Taxation Section: Recent Updates

Developments Archive

Nominations for Section Council - 2012/2013 (Posted May 2013)

In accordance with the Taxation Section bylaws, and on behalf of the Taxation Section Nominations Committee, we are very happy to report the following nominations for Section Council for 2013/2014 (terms beginning July 1, 2013):

Officers:

  • Chair: Paul G. Marcotte, Jr., Paley Rothman (Bethesda, MD)
  • Chair-Elect: Jennifer A. Pratt, Venable LLP (Baltimore, MD)
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Robb A. Longman, Fried and Rosefelt, LLC (Rockville, MD)

For Section Council terms ending June 30, 2016 (3 year terms):

  • Glen E. Frost, Frost & Associates (Annapolis, MD)
  • Jeremy T. Garner, Bowie & Jensen LLC (Towson, MD)
  • Nancy M. Gilmore, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS (Baltimore, MD)
  • Gerald W. Kelly, Jr., Kelly Dorsey PC (Columbia, MD)
  • Jim Liang, Rosenberg | Martin | Greenberg, LLP (Baltimore, MD)
  • Mark Schweighofer, Stein, Sperling, Bennett, DeJong, Driscoll PC (Rockville, MD)
  • Beverly L. Winstead, Law Office of Beverly Winstead (Lanham, MD)

A vote will be held at the Tax Section's annual meeting, scheduled for Thursday, June 13, 2013 (7:30 a.m.) in Ocean City, MD.

(Update/results pending, June 25, 2013.)

Other nominations for Tax Council officers and members-at-large may be made by not fewer than 15 Tax Section members by written nominations submitted to the Secretary not later than 10 days prior to the annual meeting. If you wish to propose alternative nominees, please submit the nominations to Jennifer Pratt (Secretary/Treasurer) no later than Monday June 3, 2013. Additional eligible nominations will be published on the Taxation Section list serve prior to the annual meeting.

Printable version of this information (PDF).

 

Nominations for Section Council - 2011/2012 (Posted May 11, 2011)

In accordance with the Taxation Section bylaws, and on behalf of the Taxation Section Nominations Committee, we are very happy to report the following nominations for Section Council for 2011/2012 (terms beginning July 1, 2011):

Officers:

Chair:   Todd J. Bornstein, Selzer Gurvitch (Bethesda, MD)  

Chair-Elect:  Brian L. Oliner, Office of the Attorney General, Comptroller of Maryland (Annapolis, MD) 
     
Secretary/Treasurer:  Paul G. Marcotte, Jr., Paley, Rothman (Bethesda, MD) 

For Section Council terms ending June 30, 2014 (3 year terms):

Keith Blair, University of District of Columbia School of Law (Washington, DC)
R. Jeffrey Knight, Office of Chief Counsel, IRS (Baltimore, MD)
Robb Adam Longman, McMillan Metro PC (Rockville, MD)
Andrew Jay Maschas, Office of the Comptroller (Baltimore, MD)
Michael Salem, Office of the Attorney General, Comptroller of Maryland (Annapolis, MD)
Elizabeth Shaner, Rosenberg | Martin | Greenberg, LLP (Baltimore, MD)

A vote will be held at the Tax Section's annual meeting, scheduled for Friday, June 10, 2011 (7:30 a.m.) in Ocean City, MD.

Other nominations for Tax Council officers and members-at-large may be made by not fewer than 15 Tax Section members by written nominations submitted to the Secretary not later than 10 days prior to the annual meeting.  If you wish to propose alternative nominees, please submit the nominations to Brian Oliner (Secretary/Treasurer) at boliner@comp.state.md.us no later than Tuesday, May 31, 2011.  Additional eligible nominations will be published on the Taxation Section list serve prior to the annual meeting.


Report on the December Joint Section Meeting of the Tax and Immigration Law Sections (Posted Feb. 22, 2011)

On December 9, 2010, approximately 35 members of the Tax and Immigration Law Sections enjoyed an evening of networking and education at the Coho Grill in Columbia, MD.

