The Internal Revenue Service has announced the selection of eight new members to the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), which provides an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss key tax administration issues.
Members are selected to represent the taxpaying public, tax professionals, small and large businesses, academia and the payroll community. The council provides the IRS commissioner and division leadership with important feedback, observations and suggestions.
IRSAC meets periodically and will submit a report to the agency in November 2015 at a public meeting. IRSAC members generally serve a three-year term with a possible one-year extension. The eight new members will join 13 returning members in 2015.
The new members are:
Patricia Atwood is an accredited senior appraiser in the field of Personal Property and the owner of Timely Antique Appraisals, LLC, in Rockford, Ill. She currently serves on the Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation and teaches principles of valuation courses for the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). A current member of ASA, Ms. Atwood was previously on the ASA International Personal Property Committee and president of the ASA Chicago Chapter. Ms. Atwood holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. from Princeton University.
Eunkyong Choi, J.D., L.L.M, is a lecturer in law and supervising attorney for Washington University School of Law’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) in St. Louis, Mo. She is a business-oriented attorney with diverse experience in developing and delivering complex tax planning strategies. Her responsibilities include advising and representing low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS and before the U.S. Tax Court as well as providing on-the-job training and guidance for the tax clinic staff, volunteers, and student attorneys to ensure that members of the clinic possess the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively represent clients. Before joining the law school, she was the program director and supervising attorney for Nevada Legal Services-LITC program. Ms. Choi holds an LL.M. and J.D. from Washington University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Akron.
Thomas Cullinan, J.D., is a partner with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP in Atlanta, Ga. Mr. Cullinan is a member of Sutherland’s Tax Practice Group, who focuses his practice on tax controversies against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He has represented a large number of corporations, partnerships, and high net-worth individuals in all phases of tax controversy, including IRS audits, appeals and tax litigation. Mr. Cullinan has extensive experience settling tax cases and is well-versed in tax litigation when the parties cannot agree to an administrative resolution. He has worked on cases involving the research tax credit, the foreign tax credit, corporate-owned life insurance, “tax shelters” and “listed” transactions, and transactions alleged to lack economic substance, among many others. Mr. Cullinan is an active participant on three different committees of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association. He is also a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel (ACTC) and a member of the American Association of Attorney-CPA’s (AAA-CPA). Mr. Cullinan holds a B.S. from State University of New York at Geneseo, an M.S. from State University of New York at Albany, and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Estarre Fischer, CPA, is a partner with Moss Adams LLP, in Everett, Wash. Ms. Fischer has over thirteen years’ experience in taxation as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Her primary responsibility is to provide clients with tax consulting services regarding the tax treatment of R&D expenditures. Mr. Fischer’s specialties include R&D Tax Credit (IRC 41), R&D Expenditures (IRS 174), General Business Credits (IRC 38 & 39), IRS various state examination defense regarding R&D credits and expenditures. Her clients’ base is predominately compromised of middle-market companies. Although she has been involved in R&D tax credit analyses for all entity types and sizes, the focus on middle-market companies has allowed her to gain experience in the complexities of S-corporations and Partnerships claiming the R&D Credits. She partners with the Examination and Appeals functions to help resolve complex cases. Ms. Fischer is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants (WSCPA). Ms. Fischer holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Accounting), from Central Washington University.
Neil Fishman, CPA, is vice-president/co-owner of Fishman Associates CPAs, PA in Boynton Beach, Fla. Mr. Fishman has over 25 years’ experience in taxation. He specializes in the preparation of federal, state and local corporate, partnership, fiduciary, gift, estate, not-for-profit and personal income tax returns. Mr. Fishman’s firm prepares business financial statement and personal financial statements; in addition to representing clients before taxing authorities with regard to notices. Mr. Fishman has been a presenter at various tax seminars and has written several articles on occupational fraud which has appeared in various CPA Journals. He is a licensed CPA in New York and the state of Florida and is a Certified Fraud Examiner, a Forensic Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. Mr. Fishman is a member of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) and has served in many capacities on the National Board since 2004, including Chairman of the National Tax Policy Committee from 2008-2011. Currently he is serving as Vice President of NCCPAP. Mr. Fishman holds a BA from the State University of New York at Oneonta.
