Association’s Sales and Use Tax Deskbook, the “New York Sales Tax Guide” published by practicallaw.com, the corporate apportionment chapter in Thomson Reuters’ Checkpoint Analyst, the New York chapter of LexisNexis’s Practice Insights, and the New York Tax Litigation chapter in Thomson Reuters’ Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts treatise. He has also written more than 250 articles in state and local tax publications around the country over the past several years, and he runs the award-winning Noonan’s Notes Blog, where he and his colleagues offer regular commentary on developments in the world of New York and multistate tax law. Tim also speaks on state tax issues for audiences around the country on an average of 20 times a year, including a regular stint on the CCH webinar circuit.
Tim also has handled a significant number of residency and sales tax issues in other states, including work with many national and international clients on multistate compliance or voluntary disclosures. He has also appeared before the Connecticut Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals in litigated matters and is admitted to practice law in Connecticut.
Carlos F. Ortiz, Esq. | BakerHostetler
A seasoned trial attorney, Carlos Ortiz focuses his practice on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), high-risk tax controversies, offshore tax issues, anti-money laundering, e-commerce fraud and healthcare fraud, as well as allegations of fraud against government agencies and financial institutions. He has extensive experience representing U.S. and foreign-based corporations and individuals in the pharmaceutical, financial services, healthcare, aerospace, energy and telecommunications industries in connection with matters before enforcement and regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and various state attorneys general. Over his career in private practice he has secured the declination of criminal charges for corporate and individual clients. On several occasions he has prevented the referral of charges for the target of criminal tax investigations.
Carlos advises corporations, their boards of directors and their committees regarding corporate governance and compliance matters. He also negotiates settlements, implements remedial measures and assists them in efficiently responding to subpoenas so as to minimize the disruptions to their normal business operations.
Before entering private practice, Carlos held posts at the Department of Justice Tax Division and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where he served as Deputy and Acting Chief of the Criminal Division. Responsible for conceptualizing and leading a global financial investigation that resulted in the breakup of an international network of internet-based commercial money laundering and child pornography rings, he was honored at the White House and received an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at a congressional breakfast for his leadership role.
Carlos speaks frequently on tax enforcement and virtual currency, the FCPA, internal investigations and trial advocacy in the U.S., South America, Europe and Asia. He has been recognized by Chambers USA and both New Jersey and New York “Super Lawyers” for White-Collar Crime.
Victor Song | Integritas
Victor currently assists clients on tax issues both civil and criminal. He also assists in areas such as internal policies, internal investigations, whistleblower filings, and ongoing training in the areas of compliance, due diligence, anti-money laundering, and business policies.
Previously, Victor was the EVP Compliance and Consultant to the CEO for Samsung Electronics America. As the EVP Compliance for the North American Headquarters, his responsibilities included all areas of the Compliance Program for Canada, North America, and parts of Mexico. These duties included revising and setting the Compliance Program Standard; Compliance Training; Audit/Monitoring of the Compliance Program Operating Status; Compliance areas of responsibility included: Advertisement, Trade/Commerce, Fair-Trade, Intellectual Property, Information Protection, Product Liability, and Workplace Ethics.
Victor spent over 30 years in federal law enforcement with Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. As the Chief, Criminal Investigation (CI) headquartered in Washington, D.C., among his duties, Victor oversaw a worldwide staff of 4,200 CI employees, whom investigate and assist in the prosecution of criminal tax, money laundering, and narcotics-related financial crimes. One of his responsibilities was to address offshore tax evasion. Some of his accomplishments included doubling the international cadre of special agents posted throughout the world.
Victor worked extensively with international law enforcement throughout Europe and Asia and South America. Specifically, he was responsible for the Simultaneous Criminal Investigation Program (SCIP) Agreements with Korea, Japan, Spain, and other countries. He added agents to Europol as well as the OECD headquartered in Paris, France. In Asia, Victor worked with law enforcement, financial and tax officials extensively in South Korea, Beijing China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan. Victor was responsible for the offshore banking investigations of large Swiss banks and other international financial institutions. He was responsible for the formation and intake of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to address the non-disclosure of foreign financial accounts by U.S. citizens. And lastly, Victor was the first Asian American appointed to lead a Federal Law Enforcement Agency.
Victor has spoken at tax and accounting classes at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa and at Cal Poly Pomona.
Christopher M. Ferguson, Esq. | Kostelanetz
Mr. Ferguson represents clients in both federal and state courts, as well as before governmental agencies and other regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, the New York Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Labor, the New York City Department of Investigations and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He has defended clients in federal and state investigations and prosecutions involving allegations of tax fraud, securities fraud, anti-trust violations (bid rigging and price fixing), Bank Secrecy Act violations, mail and wire fraud, CARES Act fraud, prevailing wage fraud, theft of government services, fraud related to state and local Minority and Women Business Enterprise (“MWBE”) programs, and other violations of federal and state law.
In his civil practice, Mr. Ferguson has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of complex commercial matters, including wage and hour class actions, tax shelter litigations, government procurement matters and commercial litigations involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent conveyances, civil fraud, civil RICO, civil forfeiture and similar claims.
Mr. Ferguson also conducts internal investigations for institutional clients whose officers and/or employees have been suspected or accused of wrongdoing.
Mr. Ferguson received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston College and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Prior to joining Kostelanetz LLP, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jay C. Waldman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and was associated with the law firm of Dewey Ballantine, LLP, where he practiced in the areas of complex commercial, antitrust, and bankruptcy litigation.
Mr. Ferguson is recognized in Super Lawyers and is a member of the New York Council of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is also the former Secretary of the Criminal Law Committee of the Bar Association of the City of New York and has published and spoken extensively in the areas of white collar criminal and civil and criminal tax controversies.
Sandra R. Brown, Esq. | Hochman, Salkin, Toscher, Perez, PC.
Sandra R. Brown joined the firm as a principal after serving most recently as the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California. Ms. Brown’s practice focuses on individuals and organizations who are involved in criminal tax investigations, including related grand jury matters, court litigation and appeals, as well as representing and advising taxpayers involved in complex and sophisticated civil tax controversies, including representing and advising taxpayers in sensitive-issue audits and administrative appeals, as well as civil litigation in federal, state and tax court.
From March 2017 to January 2018, Ms. Brown served as the Acting United States Attorney. In addition to leading the Central District of California’s United States Attorney’s Office, where she supervised approximately 270 attorneys in the largest Justice Department Office outside of Washington D.C., Ms. Brown also served as the Chief of the Tax Division for more than ten years where she supervised lawyers within the United States Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice Tax Division and the Department of Treasury who were responsible for complex Federal civil and criminal tax matters, including related grand jury proceedings, trials and appeals.
In her more than 26 years as a federal trial lawyer, Ms. Brown obtained a vast expanse and depth of experience in complex civil and criminal tax matters, having personally handled over 2,000 cases on behalf of the United States before the United States District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Bankruptcy Court, the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the California Superior Court. Those cases included nationally significant civil tax cases such as two Supreme Court decisions and a multitude of published 9th Circuit decisions, as well as a broad range of equally noteworthy criminal tax cases including the first of the recent FBAR prosecutions in California, one of the largest individual tax restitution judgments fully recovered in a criminal tax case prosecuted in this nation, and the unprecedented deferred prosecution agreement, resolving a criminal probe into an international bank’s worldwide U.S. cross-border business, requiring the bank to pay $270 million in restitution and fines and to provide details about employees and more than 1,500 U.S. customers.
In addition to other honors, commendations and awards, Ms. Brown has received the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Chief’s Award and the IRS’s Mitchell Rogovin National Outstanding Support of the Office of Chief Counsel Award, respectively, the most prestigious criminal and civil awards available for presentation by the IRS to Department of Justice employees.
Ms. Brown has written, lectured and taught federal prosecutors, agents and private practitioners throughout the country on topics involving trial strategies, taxation, bankruptcy and money laundering. Based upon the breadth of her expertise and experience in litigation and management, Ms. Brown is a highly sought-after speaker before national and regional professional organizations.
Eric Hylton | Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav
Eric Hylton currently serves as the Director of Investigations for ZMF Law.
With over 30 years of government experience, Eric has held several prominent positions at the IRS, including serving as the Commissioner of the Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division, Executive Director of CI’s head of International Operations, as well as the Director of CI’s Narcotics and Counterterrorism Office.
As the Director of Investigations for ZMF, he is advising clients on criminal tax investigations, tax controversy matters, internal investigations, cryptocurrency, and whistleblower claims. He is an accomplished global forensic, tax, and financial crimes executive with an extensive track record investigating the most significant domestic and international financial crimes for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Additionally, he has demonstrated success in directing and leading the agency’s most sensitive criminal tax, money laundering, cryptocurrency, international corruption, civil fraud, and bank secrecy act violations.
Eric is also the former chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – Task Force for Tax Crimes and Other Financial Crimes. As Chair, Eric led a multilateral commission of 40 international criminal tax organizations to develop methodologies and typologies on emerging global criminal tax and financial crimes threats.
Daniel Mayo, Esq. | Withum, Red Bank
Daniel has more than 20 years of professional tax experience as well as experience in federal, international and financial products taxation. He is experienced in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, and cross-border transactions. He is also a recognized expert in the employee retention credit and frequently represents clients in tax controversy matters before the IRS.
Daniel is a frequent author and speaker on U.S. Federal income tax topics. He is an adjunct faculty member with Georgetown University Law Center and an approved arbitrator for FINRA. Daniel is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars, the American Bar Association, previously the chair of the Banking & Savings Institutions Tax Committee, and the New York Bar Association.
Sanford J. Boxerman, Esq. | Capes Sokol, PC.
Experience at Work
Sandy defends individuals and corporations in white collar investigations and prosecutions. He also represents taxpayers in civil and criminal tax matters.
Sandy has experience in both the public and private sectors. From 1991 to 1994, he served as assistant public defender in the City of St. Louis, where he gained valuable experience as first chair in numerous jury and bench trials. From 1988 to 1991, and from 1994 through the present, he has worked in private law firms. Sandy was one of the founders of Capes Sokol in 2001.
In the Community
Sandy co-teaches the tax fraud prosecutions course in the graduate tax program as an adjunct faculty member at the Washington University School of Law. He has also been an adjunct lecturer of business law at Washington University’s Olin School of Business.
Sandy has assisted, on a pro bono basis, the Labadie Environmental Organization, serving as a consultant in trial and appellate court litigation that opposed a coal ash landfill in Labadie, Missouri.
He serves on the Board of Directors of Lift for Life Academy and is a past coach of the Lafayette High School Mock Trial Team.
Mary A. McNulty, Esq. | Holland & Knight, Houston
Mary McNulty is a tax attorney in Holland & Knight’s Dallas office. Ms. McNulty represents large business taxpayers in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits, appeals and tax litigation, with emphasis on federal tax procedural issues, interest, penalties and partnership audits. She has significant knowledge and experience in partnership tax issues relating to private equity, energy, real estate, and exempt organizations.
Robert J. Kovacev, Esq. | Miller & Chevalier
Robert J. Kovacev’s practice focuses on federal tax controversy and tax litigation. He combines extensive first-chair litigation skills with substantive tax knowledge to represent taxpayers in high-profile, high-stakes tax disputes against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), both at the administrative level and in litigation. These disputes include international tax and transfer pricing issues, the research tax credit, the Section 199 domestic production activities deduction, alternative energy tax credits, and the economic substance doctrines. Mr. Kovacev has more than two decades of experience representing clients in Tax Court and in federal district and appellate courts. Recognized by Forbes for having one of the top tax-related Twitter accounts, Mr. Kovacev is a leader in the emerging field of taxation of robotics and artificial intelligence, and he frequently writes and speaks on the topic.