Leonardo Canseco, CPA, Esq. began the presentation with useful information every attorney should know about tax law in U.S. immigration related cases.  Select audience members participated in a hypothetical family-based immigration case, in which a U.S. citizen was sponsoring her non-immigrant spouse for permanent resident “green card” status in the United States.  The hypothetical demonstrated various scenarios where tax and immigration law intersect.  Attendees learned that one should always ask for evidence of tax compliance from both the sponsor and beneficiary.  It is particularly important for the sponsor to produce evidence of tax compliance which is part of the Affidavit of Support in family-based petitions.  A sponsor who is self employed will need to provide more additional business-related tax filings and other supporting income documentation during the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) interview to substantiate income.

Steve Trow, Esq. from Trow and Rahal, P.C. discussed various immigration strategies for high net worth individuals, including:  developing U.S. immigration strategies to avoid U.S. Tax residency while maintaining the ability to reside and work in the U.S.; identifying “accidental U.S. citizenship” resulting from birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or other circumstance; and the “exit tax” for U.S. expatriates and long-term U.S. permanent residents who give up their green cards after holding them for 8 of the last 15 years.  Attendees learned that both categories are subject to an immediate “exit tax” on unrealized gains on all their assets in the U.S. and worldwide, including grantor trusts, as well as on any future gifts or bequests to U.S. citizens and residents.

The Tax and Immigration Law Sections thank both Leo and Steve for an interesting and informative presentation. 



Employment Tax Examination Basics and Hot Topics - Tax Section Webinar on April 20 (Posted Feb. 9, 2011)

Beginning in early 2010, the IRS commenced a three-year employment tax audit initiative known as the National Research Project (NRP), which is the most comprehensive study of employment tax compliance in decades and will target 6, 000 employers.  Both the IRS and Congress believe that employment tax noncompliance is a serious and growing drain on the Treasury.  Although these audits will focus on potential misclassification of employees as independent contractors, the IRS will also be reviewing fringe benefits, executive compensation and information reporting as well.  Based on what is learned, it is expected such audits will expand in the future and many states are also increasing examination activity in this area as well.

This webinar will provide an overview of some of the potential issues that can arise in this type of examination so that you can be in a position to properly advise your clients as to what to expect and also help the client arrive at a satisfactory resolution. Topics to be covered will include: worker classification; Section 530 relief; proposals to scale back Section 530 and prevent misclassification;  penalties for misclassified workers and mitigation; scope of new NRP audits and sources of information IRS will review; what fringe benefits are subject to employment tax; what issues arise in the area of executive compensation; information return requirements;  when do criminal penalties come into play; and what steps should a business be taking to ensure compliance.

Our expert speaker is Chaya Kundra, Esquire.  Ms. Kundra is a principal with Kundra & Associates, P.C. in Rockville and focuses her practice on tax litigation and controversies and business planning.  She also counsels businesses, non-profit entities, entrepreneurs and individuals in solving current legal and tax problems and how to prevent future controversies. Ms. Kundra has successfully litigated and settled numerous civil and criminal tax cases, structured various business entities and resolved a number of legal tax audits, controversy matters and divorce tax issues. Moderator is Paul Marcotte, Jr. with Paley Rothman.

We will allow time at the end of the presentation for questions.  If you have a question or a specific case scenario you would like to have addressed, please submit to Paul Marcotte or Chaya Kundra by March 30, 2011.

This webinar is sponsored by the Section of Taxation of the MSBA. In order to participate for FREE, you must be a member of the Section of Taxation and have registered yourself on the Section’s website.  If you are not a Section member, you are welcome to participate for a small program fee of $25.00.  Since dues for the Section are just $15.00, you may simply prefer to join the Section.  After registering for the webinar, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Register now



JOINT SECTION MEETING WITH IMMIGRATION LAW (Posted Dec.9, 2010)

On Thursday, December 9, 2010, the Maryland State Bar Association’s Immigration Law and Taxation Sections will hold a Joint Section Meeting and Panel Presentation at the Coho Grill in Columbia, MD.