John McDermott, J.D., L.L.M., is an Attorney/Partner with Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP, in Baton Rouge, La. He has 32 years’ experience in taxation. His primary areas of practice is tax planning and advice, including business and individual income tax, payroll tax, franchise tax, excise tax, ad valorem tax, sales and use tax and gift and estate tax. He has assisted tax exempt organizations make application for and obtain status under IRC section 501(c). He has represented individuals, business entities, trusts and estates with controversies before the IRS at the examination level, with appeals, in Tax Court and U.S. District Court. He has made applications to the Taxpayer Advocate, assisted clients in collections, and with preparation and presentation of offers in compromise, installment payment arrangements, and with tax liens and levies. He has also represented clients in BLIPS transactions and has applied for and obtained PLR’s. In addition to his primary practice of taxation, Mr. McDermott handles succession, probate, and estate administration matters. Mr. McDermott has been a CPA since 1985. He is a member of the Baton Rouge and Louisiana State Bar Associations, National Lawyers Association, Baton Rouge Estate and Business Planning Council, and The Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants. Mr. McDermott holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a J.D. from Louisiana State University and an L.L.M. from Georgetown University.
Walter Pagano, CPA, is a Tax Partner with EisnerAmper LLP, Accountants and Advisory in New York City, N.Y. He has more than 35 years’ experience in taxation. Mr. Pagano concentrates his practice in tax controversy examinations and investigations, commercial and civil litigation, accounting investigations, internal investigations, financial statement omissions, misrepresentations and fraud, with an emphasis on civil and criminal tax controversy, white collar defense, corruption, professional conduct and tax standards, accounting errors and irregularities, post-closing adjustments, management and employee fraud, and third party asset misappropriation. He has been associated for a number of years with the Forensic & Valuation Services section of the AICPA as well as the Tax Section of the ABA’s annual Criminal Tax and Tax Controversy Institute, Georgia Southern University’s Fraud and Forensic Accounting Conference and EisnerAmper University’s Tax College as a speaker of tax ethics and professional standards governing CPAs. Mr. Pagano holds a B.S. (Accounting), St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Penn. and a Master of Public Administration (MPA), New York University, New York, N.Y.
Donald Read, J.D. L.L.M. is an attorney and is certified as a taxation law specialists by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. Mr. Read has worked in the tax field for more than 40 years. A former Attorney-Adviser in the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, he has been a tax partner in firms in Honolulu, San Diego and San Francisco. He is currently the owner of the Law Office of Donald H. Read, in Berkeley, Calif., and tax counsel to both Lakin-Spears in Palo Alto and Severson & Werson in San Francisco. His recent practice focuses on advising family law attorneys on tax issues related to divorce and the tax problems of same-sex couples. Mr. Read also advises clients on general individual and business tax matters and has obtained private letter rulings for his clients in areas as diverse as partnerships, S corporations, stock redemptions, like-kind exchanges, stock options, deferred compensation and community property income of registered domestic partners. He is a former adjunct professor at the USF School of Law, former chair of the Taxation Committee of Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, and former vice-chair of the Domestic Relations Committee of the ABA’s Taxation Section. He is a member of the East Bay Tax Club and QDRONES. A graduate of Deep Springs College, Mr. Read holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley; a J.D. from Columbia University and an LL.M. from New York University.
The 2015 IRSAC Chairman is Fred F. Murray, J.D. Mr. Murray is a Managing Director, Tax Accounting, Risk Advisory and International Tax Services, Grant Thornton, LLP, U.S. member of Grant Thornton International, in Washington, D.C. His responsibilities include managing policy, procedures, and risk in relation to United States Tax Services practice for a major international accounting firm with more than 500 offices in 113 countries — including evaluation of tax return positions and penalty concerns; risk analysis; reportable transactions and material advisor concerns; disputes and controversies with tax authorities, Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC, GAO and PCAOB matters; and SFAS 109/FIN 48 (ASC 740) financial accounting matters. He is a recipient of the 2010 Grant Thornton Tax Outstanding Performance Award. His experience includes both public law and accounting practice and previous government service as Special Counsel to the Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Tax Division at the Department of Justice. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation, (Council Director (2012-2015), and Chair (2009-2011), Committee on Administrative Practice). In addition, he is an Elected Life Member of the American Law Institute, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the AICPA and a member of the Council of the Federal Bar Association Section of Taxation (former Chair (twice)). Mr. Murray holds a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin Law School and a B.A. from Rice University.
