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If it's Cherry Blossom time, TEI's midyear conference must be poised to bloom: tax reform, financial reporting issues combine with technical tax issues to create "can't miss" program.

For five-and-a-half decades tax executives have traveled to Washington, D.C., in the early spring to review tax developments, renew acquaintances and friendships with their colleagues in industry, government, and the consulting community, and preview what might lie ahead on the tax policy, tax planning, and tax administration fronts. For many of the past 55 years, Tax Executives Institute's Midyear Conference in Washington has coincided with the city's Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, and that will be the case in 2006. TEI's 56th Midyear Conference will convene at the Grand Hyatt Washington on March 26, amidst festivities to commemorate Japan's 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees. While the overlap puts a premium on TEI members making their hotel reservations early, it is unlikely they will find much time to enjoy the blossoms. Instead, they will find themselves fully occupied with legislative and accounting updates as well as a full complement of sessions on U.S. and foreign audit issues, partnership taxation, and tax shelter developments.

The program will kick off with a keynote address and panel on legislative developments, including an update on the tax reform proposals expected to be included in the Bush Administration's FY2007 budget.

"Nearly all legislation is the result of compromise," TEI President Michael P. Boyle noted. "And TEI's Midyear Conference will give registrants an opportunity to hear from government officials and leading experts about the compromises that may be in store for taxpayers in the next year or two. Will fundamental tax reform advance or will Congress and the Administration just pick around the edges? Will the tax system be reshaped to make the United States more competitive in the global market or will business taxpayers find themselves, as they did in 1986, paying the bill for individual tax reform."

He invited all TEI members to "Come to Washington this Spring to see."

Another topic that will be explored in depth during the conference is how to prevent material weaknesses in internal controls and manage the tax-audit relationship. "These issues are becoming more and more significant to tax professionals," Mr. Boyle explained. "We will also hold concurrent sessions on financial and tax accounting developments as well as FAS 109 issues at the state level." Closely related will be a session focusing on the "public part" of IRS audits, including statement disclosures and the release of tax reserves. Another session called "Your Worst Audit Nightmares"--including penalty assertions and the IRS's use of summonses--may well keep tax professionals awake at night.

Traditional technical tax topics will not be neglected, TEI's president promised. The Institute's committees will feature panels on acquiring private companies and disposing of other, non-performing ones. A partnership and LLC update will be included, as will a session on fringe benefits developments, which will cover issues relating to company-owned airplanes, stock compensation, and employee discounts. Federal tax professionals will also be able to re-learn tax research techniques, in a session entitled "Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks."

Another session will update conference registrants on the federal government's mandatory electronic filing program, followed by a panel on state e-filing issues. "TEI has been working with the IRS for almost a year to ensure that the e-filing mandate is carried out in as efficient a manner as possible," Mr. Boyle reported. "These two sessions will try and provide executives with the tools they need to comply."

On the international side, there will be presentations on--

* A joint government task force on tax shelters (with government representatives from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia)

* Permanent establishments

* Transfer of services under section 482

* Exchange gains and losses under section 987

In addition, a joint federal-international session will also focus on domestic and cross-border hedging transactions, and Canadian income and commodity tax issues will be explored in separate sessions.

For state and local tax practitioners, there will be a panel of state tax administrators and Multistate Tax Commission representatives to discuss combined reporting, add-backs, and reportable transactions, as well as panels on valid business purposes for restructurings and reorganizations and unclaimed property issues.

Finally, management issues will be featured in programs on scorecarding, TEI's corporate tax department survey, and utilizing and motivating staff.

On the lighter side, comedian Mark Russell will entertain participants at the Tuesday night banquet with his unique blend of humor and song parodies.

"This is one program tax professionals cannot afford to miss," Mr. Boyle concluded. "The cherry blossoms are provided at no additional charge."

For more information or to register, visit
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Title Annotation:Tax Executives Institute
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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