The evening begins at 6:15 PM with an hour of cross-section networking, followed by an hour-long panel discussion at 7:15 PM.  Discussion topics include the "Twelve Things That Every Tax Lawyer Should Know About Immigration Law" and "Tax-Wise Immigration Planning".  The discussion will be led by Leo Canseco of the Tax Section and Steve Trow of the Immigration Section.  Appetizers, non-alcoholic drinks, and a cash bar will be provided.

You can find directions to the Coho Grill at <http://www.thecohogrill.com/wedding_reception_caterers_rehearsal_dinners.html>.

The event is free for Immigration Law and Tax Section members, however, RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED and space is limited!  Please RSVP to: Keith Blair <kblair@udc.edu> no later than Tuesday, Dec. 7.



tax networking night on November 18 (Posted NOV. 8, 2010)

The Tax Section Council is delighted to announce the Tenth Annual Tax Professionals’ Networking Night, on Thursday, November 18, 2010,  from 6-9 PM at the Diamondback Tavern, 3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, MD. 

This is an excellent networking opportunity for Tax Section members, our accounting colleagues, and state and federal tax officials.  Expect good food, good drink and good conversation in a pleasant and collegial atmosphere.

Thanks to our generous firm sponsors, we have kept ticket prices at last year's reduced rates - $20 for Tax Section members, $25 for non-members/guests, and $10 for students.

For those of you who missed last year's event, the Diamondback Tavern is on the left side of Old Columbia Pike, as you head away from Main Street in Ellicott City.  The main parking lot is back down on Main Street right after the light to Old Columbia Pike.  Please see <www.diamondbacktavern.com> for more detailed directions.

Hope to see you all at the Diamondback Tavern!



Pro Bono Resource Center Benefit Gala on November 13 (Posted Oct. 25, 2010)

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is celebrating its 20th Anniversary by hosting a benefit gala, “A Gallery of the Stars,” on Saturday, November 13th, 2010 at the Cylburn Arboretum Vollmer Center in Baltimore.  PBRC will be honoring outstanding pro bono lawyers from each county and local bar association in the state who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to ensuring equal access to justice for the disadvantaged.  PBRC will also be recognizing some of its key supporters, Governor Martin O’Malley, Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, DLA Piper and Maryland Legal Services Corporation.  Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online at <www.probonomd.org>.  Please RSVP by Nov. 1.  

Click here for more information



Advanced Tax Institute on November 1-5 (Posted Oct. 8, 2010)

The 2010 Advanced Tax Institute (ATI) will be held Monday through Friday, November 1-5, 2010, at Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road, Baltimore, MD 21244.  This venerable conference is geared toward experienced attorneys with a practice focused in business, tax, real estate or estate planning law. Each day features nationally known authorities offering analysis and advice to help you in your practice.  Register for one day or multiple days and get a multiple day discount.  Check the link below for details and to register!



Free Course on Conservation Easements on October 18 (Sept. 20, 2010)

On October 18, 2010, the Maryland Environmental Trust will present a free informational course on the legal and financial aspects of conservation easements,  including the property, income and estate tax benefits of donating a conservation easement and recent changes in the Internal Revenue Code relating to charitable donations of conservation easements.  Register before October 13th by sending an email with the subject of “Register Conservation Easements – Legal and Financial Aspects” to <lholmes@dnr.state.md.us> or by calling 410-514-7901.

Click here for more information



Fall MVLS Tax Controversy Training Was a Success! (Sept. 20, 2010)

On Wednesday, September 8th, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) held another in its series of free IRS tax controversy trainings. Fifteen lawyers from across the state attended the session, which was held at the MVLS offices in Downtown Baltimore. Experienced tax attorneys Caroline Ciraolo, a partner with the firm of Rosenberg Martin & Greenberg, and Gerald Kelly, a partner with the firm of Thomas & Libowitz, led the training. Jim Leith, the Local Taxpayer Advocate, also attended.