Armanino LLP, the largest independent accounting and business consulting firm based in California, announced today it has welcomed 4 new tax partners from Berger Lewis Accountancy Corporation.
Larry Kuechler advises companies and individuals in the area of business, tax and estate planning. His clients include for-profit developers, tax credit partnerships, and apartment and commercial property owners. He also works with a variety of nonprofit organizations in both audit and tax matters. Kuechler is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of CPAs, the Santa Clara County Estate Planning Council and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. He also serves as a member of the board of directors for the Rotary Club of San Jose and as a board member of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Frank Minuti has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and specializes in tax services and valuation. His areas of expertise include capital income tax, estate tax preparations, business succession planning, accounting and financial statements, business valuations and forensic accounting. Minuti was the 2013/2014 president of the Rotary Club of Santa Cruz. He is a past director for the Cabrillo College Foundation and past president of the Dignity Hospital Foundation of Santa Cruz.
Todd Robinson has broad-based experience working in a variety of industries, providing multi-faceted solutions to tax issues. He has expertise in corporate taxation, partnership taxation and individual taxation. His clients range from individuals to middle market and publicly traded entities. He is an adjunct professor at San Jose State University where he coaches the university’s powerlifting and Olympic lifting teams.
David Sheets focuses on international tax services and serves closely held multinational businesses, start-ups and early stage technology companies. Before joining Armanino, he served as the worldwide controller at an early stage company that received over $20 million through three rounds of funding and established subsidiaries in Germany and Japan. He is a frequent speaker at Silicon Valley international technology start-up workshops including Plug and Play Technology Center, NestGSV and TechBa.
Caplin & Drysdale today announced that Beth Shapiro Kaufman has been named President of the Firm.
Scott D. Michel, who held the reins for eight years, will continue as a member of the Board of Directors, and also maintain his thriving Tax Controversy practice. “Beth brings significant and proven leadership skills, as well as extensive knowledge, experience, and wisdom to the position,” said Mr. Michel. “Under Beth’s leadership, we will continue to strengthen our client-focused philosophy and collegial culture.” Ms. Kaufman, an active member of the Firm’s Private Client Group and a long-time member of the Firm’s Board of Directors, added, “I am honored to have this opportunity, and look forward to working with our lawyers and support staff to undertake strategic initiatives that not only enhance our relationships with existing clients, but that grow our practice regionally, nationally, and globally.”
Ms. Kaufman rejoined Caplin & Drysdale’s Private Client Group in 2001 after working for over six years in the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy. Serving first as Attorney Advisor and then as Associate Tax Legislative Counsel, Ms. Kaufman had principal responsibility for all tax policy matters affecting trusts and estates, including estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as income taxation of trusts and estates.
Wealthy clients rely on Ms. Kaufman’s counsel on matters involving their estate planning needs. She also advises lawyers and other professionals on complex issues regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Ms. Kaufman is frequently retained by counsel to assist in estate and gift tax audits, to advocate a taxpayer’s position before the Internal Revenue Service, or to seek a private letter ruling.
While with the government, Ms. Kaufman was the primary Treasury representative involved in the legislative and regulatory developments affecting the taxation of trusts and estates. Legislative projects included the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Regulatory projects included regulations on qualified domestic trusts, generation-skipping transfer tax, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, adequate disclosure for gift tax purposes, separate share, definition of foreign and domestic trusts, and valuation tables.
Kirkland & Ellis has announced that Michael Beinus has joined the Firm’s Los Angeles office as a partner in the Tax Practice Group. Mr. Beinus focuses his practice on a range of tax matters, including complex partnership transactions, real estate investment trusts (REITs), debt and equity offerings, restructurings, investment fund formations, and mergers and acquisitions.
