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Pittsburgh Chapter concludes successful year.

The Pittsburgh Chapter's first nine meetings of the 2002-2003 program year were described in the March-April issue of The Tax Executive. The following is a brief description of the last nine meetings, which included a full-day seminar, four luncheon meetings, two evening meetings, a breakfast meeting and the Chapter's Annual meeting.

On February 20, 2003, 59 members and guests attended the monthly luncheon meeting to listen to Robert P. Hanson from Ernst & Young's National Tax Department in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Ernst & Young Mr. Hanson served as Tax legislative Counsel in the Office of Tax Policy at the Department of the Treasury. As Tax Legislative Counsel, Mr. Hanson was the chief legal adviser to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy). Mr. Hanson presented a brief Washington update and also discussed issues related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its impact on administration within the corporate tax department.

The chapter held its annual Joint Meeting with the Pittsburgh Tax Club and Allegheny Tax Society on February 27, 2003, at the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh. The meeting was attended by 95 members and guests of all three organizations. (The Pittsburgh Tax Club and Allegheny Tax Society members consist of tax professionals engaged in public tax practice who represent many of the national, regional, and local public accounting and law firms.) The guest speaker was Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Pamela Olson. Ms. Olson discussed the tax legislative agenda for 2003 and fielded questions on topics ranging from the Administration's dividend exclusion provision to international issues.

Corporate Tax Management was the topic for the March 5 luncheon meeting. Michael J. Johnson, Deloitte & Touche's Mid-Atlantic Practice Leader, Tax Management Advisory Services, discussed "Leading Technology and Process Trends to Support the Corporate Tax Department of the 21st Century." Mr. Johnson's presentation explored current challenges facing corporate tax departments with an emphasis on data gathering and data management issues. He presented potential solutions through the use of a leading practice case study. The presentation concluded by suggesting approaches to integrating these solutions into the corporate tax department environment.

Lynn Bacon of Alcoa Inc. moderated the chapter's annual TEI/IRS evening meeting held on March 20. John Niederst (IRS Team Manager, Heavy Manufacturing and Transportation) and Ron Loncharich (IRS Territory Manager, Natural Resources and Construction) were the speakers for the evening. Their presentation was on the recently implemented LIFE program and the new initiative for the IRS regarding taxpayer claims. Also attending this meeting from the IRS were Ken Foster (acting Territory Manager, Heavy Manufacturing & Transportation), Jennifer Mucha (IRS Team Manager, Heavy Manufacturing & Transportation), Kathy Beck (IRS Team Manager, Natural Resources & Construction), Bill Barrett (International Group Manger, Heavy Manufacturing & Transportation) and Jim Schrmack (IRS Team Manager, Natural Resources and Construction).

Dale Marrison, Pittsburgh Chapter Representative, served as moderator during the April 2nd meeting. A wide variety of tax topics were discussed during this luncheon meeting, including TEI's Midyear Conference.

The April 23rd full-day seminar covered nine tax topics, with concurrent sessions that allowed members to attend the presentations most relevant to their needs and interests. The speakers, all from the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, included Dmitri Shiry and Dave Warco from the Washington National Office, who presented a two-hour in-depth discussion of FAS 109 topics. David Oliver and Glen Mincey, also from Washington, provided an overview of "Partnerships and Passthroughs." Carol MacPhail, the Pittsburgh Tax Managing Partner, presented two sessions on Sarbanes-Oxley, while Rona Faust, Manager in D&T's Tax Controversy Services, reviewed tax penalties, and Senior Manager, Jim Kolan provided an update on employee benefit issues. International tax matters were covered by Todd Izzo, Senior Manager. Jeff Blum, Director, Multi-State Tax Services, concluded the seminar with a Pennsylvania Tax Update.

On May 7, Aaron Young of Dechert LLP discussed numerous issues relating to recent developments in the state taxation of holding companies. These issues included the development of strategies in state audits of royalty-imposing holding companies and defenses in attributional nexus cases. Mr. Young also discussed recent court cases as well as pending legislation in Pennsylvania and other states.

At the annual meeting on May 16th at Diamond Run Country Club, the chapter awarded Stephen W. Boocock its Distinguished Service Award. Steve had unselfishly participated on several Institute-level committees and task forces since 1994, was a regular presenter at Annual and Midyear Conferences, and also participated in numerous seminars. He had held all officer positions in the local chapter as well as several international positions before resigning from TEI to pursue a career in public accounting with Deloitte & Touche in Chicago.

The final meeting of the 2002-2003 program year was the members-only breakfast meeting, which was held on June 12, 2003. This meeting offered members the opportunity to discuss tax issues and matters affecting the Pittsburgh Chapter with other members but without any guests present. As always, the members willingly provided their advice on virtually any topic that was raised. The discussion included federal and state tax audit issues, documentation required to support section 29 credits and research credit claims.

Also discussed were proposed changes to Chapter functions that could be implemented in the upcoming year. Chapter President Bob Taylor and all of the Board were commended on the success of the past year, during which the Chapter experienced growth of more than ten percent in its active membership.
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Title Annotation:Chapter News
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:888
Previous Article:TEI 2003-2004 leadership team.
Next Article:TEI's 2003-2004 goals and objectives.


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