Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,043 articles and books

Tax Executives Institute--LMSB liaison meeting: February 24, 2003.



On February 24, 2003, Tax Executives Institute met with Larry R. Langdon, Commissioner of the IRS's Large and Mid-Size Business Division, and other representatives of LMSB LMSB Large and Mid-Size Business . TEI 1. (communications) TEI - Terminal Endpoint Identifier.
2. (text, project) TEI - Text Encoding Initiative.
 President J.A. (Drew) Glennie led the Institute's delegation to the meeting. The agenda for the meeting was published in the March-April 2003 issue of The Tax Executive. The minutes follow:

On behalf of the Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) Division of the Internal Revenue Service, Commissioner Larry R. Langdon welcomed TEI President J.A. (Drew) Glennie and the other members of the delegation from Tax Executives Institute to the liaison meeting. LMSB's and TEI's delegations to the liaison meeting are set forth below. [Note: The minutes follow the order of the agenda submitted by TEI.]

1. Opening Comments

Mr. Glennie thanked the LMSB representatives for taking the time to meet with the Institute. Mr. Langdon remarked on the symbolism Symbolism

In art, a loosely organized movement that flourished in the 1880s and '90s and was closely related to the Symbolist movement in literature. In reaction against both Realism and Impressionism, Symbolist painters stressed art's subjective, symbolic, and decorative
 of meeting in the government's version of "TEI"(or Treasury Executive Institute), which is the training facility for executives within the Treasury Department. He noted that TEI representatives were recently part of the classes held for IRS An abbreviation for the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency charged with the responsibility of administering and enforcing internal revenue laws.  employees currently undergoing executive development training in the facility. These employees will also visit two taxpayers in the Detroit area to provide the trainees with a taste of corporate America. It is important for IRS employees to understand the issues of businesses, he added.

Mr. Langdon highlighted three issues:

* The tax shelter tax shelter: see tax exemption.  disclosure regulations. LMSB's interests in the regulations are similar to TEI's, Mr. Langdon stated. Neither party wants box cars of information to be provided in response to the regulations. He added that the rules were similar to Goldilocks's porridge: They shouldn't be too hot or too cold, but just right.

* Penalties for non-disclosure. Mr. Langdon stated that there is a need for proper penalty administration. Those taxpayers that enter into reportable transactions that are not disclosed should be penalized pe·nal·ize  
tr.v. pe·nal·ized, pe·nal·iz·ing, pe·nal·iz·es
1. To subject to a penalty, especially for infringement of a law or official regulation. See Synonyms at punish.

2.
, he said, otherwise, there will be no incentive for taxpayers to disclose. Referring to the recent report on the Enron situation released by the Joint Committee on Taxation, he stated that the report highlights les sons to be learned as well as challenges to be managed. Taxpayers must live with that history, he said, but we hope there is no overreaction o·ver·re·act  
intr.v. o·ver·re·act·ed, o·ver·re·act·ing, o·ver·re·acts
To react with unnecessary or inappropriate force, emotional display, or violence.
 for taxpayers who are trying to comply with the laws.

* Tax shelter settlement initiatives. Mr. Langdon remarked on the challenges facing the IRS in attempting to settle cases involving abusive tax shelters Abusive tax shelter

A limited partnership that the IRS judges to be claiming tax deductions illegally.


abusive tax shelter

A tax shelter in which an improper interpretation of the law is used to produce tax benefits that are
. Existing cases must be expeditiously ex·pe·di·tious  
adj.
Acting or done with speed and efficiency. See Synonyms at fast1.



ex
 resolved, he added.

Ms. Nolan commended the Institute for its valuable comments on the IRS's reorganization. TEI has adjusted its structure to work effectively with us, she stated, and the result has been more initiatives to settle audit disputes as quickly as possible. LMSB needs to know what's working and what's not, she added.

Ms. Nolan noted that LMSB officials recently met with incoming Commissioner-nominee Mark Everson. The new Commissioner supports a balanced approach in effectively using LMSB resources to resolve outstanding cases, she stated.

Noting he is in his last year as LMSB Commissioner, Mr. Langdon expressed his commitment to maintaining the strategic focus of the IRS. LMSB Team Managers are heading in the right direction, he said, expressing pride in the progress made to date. Although 42 percent of the LMSB workforce is eligible to retire, many are remaining. In addition, the division has received almost 1,000 resumes for the 40-60 new slots to be filled this year. Approximately 50 percent of the applicants have more than five years of experience and are certified public accountants Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

An accountant who has met certain standards, including experience, age, and licensing, and passed exams in a particular state.
 or lawyers, or hold masters of tax degrees. [Note: Subsequently, Mr. Langdon announced that he would resign from LMSB effective May 31.]

