Attending an ABA Tax Section meeting can be intimidating for a law student or young lawyer. Many of the attorneys you meet were at the forefront in developing and substantiating legal principles you studied in law school. Although many of the substantive panels may seem beyond your practice, the ABA Tax Section’s Young Lawyers Forum (YLF) is dedicated to bridging the gap between new attorneys and seasoned professionals. This article provides a glimpse into the different YLF activities at Tax Section meetings and throughout the year, focusing specifically on YLF panels at the most recent Fall meeting in Boston.
Tax Bridge to Practice
Tax Bridge to Practice is a series of panels that kick off the Tax Section’s meeting on Thursday afternoon before the main sessions begin. As the name indicates, Tax Bridge to Practice focuses on issues that young lawyers will face in practice. Often the panels will discuss the tax provisions applicable to a particular issue, giving the attendees an opportunity to understand the basic framework that might not otherwise be covered in committee panels. The Tax Bridge program is generally presented during the May Meeting in Washington, D.C.; however, occasionally the YLF presents a “Tax Bridge on the Road” at the Midyear or Fall Meeting. The Boston meeting offered five panels in the Tax Bridge, as well as a special conversation with Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate.
Intersection of Sports and Tax Law – This panel discussed the federal and state tax laws affecting sports franchises and players. The panelists provided insight for attorneys representing professional athletes on a variety of issues, including state domicile and residency.
Tax Court 101: Pre-Trial Tips & Best Practices – As with many of the Tax Bridge panels, this panel provided a basic breakdown of Tax Court procedures with practical tips for any new lawyer in this practice area.
Basics & Hot Topics: RICs and REITs – The panelists discussed regulated investment companies (RICs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) under subchapter M, addressing the purpose of RICs and REITs, the qualification requirements for REITs and RICs, and the taxation of both entities and their investors.
Same-Sex Estate Planning After Obergfell v. Hodges – George Karibjanian from Proskauer Rose and Laura Westfall from King & Spalding examined the various theoretical, procedural, and practical considerations that come into play in same-sex estate planning. The panelists addressed topics such as asset protection, the differences between domestic partnership and marriage, and state law issues.
Hot Topic: Tax Implications of the Sharing Economy – This panel discussed the growing complexity of tax issues arising in online transactions. Given the rapid expansion in online transactions, both in terms of quantity and type, the IRS and state taxing authorities have focused on interpreting current laws and developing regulations to deal with these new business structures and cover this growing portion of our economy.