These three-hour training sessions, which MVLS has been hosting since 2005, afford attorneys from various practice areas the opportunity to learn the process of handling an IRS tax controversy. It also gives MVLS the opportunity to place some of their low income tax clients with a volunteer attorney, as each attendee must commit to handling a pro bono tax case. “It’s a win-win for everyone” said Richard Chambers, Director of MVLS’ Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, “The attendees learn something new about an important area of tax law, and we add some great volunteer attorneys to our roster.”

During the session Ms. Ciraolo and Mr. Kelly guided the attendees through the IRS controversy process, teaching them the basics of contact with the IRS and the Comptroller, the different types of tax controversies, relevant practice and procedure, and methods for stopping or mitigating the effect of collection activity on a client. At the end of the session, attorneys were given a synopsis of a pro bono tax case and Ms. Ciraolo, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Leith each gave their view on how best to approach the case.

Attendees to the training did not leave empty handed. Besides a packet of sample forms and IRS letters, everyone received a copy of the updated edition of Tax Practice and Procedure for Maryland Attorneys, a detailed manual produced by the Taxation Section of the Maryland State Bar Association. In addition, mentoring by experienced tax controversy attorneys is always available after the training program to assist with the pro bono cases.

The free tax controversy training is held twice a year and is open to all attorneys admitted to the Bar in Maryland. The next session is tentatively scheduled for early Spring, 2011.



Tax Section seeks volunteers for U.S. Tax Court calendar calls on October 4 and October 18 (Aug. 23, 2010)

The majority of taxpayers that file petitions in the U.S. Tax Court appear without representation and are dealing with an unfamiliar maze of rules and procedures.  On April 28, 2008, the Court issued rules for bar associations wishing to establish and maintain pro bono programs to provide calendar call support to pro se taxpayers appearing before the Court. 

In September, 2008, the Taxation Section formed Maryland’s first U.S. Tax Court Pro Bono Program, which encourages members of the MSBA to offer pro bono consultation services to unrepresented taxpayers on the day of calendar call, both during settlement negotiations and in final trial preparation.  The Section drafted Rules governing the program and appointed a Pro Bono Coordinator as a contact for the U.S. Tax Court.  The Court recognized the Section’s program by letter dated September 19, 2008. 

The Section appeared once again at the 2009 at the calendar calls.  The Section has continuingly coordinated its efforts with the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC) for the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore, which were also present at each calendar call.  The Court has approved the Section’s program for 2010. 

The program is a project of the Section’s Pro Bono Committee.  Additional information, including the “Rules Governing the Taxation Section of the MSBA – U.S. Tax Court Pro Bono Program,” is available at: http://www.msba.org/sec_comm/sections/taxation/updates.asp#taxprobono.

The Section will appear at the 2010 fall calendar calls scheduled for October 4, 2010 and October 18, 2010.    

The Section is now seeking volunteer attorneys to appear at calendar call.  All volunteers must be a member of the MSBA and the MSBA Taxation Section.  In addition, to qualify for participation in the Program, volunteers must be admitted to practice before (or have filed an application to be admitted to practice before) the U.S. Tax Court at the time of calendar call.  A brief training teleconference will be scheduled for all volunteers prior to the each calendar call.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Program, please contact Robb Longman, Esquire, at:

Robb A. Longman, Esq.
Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A.
6404 Ivy Lane Suite 400
Greenbelt, Maryland 20770
(301)-220-2200  Fax (240) 553-1754
RLongman@JGLLAW.com

We look forward to your participation and thank you in advance for your support!



The Maryland Tax Practitioner's Handbook has been updated for 2010 (Aug. 19, 2010)

One of the many valuable benefits of membership in the Section of Taxation is the Maryland Tax Practitioner's Handbook.  Our last edition was published in the summer of 2009.  The Section will be working on a new edition this year.  In the interim, we have posted to the Section website current contact information and organizational charts for the Office of the Comptroller Revenue Administration Division and Compliance Division.  Please be sure to visit the website and print these valuable updates, which include titles, direct-dial phone numbers and email addresses for those individuals that can assist you and your clients as issues arise.