Mr. Glennie encouraged LMSB to stay on course. You have the full support of TEI, he stated, adding that the Institute is willing to work with the government to reduce taxpayer burdens.

2. Audit Processes

a. Pre-Filing Initiatives

Mr. Rossi Mr Rossi was created by Italian animator Bruno Bozzetto. We first meet Mr Rossi who is unhappy in life and single until he befriends his neighbour's talking dog Harold and a Witch who grants him wishes where they have many exciting adventures.  referred to the use of the pre-filing agreement and industry issue resolution programs, asking for an update on the use of these procedures, including whether LMSB intends to initiate new IIR IIR - Infinite Impulse Response  projects. Ms. Petronchak stated that the PFA PFA Pacific Film Archive
PFA Professional Footballers Association
PFA Paraformaldehyde
PFA Predictive Failure Analysis
PFA Perfluoroalkoxy
PFA Protection From Abuse
PFA Parent-Faculty Association
PFA Popular Flying Association
 program has received 78 applications since it was initiated, of which 48 have been accepted and 17 closed. The IRS is working on a new revenue procedure that will expand the program to include multiple years and more international issues. Mr. Ng added that the IRS is preparing its third report to Congress on the program, which will be submitted by the end of March. Anecdotal anecdotal /an·ec·do·tal/ (an?ek-do´t'l) based on case histories rather than on controlled clinical trials.
anecdotal adjective Unsubstantiated; occurring as single or isolated event.
 reports of the time savings realized by taxpayers participating in the program reveal a 20-60 percent time savings, with an average of 21 percent.

In response to a question concerning the international issues to be included in the program, Ms. Dunahoo said that where the law is clear and the issues are fact-driven, international issues can qualify for the PFA program. The revised procedure will list potential international issues, but the list is not intended to be exclusive, she said.

Mr. Ng stated that LMSB will stress the use of PFAs as one of its operational priorities with its field teams.

Ms. Burke noted that cases involving mixed issues of law and fact are the most troublesome for the PFA program. She advised that if an issue is not accepted for the PFA program, the taxpayer should consider using the expedited process for obtaining legal advice (i.e., the TEAM process) to seek a solution. The time for obtaining that advice can be negotiated, she added.

In respect of the IIR initiative, Ms. Petronchak noted that seven issues were selected for inclusion on the business plan, of which one has been published. A revision of the revenue procedure is under consideration. Taxpayers should be permitted to propose projects year-round, she stated, and the IRS may expand the program to select projects more than once a year for inclusion. The Small Business/Self-Employed Division is eager to include issues in the program, he added. Ms. Burke noted that the quarterly updating of the business plan makes it easier to include additional IIR issues during the year.

Mr. Petrella noted that issues not selected for the IIR process are often developed within the industry sector. An issue management strategy will be included in the division's goals for FY2004. [Note: On April 17, the IRS announced new procedures for the IIR program.]

b. LIFE Initiative

Mr. Bernard noted that TEI is pleased with LMSB's recent announcement of its limited issue focused examination, or "LIFE," initiative. LIFE--an innovative process to focus government and taxpayer resources on the most significant issues on a taxpayer's return by using a risk-based methodology--represents a major culture shift for LMSB. Critical to its success is the involvement and training of IRS field personnel, he stated.

Ms. Nolan stated that LMSB agents had received training in the new initiative late last year. We are in the process of reviewing all work in process to determine whether LIFE is appropriate for that audit, she said. Thus far, 17 CIC CIC

circulating immune complexes.

CIC Circulating immune complexes. See Immune complexes.
 taxpayers have signed LIFE memoranda of understanding; more are in process. Two cases have been closed using the new procedure. Frequently asked questions have been developed and will be released soon, she stated. Focus interviews with taxpayers will begin in April, she added.

In response to a question, Ms. Nolan stated that there is no specific target for the number of cases that can utilize the LIFE procedure. The key to its success is to focus on the higher-risk compliance issues. Materiality MATERIALITY. That which is important; that which is not merely of form but of substance.
     2. When a bill for discovery has been filed, for example, the defendant must answer every material fact which is charged in the bill, and the test in these cases seems to
 standards will need to be developed for each taxpayer. Mr. Petrella stated that LMSB has developed a list of best practices for its audits. There are no mandatory items to be included, but not every case is appropriate for the LIFE process, he noted. If the taxpayer and the IRS have had an adverse relationship, the IRS will not agree to use the new procedure. Both sides must keep their commitments in order for the process to work, he added.