“Michael has a great reputation and significant experience with complex tax work in a wide range of transactions,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “Our Los Angeles corporate practice has experienced steady growth over the last several years, and adding an energetic and talented tax professional like Michael to our team will enhance our full-service transactional offering in Los Angeles as well as the Bay Area.”
Mr. Beinus joins Kirkland from the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he was a partner. He has represented various prominent public and private REITs, real estate and private equity funds, and sovereign wealth funds.
“I was impressed by Kirkland’s trajectory, and the Firm’s vibrant, entrepreneurial culture was appealing to me,” said Mr. Beinus. “The Firm has a great platform for my clients and the types of complex, challenging transactions that are most interesting to me, and I’m excited to join the Kirkland team.”
“Michael is the total package; bright, creative and dedicated to great client service,” said Todd F. Maynes, partner in Kirkland’s Tax Practice Group. “He’s an excellent addition to our global tax, private equity, real estate and REIT practices as well as the Los Angeles office. With Michael on board, our Los Angeles transactional practices are ready to rock ‘n’ roll.”
Mr. Beinus, 41, has been listed among the “Bankruptcy Tax Specialists in the Nation’s Major Law Firms” by Turnarounds & Workouts and is included in The Legal 500 U.S. He was a member of the team that was named “Los Angeles – Tax Firm of the Year” at the 2013 International Tax Review Americas Awards.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Michael represented clients in several noteworthy transactions, including:
Nationwide Health Properties, Inc. in its $7.4 billion acquisition by Ventas, Inc., a transaction that created one of the largest publicly traded REITs and the leading health care REIT by equity value;
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and affiliated entities (MGM) in a prepackaged bankruptcy that was named 2011 “Media, Entertainment or Telecom Deal of the Year” by The M&A Advisor;
Youku Inc. in its $1.1 billion merger with Tudou Holdings Limited, a transaction recognized as 2012 “M&A Deal of the Year” at the China Law & Practice Awards;
Centro Properties Group in several acquisitions, as well as the $9.4 billion sale of its U.S. shopping centers to The Blackstone Group L.P. — the second-largest retail real estate acquisition ever — and its $4 billion debt restructuring, a transaction that won the “2008 Cross-Border Deal of the Year Award” at The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards;
Thomas Properties Group Inc. in its $1.2 billion merger with Parkway Properties Inc.;
The Ensign Group, Inc. in the spin-off of its health care and real estate businesses into separate, publicly traded companies: The Ensign Group, Inc. and CareTrust REIT, Inc.;
Recruit Co., Ltd. in its acquisition of Indeed Inc.;
OPI Products, Inc. and its owners in the sale of the company to Coty Inc.;
BlackRock Realty Advisors in connection with the formation of and advice to two open-ended private REITs;
Apollo Investment Corporation, an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Management, L.P., in its $1.5 billion leveraged buyout of Innkeepers USA Trust in a going-private transaction;
QIC Global Real Estate in its joint venture with Forest City Enterprises Inc. to invest in a portfolio of eight regional shopping malls valued at $2.05 billion;
The Walt Disney Company in its $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios; and
Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group and DLJ Merchant Banking as part of a consortium of buyers in connection with the acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Boodle Hatfield has strengthened its Private Client and Tax team with the appointment of Baker & McKenzie partner Salpy Kouyoumjian.
Salpy, who joins the firm on 27 January, has a strong international client base with a particular focus in advising ultra high net worth individuals and families and trustees in Russia, CIS and the Middle East. She is fluent in Arabic, French and Armenian.
Salpy brings to Boodle Hatfield considerable experience in designing and establishing bespoke international asset-holding and wealth management structures including private trust companies, limited partnerships and family offices. She also has experience in advising entrepreneurs and senior executives on exit strategies for disposing of investments, share options and structuring and deferring UK tax in relation to both income tax and capital gains tax.
Commenting on her move Salpy said: “Boodle Hatfield is one of the world’s leading private client law firms with a first class domestic and international client base. I am looking forward to continuing my career with the firm and supporting its continuing growth.”