Prior to joining Miller & Chevalier, Mr. Kovacev was a partner at a global law firm. Before entering private practice, he was a senior litigation counsel in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where he was lead trial counsel for the IRS in some of the largest and most complex civil tax cases in the nation. In that position, Mr. Kovacev worked closely with the IRS’s Large Business & International (LB&I) Division and top management of the Tax Division to shape litigation strategy on high-priority tax enforcement issues. These cases involved cross-border transactions, Section 482 disputes, Section 199 deductions, research credits, foreign tax credits, corporate reorganizations and acquisitions, and IP valuations, with claimed tax benefits ranging from $10 million to more than $1 billion.
Barbara T. Kaplan, Esq | Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, New York, NY
Barbara T. Kaplan is Co-Chair of the Global Tax Practice and has been named one of the top 50 women lawyers in New York City by Super Lawyers magazine, and focuses her tax litigation practice on domestic and foreign corporations, partnerships, and individuals in federal, state, and local tax examinations, controversies and litigation, including administrative and grand jury criminal tax investigations.
Garrett Brodeur, Esq | Associate, Kostelanetz, New York, NY
Garrett’s clerkship experience at the United States Tax Court gives him valuable insight into tax disputes involving collection due process and deficiency proceedings, international tax reporting and compliance, and the IRS whistleblower program. Before joining the Tax Court, Garrett worked as a tax associate at KPMG, where he helped provide guidance on the tax consequences of corporate mergers and acquisitions, internal reorganizations, and other transactional matters. Garrett has also served as a law clerk with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico and has worked and studied abroad in Japan and Hong Kong.
Garrett holds a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from Duke University Law School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Houston. At Georgetown Law Center, Garrett earned recognition as one of six Graduate Tax Scholars in his class. At Duke Law School, he served on the Journal of Comparative & International Law, including as Editor-in-Chief from 2016 to 2017. At the University of Houston, Garrett performed as principal clarinetist in a variety of symphony, ballet, and opera orchestras.
Thomas E. Bishop | Tom Bishop & Associates
Tax Advocacy and Controversy Services
Erika Nijenhuis, Esq. | US Department of Treasury
Erika W. Nijenhuis is a Senior Counsel in the Office of Tax Policy at the Treasury Department. Erika joined Treasury in September 2019, and has worked on a number of both international and domestic matters, including information reporting with respect to cryptocurrency transactions and crypto asset tax legislation. Previously, Erika was a tax partner for many years at an international law firm, with a practice primarily focused on domestic and international tax issues with respect to financial instruments, global financial markets and multinational financial institutions. In 2009-2010, Erika served as Chair of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association.
Del Wright Jr., Esq. | University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School
Professor Wright joined the UMKC School of Law faculty in 2017, and teaches in the areas of finance, business, securities, venture capital and tax. His current research focus is cryptoassets and the regulation of blockchain technologies. Before joining the faculty at UMKC, Prof. Wright taught a myriad of tax, business and criminal law courses at Valparaiso University. His earlier scholarship explored the intersection of tax and finance, and he has had articles published in the Virginia Tax Journal, The Akron Law Review, The Arizona State Law Journal and BNA.
Prof. Wright worked as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, prosecuting both tax and organized crime, and with other law firms, including Skadden Arps, where he worked in both the banking and tax groups. Prof. Wright also worked as an investment banker, most recently with Banc of America Securities, structuring derivatives and other financial weapons of mass destruction. Before starting his career, Prof. Wright earned a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, focusing on financial policy and regulation, and a Juris Doctor from The Law School at the University of Chicago.
In addition to his scholarly activities, Prof. Wright has also served on the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and as Assistant General Counsel to the National Bar Association, the nation’s oldest and largest national association of predominantly African American lawyers and judges. In his free time, Wright trains for triathlons, marathons and plays tennis and golf. Prof. Wright is also an ardent supporter of the best fútbol team on the planet, F.C. Barçelona.
Caitlin R. Tharp, Esq. | Steptoe & Johnson
Caitlin Tharp’s practice focuses on federal tax controversy and litigation matters, with experience in all stages of a tax dispute. Caitlin has litigated cases before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and federal district courts across the country. Her experience includes examining witnesses at trial and at deposition, as well as authoring scores of motions and briefs.
Caitlin has advised clients during Exam and advocated on behalf of clients at IRS Appeals. The subject areas of these disputes include challenges under the Administrative Procedure Act, the section 199 domestic production activities deduction, alternative energy tax credits, captive insurance, penalty abatement requests, and valuation questions.
Caitlin is a frequent speaker and writer on the intersection of tax and new technologies, focusing in particular on the application of existing tax rules to the metaverse.
Andrew Weiner, Esq. | Kostelanetz
Andy is a contributing author to Tax Notes Federal and the forthcoming edition of the ABA Tax Section’s Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS, among other publications, and a frequent speaker including for the ABA Tax Section, the Philadelphia Bar Association Tax Section, the LITC Program Office, and the Center for Taxpayer Rights.
Andy started his legal career in clerking for Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz of the New Jersey Supreme Court and Judge Stanley Marcus of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He was a litigation associate in the D.C. office of O’Melveny & Myers for three years before joining the Department of Justice. He earned an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown Law Center, a J.D. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Bowdoin College.
David W. Foster, Esq. | Kirkland & Ellis
David Foster is a partner in the Tax Practice Group in the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. David advises a broad range of clients, including large corporations, private equity firms and hedge funds, partnerships, estates, exempt organizations and individuals, many of whom are subject to the IRS’ Global High Wealth initiative. His practice covers a diverse range of tax issues, including international tax and transfer pricing, TEFRA and BBA partnership audit and litigation procedures, taxation of financial products, estate and gift taxes, deferred compensation, voluntary disclosures and criminal tax.
A former Supreme Court clerk, David has prepared briefs and argued before many of the federal courts of appeals. Prior to joining Kirkland, he obtained a rare taxpayer victory striking down a Treasury Regulation in Hewitt v. Commissioner, 21 F.4th 1336 (11th Cir. 2021). He also represented five former IRS commissioners in a D.C. Circuit amicus brief in Loving v. IRS in support of licensing standards for tax return preparers, as well as the American College of Tax Counsel in amicus briefs in the Tax Court and the Supreme Court.
S. Starling Marshall, Esq. | Crowell & Moring
When clients face complex commercial and tax disputes, they rely on S. Starling Marshall as their advocate and counselor. Starling is a trial lawyer with over 15 years of experience who has successfully represented clients before federal and state courts, arbitration panels, and administrative tribunals. Drawing on her years of government service and private practice, she guides clients toward business-minded solutions throughout all phases of an investigation or litigation.
Starling is a partner in the Litigation and Tax groups in the firm’s New York office. In addition to representing clients in all stages of litigation, she guides clients through complex IRS audits and administrative appeals, provides tax-related advice, conducts internal investigations, and represents individuals and corporate entities in criminal tax matters.
Prior to entering private practice, Starling served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division. During her time at the DOJ, she litigated cases before federal district courts and the Court of Federal Claims. Starling focused on complex tax shelter matters involving partnerships and penalty issues and cases in the energy industry, including cases involving Section 1603 grants for renewable energy projects and nuclear decommissioning liabilities. For her service, the DOJ awarded her the Outstanding Attorney Award (2015) and the Special Commendation for Outstanding Contribution (2013). From 2010 to 2014, Starling worked with the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy to vet candidates for the federal judiciary.
From 2008 to 2009, Starling served as a law clerk to the Hon. Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Her pro bono work includes serving as lead counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrant Rights Project and with ACLU-Utah in a Bivens action against U.S. marshals who raided a family’s home on two successive days. Starling received the New York County Lawyers Association Conspicuous Service Award for authoring a chapter in “Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts,” fifth edition, a joint venture of Thomson Reuters and the New York County Lawyers Association.
Joseph A. DiRuzzo, III, Esq., CPA | Partner, DiRuzzo & Company, Fort Lauderdale, FL
During His Tenure At DiRuzzo & Company, Mr. DiRuzzo
Don Fort, CPA | Kostelanetz
At our firm, he assists clients facing governmental investigations involving all manner of alleged financial and economic crimes, including tax controversies or suspected tax crimes, money laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act violations. Mr. Fort has an expertise in investigations involving cryptocurrency and cannabis related matters. Mr. Fort also is involved in conducting internal investigations and advising clients on compliance regimes. He is available as an expert witness and litigation consultant and for voluntary or court-mandated monitorships.
Mr. Fort currently provides his leadership and law enforcement expertise to the advisory boards of several fintech, anti-money laundering compliance, cryptocurrency, and cannabis compliance companies, including AML RightSource, ZenLedger, and NCS Analytics. Mr. Fort also serves as Chief Business Officer with IVIX.
As Chief of IRS-CI from 2017 to 2020, Mr. Fort led the sixth largest U.S. law enforcement agency, managing a budget of over $625 million and a worldwide staff of approximately 3,000, including 2,100 special agents in 21 IRS field offices and 11 foreign countries. Mr. Fort’s time in law enforcement included overseeing investigations of some of the most significant financial crimes involving tax evasion, sanctions evasion, money laundering, bribery, international corruption, bank malfeasance, cyber and cryptocurrency crimes, and terrorist financing.
As both Chief and Deputy Chief of IRS-CI, he oversaw numerous high-profile matters, including the college admissions scandal known as “Varsity Blues” that ensnared several celebrities; the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen federal tax investigations; the Michael Avenatti tax investigation; the takedown of the largest darknet child exploitation website funded by cryptocurrency; two Chinese nationals who were charged with laundering $100 million in the hack of a cryptocurrency exchange; the Swiss Bank Program in which 80 Swiss banks entered into agreements with the government and paid $1.36 billion in penalties; the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) worldwide money laundering, structuring, and tax evasion matter; the Credit Suisse guilty plea, and many more.
Mr. Fort began his IRS career in 1991 as a Special Agent in Baltimore, Maryland, and later served in numerous supervisory roles before entering the Senior Executive Service in January 2011, when he was appointed to serve as a Director of Field Operations. He held that position until his appointment as Deputy Chief, IRS-CI. In 2020, Mr. Fort was the recipient of the ACAMS Public-Private Partnership Award.
Mr. Fort is an accomplished public speaker and serves as an expert in law enforcement, leadership, financial crimes, and enhancing public-private partnerships. Mr. Fort has extensive experience in briefing high-level government officials, has testified before Congress and has provided numerous briefings to congressional staff.
Mr. Fort has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management from Gettysburg College and is a licensed CPA in the State of Virginia.
James Lee, Chief | Criminal Investigation Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
Lee, currently CI’s deputy chief and a 25-year veteran of the organization, will succeed current Chief Don Fort, who announced last month he will retire on September 30.
“Jim brings a quarter-century of Criminal Investigation management and field experience into this key enforcement role,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Jim is highly respected throughout the IRS and will continue long-standing working relationships with the civil enforcement functions of the IRS as well as with the Department of Justice’s Tax Division and tax prosecutors throughout the country. He understands the need to support compliant taxpayers by maintaining a strong, robust enforcement effort focused on those who are compliance challenged.”