Mr. Bernard noted that the procedure contemplates that a taxpayer disagreeing with an examiner's assessment of materiality may take the issue up the IRS chain of command. Many taxpayers remain reticent about using that approach for fear of antagonizing the audit team, he said. Mr. Petrella replied that LMSB emphasizes in its training that taxpayers may request a review of an issue from a higher authority within the agency. We stress that we are all part of the same team, he said. Taxpayers should not be reluctant to discuss issues at the Territory Manager level or higher, he added.

Within the financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
 industry, Mr. Petrella explained, we have performed a full risk analysis of large taxpayers. A few large CIC taxpayers and several mid-sized companies already have the LIFE procedure in place, he said.

In response to a question, Mr. Petrella confirmed that neither size nor complexity is an impediment A disability or obstruction that prevents an individual from entering into a contract.

Infancy, for example, is an impediment in making certain contracts. Impediments to marriage include such factors as consanguinity between the parties or an earlier marriage that is still valid.
 to use of the procedure. Ms. Nolan added that the process presents an opportunity for a fresh start.

Mr. Bernard suggested that the 24-month time frame for conclusion of a LIFE audit may not be aggressive enough. Ms. Petronchak remarked that the process was used in several audits before it was issued; one taxpayer will soon close 10-years' worth of audits in less than three years. The IRS cannot change overnight, she added, but we can do better.

Mr. Rossi asked whether the materiality standard will remain unchanged for the next audit cycle. Ms. Nolan agreed that it could change, but added that the IRS could also decide to skip a cycle.

Mr. Langdon offered that the IRS Directors of Field Operations are willing to make presentations at TEI chapter meetings. Mr. McCormally suggested that LMSB ask its audit teams to encourage TEI members to share their experiences with TEI. Mr. Langdon opined that the process is a cooperative one, more closely resembling marriage counseling Marriage Counseling Definition

Marriage counseling is a type of psychotherapy for a married couple or established partners that tries to resolve problems in the relationship.
 than a tax process. Both sides, he concluded, must move to the center of the room.

c. Record Retention Limitation Agreements

Mr. Traubenberg referred to the "evolution, revolution, and devolution devolution n. the transfer of rights, powers, or an office (public or private) from one person or government to another. (See: devolve)


DEVOLUTION, eccl. law.
" of technology, particularly in respect of enterprise resource planning See ERP.

(application, business) Enterprise Resource Planning - (ERP) Any software system designed to support and automate the business processes of medium and large businesses.
 (ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) An integrated information system that serves all departments within an enterprise. Evolving out of the manufacturing industry, ERP implies the use of packaged software rather than proprietary software written by or for one customer. ) software systems. He explained that, for several years, TEI and the IRS have discussed the significant burdens imposed on corporate taxpayers relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 the requirement that extensive records be maintained in respect of taxable years Taxable year

The 12-month period an individual uses to report income for income tax purposes. For most individuals, their tax year is the calendar year.
 subject to audit. There is a need to minimize the burden that currently exists, he said. Yet, some members have been told by agents that the IRS is not entering into record retention limitation agreements (RRLAs).

Mr. Jones stated that the use of RRLAs tends to ebb and flow the alternate ebb and flood of the tide; often used figuratively.

See also: Ebb
. He referred to TEI's October 21, 2002, letter to Mr. Langdon, which stressed the need for such agreements. The IRS has reviewed TEI's concerns and a meeting with Institute representatives is scheduled for February 26. There is clearly room to improve Rev. Proc. 98-25, he stated, agreeing that record retention burdens can best be reduced by increasing the currency of audits.

d. Fast-Track Initiatives

Ms. Zelisko referred to LMSB's fast-track mediation mediation, in law, type of intervention in which the disputing parties accept the offer of a third party to recommend a solution for their controversy. Mediation has long been a part of international law, frequently involving the use of an international commission,  and settlement processes, which permit an IRS Examination team and an LMSB taxpayer to work with a mediator mediator n. a person who conducts mediation. A mediator is usually a lawyer, or retired judge, but can be a non-attorney specialist in the subject matter (like child custody) who tries to bring people and their disputes to early resolution through a conference.  to resolve audit issues within a 120-day period. Mr. Ng stated that taxpayers are all opting for the settlement procedure. The process has highlighted the ability of the Examination team to work with Appeals in developing cases, he said.

Mr. Cables summarized the results of the fast-track program, remarking that in a recent customer satisfaction survey (performed by The Gallup Organization), 94 percent of the external respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy.  gave the program a 4 or 5 ranking (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest). The time the case is in Appeals also fell from an average of 829 days to 133. In respect of the program requirement that a case be "fully developed," Mr. Cables explained that there is no bright-line test. Appeals has helped in ensuring that the requirement is met, he said. Mr. Petrella commented on the need to market the process both internally and externally, predicting that the program will continue to grow.

