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Vol. 35 No. 3 - Spring 2016


People in Tax

At Court


U.S. District Judge Rejects Tax Promoters’ Plea Agreement in United States v. Crithfield: A Rare Event, but a Warning to Defense Counsel

Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson led the captive insurance promoter Foster & Dunhill, which marketed a Business Protection Plan (BPP) that the government alleges was fraudulent. This article takes a look at the unconventional move by a judge to reject a plea agreement, but offers a cautionary tale and some lessons for defense counsel.


NorCal Tea Party Patriots Opens a Crack in Taxpayer Privacy Protections

In In re United States (United States v. NorCal Tea Party Patriots, et al.), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit adopted a relatively narrow interpretation of section 6103’s scope. What remains unclear, however, is whether this relatively minor crack in the taxpayer privacy protections provided by section 6103 could be used to reach a broader range of information held by the IRS.

Practice Point


Beyond the Three-Year, 240-Day, and Two-Year Rules: Bankruptcy Rules That Tax Practitioners Should Know

Beyond the three year, 240 day, and two year rules, there are other rules and traps for the unwary that should be on a tax practitioner’s radar. These include finding ways to make your client a non-consumer debtor, conversion of Chapter 7 cases to Chapter 11 under section 706(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, denial of discharges under section 727(a)(2)(A), and filing too soon after a prior bankruptcy discharge has been granted. The following provides a brief discussion of each of these topics.

Pro Bono Matters


Characterizing Loss: Tax Consequences for Victims of the 2014 SR530 Landslide

As tax attorneys, we are taught to see loss as a number. Loss is malleable: losses are captured, losses are spread over a period of years, and losses can be a benefit to our clients. The term loss, however, means something different to tax attorneys than it does to others. To victims of natural disasters, a loss is not a number, but something that is felt; it is something that is grieved.


An Interview with 2015-2017 Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow Daniel Knudsen

Given the challenges of poverty and the complex legal structure, Native Americans and their tribes have a unique set of needs within the tax system. At Oklahoma Indian Legal Services (OILS), Daniel Knudsen is working hard to make a difference. Dan is a 2015-2017 Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow, engaged in tax representation and outreach for taxpayers throughout Oklahoma, with a focus on the experiences of Native Americans.

In the Stacks


Legal Guidance for Same-Sex Couples Considering Marriage

Tax law became somewhat simplified for same-sex couples on June 26, 2013, the date of the Windsor opinion. It became even more simplified on June 26, 2015, the date of the Obergefell decision. Scott Squillace’s book, Whether to Wed, was published in the interim between Windsor and Obergefell, but the book continues to set forth important issues for same-sex couples to consider as they ponder whether or not to marry. Of course, now that we live in a world of marriage equality going forward, the issues are pretty much the same for opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Paths in Tax


Introduction to a New Feature: Paths in Tax

One of the defining characteristics of the ABA Tax Section membership is the fascinating variety of our career paths. Each of us brings a different perspective to being a tax lawyer. Our unique backgrounds and experiences combine with the many possibilities within our profession to produce a profoundly interesting set of stories on how we each arrived where we are today, and where we want to go next.

Young Lawyers Corner


2nd Annual Young Tax Lawyers Symposium

The Section of Taxation, the Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Bar Association Tax Section cosponsored the 2nd Annual Young Tax Lawyers Symposium at Caplin & Drysdale’s Washington, DC office on April 1, 2016. The event brought together more than 65 young attorneys and law students to hear judges, government attorneys, and private practitioners discuss various areas of tax law as well as to network and learn from other tax professionals.

Let's Confer


National Taxpayer Advocate Holds Public Forum to Discuss IRS Future State

In her 2015 Annual Report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina E. Olson raised concerns about the IRS’s comprehensive “Future State” plan to overhaul agency operations as it adapts to an environment of constrained funding and expanding responsibilities. She announced a series of public forums around the country to permit taxpayers and tax professionals to comment on the IRS Future State. The first of these public forums was held at the IRS Headquarters in Washington, DC, on February 23, 2016.


Conferring in the Big Easy: ABA/IPT Advanced Tax Seminars

Each year in early spring, approximately 300 state and local tax (SALT) professionals convene in New Orleans for the Advanced Tax Seminars, which have been cosponsored for over 20 years by the ABA Section of Taxation and the Institute for Professionals in Taxation. This unique conference is presented over the course of one week and comprises three distinct seminars focusing on state income, sales and use, and ad valorem taxation.

Tax Bits

Section News


Events & Promotions

Sponsor Acknowledgements

About ABA Tax Times

ABA Tax Times (ISSN 2381-5868) (formerly NewsQuarterly) reports on developments pertaining to taxation, Tax Section news and meeting updates, and other information of professional interest to Tax Section members and other readers. Questions regarding ABA Tax Times can be sent to: [email protected].

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