As Chief, CI, Lee will lead the IRS’s criminal enforcement efforts to investigate tax code violations and other related financial crimes such as money laundering, public corruption, cybercrimes, identity theft, narcotics and terrorist-financing.
Prior to serving as Deputy Chief of CI, he served as the Director of Field Operations, Northern Area where he oversaw CI enforcement programs in the Boston, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Philadelphia Field Offices. He also previously served in executive roles as the Director of Field Operations, Southern Area and the Director, Strategy.
Lee began his IRS CI career in 1995 as a special agent in Detroit. He moved into the CI leadership ranks and has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his career including Supervisory Special Agent in the New Orleans Field Office; Headquarters Senior Analyst in the International and Financial Crimes Sections; Assistant Special Agent in Charge within the Boston Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office and later the Chicago Field Office.
Lee has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Accounting from Tiffin University in Ohio.
He will follow Fort into CI’s top position. Fort, who was named CI Chief in June 2017 will retire after a long career, which began in 1991 as a special agent in CI’s Baltimore District.
“Don has been a remarkable leader and champion for IRS Criminal Investigation,” Rettig said. “He has a distinguished career and the entire IRS leadership team appreciates everything he has done to uphold the law and support tax administration. We look forward to Don’s remaining time at the IRS as well as Jim taking on a new role and building on the great tradition in CI.”
Kathy A. Enstrom, MBA | Moore Tax Law Group
Kathy Enstrom is the Director of Investigations for the Moore Tax Law Group and a former Executive within Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS CI). Having spent nearly 28 years in federal law enforcement, Ms. Enstrom has expertise in financial crimes, specifically income and employment tax evasion, money laundering, bank secrecy act violations, government assistance fraud and bank fraud.
Ms. Enstrom brings over a quarter of a century’s experience investigating financial crimes. She will assist clients facing governmental investigations and civil matters involving all manner of alleged tax, financial and economic fraud.
Ms. Enstrom began her IRS career in 1995 as an intern with IRS CI in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the year following was sworn in as a Special Agent in Chicago, Illinois. She then moved throughout the organization in various investigative and management roles. These supervisory roles were located in Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Ottawa, Canada.
Ms. Enstrom rose to an executive position within IRS CI and her last assignment was to serve as Executive Director of Field Operations-Northern Area, overseeing one-third of the United States which included offices headquartered in Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Newark, Boston and New York City. Previous to this assignment, she was the Executive Special Agent in Charge for the Chicago Field Office and the Executive Director for CI’s Operations, Policy and Support. There she oversaw all CI policy and Internal Revenue Manual updates and the Financial Crimes Section, National Forensic Lab, Special Investigative Techniques Section, Warrants & Forfeitures Section, Treasury Liaison, TEOAF Liaison and FinCEN Liaison.
Ms. Enstrom’s time in federal law enforcement concluded with her role as Chicago’s Special Agent in Charge of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General from July 2021 to March 2023. In this role, she conducted investigations involving bank fraud and oversaw agents covering six states in the Midwest which included Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.
Ms. Enstrom has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Mount Mercy University (Cedar Rapids, IA) and a Master of Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI).
Ms. Enstrom lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and a rescued Doberman Pincher, named Hank.
Jeremy H. Temkin, Esq. | Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC.
Jeremy H. Temkin represents individuals and corporations in white collar criminal investigations. He handles a wide variety of criminal, regulatory, and civil matters in state and federal courts and before arbitration panels. His cases have involved allegations of tax fraud and securities fraud (including claims of insider trading and accounting violations), as well as violations of the antitrust laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).
Jeremy has tried high-profile tax and securities fraud cases, has conducted internal investigations for public corporations and committees of their Boards of Directors, and has represented employees in corporate internal investigations. He has counseled clients on issues relating to offshore bank accounts and the Internal Revenue Service’s Voluntary Disclosure Program, and served as Independent Examiner for numerous banks participating in the Department of Justice’s Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks. Jeremy has also represented various employees of the New York Yankees in witness interviews during investigative inquiries and he represented Muhammad Ali in civil litigation to recover stolen memorabilia.
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in the area of Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations has described Jeremy as “a terrific litigator and one of the foremost criminal tax experts in the country,” noting that “he is well versed in international investigations, with a formidable track record in representing an impressive roster of domestic and international clients,” and that his “expert tax fraud practice is complemented by experience in criminal and regulatory proceedings related to antitrust, securities and FCPA violations.” Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys has recognized Jeremy as a “Litigation Star” in the areas of White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations and General Commercial Litigation. He has also been recognized in White Collar Criminal Defense by The Legal 500 United States and has been listed in Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers from 2007 to the present.
From 1993 through 1999 Jeremy served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he investigated a wide variety of criminal cases – including money laundering, narcotics, tax evasion, and other fraud cases – and represented the government in numerous criminal trials and appeals. In 1998, he received the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Jeremy joined Morvillo Abramowitz as a Partner in 1999.
Jeremy is the author of the bi-monthly “Tax Litigation” column in the New York Law Journal and a regular contributor to The Insider Blog on Forbes.com. He is also the author of the “Criminal Tax Offenses” chapter in White Collar Crime: Business and Regulatory Offenses (Law Journal Press) and a co-author of the “Responding to Subpoenas and Other Regulatory Requests” chapter in Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations (West Thomson Reuters). Jeremy has spoken on numerous issues relating to tax fraud and federal criminal practice.
In February 2022, Jeremy was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association (Personal Income Taxation Committee, past chair; Criminal Advocacy Committee, past member; Federal Legislation Committee, past member), the American Bar Association (Litigation, Criminal Justice and Taxation Sections), the New York Council of Defense Lawyers (past director), and the Federal Bar Council. Jeremy previously served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society. In 2014, Jeremy received AJC Westchester’s Judge Learned Hand Award, the highest honor that AJC presents to outstanding leaders in the legal profession. In 2004, Jeremy received the James Fogelson Leadership Award from the UJA-Federation of New York, Lawyer’s Division.
Thomas C. Pliske, Esq., CPA | Tax Whistleblower Law Firm
As a former IRS attorney with over 30 years of tax experience, Mr. Pliske is passionate about the IRS and its Whistleblower Reward Program. In 2006, Mr. Pliske left a 16 year career with the IRS as a Senior Attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel and founded Tax Whistleblower Law Firm, LLC.
Mr. Pliske is committed to providing personal attention to the firm’s clients. He feels strongly that clients should be comfortable with their selection of an attorney, especially when involving sensitive matters involving tax and whistleblowing. Mr. Pliske regularly meets with clients and IRS personnel, traveling throughout the United States to provide personalized and discrete service.
As both a tax attorney and a certified public accountant, Mr. Pliske is uniquely qualified to investigate and manage complex tax cases. Utilizing these skills, Mr. Pliske and his associates have successfully filed and managed whistleblower claims, receiving awards under both the I.R.C. §7623(b) and I.R.C. §7623(a) programs.
John W. Hinman | Whistleblower Office, Internal Revenue Service
John Hinman is the Director of the IRS Whistleblower Office. The Whistleblower Office was established by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 and works to provide fair treatment for whistleblowers and taxpayers, and to support IRS efforts to apply tax laws with integrity and fairness. The program has offered monetary awards to whistleblowers who voluntarily expose tax law violations. Overall, the IRS has awarded whistleblowers over $1 billion based on the collection of over $6 billion in back taxes, interest, penalties, and criminal fines and sanctions.
Eric L. Green, Esq. | Green & Sklarz
The focus of Attorney Green’s practice is civil and criminal taxpayer representation before the Department of Justice Tax Division, Internal Revenue Service and state Departments of Revenue Services. Eric is a nationally renowned tax expert and author/commentator of IRS civil and criminal tax matters. Having lectured to more than 70,000 practitioners on civil and criminal tax topics, he is one of the nation’s best known lecturers in continuing professional tax education.
Eric has been recognized by Connecticut Super Lawyers in the field of Tax. Attorney Green is a past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Tax Section and is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel (“ACTC”). Eric also has the weekly Tax Rep Network podcast, which can be found in Apple Podcasts, ITunes, Spotify and all other podcasting platforms. He is the author of How to Build a Million Dollar Tax Representation Practice, as well as The Insider’s Guides to IRS Representation Checklists Letters & Forms, The Insider’s Guide to IRS Collections, The Insider’s Guide to Resolving Tax Debts, The Insider’s Guide to Resolving Payroll Tax Debtsand The Insider’s Guide to Tax Liens & Tax Levies. Eric is the creator, author and lecturer for the IRS Representation Certificate Program with the University of Connecticut Business School which trains tax professionals to properly represent taxpayers before the IRS. Mr. Green has been quoted in CNN, the Wall Street Journal, The Street, USA Today, Consumer Reports – Finance, among other media sources. Eric is a contributing columnist for Bloomberg Tax and has served as a columnist for CCH’s Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure.
Eric founded Tax Rep Network, which is an online membership group that trains and supports tax professionals building their IRS Representation practices, and he founded The New England IRS Representation Conference, which is one of the largest tax conferences in the country focused on IRS Representation and controversy hot topics. Eric is also the creator of the Tax Rep App to assist tax professionals in automating their marketing efforts.
Nikki C. Johnson | Headquarters Collection, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service
A member of the Senior Executive Service with more than 28 years of experience at Internal Revenue Service. In my current role as the Director of Headquarters Collection, I provide strategic direction and leadership for the national Collection organization in the Small Business/Self-employed Division. I administer Executive oversight for Policy, Inventory Delivery and modeling, and systems performance and quality for Field, Campus and Specialty functions, including more than 9,500 professional level employees.
Melissa L. Wiley, Esq. | Lowenstein Sandler
She is a highly skilled tax controversy and litigation attorney with 20 years of experience in a wide range of civil tax matters at the federal and state level. Throughout her career, both clients and colleagues have praised her for her calm, empathetic style and ability to translate complex concepts into easily understandable elements. An actuary by training, She is relentlessly detail-oriented and thorough, without losing the ability to see the bigger picture. She is also deeply committed to pro bono service, representing children and caretakers in the District of Columbia in custody and abuse/neglect matters.
Erin M. Collins, Esq. | Internal Revenue Service
Erin M. Collins is the “Voice of the Taxpayer” within the IRS and before Congress. She joined the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) in March 2020 as the National Taxpayer Advocate. TAS is a safety net that advocates for resolution of individual and business taxpayer issues within the IRS and systemic change for all taxpayers while protecting Taxpayer Rights. TAS also oversees the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) federal grant program and the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP). As part of her Annual Report to Congress, she makes administrative and legislative changes to protect taxpayer rights and works toward improving the quality of taxpayer service and tax administration.
In 2022, Erin was selected as one of the top 25 Most Powerful Women in the Accounting Profession by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and CPA Practice Advisor magazine; as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today; and as a Changemaker: 50 Innovators Shaping Americans’ Finances by Money.com.
Erin has more than 35 years of experience in tax law, spanning 15 years in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and 20 years at the accounting firm of KPMG LLP, from where she retired in 2019 as the Tax Managing Director in charge of its tax controversy practice for the Western region. At KPMG, Erin represented thousands of individuals, partnerships, small companies, and corporate taxpayers on technical and procedural tax matters. She represented clients in federal examinations and IRS appeals on domestic and international tax issues. She also has represented several clients before the U.S. Tax Court.