Mr. Ng explained that determining whether a case is fully developed is not precise, although the IRS does not want to negotiate over the facts of a particular case. He predicted that the program will be extended to include a tax shelter resolution process.

Ms. Burke remarked that Counsel is assigned to each CIC case and has a role to play in the process. She added that all parties are informed if Counsel advises on a particular issue. [Note: On April 4, 2003, the IRS announced that the fast-track settlement process will be made permanent.]

3. Administrative Issues

a. Tax Shelters

Ms. Lange referred to the IRS's three tax shelter settlement initiatives: corporate-owned life insurance Corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) is life insurance on employees' lives that is owned by the employer corporation. COLI was originally purchased on the lives of key employees and executives by a company to hedge against the financial cost of losing key employees to  (COLI COLI Corporate-Owned Life Insurance
COLI Cost of Living Index
COLI Chemometrics On-line Initiative
), section 302/318 basis-shifting transactions, and section 351 contingent liability Contingent Liability

1. The possibility of an obligation to pay certain sums dependent on future events.

2. Defined obligations by a company that must be met, but the probability of payment is minimal.

Notes:
1.
 transactions (which included either a fixed-settlement option or an opportunity to mediate MEDIATE, POWERS. Those incident to primary powers, given by a principal to his agent. For example, the general authority given to collect, receive and pay debts due by or to the principal is a primary power.  a particular case). These cases have the potential for clogging the tax system and consuming significant resources. She inquired about taxpayers' response to the initiatives and whether further settlement options are anticipated.

Mr. Langdon stated that LMSB is deploying more and more resources to deal with tax shelters, adding that a key focus is on the promoters of such transactions.

Mr. Ng noted that the deadline for the section 351 initiative is March 4, adding that LMSB has not seen the full array of taxpayers interested in accepting the IRS's offer. Twelve applications have been filed thus far for the fixed-option procedure, but none has requested the mediation route, he explained.

In respect of the basis-shifting initiative, Mr. Ng stated that most taxpayers with the issue have opted to be included within the resolution procedure. And out of approximately 40 COLI cases, almost all the taxpayers have accepted the settlement offer.

As for future initiatives, Mr. Ng noted that there are currently 25 listed transactions. A "lead executive" has been designated for each transaction, the list of which is available on the IRS website. The executive takes the lead in the development of the issue and training. Representatives of LMSB, SB/SE, Counsel, Appeals, and often the Treasury Department become involved in determining settlement options.

Mr. Murray observed that there is a sense that the number of transactions currently being marketed has decreased. Mr. Ng noted that the marketing of the transactions is moving away from CIC taxpayers to the mid-market. He added that disclosures under section 6011 increased in 2002, to 1,553 from 277 in 2001. Is this the population, he asked, adding that the number seems low.

Disclosure is critical to combating abusive Tending to deceive; practicing abuse; prone to ill-treat by coarse, insulting words or harmful acts. Using ill treatment; injurious, improper, hurtful, offensive, reproachful.  shelters, Mr. Ng stated, noting it is inefficient for the IRS to use resources to hunt down specific taxpayers. The focus is on the promoter and its list maintenance, which can be used to assess the appropriateness of a particular transaction. He added that there is an agency-wide Executive Steering The process whereby builders, brokers, and rental property managers induce purchasers or lessees of real property to buy land or rent premises in neighborhoods composed of persons of the same race.  Committee--which includes representatives of the criminal division and SB/SE--that coordinates shelter activities and reports to the IRS senior leadership. The new special counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel, Nicholas J. DeNovio, is part of the committee. Ms. Burke added that although Division Counsel advises on shelter activity, the tax shelter group develops guidance on whether new transactions are abusive and assists the operating divisions on the technical aspects of settlement initiatives. She added that the committee has determined that some transactions--such as the STRYPES transaction--are acceptable under current law.

Mr. Boyle referred to a December 9, 2002, memorandum to the field, which implied that all listed transactions must be under audit by June 30, 2003. Mr. Ng noted that the memorandum was issued because there was some confusion in the field. All audit teams involved in CIC cases where a disclosure has been made under Announcement 2002-2 must develop an audit plan by that date, with taxpayer input. Audit teams on other cases must contact taxpayers and determine what transactions, if any, should be examined. Substantial audit resources are devoted to tax shelter activities, he said, and the IRS is monitoring it carefully. He added that Mr. Petrella is the lead executive on promoter activity because most of that activity was first identified in the Northeast, although it is now migrating across the country.