We would like to thank Sharonne R. Bonardi, Esquire, Director of the Compliance Division, Wallace A. Eddleman, Esquire, Assistant Director - Legal for the Revenue Administration Division, and their wonderful staff in providing this information and making it available for our members.

A copy of the update is also available here



Advising Clients Seeking to Come in From the Cold:  IRS Voluntary Disclosure Basics - Tax Section Webinar on October 27 (Aug. 17, 2010)

The IRS has an established, internal voluntary disclosure practice that encourages taxpayers to come forward and disclose previously unreported income, erroneously claimed expenses, unfiled returns and/or tax due.  The disclosure must be, “truthful, timely, and complete.”  While the practice does not offer immunity or a guarantee against criminal prosecution, a timely voluntary disclosure is a very strong factor in the Service’s deciding whether to recommend prosecution. 

This webinar session will provide an overview of the current IRS voluntary disclosure practice and some of the potential issues that can arise so that you can be in a position to properly advise your clients as to what they can expect in the process.  The panelists will discuss: (i) what circumstances preclude a client from making a valid voluntary disclosure; (ii) when an attorney, rather than the taxpayer’s accountant, should be involved in this process; (iii) how many years of original or amended returns will be required; (iv) how the Service will treat taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts and other assets that were not disclosed during the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure program that expired October 15, 2010; and (v) to what extent relief is available at the state level. 

Our outstanding panel of speakers will be Caroline Ciraolo and Burton (B.J.) Haynes.  Caroline represents individuals and businesses in federal and state tax controversies and litigation including defending clients charged with criminal tax offenses.  She is the past chair of the MSBA Section of Taxation as well as principal with Rosenberg Martin and was awarded the Janet Spragens Pro Bono Award at the ABA Tax Section meeting in January.  Mr. Haynes is a former IRS Special Agent, having worked in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division's office in Baltimore before entering private practice.   He specializes in tax controversy work, including civil and criminal tax matters, civil penalties and tax litigation and is a widely recognized speaker on various topics tax including civil and criminal tax disputes as well as tax aspects of bankruptcy and divorce.  Moderator is Paul Marcotte of Paley Rothman.

Register Now



Sixth Circuit approves IRS foreclosure of couple's home owned as tenants by entirety (Aug. 6, 2010)

On August 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a noteworthy opinion on IRS foreclosures, U.S. v. Barr.  In Barr, a three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit held that the IRS could foreclose on a delinquent taxpayer's property that was held by tenants by entirety; and that the non-delinquent spouse was entitled to 50% of the proceeds of the foreclosure sale.  The Chief Judge issued a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.  One aspect of the case that is worthy of notice is that even though the IRS may request to foreclose on entireties property, a court must still conduct a factual analysis to determine whether the foreclosure should be ordered.  In Barr, the fact that the non-delinquent spouse was complicit in certain property transfers and, therefore, had "unclean hands" influenced the court's decision.  With respect to the valuation of the non-delinquent spouse's interest in the proceeds from the sale, the court did not give any value to survivorship rights or the right to prevent a sale of the property.  In her opinion, the Chief Judge disagreed with the valuation method used by the majority and provided practical alternatives that took those rights into consideration.

A copy of the SIxth Circuit opinion is here


IRS Offers One-Time Special Filing Relief Program for Small Charities through October 15 (Aug. 6, 2010)

IR-2010-87, July 26, 2010

WASHINGTON — Small nonprofit organizations at risk of losing their tax-exempt status because they failed to file required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009 can preserve their status by filing returns by Oct. 15, 2010, under a one-time relief program, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS today posted on a special page of IRS.gov the names and last-known addresses of these at-risk organizations, along with guidance about how to come back into compliance. The organizations on the list have return due dates between May 17 and Oct. 15, 2010, but the IRS has no record that they filed the required returns for any of the past three years.