Erin was the co-author of the Practising Law Institute’s IRS Practice and Procedure Deskbook and has spoken frequently on IRS practice, procedure, controversy, and litigation matters before many professional organizations.
Before joining TAS, she represented several clients pro bono to help them resolve issues with the IRS. She was also a volunteer and board member of a non-profit organization, Step Up, whose mission was to help girls in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women.
Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, and her Juris Doctor degree from the Southwestern School of Law. She is married to Ed Robbins, Jr., and they have two children and three grandchildren.
Jennifer Breen, Esq. | Morgan Lewis & Bockius
Jennifer Breen concentrates her practice on tax controversy and planning matters, with an emphasis on audits and controversies and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administrative proceedings. Jennifer routinely handles matters involving US federal income tax, foreign tax, state and local corporate and business tax, and sales and use tax. She has experience representing major corporations, partnerships, S corporations, and individuals in resolving domestic and international compliance and controversy issues before the IRS.
Diana L. Erbsen, Esq. | DLA Piper
Diana Erbsen has more than two decades of experience in tax controversy, representing clients in all aspects of sophisticated, challenging, and often high stakes tax disputes. In 2014, Diana was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Appellate and Review for the Tax Division of the US Department of Justice by President Obama. Following the end of the administration on January 20, 2017, Diana returned to DLA Piper as a partner.
In her capacity as a Presidential appointee to the DOJ’s Tax Division, Diana oversaw its largest section, the Appellate Section (which is responsible for all appellate litigation, including to the Supreme Court), the Office of Review (which is responsible for civil settlements), and the Financial Litigation Unit (a unit tasked with collecting judgments secured by the Trial Sections of the Tax Division). Additionally, she was actively involved in the management and operations of the Civil and Criminal sections of the Tax Division and served in an ex officio capacity on the Bankruptcy Rules Advisory Committee. In January 2017, Diana was recognized by IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins with the Chief Counsel Award for her leadership and oversight of the Appellate Section.
Since returning to DLA, Diana has resumed representing public and privately held corporations, as well as partnerships, estates and individuals, in all aspects of tax disputes. She concentrates her practice on federal, state and local tax controversies, including criminal tax matters. Informed by her experience at the DOJ and her historical perspective, she regularly counsels clients on issues relating to judicial deference to IRS guidance, including regulations, as well as on the appeal process and the intersection of criminal and civil tax enforcement.
In 2020, Diana served as Chair of the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC), which advises the IRS Commissioner on tax administration issues. In 2019, she served as Chair of IRSAC’s Large Business & International Subgroup, after having been selected in 2018 to serve a three year term on IRSAC. Diana’s IRSAC service, along with her role in the leadership of the American Bar Association Tax Section, facilitates her ability to provide up to the minute guidance to clients and to help improve tax administration for the benefit of taxpayers and the IRS.
Diana has also been recognized by the American College of Tax Counsel as a Fellow.
The Hon. Kathleen Kerrigan, Chief Judge | United States Tax Court
Chief Judge. B.S., Boston College 1985; J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School, 1990. Admitted to Massachusetts Bar, 1991 and District Columbia Bar, 1992. Legislative Director for Congressman Richard E. Neal, Member of the Ways and Means Committee, 1990 to 1998. Associate and partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP, Washington, D.C. 1998-2005. Tax Counsel for Senator John F. Kerry, Member of Senate Finance Committee, 2005-2012. Appointed by President Obama as Judge of the United States Tax Court; sworn in on May 4, 2012, for a term ending on May 3, 2027. Elected as Chief Judge for a two-year term effective June 1, 2022.
Drita Tonuzi, Esq. | Internal Revenue Service
Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations), Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC
Jeffrey A. Neiman, Esq. | Marcus Neiman Rashbaum & Pineiro
Jeffrey Neiman is an experienced trial lawyer who regularly defends individuals and corporations in white collar criminal litigation, matters involving tax controversies, government regulatory enforcement matters, internal investigations, compliance counseling, and complex civil litigation. Jeff has tried more than a dozen white collar matters in federal court. Having worked at the forefront of the United States government’s offshore tax enforcement efforts, Jeff has vast experience assisting clients who find themselves with unreported or undeclared bank accounts outside of the United States. Jeff advises clients regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program as well as clients who face civil and criminal penalties for failing to file Foreign Bank Account Reports (“FBARs”).
Sharon L. McCarthy, Esq. | Kostelanetz
Her cases have included government investigations of: tax fraud; mail and wire fraud, including theft of honest services; accounting fraud; failure to file tax returns; criminal antitrust violations; securities fraud, including unregistered offerings of cryptocurrency, insider trading, and market manipulation; bank fraud; construction fraud relating to Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) certification; and attorney misconduct. Ms. McCarthy conducts sensitive internal investigations for corporate and institutional clients either facing potential criminal charges or whose officers or employees have engaged in misconduct. She has represented individuals who have been implicated, but not charged, in connection with major public corruption cases.
Ms. McCarthy assists clients in voluntarily disclosing off-shore assets and has successfully represented numerous clients in connection with both IRS and NYS tax audits involving sensitive matters, including undisclosed income and off-shore assets.
Ms. McCarthy serves as the Pro Bono Coordinator for the firm.
She is recognized in Chambers USA as a leading New York lawyer in Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations. She also has been recognized by “New York Super Lawyers” in the field of white-collar criminal defense since 2009. She has been included in the list of Top 50 Women and the Top 100 Lawyers in New York Metro Super Lawyers. Since 2011, Ms. McCarthy has been listed in Best Lawyers in America, and she is AV Rated in Martindale-Hubbell.
A seasoned trial lawyer, in 2013, Ms. McCarthy successfully represented Denis Field, the former CEO of BDO Seidman, in a major tax shelter trial in the Southern District of New York. After he had initially been convicted on all counts, Ms. McCarthy obtained Mr. Field’s acquittal on all counts in a re-trial, in a case described by the government as the largest criminal tax fraud in history.
Ms. McCarthy also has an extensive background in public service. From 1994 to 2006, Ms. McCarthy served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she served as lead counsel and supervisor of dozens of federal criminal jury trials and argued numerous appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. While in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. McCarthy served as Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and served in the Public Corruption Unit. Ms. McCarthy twice was the recipient of the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney. In 2011, she was appointed by the New York City Police Commissioner to the Crime Reporting Review Committee, whose report was issued in April 2013. From May 2008 to March 2009, she served as Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney General in an investigation into whether there had been political interference with the New York State Police.
Additionally, Ms. McCarthy was appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in November 2020 as the first Independent Hearing Officer for the District Council of New York City and Vicinity of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. She has been appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to the panel of attorneys assigned to advise and assist the Grievance Committee of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ms. McCarthy is actively involved in various professional associations. She is the most recent past Chair of the Federal Criminal Procedure Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Vice Chair of its Downstate New York Committee, and a member of its Committees on Advocacy in the 21st Century and National Trial Advocacy. She is a member of Board of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers. She served as President, and the first woman to serve in that capacity, of the Fordham Law Alumni Association and continues to serve as a member of its Board. For over ten years, until September 2019, she was a member of the First Department’s Committee on Character and Fitness. From 2017 to 2018, she served as Vice President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and from 2012 to 2015, she was Chair of the City Bar’s Criminal Law Committee.
Prior to her service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. McCarthy was an Associate at Lankler Siffert & Wohl and served as a Law Clerk to Judge John F. Keenan, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
Ms. McCarthy is a 1989 graduate of Fordham Law School, where she served as an Articles Editor on the Fordham Law Review. She received a B.A. in 1985 from Colgate University.
Sara G. Neill, Esq. | Capes Sokol, PC.
The Chair of Capes Sokol’s Tax Controversy and Litigation Practice Group, Sara Neill represents clients in civil and criminal tax disputes and litigation involving the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice and Missouri and Illinois Departments of Revenue. Sara was recognized as the St. Louis “Litigation and Controversy—Tax Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in both 2015 and 2018.
Sara handles federal and state tax audits and administrative appeals, as well as litigation before the U.S. Tax and District Courts. She frequently advises both individuals and businesses with sensitive tax problems, such as those who have failed to file returns, underreported their income, neglected to remit trust fund taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, pay significant amounts of tax due, or disclose foreign assets and accounts.
She also regularly represents clients in criminal tax investigations and litigation. Sara has defended several lawyers and accountants in IRS preparer/promoter investigations and appeals, as well as criminal tax cases. She frequently advises tax professionals with respect to matters involving Circular 230 and the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, as well as in ethics and other disciplinary matters involving their professional licensing boards.
In addition to tax matters, Sara represents clients in other white-collar criminal matters involving allegations of financial fraud, including in the healthcare and securities areas.
Richard W. Westling, Esq. | Epstein Becker & Green, PC.
His greatest successes—convincing the government not to pursue a case—are often unheralded, but where litigation cannot be avoided, clients benefit from his courtroom experience trying more than 25 federal cases to verdict before juries throughout the United States and arguing more than a dozen federal appeals.
For more than 30 years, Rich has honed his advocacy skills in settings from the boardroom to the courtroom—as a corporate general counsel, a white collar defense attorney, and a federal prosecutor. Earlier in his career, Rich spent more than eight years with the U.S. Department of Justice, including service as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Health Care Fraud Coordinator; Asset Forfeiture Chief) in the New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also served the Justice Department in Washington, DC, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division and as a Trial Attorney in the Tax Division’s Criminal Section.
Rich has deep experience in health care fraud matters defending clients in criminal health care fraud cases and in False Claims Act matters (including qui tam litigation) based on allegations of Stark/Anti-Kickback violations, billing and coding irregularities, and/or lack of medical necessity. He also has experience handling a wide variety of white collar cases including tax violations, environmental crimes, bank fraud, public corruption, money laundering, and asset forfeiture.
Tom Greenaway, Esq. | KPMG
Tom Greenaway leads KPMG’s Tax Controversy Services practice in New England. The practice works on behalf of clients with IRS revenue agents, revenue officers, specialists, IRS counsel attorneys, managers, Appeals Officers, and other revenue agents throughout New England, across the country, and around the world.
Tom focuses on representing clients before the IRS, from rulings and voluntary disclosures through examination, Appeals, and post-Appeals dispute resolution, with an emphasis on international tax matters. Tom also assists firm clients on general tax consulting matters.
Before joining KPMG, Tom practiced as a senior attorney in the Large & Midsize Business division of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in Boston. While with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, he served as U.S. Counsel to the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre.
Tom is an active member of his community. Tom serves as a Council Director of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tax Section. Tom served two terms as a member and Chair of the Wayland Finance Committee. Tom was also elected to two terms on the Board of Finance in Chester, Connecticut. He is a member of the Boston Tax Forum and past chair of the Boston Bar Association Tax Section.
Tom is a frequent author on tax topics and has contributed articles to, among other publications, Tax Executive, Tax Notes, Tax Lawyer, and Taxes. He speaks regularly before professional organizations such as Tax Executives Institute and the ABA Tax Section. He has been a member of the faculty for the American Law Institute’s annual Tax Controversy Conference in 2017.
Tom earned a BA degree, cum laude, from Columbia College, and a JD degree, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Miri Forster, Esq. | Eisner Advisory Group
Miri Forster is a Partner and National Leader of the Tax Controversy & Dispute Resolution practice group, specializing in providing tax dispute resolution services to public and private corporations, partnerships and high net worth individuals on a wide range of technical and procedural issues. She has over 20 years of IRS practice, procedure, and tax controversy experience.