Mr. Petrella stated that he chairs a committee to assess what information is available and to determine whether an examination of a particular promoter is warranted. In many cases, the information comes directly from the promoter; if not, the IRS has been successful in enforcing summonses in court. If follow-up is needed, an examination team will be assigned. All industry sections are involved in the process, he said, adding that the committee will also assist in the examinations of investors to ensure consistency.

Mr. Bernard asked about the process available where a taxpayer is incorrectly included in a promoter list or otherwise erroneously er·ro·ne·ous  
adj.
Containing or derived from error; mistaken: erroneous conclusions.



[Middle English, from Latin err
 identified as engaging in tax shelter activity. Mr. Ng explained the process for reviewing material submitted by promoters. Information received from promoters is cross matched against the disclosure filed with the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis. The list is then pared down and the field location established. Mr. Langdon added that the IRS may summon TO SUMMON, practice. The act by which a defendant is notified by a competent officer, that an action has been instituted against him, and that he is required to answer to it at a time and place named.  information regarding the materials provided and the fees charged. Mr. Ng added that the IRS needs to study what process to put in place for informing taxpayers.

Ms. Lange referred to the requirement that "substantially similar" transactions be disclosed. May a taxpayer with a transaction substantially similar to one of the transactions included in the settlement initiatives avail themselves of that settlement? Mr. Ng suggested that the taxpayer discuss the transaction with the LMSB technical adviser and Counsel assigned to each listed transactions. (This information is included on the IRS website.)

Mr. McCormally noted that some aspects of the IRS's settlement initiatives could be criticized for lack of transparency (1) The quality of being able to see through a material. The terms transparency and translucency are often used synonymously; however, transparent would technically mean "seeing through clear glass," while translucent would mean "seeing through frosted glass." See alpha blending. , suggesting that a recent educational program with Counsel participants left some taxpayers concerned that the IRS is playing "gotcha (jargon, programming) gotcha - A misfeature of a system, especially a programming language or environment, that tends to breed bugs or mistakes because it both enticingly easy to invoke and completely unexpected and/or unreasonable in its outcome. " on the various transactions. We need to keep in mind what clearer information about the initiatives can accomplish, he said, without a full and fair discussion of tax shelter issues, IRS procedures such as PFAs or LIFE could be placed at risk. Mr. Trager added that tax shelters affect the taxpayer-IRS audit relationship. He expressed concern that the environment may cause some taxpayers to opt for litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
 rather than dealing with the transactions in the examination process. He noted that practitioner groups are facilitating settlement of some transactions.

Mr. Langdon stated that some listed transactions lack an organized group to represent taxpayers. The initiatives established thus far have been a joint effort. The process needs to be more robust, he stated. Mr. Petrella noted that it is often difficult to get taxpayers involved in, for example, the resolution of LILO transactions.

In respect of audits, Mr. Petrella stated that shelter issues are often set aside and worked separately from the normal audit process. This approach has been fairly successful in preventing the presence of a shelter issue from inhibiting in·hib·it  
tr.v. in·hib·it·ed, in·hib·it·ing, in·hib·its
1. To hold back; restrain. See Synonyms at restrain.

2. To prohibit; forbid.

3.
 the settlement of non-shelter issues, he added.

Ms. Lange asked whether the disclosure of a potential shelter precludes the use of the LIFE process. Ms. Nolan noted that the shelter issue could be one issue examined within the procedure. Mr. Langdon added that LMSB is working hard to aid and facilitate taxpayers who disclose. Others, he warned, may face a harsher reality.

b. Tax Deposit Requirements for Nonqualified Stock Option Exercises

Mr. Traubenberg explained that some TEI members have reported significant late tax deposit penalties being raised in respect of employment and withholding taxes The amount legally deducted from an employee's wages or salary by the employer, who uses it to prepay the charges imposed by the government on the employee's yearly earnings.  owed on the exercise of nonqualified stock options. The dispute is not whether the taxes are owed; rather, the issue is when the wages are actually or constructively paid. The argument is apparently that the exercise date is the date establishing the employment and withholding tax liability. In some cases, this would require the deposit of the taxes the next business day following the exercise of the option, even though the settlement date for the purchase is normally the trade date plus three days. Guidance is needed to quell quell  
tr.v. quelled, quell·ing, quells
1. To put down forcibly; suppress: Police quelled the riot.

2.
 the controversy before it reaches more taxpayers, he concluded.

Mr. Langdon agreed that an administratively feasible solution is required, adding that the issue should also be discussed with the Treasury Department. The issue is part of a larger one involving executive compensation, he said. Mr. Jones noted that the issue is being discussed internally within the IRS. There may be room for some rules of administrative convenience, he stated.