"We are doing everything we can to help organizations comply with the law and keep their valuable tax exemption," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "So if you do not have your filings up to date, now’s the time to take action and get back on track."

Two types of relief are available for small exempt organizations — a filing extension for the smallest organizations required to file Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) , and a voluntary compliance program (VCP) for small organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.

Small organizations required to file Form 990-N simply need to go to the IRS website, supply the eight information items called for on the form, and electronically file it by Oct. 15. That will bring them back into compliance.

Under the VCP, tax-exempt organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ must file their delinquent annual information returns by Oct. 15 and pay a compliance fee. Details about the VCP are on the IRS website, along with frequently asked questions.

The relief announced today is not available to larger organizations required to file the Form 990 or to private foundations that file the Form 990-PF.

The IRS will keep today’s list of at-risk organizations on IRS.gov until Oct. 15, 2010. Organizations that have not filed the required information returns by that date will have their tax-exempt status revoked, and the IRS will publish a list of these revoked organizations in early 2011. Donors who contribute to at-risk organizations are protected until the final revocation list is published.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 made two important changes affecting tax-exempt organizations, effective the beginning of 2007. First, it mandated that all tax-exempt organizations, other than churches and church-related organizations, must file an annual return with the IRS. The Form 990-N was created for small tax-exempt organizations that had not previously had a filing requirement. Second, the law also required that any tax-exempt organization that fails to file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax-exempt status. The IRS conducted an extensive outreach effort about this new legal requirement but, even so, many organizations have not filed returns on time.

If an organization loses its exemption, it will have to reapply with the IRS to regain its tax-exempt status. Any income received between the revocation date and renewed exemption may be taxable.



Free Tax Controversy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers on September 8 (Aug. 4, 2010)

On September 8, 2010, MVLS is offering a free program that will teach you the basics of handling federal and state tax controversy cases for low income taxpayers.  As an added bonus, the information provided can easily be applied in your practice.  There will be training materials and plenty of time for Q&A.  We hope you can attend and help MVLS continue to provide free representation to those individuals that truly need our assistance. 

Free Tax Controversy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
MVLS, One North Charles Street, Suite 222, Baltimore, Md. 21201

The Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service invites all interested attorneys to attend a free seminar on how to handle an IRS tax controversy case for low income clients. Expert tax attorneys and representatives from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service will guide you through all aspects of the process. All attendees will be assigned one pro bono case. Mentors and malpractice insurance will be provided.
Stop by to learn some new skills and help a taxpayer in need!



DC Tax Amnesty in effect through September 30 (Aug. 4, 2010)
From August 2 through September 30, 2010, you have a one-time opportunity to have penalties and fees waived upon the payment of overdue DC taxes and interest without fear of criminal penalties.  Individuals and businesses with unpaid DC tax obligations relating to returns with a due date prior to December 31, 2009 are eligible to participate. (Real property taxes and the ball park fee are not eligible for the amnesty program.)  More information, an application, and tax forms can be found at http://www.dctaxamnesty.com




IRS HIGHLIGHTS JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW GRADS ON YOUTUBE (JULY 6, 2010)

IRS Newswire - WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the availability of a new job search tool on YouTube dedicated to helping job seekers learn about employment opportunities at the IRS.

"Whether you're a veteran or a recent college graduate, the IRS is a great place to work and build a career. The IRS has a wide range of jobs and needs a variety of skills to serve the nation's taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Our goal is to make the IRS the best place to work in government."

As many recent high school and college graduates actively seek employment, the IRS’s new YouTube playlist, Working at the IRS<http://www.youtube.com/IRSVideos#g/c/C229B1637C71A518>, provides information about various career paths available throughout the nation’s tax administration agency. The playlist features “Day in the Life” videos in which IRS employees discuss their jobs, the diversity of the IRS workforce and the culture of the agency.

“This is a great opportunity for new graduates and applicants to explore employment with the IRS and join a dedicated workforce serving our nation’s taxpayers,” IRS Chief Human Capital Officer James Falcone said. “Potential applicants can learn a lot from a job description. But showcasing our talented employees on YouTube gives applicants first-hand insight into whether or not they would be a good fit for a particular position.”