Miri represents businesses and individuals before the IRS Examination and Appeals Divisions on complex domestic and international tax issues. She also obtains private letter rulings from the IRS National Office, including 9100 relief requests for missed elections. Miri assists clients with voluntary disclosures of inadvertent income, international information return, withholding, and payroll tax compliance errors, obtains penalty abatements and refunds, resolves IRS account issues, and advises on a broad range of IRS practice, procedure and dispute resolution matters.
Prior to joining the firm, Miri was a Tax Controversy Principal at a Big 4 firm. Miri also previously served as an Attorney-Advisor at the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C., and is an attorney licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey as well as Washington, D.C.
Miri is a frequent speaker on IRS enforcement trends, the centralized partnership audit regime and its impact on pass-through entities and investors, voluntary disclosures of inadvertent tax compliance matters and related penalties, and other IRS practice, procedure and dispute resolution topics.
Miri was named a 2022 honoree of the Executive Women of New Jersey’s Policy Makers. She also serves as Co-chair of Women of EisnerAmper, New Jersey Chapter.
Brian C. McManus, Esq. | Latham & Watkins
Brian McManus, Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Boston Tax Department, advises companies and high net-worth individuals in all phases of civil and criminal tax disputes.
Widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading tax litigators, Mr. McManus helps clients confidentially resolve a range of controversies — from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits and appeals to litigation before federal and state courts throughout the United States. He delivers clear and technically astute counsel to a diverse mix of American and international clients, including multinational and Fortune 500 corporations from diverse industries (such as technology, banking, insurance, energy, pharmaceuticals, airlines, entertainment, and retail), global professional services firms, international charitable organizations, trust companies, and offshore corporate providers.
Drawing on nearly two decades of “inside the Beltway” experience, Mr. McManus regularly handles controversy matters with broader tax policy implications. His Washington ties include serving as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center where he currently teaches IRS Practice and Procedure in the graduate tax (LLM) program.
Mr. McManus brings a winning track record in court handling some of the nation’s largest tax disputes. His work encompasses all areas of federal and state taxation, with an emphasis on disputes involving cross-border and international tax matters, sophisticated corporate transactions, enterprise and asset valuations, transfer pricing, partnerships, tax-exempt organizations, oil and gas taxation, tax shelters, promoter penalty defense, and cryptocurrency. He also frequently handles sensitive tax matters involving allegations of fraud and potential criminal tax charges, as well as voluntary disclosures of domestic and offshore filing errors. Mr. McManus is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, the US Tax Court, the US Court of Federal Claims, and the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Mr. McManus, who serves as a Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tax Section’s Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, regularly speaks at national tax conferences and on podcasts. He is also the author of numerous tax controversy-focused articles.
Kelley C. Miller, Esq. | Reed Smith
Kelley C. Miller is a partner with Reed Smith, resident in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on navigating her clients – publicly traded Fortune 25 companies, billion dollar privately held companies, and high-net-worth owners of successful closely held entities – through complex federal and state tax planning, estate and gift planning, and tax controversy matters. She routinely represents clients in difficult audits and examinations before the Internal Revenue Service, including representation before administrative appeals, and, when necessary, litigation of federal and state tax cases in the federal courts and, particularly, the United States Tax Court. Kelley has represented corporations, partnerships, and individuals in all phases of state and federal civil tax controversy, and has advised clients on both civil and criminal tax implications. She has appeared before the Internal Revenue Service, the New Jersey Tax Court, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. district courts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Federal Circuits.
In addition to being nationally recognized for her expertise in federal tax controversy and planning, Kelley routinely advises clients in the cannabis space on issues related to COGS, IRC Section 261, and represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service in audit and examinations relating to these matters, as well as Section 280E and post-Harborside planning.
Phillip Colasanto, Esq | Withersworldwide
Mr. Colasanto is a tax controversy and litigation lawyer who concentrates on civil and criminal tax controversies. Mr. Colasanto represents both individuals and businesses, domestically and internationally, before the United States Tax Court and the United States District Court.
Mr. Colasanto is a frequent speaker and has authored several tax-related articles. He is also heavily involved with the American Bar Association, where he is chair of several subcommittees.
Prior to joining Agostino & Associates, P.C. Mr. Colasanto was a pro bono law clerk for the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, and, thereafter, a civil litigator, where he handled cases from inception through and including trial.
Fran Obeid, Esq. | MFO LAW, PC.
Fran Obeid is the founder of MFO LAW, P.C. She represents individual and corporate clients in civil and criminal matters involving the Internal Revenue Service, state and city tax agencies, the tax division of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Attorney General as well as other government agencies.
Ms. Obeid has represented numerous clients residing throughout the world with undisclosed offshore accounts advising on disclosure and compliance alternatives and guiding them through the process. She defends clients in federal and state audits, including residency and sales tax audits and advises on how to prevent such audits.
Ms. Obeid represents non-filers; alleged responsible persons and has successfully obtained significant abatements of penalties. Ms. Obeid has represented individual witnesses and accounting firms before the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Criminal Investigation unit of the IRS as well as before the New York State Attorney General. She regularly interacts with revenue officers and agents, IRS Appeals officers, IRS Counsel, criminal investigators, Assistant United States Attorneys and Assistant Attorney Generals, taking the right approach to best meet the client’s needs, whether it be defending a civil examination, criminal investigation or indictment, or subpoena demand.
Daniel N. Price, Esq. | Law Offices of Daniel N. Price
Dan’s legal practice focuses on tax and Title 31 (Bank Secrecy Act) controversy matters with the IRS and tax matters before certain state tax authorities. For over nineteen years, Dan served as an attorney for the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. As a former trial attorney and manager (supervisory trial attorney) with the Office of Chief Counsel and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, Dan has had unique experience with tax controversy and tax administration.
Dan’s prior government service included extensive work in the arena of international enforcement and included assisting the IRS in completely revising the Voluntary Disclosure Practice. Dan also worked with the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs, the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, foreign bank account reporting, Bank Secrecy Act investigations, various LB&I compliance campaigns, expatriation issues, international collection of taxes, and much more. Dan served as a Chief Counsel “FBAR Coordinator” reviewing willful FBAR penalty cases proposed by IRS revenue agents. Dan was also part of the Chief Counsel team who met quarterly with the Department of Justice Tax Division on FBAR cases and annually on significant international enforcement matters.
In July of 2014, the Chief Counsel appointed Dan the Managing Counsel of the Austin, Texas, post of duty. Dan also provided countless training sessions to IRS and Chief Counsel personnel across the United States and Puerto Rico and taught as an instructor in Chief Counsel schools such as Discovery School and Advanced Trial Advocacy School. Dan also served as a spokesperson for the IRS, giving presentations in the United States, Mexico, and Canada on international compliance issues. Dan had a truly rare, well-rounded career with the Office of Chief Counsel. He tried many cases as a trial attorney, managed paralegals and attorneys, and departed the government at the end of 2021 as a valued member of the teams overseeing the Voluntary Disclosure Practice, the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, the Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens, and other projects with national and international scope.
Beyond Dan’s normal tax practice, he has an active pro bono practice in both tax, immigration asylum, and other matters. Dan spent the year 2022 volunteering his legal services as in-house counsel with a nonprofit. In the tax realm, Dan has represented low-income taxpayers pro bono in Tax Court proceedings and in administrative proceedings including abatement requests of unjustified international information return penalties. Dan taught in a tax webinar on tax compliance issues for refugees; the webinar was tailored to help volunteer tax return preparers assisting asylum seekers. Dan also volunteers as a member of the Form 3520 Task Force of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
In immigration asylum matters, Dan has handled defensive asylum claims in Immigration Court removal proceedings and affirmative asylum claims before the U.S.C.I.S. The San Diego Union-Tribune published articles written by the esteemed immigration reporter Kate Morrisey on January 1, 2023, and January 14, 2023, featuring one of Dan’s asylum cases in Immigration Court in San Diego. Ms. Morrisey’s January 14, 2023, article quoted Immigration Court Judge Scott Simpson regarding Dan’s work: “Through the assistance of your attorney, this has been the most well-documented asylum case I have ever seen.”
Dan occasionally blogs for the tax blog Procedurally Taxing and writes tax-related posts on LinkedIn. Here’s a link to the Nov./Dec. 2022 issue of the EA Journal which featured Dan’s cover article When Your Client Says, “I’ll Fake a Receipt.” Dan has also provided input to the government in response to various requests for public comments. Here’s a link to Dan’s letter in response to the IRS’ December 2022 request for public comments on Forms 3520 and 3520-A.
Steven R. Toscher, Esq. | Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez, PC.
Steve Toscher has been representing clients for more than 35 years before the Internal Revenue Service, the Tax Divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the United States Attorney (C.D. Cal.), numerous state taxing authorities and in federal and state court litigation and appeals.
Mr. Toscher enjoys a unique combination of solid criminal defense experience and extensive substantive tax experience to assist individuals and entities subject to sensitive government inquiries. He has considerable experience as lead counsel in defending criminal tax fraud investigations (both administrative and Grand Jury investigations) as well as in defending criminal tax prosecutions (both jury and non-jury).
Mr. Toscher’s tax practice includes a wide array of substantive areas including income taxes, estate taxes, employment taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes and property taxes. He is routinely involved in sensitive issue or complex civil tax examinations and administrative appeals on behalf of wealthy individuals and their closely held entities as well as large corporations involving both domestic and foreign tax related issues.
Yvonne R. Cort, Esq. | Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld
Yvonne R. Cort is a Partner at Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld LLP, where she focuses her practice on resolving Federal and New York State tax controversies.
For over twenty years, Yvonne has assisted individuals and businesses with IRS and NYS tax matters including New York State and New York City residency audits, IRS and NYS audits and appeals, unfiled returns, income tax, sales tax, withholding tax, responsible person assessments, liens and levies, tax warrants, innocent spouse, voluntary disclosure, installment agreements and offers in compromise.
Yvonne has been selected to New York Metro SuperLawyers, a designation given to only 5% of the lawyers in the state. She has served as Chair of the IRS Downstate New York Practitioner Liaison Group and Chair of the Business Law, Tax and Accounting Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the NYS Bar Association Tax Section, where she has contributed to policy papers. She is also a Co-Chair of the Attorneys and Accountants Joint Committee of the NYS Society of CPAs, Nassau Chapter. Yvonne has been honored as a Long Island Business News Top 50 Women in Business, and is a recipient of the Long Island Power Women in Business award from Long Island Press.
Yvonne’s numerous articles on tax topics have been featured in accounting and legal publications such as the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, and the Tax Stringer, published by the New York State Society of CPAs. She is a regular speaker for many professional groups. Yvonne has been interviewed by various media outlets, and she has been quoted in leading publications including Bloomberg BNA, Crain’s New York Business, and Newsday.
Yvonne received her B. A. magna cum laude from the University of Rochester, and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Yvonne is admitted to the Bar in New York and Pennsylvania, and admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court.
She is a Steering Committee Member for Women Owned Law.
E. Martin Davidoff, CPA, Esq. | Prager Metis
E. Martin Davidoff is the Partner-in-Charge – National Tax Controversy Practice of Prager Metis CPAs, a member of Prager Metis International Group. He has been practicing in the accounting industry for over 40 years.