Mr. Trager suggested that the issue is not really an executive compensation issue, but rather an administrative one of when withholding taxes should be deposited. Mr. Jones replied that it is part of a broader issue on which the IRS is developing a standard information document request (IDR IDR

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Indonesian Rupiah.

Notes:
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion.
). We will be training specialists on this broader issue of executive compensation, he added. Mr. Langdon offered to share the IDR with TEI when it is developed this spring. He explained that the IRS's Tax Exempt/Governmental Entity Division has responsibility for issues involving qualified plans, while Mr. Jones's section has responsibility for employment tax and non-qualified plan issues. Mr. Jones concluded that the IRS understands TEI's concerns and will attempt to resolve them. [Note: The IRS issued a Field Directive on March 14, 2003, which states that LMSB Employment Tax Specialists should not challenge the timeliness of employment and withholding tax deposits on the exercise of stock options if the deposits are made the next day after settlement date, as long as that date is within three days of the trade date.]

c. Section 482

Mr. Rossi referred to a January 22, 2003, directive in which LMSB instructed agents to issue at the joint opening conference for each audit cycle a "written information document request for a copy of any transfer pricing Transfer pricing refers to the pricing of goods and services within a multi-divisional organization, particularly in regard to cross-border transactions. For example, goods from the production division may be sold to the marketing division, or goods from a parent company may be  documentation prepared by the taxpayer pursuant to section 6662(e)." He expressed concern about the "one-size-fits-all" nature of the directive. What prompted the issuance of the memorandum? he asked.

Ms. Dunahoo stated that the purpose of the directive is to remind agents that the documentation required under section 6662 of the Code should be examined in appropriate cases. She agreed that not every case should be examined for transfer-pricing issues, but noted that there has been a decrease in the number of transfer-pricing audits. The field has discretion whether to raise the matter, she explained, adding that the Internal Revenue Manual provides that agents should not pursue de minimis An abbreviated form of the Latin Maxim de minimis non curat lex, "the law cares not for small things." A legal doctrine by which a court refuses to consider trifling matters.  issues.

Ms. Dunahoo reported on taxpayer complaints that, although they had incurred considerable expense in preparing the documentation, the agents were not requesting to review it. The goal of the directive is to ensure that transfer-pricing issues are promptly referred to international examiners for review, she said.

Mr. Rossi suggested that the directive is overbroad and could be misinterpreted by the field. Mr. Murray inquired whether the IRS is concerned that transfer-pricing issues are not receiving sufficient emphasis in examinations. Ms. Dunahoo stated that the purpose of the directive to ensure compliance with the section 6662 rules--has been explained to the field.

Mr. Rossi next requested a status report on the revision of Treas. Reg REG,
n.pr See random event generator.
. [subsections] 1.482-2 and 1.482-7. Ms. Dunnahoo stated that the regulations are close to completion and suggested that the matter be raised with the Treasury Department at the meeting scheduled for the next day.

d. IRS Service Center Issues

Mr. Bernard explained that some TEI members have expressed concern over the level of service by IRS Service Centers. Problems include the filing of unjustified liens, the receipt of duplicate DUPLICATE. The double of anything.
     2. It is usually applied to agreements, letters, receipts, and the like, when two originals are made of either of them. Each copy has the same effect.
 notices (some from different service centers), the lack of a contact name on notices, and the length of time it takes to resolve even minor discrepancies. In many cases, the taxpayer received assistance from its audit team, but this seems an inefficient use of resources. He suggested that many of these problems could be resolved by assigning a permanent account representative for each large-case taxpayer.

Ms. Nolan stated that the service centers experienced some inefficiency in the reorganization when their number was reduced from ten to five. Some LMSB taxpayers may not have been assigned a permanent account representative. The issue was identified in recent IRS customer satisfaction surveys. The next step is to work with the Small Business/ Self-Employed Division to resolve the problems. She invited TEI to provide taxpayer-specific issues for consideration.

e. Taxpayer Confidentiality

Mr. Boyle stated that TEI is concerned about an Administration proposal to use private debt collection agencies to collect delinquent delinquent 1) adj. not paid in full amount or on time. 2) n. short for an underage violator of the law as in juvenile delinquent.


DELINQUENT, civil law. He who has been guilty of some crime, offence or failure of duty.
 taxes. Even though there seems to be no direct effect on LMSB taxpayers, the proposal raises issues of taxpayer privacy and administrability.