The IRS has more than 100,000 full-time and seasonal employees and hires new employees throughout the year to fill a wide array of positions, including revenue agents, revenue officers, criminal investigation special agents, financial analysts and economists.

The YouTube playlist complements numerous other videos currently available on the IRS YouTube channel (IRSvideos<http://www.youtube.com/user/irsvideos>). IRS videos provide tax tips for individuals and businesses and information about new credits, deductions and changes in tax law, including tax provisions pertaining to Recovery and health care. The IRS has also posted videos in American Sign Language (IRSvideosASL<http://www.youtube.com/user/IRSvideosASL>) and Spanish (IRSvideosmultilingual<http://www.youtube.com/user/IRSvideosmultilingua>).

New IRS Careers Website

In addition to the new YouTube playlist, the IRS Human Capital Office recently launched a new and improved IRS Careers Website<http://www.jobs.irs.gov/home.html> with more detailed information on job openings, how to apply for new positions, what qualifications are needed in potential candidates and information on the benefits of working at the IRS. The site features a direct link to the IRS on USAJobs.com, the main source for federal employment opportunities, allowing candidates to focus their job search.



TAX SECTION WINS A MSBA PRESIDENTIAL BEST SECTION PROJECT AWARD! (JUNE 2009)


We are thrilled to announce that the Taxation Section has won the MSBA Presidential Best Section Project Award for the public for the MSBA U.S. Tax Court Pro Bono Program! Thank you to everyone who helped create the program, organized the program for the fall and spring U.S. Tax Court calendar calls, recruited volunteers, spread the word, volunteered at the calendar calls and supported the program since its inception.

This success of this program is due to the collective time and efforts of many individuals, including but certainly not limited to, our own Associate Area Counsel Arlene A. Blume, IRS Office of Chief Counsel - Baltimore, and the attorneys in her office, Keith Blair and Jack Snyder of the University of Baltimore Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Pamela Chaney of the University of Maryland Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, and Catherine Engell, ABA Section of Taxation Pro Bono Counsel.

A special thanks goes out to the Taxation Section Pro Bono Committee (Chair - Todd J. Bornstein, Selzer Gurvitch Rabin & Obecny Chtd. (Bethesda, MD)), Robb A. Longman (Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA (Greenbelt, MD)), who took on significant responsibilities with respect to the program, and our numerous volunteers who traveled to the calendar calls and donated their valuable time to assist pro se petitioners.

For more information regarding the program, please visit the Section website - "Recent Updates" and the ABA Section of Taxation Pro Bono page.

The award will be presented on Saturday, June 13 at the annual meeting in Ocean City (the program starts at 8:30 a.m.).



2009 TAX EXCELLENCE AWARD


The MSBA Taxation Section is very pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2009 TAX EXCELLENCE AWARD is:

Robert L. Zouck
Clerk, Maryland Tax Court


Bob Zouck is the Clerk of the Maryland Tax Court and a colleague, friend and mentor to countless members of the Taxation Section. As Clerk of the Court, Bob offers a calm sense of professionalism and fairness to taxpayers and their representatives. He is accessible and extremely helpful to both inexperienced and highly seasoned attorneys. As a former Chair of the Taxation Section, Bob encouraged participation in Section activities and the inclusion of new members in Section committees. If you attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, you may have been his student in Maryland Taxes, a course he has taught for many years. The Section has greatly benefited from Bob's continued involvement, strong commitment to the improvement of the profession, and unwavering support.

We hope you will join us on May 14, 2009, for the awards presentation at the Taxation Section's Annual Irving Shulbank Memorial Dinner and Program at the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore.