Marty is a renowned expert in IRS and State tax controversy resolution as well as State and Federal income tax matters and Federal tax lien withdrawals. He has written over 30 articles on IRS representation in CPA Magazine and spoken on various tax issues on platforms including Fox News, WPIX and a number of radio shows. In addition, Marty is experienced in business start-ups, tax planning for both individuals and businesses, and the taxation of S-corporations and limited liability companies.
Marty’s extensive knowledge, contacts, and experience allow him to develop a thorough and comprehensive strategy to resolve tax controversies and deliver results effectively. Marty provides his clients with compassionate, reliable service and is willing to go to great lengths to get the best possible outcome. Clients who meet with Marty on tax controversy matters receive Marty’s detailed notes and a specific plan of action prior to leaving the meeting, relieving stress and providing peace of mind.
His comprehensive client service approach has led Marty to win several awards, including Accounting Today’s 100 Most Influential People in Accounting from seven straight years. He has also previously been named by the US Small Business Administration as the Regional Advocate of the Year for small businesses and has participated in two White House conferences on Small Business.
In his spare time, Marty is dedicated to philanthropic endeavors, enjoying his grandchildren, and playing basketball, pickleball, and poker. Most notably, he is the Founder and Executive Director for Make A Smile Foundation Inc., a charity holiday shopping spree that benefits children in economic need.
Marty is also the owner of Davidoff Tax Law, which specializes resolution of Federal and State tax controversies, including representation before the IRS and in the United States Tax Court. Marty is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and New Jersey and has firm members or of counsel relationships allowing the firm to practice in 36 additional states.
Beverly Winstead, Esq. | Law Office of Beverly Winstead
Beverly Winstead, J.D., is a national speaker, podcaster, professor, author and principal of the law firm, Law Office of Beverly Winstead, LLC. Beverly is a personal and small business tax and legal expert who helps clients get out of tax debt and then build back and protect their wealth through wealth management strategies.
She teaches tax law at the University of Maryland, Carey School of Law, and has helped hundreds of students navigate the complexities of taxes. Taxes can be daunting for so many people but Beverly has found her calling by breaking down the tax system and sharing simple strategies that can help anyone navigate resolving a tax matter.
In her first book, Get out of Tax Debt Now, The Taxpayer Playbook to Dealing with the IRS, Beverly, a former college basketball player, uses the life skills she learned on the basketball court as a guide to helping anyone resolve their tax problems. During her tenure at Bowie State University (BSU), she won 3 conference championships. In 2014, she was inducted into the BSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Beverly can be heard weekly on a podcast: The Three Money Amigos, where she discusses a wide array of tax, legal and investment matters. In addition to her podcast, she pours a significant amount of time teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to youth. She hosts an annual financial fitness workshop for youth in underserved communities.
Carmela G. Walrond, Esq., CPA | JLD Tax Resolution Group
Prepare and review federal and state tax returns for corporations, partnerships, small businesses and individual taxpayers, including high net worth taxpayers.
Represent clients in IRS and state audit examinations.
Experience in negotiating with the IRS on various tax issues for the benefit of clients or companies.
Brian P. Ketcham, Esq. | Ketcham PLLC.
Brian P. Ketcham is a criminal defense attorney and tax controversy expert. He has also proven to be a highly effective federal sentencing advocate. A former federal judicial law clerk, Mr. Ketcham concentrates his work on white collar criminal cases, investigations, civil and criminal tax controversies (including voluntary disclosures), and sentencing/post-sentencing advocacy. He represents clients facing criminal charges, individuals under government investigation, and taxpayers before the U.S. Tax Court, the Internal Revenue Service, and the NYS/NYC tax authorities.
Mr. Ketcham has extensive federal court experience and extensive experience with matters involving financial assets held offshore. Mr. Ketcham also has handled many assignments as conflict counsel and pool counsel. He was named a NY Metro Super Lawyer Rising Star for five consecutive years and has been named a NY Super Lawyer since 2021. Mr. Ketcham was included as a NY Best Lawyer in 2022 and 2023.
Mr. Ketcham served on the trial team in the defense of Paul J. Manafort, Jr. in the Eastern District of Virginia and was the lead brief writer on the sentencing memoranda filed there and in the District of Columbia.
Mr. Ketcham formed Ketcham PLLC with the goal of providing exceptional legal services utilizing a modern law firm business model that forgoes large offices and other costly overhead. Instead, the firm leverages secure cloud computing, mobile technology, and flexible scheduling to deliver world-class legal service in an efficient and cost-effective manner. In addition, rather than a staff of attorneys, Ketcham PLLC takes advantage of close relationships with other small law firms, CPAs and forensic accounting specialists (including several former senior IRS criminal investigators) across the country. Doing so allows a case, when necessary, to be staffed with a team of experts in their fields that has the ability to go toe-to-toe with the vast resources of the government. This model significantly reduces traditional firm carrying costs, allowing that savings to be passed along to clients and, when appropriate, permitting alternative fee structures.
Prior to forming Ketcham PLLC, Mr. Ketcham practiced law for almost a decade at Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, one of the preeminent white collar and tax controversy boutique law firms in the country. Before that, Mr. Ketcham completed two federal clerkships in NYC: first as a law clerk to U.S. Magistrate (now District) Judge Joan M. Azrack and, thereafter, as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf. In addition to his clerkship experience, before his admission to the bar, Mr. Ketcham served as case manager and courtroom deputy to U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein and several other federal judges in the Eastern District of NY, in both the Brooklyn and Central Islip divisions.
Mr. Ketcham received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2008. He is admitted in New York State, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court.
Zhanna A. Ziering, Esq. | Moore Tax Law Group
Zhanna A. Ziering, a tax controversy and litigation attorney, is a Member in the Firm’s New York office. Ms. Ziering’s practice focuses on representing individual and entity clients in civil and criminal tax disputes with federal and state governments as well as in regulatory proceedings. She defends both individual and entity taxpayers before the U.S. Tax Court, federal and state courts, and administrative agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, and other federal and state government regulators.
Ms. Ziering advises taxpayers in connection with various tax issue, including those arising in connection with domestic and offshore income and assets, cryptocurrency, and U.S. tax and regulatory reporting requirements. She approaches each of her client engagements with empathy and kindness and develops a strategy for dispute resolution by taking the client’s views, needs, and resources into consideration. When faced with alternatives for dispute resolution, Ms. Ziering discusses the various available options, and the benefits and drawbacks of each such option, with the clients and works together with them to develop the approach tailored to that particular client and situation.
Ms. Ziering strives to resolve every tax dispute that her clients are facing amicably and efficiently while zealously advocating on her clients’ behalf. Her significant experience in representing clients in various stages of a tax dispute allows her to aptly navigate the procedural hurdles and achieve best results possible under the circumstances for each client.
A well-regarded member of the legal community, Ms. Ziering is actively engaged in American Bar Association, Section of Taxation. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of Court Practice and Procedure Committee. Ms. Ziering is also a sought-after speaker and writer on various topics relating to tax controversy and litigation. She is a co-author of the Bloomberg BNA’s Tax Management Portfolio, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.
An avid supporter of the arts, Ms. Ziering had offered pro bono tax representation to artists from a diverse range of industries, such as film, music, and fashion. She also provided counsel to low-income taxpayers with a broad range of tax issues through Duke University School of Law’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic and New York University School of Law’s Tax Clinic.
Ms. Ziering lives in New Jersey with her husband, two rambunctious boys, and a Chocolate Labrador, named Mr. Chance Broadway. Ms. Ziering is a native Russian speaker and insists on reading all the great Russian literature in its original language.
Ian M. Comisky, Esq. | Fox Rothschild
Ian has more than 35 years of experience representing corporations and individuals in civil and criminal tax litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and complex corporate and commercial disputes.
Richard J. Sapinski, Esq. | Sills Cummis & Gross PC.
Richard J. Sapinski is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Tax Fraud and Controversy Practice Group. His practice involves white collar criminal defense on both federal and state levels and civil and criminal tax litigation, as well as international tax reporting and compliance issues. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Sapinski was employed by the Office of the District Counsel, Internal Revenue Service, Newark, New Jersey as a trial attorney from 1977 to 1984 and later with the Office of the Regional Counsel Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a Special Trial Attorney from 1985 to 1987. In the latter position, Mr. Sapinski was assigned responsibility for litigating in the United States Tax Court on behalf of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in large and sensitive cases and for assisting IRS international examiners in developing international tax issues for litigation. He litigates matters in the United States District Court, U.S. Tax Court and the Superior Court and Tax Court of New Jersey and the Federal and State Appellate Courts. He also represents professionals before disciplinary and licensing boards and handles administrative matters involving the Examination, Collection and Criminal Investigation divisions of the Internal Revenue Service and their state counterparts.
Chad M. Vanderhoef, Esq. | Holland & Knight
Chad Vanderhoef is a tax attorney based in Holland & Knight’s Tampa office, where he focuses his practice on tax controversy and litigation, offshore tax and reporting compliance (e.g., Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts / FBARs, international information returns), cross-border tax planning, and foreign investment in U.S. real estate.
Mr. Vanderhoef’s practice includes representing clients in tax controversy matters, including U.S. Tax Court and federal district and appellate court litigation, as well as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examination and appeals. In addition, he advises clients in connection with IRS tax and reporting remediation options.
Mr. Vanderhoef also advises clients in connection with cross-border restructuring matters, including foreign investment in U.S. real estate.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Vanderhoef was a tax attorney for a boutique international tax law firm.
Carina C. Federico, Esq. | Crowell & Moring
Clients trust Carina Federico to advise on wide-ranging, complex tax issues, including transfer pricing, investment tax credits, research and experimentation credits, and energy credits. Carina Federico handles tax disputes at all stages, including IRS audits, IRS Appeals, federal district court litigation, tax court litigation, and appellate court litigation across the United States. Her experience includes serving as first chair at trial, taking and defending depositions, briefing a wide range of tax issues, negotiating settlements, and representing clients in IRS Appeals conferences.
Amish Shah, Esq. | Holland & Knight
Amish Shah is a tax attorney in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Shah focuses his practice on providing sophisticated and practical tax planning and tax controversy advice and representation to clients in the energy sector and to clients interested in achieving environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals through clean energy. Mr. Shah advises clients in other sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, technology and ecommerce.
In the energy sector, Mr. Shah advises clients with respect to production tax credits (PTCs) and investment tax credits (ITCs) for renewable power, alternative fuels, carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS), energy storage, hydrogen, biogas property, nuclear and other technologies incentivized through tax credits, including through the Inflation Reduction Act. He represents energy clients in seeking legislative and regulatory changes; in obtaining U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS guidance, both public and private; in maximizing the value of tax credits, including though “begun construction” strategies; in project development, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures and tax equity investments; and in tax controversy at the administrative, trial court and appellate levels. He also represents clients in the development of, and investment in, traditional energy projects.
Mr. Shah also regularly represents financial institutions in providing tax-related information to clients and others, on tax reporting questions, and with respect to Section 529 qualified tuition plan matters.
Mr. Shah began his career as a certified public accountant (CPA)/tax accountant at a Big 6 accounting firm. He utilizes his comprehensive experience, encompassing both tax planning and controversy, and his CPA experience to provide clients with knowledgeable and practical advice and representation.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Shah was tax attorney for a global law firm in its Washington, D.C., office.
Philip J. Wilson | Marcum
Philip Wilson is office managing partner of Marcum’s Costa Mesa, California, office and is leader of the Firm’s national Tax Controversy group. Mr. Wilson has more than 30 years of CPA and business advisory experience, including experience as an IRS revenue agent.