Ms. Nolan acknowledged that a pilot program undertaken a few years ago was not very successful. The IRS is revisiting the matter, she stated, and addressing issues such as the inaccuracy in·ac·cu·ra·cy  
n. pl. in·ac·cu·ra·cies
1. The quality or condition of being inaccurate.

2. An instance of being inaccurate; an error.
 of collection figures. Mr. Langdon observed that individual accounts are easier than large corporate accounts to outsource. Activities requiring a core knowledge of IRS procedures or a high level of technical expertise will not be outsourced, he added.

Mr. Boyle noted a second confidentiality issue involving access to corporate tax returns granted to non-government employees under the Intergovernmental in·ter·gov·ern·men·tal  
adj.
Being or occurring between two or more governments or divisions of a government.



in
 Personnel Act's Mobility Program, referring to a recent paper on the effect of an acquirer's domicile domicile (dŏm`əsīl'), one's legal residence. This may or may not be the place where one actually resides at any one time. The domicile is the permanent home to which one is presumed to have the intention of returning whenever the purpose  on the post-acquisition taxable income Under the federal tax law, gross income reduced by adjustments and allowable deductions. It is the income against which tax rates are applied to compute an individual or entity's tax liability. The essence of taxable income is the accrual of some gain, profit, or benefit to a taxpayer.  of its target. He expressed concern that the program could undermine taxpayers' confidence in the confidentiality of return information.

Ms. Nolan explained that the IRS sometimes contracts for research studies, but the researchers are subject to the same civil and criminal sanctions Sanctions is the plural of sanction. Depending on context, a sanction can be either a punishment or a permission. The word is a contronym.

Sanctions involving countries:
 imposed on IRS employees if they violate the IRS's disclosure restrictions. Mr. Langdon added that the Treasury Inspector General's Office is charged with investigating unauthorized disclosures. Mr. Murray stated that taxpayers must have confidence that return information is protected. Mr. Ng replied that the IRS will review the study to determine that the disclosure parameters were followed in the specific case. He reiterated that outside contractors outside contractor ncontratista m/f independiente  are subject to the same rules concerning disclosure as IRS employees.

4. Status Reports

a. IRS Budget and Modernization modernization

Transformation of a society from a rural and agrarian condition to a secular, urban, and industrial one. It is closely linked with industrialization. As societies modernize, the individual becomes increasingly important, gradually replacing the family,
 Program

Mr. Glennie noted that TEI has consistently supported adequate funding for the IRS. He asked whether LMSB anticipates receiving the funding it needs for its modernization program, as well as for the recruitment and training of personnel.

Mr. Langdon thanked TEI for its support, noting that TEI's credibility has helped in ensuring that the agency receives the funds it needs to do its job.

b. LMSB Reorganization

Mr. Trager noted that in October, LMSB announced a reorganization to bring a more geographical focus to its Division. He requested a report on how that process is proceeding. Mr. Petrella explained that after reviewing its workload nationwide, LMSB determined that more efficiencies could be obtained through a realignment re·a·lign  
tr.v. re·a·ligned, re·a·lign·ing, re·a·ligns
1. To put back into proper order or alignment.

2. To make new groupings of or working arrangements between.
 of personnel in certain areas. Industry issues will continue to be addressed by LMSB's technical advisers and the web will be used to disseminate dis·sem·i·nate  
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates

v.tr.
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.

2.
 more information. Industry directors will remain in contact with agents auditing issues under their jurisdiction, he added.

c. Revision of Form 5471

Ms. Dunahoo referred to a recent meeting with TEI representatives to discuss the possible revision of the Form 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons with respect to Certain Foreign Corporations. The most helpful comments came from the Institute, she stated, adding that the revised form is still being cleared internally, but should be released soon.

d. E-Filing

Mr. Hedgpeth referred to the IRS's e-filing initiative for corporate tax returns. He reported that efforts are underway to permit electronic filing of Forms 990, 1120, and 1120S. Approximately half the corporate forms may be filed electronically by January 2004; the remaining half will become available in July 2005. The IRS wants to work directly with taxpayers on the process, he added. The use of XML XML
 in full Extensible Markup Language.

Markup language developed to be a simplified and more structural version of SGML. It incorporates features of HTML (e.g., hypertext linking), but is designed to overcome some of HTML's limitations.
 and XBRL (EXtensible Business Reporting Language) A specification for publishing financial information in the XML format. It is designed to provide a standard set of XML tags for exchanging accounting information and financial statements between companies and analysts.  technology will facilitate the process, he stated.

5. Conclusion

Mr. Glennie thanked Mr. Langdon and the LMSB representatives for their participation in the meeting. Mr. Langdon thanked TEI for its preparation for the meeting.