2009 J. RONALD SHIFF MEMORIAL PRO BONO AWARD


The MSBA Taxation Section is very pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2009 J. RONALD SHIFF MEMORIAL PRO BONO AWARD are:

Mary Beth Beattie, Esquire
Chair, Taxation Section (1999-2000)
109 North Adams Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Robin W. Denick, Esquire
Chair, Taxation Section (2001-2002)
Office of Chief Counsel
Internal Revenue Service
31 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

More than 10 years ago, Mary Beth and Robin worked together with Ron Shiff and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service to create the tax return preparation clinic for which so many of our members volunteer each year. The clinic has grown with each year and during the 2008 filing season, volunteers prepared 652 federal and Maryland tax returns, resulting in federal tax refunds totaling $1,100,000. The average Earned Income Tax Credit for clients of the tax return clinic was $1,700.

Both Mary Beth and Robin have contributed an enormous amount of time and energy over the years to this project and countless other pro bono endeavors, demonstrating a clear and constant commitment to providing legal services to low-income taxpayers.

We hope you will join us on May 14, 2009, for the awards presentation at the Taxation Section's Annual Irving Shulbank Memorial Dinner and Program at the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore.


UNITED STATES TAX COURT PRO BONO PROGRAM


The Tax Section has formed Maryland's first U.S. Tax Court Pro Bono Program, which encourages members of the Maryland State Bar Association to offer pro bono consultation services to unrepresented taxpayers at U.S. Tax Court calendar calls, during settlement negotiations and in final trial preparation. The majority of taxpayers that file petitions in the U.S. Tax Court appear without representation and are dealing with an unfamiliar maze of rules and procedures. Through the efforts of the Pro Bono Committee,including Chair Todd J. Bornstein and Committee members Robb A. Longman, W. Randolph Shump and Saul B. Abrams, the Section commenced this program in the fall of 2008, appearing at the November and December calendar calls in Baltimore. The Section will continue its efforts this spring and looks forward to expanding its volunteer base.


SUMMARY OF THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009 (MARCH 2009)


Summary of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

David S. De Jong of Stein, Sperling, Bennett, De Jong, Driscoll & Greenfeig, PC has graciously prepared a summary of the tax changes for individuals and businesses in P.L. 111-5, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Click here for the Summary


TAX SECTION MEMBERS CAN NOW ACCESS THE MARYLAND TAX PRACTITIONER'S HANDBOOK ONLINE!
In previous years, Tax Section members received a print copy of the Maryland Tax Practitioner's Handbook, a joint effort among Section Council and students from the University of Baltimore School of Law. The Handbook provides contact information for the Office of the Comptroller, State Department of Assessments & Taxation, Maryland legislature, Maryland and U.S. Tax Courts, and the IRS (for MD/DC practitioners). Now Tax Section members can view this publication online. As an added feature in the online edition, readers can link on many of the names and access email addresses. To access the Handbook, Please Login to view
To become a member of the Tax Section, click here
(please Right-Click, Save As)


COMPTROLLER ISSUES EMERGENCY COMBINED REPORTING REGULATIONS (AUGUST 2008)

On August 26, 2008, the Comptroller posted emergency regulations for combined corporate information reporting requirements and, due to the short time period before the first reporting deadline, submitted the regulations to the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (the "AELR Committee"). The regulations can be found at http://business.marylandtaxes.com/pdf/EmergencyRegulations.pdf. According to the Comptroller's website, the emergency regulations are likely to be effective through February 2009, at which time identical regulations, submitted through the regular review and comment process, are expected to take effect.

The Section of Taxation is reviewing the regulations and considering the submission of comments to the Comptroller and/or the AELR Committee.


COMPTROLLER ISSUES PROPOSED COMBINED REPORTING REGULATIONS (JULY 2008)

On Monday, July 14, 2008, the Section of Taxation submitted Comments on the draft regulations to Tax Gen. 10-804.1, Maryland's new combined reporting requirements.  The Comments are attached below.  I want to thank the State Legislation and Regulatory Proposal Committee and other members of the Section for their signficant efforts in putting these Comments together on such an expedited basis.  Definitely a job well done.


Comments on Draft Regulations
Combined Reporting Notice
Combined Reporting Regulations
Pro Form Return

 

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