Mr. Wilson focuses on helping individuals and companies resolve tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service, representing all types of businesses as well as high net worth individuals.
Prior to joining Marcum LLP, Mr. Wilson was a founding partner of WilsonMorgan LLP, based in Irvine. He oversaw all of the firm’s tax compliance, tax consulting, and tax controversy engagements. He has substantial experience in the real estate area, including tax structuring for commercial and residential developers, and has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries.
Adriana Wirtz, Esq. | Vinson & Elkins
Adriana focuses her practice on tax controversy and litigation. She represents clients at all phases of a tax controversy from audit through litigation, including before the IRS Office of Appeals, US Tax Court, and US district courts of appeal, as well as before state taxing authorities and state courts. Adriana has represented clients in the energy, real estate, life sciences, mining and software industries. She has particular experience in matters involving tax insurance.
Adriana’s matters cover a wide variety of tax issues such as transfer pricing, debt-equity classification, partnership allocations, business aircraft related matters, foreign tax credits, charitable contribution deductions, and employment tax issues. She also has significant experience in defending taxpayers against the imposition of civil penalties, including negligence, calculation misstatement, fraud and information return penalties.
DAY 1: THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2023
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE IRS? AN UPDATE FROM SENIOR IRS EXECUTIVES – Moderator: Sharon Katz-Pearlman, Esq., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, New York, NY, Douglas W. O’Donnell, CPA, Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC, Holly O. Paz, Esq., Acting Commissioner, Large Business and International Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC., Lia Colbert, Commissioner, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service,
Washington, DC. | 8:30am – 9:45am
There is a lot going on at the IRS! The IRS has a newly confirmed Commissioner, additional funding is in place, and the issuance of the IRS Inflation Reduction Act Strategic Operating Plan lays out what we can expect in the coming months and years. Hear directly from senior IRS executives as they discuss the IRS’ plans for the future, hiring trends, the compliance and enforcement focus and other critical areas.
TAX COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT UPDATE: PART I
Voluntary compliance and enforcement of the tax law are at the heart of our tax system. Over the past several years, the IRS and DOJ have been challenged to come up with new and more efficient ways to ensure that all taxpayers pay the correct amount of tax. These panels provide an update on new developments and priorities across various divisions of the government.
CHANGES AT THE IRS INDEPENDENT OFFICE OF APPEALS – Moderator: Daniel Rosen, Esq., Of Counsel, Todd Welty, PC, Atlanta, GA, Andrew Keyso, Esq., Chief, Independent Office of Appeals, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC | 9:45am – 10:10am
In 2019, The Taxpayer First Act (“TFA”) created the newly named Independent Office of Appeals. The TFA also confirmed that the right to appeal shall generally be available to all taxpayers and enhanced taxpayers’ ability to obtain their case files. This panel provides an overview of what is going on in the Appeals Division and how the TFA has affected Appeals Conferences over the past few years.
ETHICS: PROFESSIONALS UNDER FIRE – Moderator: Frank Agostino, Esq., Founder & President, Agostino & Associates, PC, Hackensack, NJ, Sarah E. Paul, Esq., Partner, Eversheds Sutherland, New York, NY, Larry A. Campagna, Esq., Managing Shareholder, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, PC, Houston, TX, Sharyn M. Fisk, Esq., Director, Office of Professional Responsibility, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC , Bruce C. Wood, CPA/ABV, CVA, MTx, Principal, BW Arpeggio, Alpharetta, GA | 10:10am – 11:10am
“There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only for some.” Martin A. Sullivan. In the pursuit of these breaks, taxpayers frequently engage professionals – lawyers, accountants, appraisers, actuaries, and others – to identify opportunities to minimize their tax burden. But when does tax avoidance cross the line? The IRS has prioritized its examinations of and investigations into perceived abusive tax shelters and transactions and, in doing so, is targeting the professionals involved through preparer and promoter investigations, disciplinary proceedings before the Office of Professional Responsibility, and criminal investigations. This panel addresses the potential exposure for professionals assisting taxpayers with tax advantaged transactions, and current enforcement actions.
BREAK | 11:10am – 11:20am
DISABILITY IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION – ARE YOU OVERLOOKING TALENT AND MISSING OPPORTUNITIES? – Moderator: Nina E. Olson, Esq., Executive Director, Center for Taxpayer Rights, Washington, DC, Josh Beck, Esq., National Taxpayer Advocate Service, Attorney Advisory Group, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC , Leslie Book, Esq., Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Villanova, PA , David Long, Lead Equal Opportunity Specialist, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Civil Rights Unit, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC | 11:20am – 12:20pm
The legal profession can be extremely fast-paced and hypercompetitive, creating pressure among legal professionals to downplay any disability to minimize the risk of explicit or implicit bias, stigma, or simply reduced work assignments. While law firms are striving to accelerate and enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (“DEIA”) efforts for females, minorities, and LGBTQIA+ professionals, fewer firms mention or have implemented policies and practices to address disabilities in their diversity efforts. Only 1.4% of attorneys report having disabilities, but this number is three times higher than in 2019 and organizations are recognizing the need to expand their disability DEIA efforts. This panel addresses the need for “leadership by example” in the legal profession, including education and training for those with disabilities, the provision of necessary resources, and efforts to foster inclusion.
Lunch | 12:20pm – 1:00pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 1:00pm – 1:50pm
AUDITS OF EXEMPT ORGS AND PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS: TAX EXEMPT DOES NOT MEAN NO EXAMINATIONS! – Moderator: Josh O. Ungerman, Esq., CPA, Partner, Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman, Dallas, TX, John Colvin, Esq., Partner, Colvin + Hallet, Seattle, WA , Jason B. Freeman, Esq., Managing Member, Freeman Law PLLC, Dallas, TX, Emily P. Hughes, PC, Esq., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, DC
The IRS has an Exempt Organizations Examinations program designed to promote voluntary compliance by analyzing the operational and financial activities of exempt organizations and determining whether the organizations accurately filed required returns and reports. This panel of expert practitioners explores the complex tax, regulatory, and ethical issues that apply to exempt organizations and explains the common issues that arise during exempt organization examinations and compliance checks.
LEFT HOLDING THE BAG: WITHHOLDING AGENT CURRENT ISSUES AND TRAPS FOR THE UNWARY – Moderator: Jeffrey Dirmann, Esq., Associate, Agostino & Associates PC, Hackensack, NJ, Christopher Hanfling, Esq., Partner, Jones Day, Washington, DC, Victor A. Jaramillo, Esq., Member, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, Washington, DC, Lauren Azebu, Esq., Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, DC.
The global marketplace and increased individual mobility has created additional scenarios where US taxpayers are sending payments outside the United States and thereby making them subject to US withholding and reporting requirements. IRS LB&I has a compliance campaign to examine taxpayers who make such payments but fail to meet their compliance obligations. This panel identifies the subset of taxpayers (withholding agents) who are responsible for withholding US tax on payments to foreign payees, explains the surprising ways withholding agents can become liable for tax due on money paid to others, and describes how the IRS is holding US withholding agents accountable for the tax liabilities of foreign payees.
BREAK | 1:50pm – 2:10pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 2:10pm – 3:00pm
LITIGATING (AND RESOLVING?) SYNDICATED CONSERVATION EASEMENT CASES – Moderator: Michelle Abroms Levin, Esq., Shareholder, Dentons Sirote, Huntsville, AL, Thomas A. Cullinan, Esq., Shareholder, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, PC, Atlanta, GA, Katherine Jordan, Esq., Director of Tax Controversy, GBX Group, Cleveland, OH, Rod J. Rosenstein, Esq., Partner, King & Spalding, Washington, DC
The IRS has declared war on Syndicated Conservation Easement transactions and is auditing thousands of partnerships that have donated easements and taken a related charitable donation deduction. More than 750 of these cases have reached the Tax Court. This tidal wave of litigation has given rise to a host of issues around when a deduction for the donation of an easement should be disallowed in its entirety, how to value the easement, and what makes a donation fraudulent. This panel explores these issues as well as the related question of whether there is a way to resolve a majority of these cases through some type of settlement initiative or other procedure.
PUERTO RICO’S ACT 20/22 TAX INCENTIVE PROGRAM: RESIDENCY AND SOURCING UNDER THE IRS’S MICROSCOPE – Moderator: Jay R. Nanavati, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, Washington, DC, Timothy P. Noonan, Esq., Partner, Hodgson Russ, New York, NY, Carlos F. Ortiz, Esq., Partner, BakerHostetler, New York, NY, Victor Song, Partner, Integritas3, Seattle, WA
Since their passage in 2012, Puerto Rico’s Acts 20 and 22, known together as Act 60 since 2019, have encouraged many individuals and businesses from the US mainland to relocate to Puerto Rico. The tax benefits that Act 60 provides encourage taxpayers outside Puerto Rico to boost the Puerto Rican economy by investing, doing business, and residing in Puerto Rico. As with any tax benefit, though, Act 60 is vulnerable to abuse. This panel discusses the IRS and the DOJ’s scrutiny of taxpayers’ claims of bona fide residency and Puerto Rico-sourced income.
BREAK | 3:00pm – 3:20pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 3:20pm – 4:10pm
EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT AUDITS AND INVESTIGATIONS – THE TSUNAMI IS COMING – Moderator: Christopher M. Ferguson, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, New York, NY, Sandra R. Brown, Esq., Principal, Hochman, Salkin, Toscher, Perez, PC, Beverly Hills, CA , Eric Hylton, Director of Investigations, Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav, Washington, DC , Daniel Mayo, Esq., Principal, Withum, Red Bank, NJ
Claims for Employee Retention Credits (“ERCs”) have proliferated exponentially. Almost everyone has seen a commercial or received a text or email offering easy money through ERC claims. The IRS has made no secret of its plans to aggressively audit ERC claims and punish abuse and fraud. This panel of experienced practitioners discusses the IRS’ targeted enforcement efforts, explains how to spot red flags indicating abuse of the ERC, and describes the penalties that apply to taxpayers, promoters, and practitioners for erroneously claiming ERC credits.
EFFECTIVELY NAVIGATING THE LB&I EXAMINATION PROCESS: TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR RESPONDING TO INFORMATION DOCUMENT REQUESTS – Moderator: Sanford J. Boxerman, Esq., Shareholder, Capes Sokol, PC, St. Louis, MO, Mary A. McNulty, Esq., Partner, Holland & Knight, Houston, TX , Robert J. Kovacev, Esq., Member, Miller & Chevalier, Chartered, Washington, DC, Barbara T. Kaplan, Esq., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, New York, NY
LB&I has specific rules and procedures for how agents should use IDRs to collect information from taxpayers. Understanding these rules and procedures is essential to developing a strategy for successfully handling an examination. This panel of expert practitioners provides an overview of LB&I IDR procedures as well as practical advice on how to approach an examination and effectively communicate with the IRS.
