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Federal Bar Association 2024 Tax Law Conference (CLE/CPE)

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Federal Bar Association 2024 Tax Law Conference (CLE/CPE)

March 1 @ 8:00 am - March 5 @ 5:00 pm EST

Join the Section on Taxation for the 48th Annual Tax Law Conference. This three-day program will offer the same great content in-person and online. Programming will be held in-person on Friday, March 1 and virtually from Monday, March 4 – Tuesday, March 5. Programming will include a keynote luncheon address and awards reception for the prestigious Kenneth H. Liles Award for Distinguished Service to an eminent tax practitioner. Ethics, CLE, and CPE credit will be available.

Friday, March 1, 2024

4:00 PM – 5:00 P.M. (EST): Megan L. Brackney participates in a panel titled “Multijurisdictional Ethics Issues – Working in Multiple Jurisdictions – Some Things You May Not Think About May Hurt.”

Description: Practitioners who represent foreign (and domestic) clients face problems that not only raise ethics issues (like practicing in more than one jurisdiction – e.g., license issues, language issues, as well as knowledge of other jurisdictions), but importantly may also involve them and their clients in a number of reporting requirements and even scrutiny under federal money laundering and other statutes that impose criminal liability. These situations require thought about due diligence on accepting clients from other jurisdictions who may have needs or motives besides having a house in your state – tax evasion, reporting of income and assets, etc. This panel will discuss matters you really need to consider and actions you need to take to represent clients with more complex investments and businesses.


Fred Murray, Special Counsel, IRS, U.S. Department of the Treasury


Megan L. Brackney, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP

Matt Cooper, Managing Director, Tax Controversy Services, Deloitte Tax LLP

Emily Lesniak, Senior Level Counsel, Procedure and Administration, IRS, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Monday, March 4, 2024

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM (EST): Michael Sardar moderates a panel titled “The Employee Retention Credit Rewind: Evaluating ERC Claims and Determining the Right Path Forward.”

Description: The Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”) is a pandemic-era program that allowed taxpayers who suffered a pandemic-related business interruption to claim a tax credit tied to the number of employees employed by the business. Only businesses that met certain qualification guidelines were entitled to claim benefits under the ERC. In the midst of the pandemic-driven rush to distribute funds to taxpayers, some taxpayers made ERC claims that did not meet Congress’ qualification criteria. The Service has stepped-up enforcement efforts with respect to nonqualifying claims by auditing taxpayer ERC claims, investigating tax advisors and ERC consulting companies, and taking other enforcement action. The IRS has also paused processing new ERC claims, instituted a withdrawal program that would allow certain taxpayers to withdraw nonqualifying claims, and announced a voluntary disclosure program to allow taxpayers to return inappropriately claimed ERC funds.


Michael Sardar, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP


Melissa Henkel, Branch Chief, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Starling Marshall, Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP

John McInelly, Executive Lead, Employee Retention Credit, IRS, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Daniel Strickland, Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (EST): Caroline D. Ciraolo moderates a panel titled “Defending Malta Pension Plans – Lessons Learned and What Lays Ahead….”

Description: In July 2021, the IRS added Malta pension plans (MPPs) to its “Dirty Dozen” list as a “potentially abusive” transaction, explaining that some “U.S. citizens and residents are relying on an interpretation of the U.S.‐Malta Income Tax Treaty (Treaty) to take the position that they may contribute appreciated property tax free to certain Maltese pension plans and that there are also no tax consequences when the plan sells the assets and distributes proceeds to the U.S. taxpayer. In December 2021, the IRS announced a Competent Authority Arrangement between the U.S. and Malta stating the mutual understanding that “pension fund” for purposes of the Treaty does not include a plan that allows participants to contribute property other than cash or does not limit contributions based on a taxpayer’s employment or self-employment income. On June 7, 2023, the IRS proposed making the MPPs a listed transaction, and later that month, IRS Criminal Investigation issued numerous summonses to individuals and entities involved in MPPs and later confirmed a joint investigation with IRS Large Business & International. Practitioners representing MPP clients have addressed myriad issues including the scope and impact of joint investigations, the validity of summonses, treaty interpretations, applicable statutes of limitations, privileges and work product doctrine, and conflicts of interest. This panel will review those issues, discuss lessons learned and recent developments, and what may lay ahead as the government continues to pursue its parallel investigations.


Caroline D. Ciraolo, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP


Tom Cullinan, Shareholder, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry

Kathy Enstrom, Director of Investigations, Moore Tax Law Group LLC

Daniel Price, Managing Member, Law Offices of Daniel N. Price, PLLC

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Caroline D. Ciraolo moderates a panel titled “We Live in Interesting Times – The Latest in Criminal Tax Investigations and Sentencings.”

Description: IRS Criminal Investigation and its partners within the Department of Justice have been hard at work pursuing individuals and entities believed to have engaged in willful tax violations. Recent criminal tax investigations involve syndicated conservation easements, Malta pension plans, international structures and accounts, cryptocurrency schemes, employment tax violations, pandemic-related fraud, and other high priority areas of enforcement. Many of these investigations involve complex and emerging issues, including the use of filter teams, acquisition and use of foreign based evidence, and constitutional challenges. At the other end of the lifecycle of a criminal tax case, defense counsel and prosecutors are addressing new developments in sentencings, including the consideration of intended tax loss and acquitted conduct, the Zero-Point Offender adjustment, the corresponding impact of role adjustments, and a renewed push to consider non-custodial sentences. Panelists will review these important issues, discuss recent developments, and offer best practices.


Caroline D. Ciraolo, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP


Sandra Brown, Principal, Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez P.C.

Eric Hylton, Director of Investigations, ZMF Law

Jeffrey Neiman, Partner, Marcus Neiman & Rashbaum LLP

Click here for more information and to register.