Sara Maccallum, Head of the Private Client and Tax and Senior Partner at Boodle Hatfield said: “We are delighted with Salpy’s decision to join Boodle Hatfield. We continue to be focused on further expanding our international private client offering and her excellent skills and client-base will be a great asset to our international team.”
Russell-Cooke has grown its private client practice with the hire of partner Andrew Godfrey.
Andrew joins from Penningtons Manches where he led the charity and Italian sectors in their London private client department. He advises families, individuals, charities and corporate entities on all aspects of private client law including estate planning, wills and administration, cross-border issues, tax planning and regularisation of tax affairs, as well as establishing charities and providing on-going advice.
His practice includes UK based clients and those with international affairs.
Representative experience includes:
– regularising clients tax affairs in cross-border situations, involving Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility and UK/Swiss Agreement;
– cross-border estate planning – succession and tax issues with a particular focus on Italy and the US;
– UK resident non-UK domiciled capital tax planning and remittance basis issues, for example restructuring of property holding companies further to ATED introduction;
– UK estate planning, including business property relief, agricultural property relief and heritage property relief;
– trust advice, involving large family trust structures, onshore and offshore;
– administration of estates;
lasting Powers of Attorney, living wills and healthcare proxies, including in cross-border situations.
Andrew is fluent in Italian, is the treasurer and committee member of the British Italian Law Association; and is also a member of ATT (Association of Tax Technicians), STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and the Charity Law Association.
Richard Frimston, partner and head of the private client group, commented “Andrew’s expertise not only strengthens our cross-border offering but his experience and character will also ensure our professional and bespoke service to clients remains second to none”.
DLA Piper has appointed Geoffrey Scardoni as a partner in the Tax team. Geoffrey will be based in the firm’s Luxembourg office and will be joined by two associates, Magdalena Mozdzierz and Kim Ngo.
Geoffrey joins the firm from King & Wood Mallesons, where he was a founding partner of the Luxembourg office. Prior to that, he worked in the tax department of Loyens & Loeff.
Specialising in international tax law, Geoffrey’s practice focuses on international corporate structuring, cross-border financial products and fund formation. His broad spectrum of clients include corporates, private equity firms, investment houses and high net worth individuals across the corporate, real estate, private equity and finance sectors. Geoffrey is also an assistant lecturer at the University of Luxembourg.
Geoffrey will work alongside funds and corporate partners Catherine Pogorzelski and Jean-Michel Detry.
Roderik Bouwman, International Head of Tax at DLA Piper, said: “We expect significant demand for high end tax services in Luxembourg to continue and the appointment of Geoffrey enables us to offer current and prospective clients first-rate tax advice locally. As part of the firm’s international tax team, Geoffrey will also work alongside colleagues across the world to advise clients both nationally and internationally.”
Juan Picon and Barbara van Hussen, Managing Directors of Europe and Middle East at DLA Piper, said: “As a result of the firm’s commitment to increasing our presence in Luxembourg, the team continues to grow and we are very pleased to welcome Geoffrey. Geoffrey is a very experienced and highly regarded tax lawyer who will play an instrumental role in our Funds practice as well as providing transactional support to our corporate and finance lawyers.”
Gide has promoted Sara Verkest to tax partner in the New York office. She also heads the U.S. tax practice.
Sara joined Gide in New York in 2008 and specializes in the U.S. tax aspects of cross-border transactions (both inbound and outbound). She regularly advises sponsors and participants in the global capital markets on tax efficient structured financings, including cross-border securitizations and securities offerings. She also advises funds and investors on tax issues associated with the structuring, funding, and operation of investment funds and other joint ventures.
Sara is a member of the New York Bar, and holds a law degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), as well as a Master’s degree in taxation from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and an LL.M. in U.S. international tax from the University of Florida. Sara speaks English, Dutch, French and German.
Commenting on this appointment, Chistopher B. Mead, the partner in charge of Gide’s New York office, said: “This promotion is the result of her outstanding work in providing high quality tax advice to our clients. I am confident that Sara will make a great contribution to the growth of our tax practice worldwide.”