BREAK | 4:10pm – 4:30pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 4:30pm – 5:30pm
NAVIGATING THE CRYPTO WINTER – PREPARING FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT IN UNCERTAIN TIMES – Moderator: Garrett Brodeur, Esq., Associate, Kostelanetz, New York, NY, Thomas E. Bishop, Tom Bishop & Associates, East Islip, NY , Erika Nijenhuis, Esq., Senior Counsel, Office of Tax Policy, US Department of Treasury, Washington, DC , Del Wright Jr., Esq., Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Kansas City, MO, Caitlin R. Tharp, Esq., Associate, Steptoe & Johnson, Washington, DC
The cryptocurrency industry is constantly changing and its underlying technologies are undeniably confusing. Faced with these obstacles, the IRS has issued informal guidance on discrete and nuanced tax issues, Treasury is poised to propose new information reporting rules, and regulatory scrutiny is tightening from all directions. This panel discusses the latest issues involving digital assets and highlights important considerations for tax counsel.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT v. THE IRS: WHICH REGULATIONS, RULES, AND NOTICES WILL SURVIVE? – Moderator: Andrew Weiner, Esq., Counsel, Kostelanetz, Washington, DC, David W. Foster, Esq., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, DC, S. Starling Marshall, Esq., Partner, Crowell & Moring, New York, NY, Joseph A. DiRuzzo, III, Esq., CPA, Partner, DiRuzzo & Company, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ever since the Supreme Court rejected tax exceptionalism in Mayo Foundation v. United States, 562 U.S. 44 (2011), challenges to tax regulations and IRS notices have proliferated, with several important decisions coming out in the last year alone. Courts have now developed a full body of jurisprudence regarding application of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) to tax cases and it appears that Treasury and the IRS are going to have to engage much more carefully with the APA as they issue new guidance. Have we reached the end of “tax exceptionalism”? What does Treasury’s “Policy Statement on the Tax Regulatory Process” mean for deference in tax litigation? How will the APA apply to the blizzard of new guidance under the TCJA and increasingly the IRA? What might a post-Chevron world look like if, as some anticipate, the Supreme Court overrules the seminal decision next term? This panel addresses these questions and explores the current state of the law on the APA as it applies to tax.
DAY 2: FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2022
IRS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION ENFORCEMENT UPDATE – Moderator: Don Fort, CPA, Director of Investigations, Kostelanetz, Washington, DC, James Lee, Chief, Criminal Investigation Division, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC, Kathy A. Enstrom, MBA, Director of Investigations, Moore Tax Law Group, Chicago, IL, Jeremy H. Temkin, Esq., Principal, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, New York, NY | 8:45am – 9:45am
With the increase in the IRS enforcement budget coupled with the recent focus on fraud enforcement, tax professionals anticipate a surge in criminal tax investigations and prosecutions. This panel features James Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation, and top criminal tax defense experts on the latest trends and developments in criminal tax. Topics include enforcement priorities, technological innovations and data analytics, public-private partnerships, IRS funding, and developments in cryptocurrency enforcement. Practitioners share practical tips on working with IRS-CI and tips on how to navigate the sensitivities of an IRS criminal investigation.
IRS WHISTLEBLOWER OFFICE UPDATE – Moderator: Thomas C. Pliske, Esq., CPA, Principal, Tax Whistleblower Law Firm, Saint Peters, MO, John W. Hinman, Director, Whistleblower Office, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC | 9:45am – 10:10am
With the enactment of Section 7623, claims for whistleblower awards have skyrocketed and the IRS Whistleblower Office has a full plate of potential enforcement actions. Decisions regarding the pursuit of administrative actions against identified taxpayers and the calculation and payment of awards has been the subject of litigation in the US Tax Court and the US Court of Federal Claims. This panel provides an update from the IRS Whistleblower Office on recent decisions addressing this important practice area.
IRS COLLECTIONS UPDATE – Moderator: Eric L. Green, Esq., Partner, Green & Sklarz, New Haven, CT, Nikki C. Johnson, Director, Headquarters Collection, Small Business/Self-Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service, Atlanta, GA | 10:10am – 10:35am
In many cases, it comes down to when, how, and how much a taxpayer must pay to satisfy pending federal tax liabilities. To answer these questions, a tax professional must be familiar with IRS’ collection tools and the taxpayer’s rights in response thereto. This panel provides an update from IRS Collections on these issues that impact every tax practice.
TAXPAYER ADVOCATE UPDATE – Moderator: Melissa L. Wiley, Esq., Partner, Lowenstein Sandler, Washington, DC, Erin M. Collins, Esq., National Taxpayer Advocate, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC | 10:35am – 11:00am
Erin Collins became the National Taxpayer Advocate (“NTA”) on March 30, 2020, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the IRS pushed to its breaking point, Collins and her team continued their dual focus on addressing systemic issues (of which there were many) and handling individual taxpayer cases (of which there were even more). Hear about the lessons learned over Collins’ past three years in the role and the NTA’s priorities and vision for the future of the newly funded IRS.
BREAK | 11:00am – 11:15am
UPDATES FROM THE IRS OFFICE OF CHIEF COUNSEL AND US TAX COURT – Moderator: Jennifer Breen, Esq., Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Washington, DC, Moderator: Diana L. Erbsen, Esq., Partner, DLA Piper, New York, NY, The Hon. Kathleen Kerrigan, Chief Judge, United States Tax Court, Washington, DC, Drita Tonuzi, Esq., Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations), Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC | 11:15am – 12:15pm
The IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the US Tax Court both play important roles in the resolution of cases that have not been resolved at audit or in appeals. This panel provides insight into cases involving the Office of Chief Counsel and the US Tax Court, challenges presented by those cases, and how those challenges are being addressed.
LUNCH | 12:15pm – 1:30pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 1:30pm – 2:20pm
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: PUTTING THE GOVERNMENT ON DEFENSE AT TRIAL – Moderator: Jeffrey A. Neiman, Esq., Partner, Marcus Neiman Rashbaum & Pineiro, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Sharon L. McCarthy, Esq., Partner, Kostelanetz, New York, NY, Sara G. Neill, Esq., Shareholder, Capes Sokol, PC, St. Louis, MO, Richard W. Westling, Esq., Member, Epstein Becker & Green, PC, Washington, DC
Despite best efforts to reach alternative resolution, litigation is often the best or only option. This panel discusses effective trial strategies in civil and criminal tax trials. Topics for discussion include when to stipulate, what pretrial motions to consider, how to handle discovery disputes, what to look for when picking a jury, how to handle a cooperating witness, getting the most out of the Government’s Brady/Giglio obligations, identifying evidentiary issues, and more.
THEY’RE HERE! AUDITS UNDER THE CENTRALIZED PARTNERSHIP AUDIT REGIME – Miri Forster, Esq., Partner, Eisner Advisory Group, Iselin, Nj, Brian C. Mcmanus, Esq., Partner, Latham & Watkins, Boston, Ma, Kelley C. Miller, Esq., Partner, Reed Smith, Washington, DC
The Bipartisan Budget Act (“BBA”) was signed into law November 2, 2015, replacing the audit and collection procedures for partnerships under the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (“TEFRA”) for tax years beginning January 2018. In the past several years, the IRS has begun pursuing BBA audits, and revenue agents and tax professionals are working together to navigate these choppy waters. This panel explains the centralized partnership audit regime, notices to expect from the IRS, actions to take during the audit, methods to challenge proposed adjustments, and the impact on the individual partners.
BREAK | 2:20pm – 2:40pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 2:40pm – 3:30pm
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AFFECTING INTERNATIONAL REPORTING PENALTIES – Moderator: Phillip Colasanto, Esq., Senior Associate, Withersworldwide, New Haven, CT, Fran Obeid, Esq., Founder, MFO LAW, PC, New York, NY, Daniel N. Price, Esq., Law Offices of Daniel N. Price, San Antonio, TX, Steven R. Toscher, Esq., Principal, Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez, PC, Beverly Hills, CA
Tax professionals representing clients challenging international reporting penalties know that it has been an uphill battle, with many twists and turns along the way. On April 3, 2023, the landscape changed dramatically with the US Tax Court’s decision in Farhy v. Commissioner, 160 T.C. No. 6, in which the Court held that the IRS lacks statutory authority to assess penalties for failure to timely file accurate Forms 5471, Information Return of US Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations. This panel addresses the impact of Farhy on pending and future challenges to international reporting penalties, best practices for challenging penalties, and other recent developments.
STRATEGIES AND TIPS FOR NAVIGATING COLLECTION APPEALS – Moderator: Yvonne R. Cort, Esq., Partner, Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld, Syosset, NY, E. Martin Davidoff, CPA, Esq., Partner-in-Charge – National Tax Controversy Practice, Prager Metis; Founder, Davidoff Tax Law, Cranbury, NJ, Beverly Winstead, Esq., Principal, Law Office of Beverly Winstead, Baltimore, MD, Carmela G. Walrond, Esq., CPA, Partner, JLD Tax Resolution Group, Jersey City, NJ
There are numerous and often complex paths to resolving tax liabilities. While navigating the many options, tax professionals must address ever-increasing enforcement actions, including, but not limited to, the filing of Notices of Federal Tax Lien, levies and wage garnishments, responsible person investigations, and nominee or alter ego liens. They must also deal with denials of offers in compromise and requests for installment agreements. This panel reviews a taxpayer’s right to an administrative appeal of collection enforcement, procedures for pursuing collection appeals, arguments that can be raised, best practices, and tips of the trade. The panel also discusses the standards of review, CAP Appeals compared to CDP (Collection Due Process) Hearings, and strategic considerations.
BREAK | 3:30pm – 3:50pm
BREAK OUT SESSIONS | 3:50pm – 4:50pm
REPRESENTING CLIENTS WITH FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS: CLEANING UP PROBLEMS AND LITIGATING PROPOSED ASSESSMENTS – Moderator: Brian P. Ketcham, Esq., Ketcham PLLC, New York, NY, Zhanna A. Ziering, Esq., Member, Moore Tax Law Group, New York, NY , Ian M. Comisky, Esq., Partner, Fox Rothschild, Philadelphia, PA , Richard J. Sapinski, Esq., Partner, Sills Cummis & Gross PC, Newark, NJ, Chad M. Vanderhoef, Esq., Partner, Holland & Knight, Tampa, FL
US persons have been required to disclose their interests in foreign financial accounts on Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBARs”) since the enactment of the Bank Secrecy Act in 1970. Prior to 2009, the government rarely pursued FBAR violations, but that all changed with the announcement of the IRS offshore voluntary disclosure programs. Since 2009, the IRS has assessed massive FBAR penalties against numerous US persons, leading to the inevitable increase in litigation challenging these assessments. This panel addresses the current state of FBAR enforcement, the impact of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bittner, the current issues pursued in litigation around the country, and what the future holds.
IRA CLEAN ENERGY CREDITS AND ANTICIPATED ENFORCEMENT – Moderator: Carina C. Federico, Esq., Partner, Crowell & Moring, Washington, DC, Amish Shah, Esq., Partner, Holland & Knight, Washington, DC , Philip J. Wilson, CPA, Office Managing Partner, Marcum, Costa Mesa, CA , Adriana Wirtz, Esq., Partner, Vinson & Elkins, New York, NY
The EPA describes the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (“IRA”) as “the most significant climate legislation in US history, offering funding, programs, and incentives to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy” and predicts that the Act will drive the deployment of new clean electricity resources. Under the IRA, certain businesses and tax exempt entities may deduct a percentage of the cost of renewable energy systems from federal tax and, in some cases, directly monetize or transfer tax credits to unrelated parties. With these tax benefits will come increased enforcement to ensure that taxpayers are not abusing the system. This panel addresses the various clean energy credits under the IRA, the eligibility and filing requirements, current and forthcoming Treasury and IRS guidance, and what we can expect in future audits and investigations.