IRS Delegation

Larry R. Langdon, LMSB Commissioner

Linda B. Burke, LMSB Division Counsel

Deborah M. Nolan, LMSB Deputy Commissioner

Keith Jones Keith Jones may refer to:
  • Keith Jones (footballer) - Retired English footballer
  • Keith Jones (ice hockey) - a former professional ice hockey player and current ice hockey sportscaster.
, Director, Field Specialists

John Petrella, Jr., Director, Financial Services Industry

Carol A. Dunahoo, Director, International

Elvin T. Hedgpeth, Deputy Director, International

Frank Y. Ng, Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance

Kathy K. Petronchak, Deputy Director, Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance

Kelly Cables, Director, Quality Assurance & Performance Management

Susan W. Linden Linden, city, United States
Linden, city (1990 pop. 36,701), Union co., NE N.J., in the New York metropolitan area; inc. 1925. During the first half of the 20th cent.
, Director, LMSB Communications & Liaison

Matthew Beaulieu, Manager, LMSB Legislative Affairs and Liaison

Pam Oliveras, Senior Program Analyst, IRS National Office of Public Liaison

TEI Delegation

J.A. (Drew) Glennie, Shell Canada Shell Canada Limited (TSX: SHC) is one of Canada's largest integrated oil companies. Exploration and production of oil, natural gas and sulphur is a major part of its business, as well as the marketing of gasoline and related products through the company's approximately 1,800  Limited, TEI President

Raymond G. Rossi, Intel Corporation (company) Intel Corporation - A US microelectronics manufacturer. They produced the Intel 4004, Intel 8080, Intel 8086, Intel 80186, Intel 80286, Intel 80386, Intel 486 and Pentium microprocessor families as well as many other integrated circuits and personal computer networking , TEI Senior Vice President

Judith P. Zelisko, Brunswick Corporation The Brunswick Corporation NYSE: BC, formerly known as the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, is a United States-based corporation that has been involved in manufacturing a wide variety of products since 1845. It had 2006 sales of US$5. , TEI Secretary-Treasurer

Michael P. Boyle, Microsoft Corporation (company) Microsoft Corporation - The biggest supplier of operating systems and other software for IBM PC compatibles. Software products include MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, Windows NT, Microsoft Access, LAN Manager, MS Client, SQL Server, Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC), MS Mail, , TEI Executive Committee

Deborah A. Lange, Oracle Corporation, TEI Executive Committee

Lisa Norton, Amazon.com Inc, TEI Executive Committee

Neil D. Traubenberg, Storage Technology Corporation, TEI Executive Committee

Glenn G. Wickerson, BP Canada, TEI Executive Committee

David L. Bernard, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Chair, TEI IRS Administrative Affairs Committee

Bruce R. Maggin, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries)  Corporation, Chair, TEI International Tax Committee

Mitchell S Mitchell, city (1990 pop. 13,798), seat of Davison co., SE S.Dak.; inc. 1881. Mitchell is a trade, distribution, and shipping center for a dairy and livestock area. . Trager, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Chair, TEI Federal Tax Committee

Timothy J. McCormally, TEI Executive Director

Fred F. Murray, TEI General Counsel and Director of Tax Affairs

Mary L. Fahey, TEI Tax Counsel

Gregory S. Matson, TEI Tax Counsel

Jeffery P. Rasmussen, TEI Tax Counsel
COPYRIGHT 2003 Tax Executives Institute, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:4923
Previous Article:Requiring CEOs to sign corporate tax returns: June 11, 2003.
Next Article:Tax Executives Institute--U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Tax Policy liaison meeting: February 25, 2003.



Related Articles
Three years after the reorganization: TEI members find many ways to interact with the IRS.
Midyear conference underscores TEI's strengths. (President's Corner).
Liaison meetings, congressional hearing dominate scene: TEI testifies on IRS budget and priorities; meets with Treasury, IRS, and LMSB; renews push...
CEO signature requirement deleted from tax bill TEI presses for its Abandonment; Institute analyzes International Accounting Standards, IRS claims...
TEI meets with IRS, Treasury, and Hill Staff.
TEI gives e-filing frosty reception: TEI discusses e-filing mandate, 2004 Act Guidance, and other key issues during Washington liaison meetings;...
Tax Executives Institute - LMSB liaison meeting minutes: February 9, 2005.
Washington copes with Cicadas while TEI buzzes with technical activities: schedule M-3, U.S. tax legislation on FSC/ETI repeal, OECD permanent...
Appendix: 2003-2004 technical activities.
Singapore, IRS Oversight Board, U.S. liaison meetings focus of TEI's winter activities: institute also comments on proposed Canadian changes.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters