Wednesday, February 22, 2017
FROM THE CHAIR
By William H. Caudill, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Houston, TX
As I write this column, we are well into the Tax Section’s 2016–2017 year. I am pleased that we have made good progress on many tasks, but there is much that remains to be accomplished, not least of which is how we as tax lawyers will prepare for the tax reforms that will likely come our way as a result of this last election cycle and how the Section can contribute to the process.
Taking Issue with the Tax Court in Analog Devices, Inc. v. Commissioner
By Professor Kevin A. Diehl, Western Illinois University, Moline, IL
In Analog Devices, Inc. v. Commissioner, the Tax Court overturned the BMC Software case that was the applicable precedent. It did so largely because the Fifth Circuit overturned its own BMC Software ruling. This choice comes with significant consequences.
Rio Tinto Alcan v. The Queen: Welcome Expansion of the Canadian Tax Deductibility of M&A Transaction Expenses
By Claire Kennedy, Bennett Jones, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Anu Nijhawan, Bennett Jones, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
In a welcome decision for Canadian acquirors and targets, the Tax Court of Canada recognized, in Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. v The Queen, that certain “oversight expenses”—including certain investment banking and other professional advisory fees—should be deductible in the context of M&A transactions.
Rev. Proc. 2016-44 Provides a Path for Long-Term Management Contracts with a Few New Challenges
By Adam Harden and Patrick O’Daniel, Norton Rose Fulbright U.S. LLP
State and local governments have been able to issue bonds that bear interest that is exempt from federal income tax. Those bonds, however, must meet certain conditions.
SALT Committee Update on Partnership Audit Rules, Work with MTC and States
By Bruce P. Ely and William T. Thistle, II, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Birmingham, AL (Co-Chairs of the SALT Committee’s Task Force on the State Implications of the New Federal Partnership Audit Rules)
Partnership tax aficionados will recall that Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the BBA) as amended by the PATH Act of 2015, in record time. That law established a new partnership audit and assessment regime and repealed prospectively the current TEFRA partnership audit rules. Even though more than a year has passed, much remains unknown—both at the federal and the state level.
PRO BONO MATTERS
Making a Difference in Pro Bono Tax Cases
By Andrew R. Roberson, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Chicago, IL
For this edition of Pro Bono Matters, I thought it would be interesting to write about some of the tax cases that have been handled on a pro bono basis. Most cases are settled short of trial, and therefore the tremendous results obtained by pro bono volunteers are not publicized. Nevertheless, there have been several reported opinions in the past that are noteworthy and important for the specific taxpayers and the low-income taxpayer community as a whole.
2017 Recipient of the Janet R. Spragens Pro Bono Award: C. Wells Hall, III
By Megan L. Brackney, Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP, New York, New York
As chair of the Tax Section’s Pro Bono Award Committee, I am honored to announce that this year’s recipient of the Janet R. Spragens Pro Bono Award is C. Wells Hall, III, of Charlotte, NC, the former Tax Section Vice Chair of Pro Bono and Outreach.
IN THE STACKS
The Supreme Court’s Federal Tax Jurisprudence, Second Edition
By Michael J. Desmond, The Law Offices of Michael J. Desmond, APC, Santa Barbara, CA
The Second Edition of The Supreme Court’s Federal Tax Jurisprudence comes at a time when Congress is pushing the tax law into new and uncharted territory while we all hold out hope for the fundamental reform of the Internal Revenue Code that is long overdue. This review was originally published as the Foreword in The Supreme Court’s Federal Tax Jurisprudence, Second Edition.
Call for Book Reviews
The move to a digital-only format has allowed ATT to expand the types of materials we publish. One new feature is reviews of books and articles on topics of interest to our members.
YOUNG LAWYERS CORNER
Winners of the 16th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge
The Section is pleased to announce the winners of the 16th Annual Law Student Tax Challenge, a contest designed to give students an opportunity to research, write about, and present their analyses of a real-life tax planning problem.
A Post-Election Reg-time Tune
By Robert S. Steinberg, Law Offices of Robert S. Steinberg, Palmetto Bay, FL
Sing along with Tax Bits to the tune of “Without a Song,” by Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu (1929).
Report on the 33rd Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the Sixth Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy
By Derek B. Wagner, Pro Bono Counsel, ABA Section of Taxation, Washington, DC
This conference—now in its thirty-third year as the National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, and its sixth year since combining with the National Institute on Tax Controversy—brings together tax practitioners, judges, and representatives from the IRS and the Department of Justice for three days of workshops and programming topics related to tax controversy, tax litigation, and criminal tax prosecution and defense.
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Report of the Nominating Committee: 2017-2018 Nominees
In accordance with Sections 4.2, 6.1, and 6.3 of the Section of Taxation Bylaws, the following nominations have been submitted by the Nominating Committee for terms beginning at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual Meeting in August.
Government Submissions Boxscore
Since January 1, 2016, the Section has coordinated government submissions, which are available to the public on the Section’s website.
2017-2018 John S. Nolan Fellowships
Named for the late Jack Nolan, a dedicated and respected Tax Section member, the Nolan Fellow distinction is awarded to young lawyers who are actively involved in the Section and have shown leadership qualities.
The Tax Lawyer – Fall 2016 Issue Is Now Available
The Tax Lawyer, the nation’s premier tax law journal, is published quarterly as a service members of the Tax Section.
Coming Soon: The Tax Lawyer Audio Edition from ModioLegal
What is an hour of your time worth?
Tax Assistance Public Service Endowment Fund
Through the Tax Assistance Public Service (TAPS) endowment fund, the Section of Taxation seeks to provide stable, long-term funding for its tax-related public service programs.
The Practical Tax Lawyer – Winter 2017 Issue Is Now Available
Produced in cooperation with the Tax Section and published by ALI-CLE, The Practical Tax Lawyer offers concise, practice-oriented articles to assist lawyers with all aspects of tax law.
Get Involved in ATT
ABA Tax Times (ATT) is looking for volunteers to join its ranks as associate editors to assist in writing and acquiring articles for publication.