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ABA Tax Section’s Virtual 2023 Fall Tax Meeting

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ABA Tax Section’s Virtual 2023 Fall Tax Meeting

October 16, 2023 - October 20, 2023

Kostelanetz attorneys will participate in a variety of panels and presentations at the ABA Tax Section’s Virtual 2023 Fall Tax Meeting on October 16-20, 2023.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Michael Sardar presents on International Tax Enforcement during the “Reports of Subcommittees on Important Developments” section of the meeting.


  • Michael Sardar, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP
  • Joshua Wu, Counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Damon Rowe, Partner, Meadows Collier Reed Cousins Crouch & Ungerman LLP

Thursday, October 19, 2023

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm: Don Fort moderates a panel titled “Big Data & Analytics – The Government’s Perspective.”

Description: The private sector has embraced AI to improve business operations and streamline costs, but the government has taken a different approach dependent on “big data” and sophisticated analytical tools. This panel features several IRS representatives, who will explain the ways data analytics have revolutionized fraud detection, civil and criminal case development, and customer service. CLE credit is offered for this event.

Moderator: Don Fort, Director of Investigations, Kostelanetz LLP


  • Melanie R. Krause, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, IRS;
  • Darrell J. Waldon, Executive Director, Advanced Analytics & Innovation, IRS-CI;
  • Benjamin Swartz, Acting Project Director – Strategic Operating Plan, IRS SB/SE

Learning Objectives: After attending the session, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe how Big Data and Data Analytics have modernized the IRS.
  • Describe specific analytical tools and methods used by IRS personnel.
  • Describe how the government’s use of data analytics is revolutionizing fraud detection, civil and criminal case development, and customer service.

Friday, October 20, 2023

10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Heather Fincher presents on a panel titled “Trick or Treaty: US Treaties and Interaction with Non-Treaty Tax Law.”

Description: The panel will address recent issues relating to US treaties, including (1) new US bilateral treaty developments (e.g., Chile, Croatia, Hungary); (2) the interaction of recent US legislation/regulation with US treaties (e.g., foreign tax credit regs); and (3) the interaction of recent non-US legislation/regulation with US treaties (e.g., extraterritorial taxes, Pillar 2). CLE credit is offered for this event.


  • Heather Fincher, Associate, Kostelanetz LLP;
  • Jeff Rubinger, Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP;
  • Doug Poms, Partner, KPMG
  • Elena S. Virgadamo, Deputy International Tax Counsel for Treaty Affairs, Office of Tax Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Megan L. Brackney presents on a panel titled “Accuracy-Related Penalties: Establishing Reasonable Cause in the Age of Social Media.”

Description: The growth of social media platforms like Tik Tok and Twitter have led taxpayers to increasingly turn to nontraditional sources of information to learn about tax laws. In this panel, we will explore that development in the context of civil penalties. To what extent can taxpayers who rely on social media to their detriment establish a valid reasonable cause defense to accuracy-related penalties? The initial reaction among tax professionals is that taxpayers rely on social media for tax advice at their own peril. But dig deeper, as this panel will, and the issue is a bit more nuanced. CLE credit is offered for this event.

Moderator: Jessica L. Jeane, VP of Tax Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Western CPE


  • Megan L. Brackney, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP
  • Jonathan T. Amitrano, Partner, Taylor, Nelson, Amitrano LLP
  • Professor Kathleen DeLaney Thomas, UNC School of Law

Learning Objectives: After attending the session, the participant will be able to:

  • Analyze the manner in which taxpayers obtain substantive tax advice via social media.
  • Review IRC § 6662 and 6663, and Treasury Regulation 1.6664-4(b)(1) as the current foundation for reasonable cause as a defense to accuracy-related penalties.
  • Review relevant case law that explores how taxpayers can establish reasonable cause as a defense to the imposition of accuracy-related penalties.
  • Understand how standards and principles set forth in regulations and case law may assist taxpayers in establishing reasonable cause in situations where taxpayers are acquiring substantive tax information via nontraditional ways, including social media.

4:30PM – 6:00PM: Abigail Burke moderates the “Women in Tax Forum (Non-CLE)”

Description: The Women in Tax Forum seeks to provide a community to empower, support, and celebrate women as they
build careers and lives that they love. The leaders of the Women in Tax Forum welcome members of the Tax Section to join them for an introductory session and virtual networking event. Following the introductory session, we will break into small groups to get to know the members of the community, discuss barriers we have observed for women in tax law, and explore ways to overcome those barriers. Attendees are asked to complete this survey to aid break-out group discussions.


  • Abigail Burke, Kostelanetz LLP
  • Darianne De Leon, Jones Day
  • Blair Hlinka, Trial Attorney, Department of Justice, Tax Division
  • Candice C. James, Ernst & Young
  • Sonia Shaikh, Miles & Stockbridge


Please visit here to register for this event. Please visit the ABA’s program guide for more information.