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Claude M. Millman Spoke on a Panel at New York City's 22nd Annual Citywide Seminar on Ethics in City Government

On May 17, Claude Millman spoke on a panel at New York City’s 22nd Annual Citywide Seminar on Ethics in City Government.  The seminar was hosted by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board and New York Law School.  The panel, entitled “Two Men Exit the Room,” addressed the recent prosecutions of New York legislative leaders Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos and proposals to improve government ethics in Albany.

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Bryan C. Skarlatos Presented, "Economic Substance, Judicial Doctrines and Legal Ethics" at the PLI Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances 2016

Impact on partnerships of recent judicial decisions, legislation, and administrative developments relating to economic substance, tax shelters and the codification of the economic substance doctrine, including LB&I Directives; penalty defenses; rules of professional responsibility and conduct, including Circular 230 and related ethical considerations that come into play in evaluating the difference between good tax planning and overly aggressive or even criminal tax advice.

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Megan L. Brackney presented "Women and Tax" at the ABA Section of Taxation 2016 May Meeting

Years ago, women tax lawyers were a rare sighting at the Tax Section meetings. Looking around we know that the demographics have changed dramatically. Where are women tax lawyers in government, private practice, teaching and the judiciary and how have they impacted the ever-changing tax laws. Panelists reflected upon what inspired them to become tax lawyers, what have been the rewards and what have been the challenges.

 

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Bryan C. Skarlatos Presented, "IRS Whistleblower Program: 10 Years on What Works, What Doesn't & What Must Change" at the Offshore Alert's 14th Annual North American Conference

Experts on the IRS Whistleblower Program discussed the program's evolution, their own personal experiences in working within the program, what works, what doesn't and what needs to change.

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Michael Sardar Quoted in Vice News Panama Papers Article, "Divorce: One More Reason Why the Super Rich Want to Hide Their Money"

By John Dyer
https://news.vice.com

On April 14th, Michael Sardar, of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP was quoted in an article on Vice News by John Dyer. The article discusses that the recent Panama Papers leak revealed how global elites use offshore companies to avoid paying taxes and elaborates that they are sheltering their wealth for other reasons as well.

Excerpt from the article:

Developments like the Panama Papers leak and the US government's crackdown on American customers of Swiss banks should have convinced wealthy people by now to declare their foreign funds, said Michael Sardar, an attorney at the New York law firm of Kostelanetz & Fink who specializes in helping clients approach the US government to disclose their illegal foreign accounts.

But Sardar knows some people don't take his advice for various reasons — including because they think their husband or wife will someday want to take half of their hard-earned riches.

"If nobody knows about it, and nobody finds out about it... The problem is, how well can you sleep?" asked Sardar. "Every year you file that tax return, there's that question. Do you have a foreign account? Each year you say no, it's harder to conceal that from the IRS. Every year, you're magnifying and increasing the problem."

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Jerald David August Quoted In Bloomberg Article, "Amid Inversion Crackdown, IRS Blesses Delphi's British Domicile"

By Zachary Mider
www.bloomberg.com

On August 13th Jerald David August, Partner at Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, was quoted in a Bloomerberg News article that is now published online.

Excerpt from the "Unique Obstacles" section of the article:

The Delphi case may have presented unique obstacles, said Jerald David August, a partner at Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, a New York tax firm. The IRS may have worried that a loss in court would force it to revise a round of anti-inversion regulations from 2009, he said -- or that the case would bring unwelcome attention to the administration’s own role in Delphi’s expatriation. The company shifted its tax address as part of the fallout from General Motors Co.’s 2009 bankruptcy and bailout, which were overseen by Obama’s administration.

“The government threw in the towel when it may have had a strong case to present to a court to review,” said August, who wasn’t involved in the case. “The stakes involved in presenting this issue for full review may have had other, non-tax repercussions.”

For their part, Delphi officials had always insisted their case was strong and pledged in securities filings to “vigorously” defend their position. On Wednesday, the company  declined to comment beyond saying it’s “satisfied” with the IRS’s decision. The IRS also declined to comment.

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Panama Papers: Hiding Cash Has Become Crummy Business

Law firm Mossack Fonseca had seen its lines of work dry up before the release of the documents

By Ken Brown
The Wall Street Journal

Two months before the release of the Panama Papers, the attorney general of once-secretive Switzerland publicly proclaimed that $4 billion may have been misappropriated from state-owned companies in Malaysia.

The statement set off a bomb under the long-running scandal of a Malaysian government investment fund, known as 1MDB. It also showed how much has changed in the murky world of secret offshore bank accounts and corporations.

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Shedding Light on Secret Offshore Accounts

The Panama Papers tied 140 high-profile people to offshore tax havens. Here are some things to know about secret offshore accounts

By Laura Saunders and William Mauldin
The Wall Street Journal

A series of reports Sunday linked 140 public figures, executives and celebrities around the world to offshore tax havens from the British Virgin Islands to Switzerland. A close friend and other allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin were tied to transactions amounting to at least $2 billion; relatives of China's Politburo Standing Committee were connected to offshore companies; and Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was said to be a partial owner of a British Virgin Islands company, according to international media outlets, which cited millions of documents leaked from Panama law firm Mossack...

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DOJ Tax Division Today: Interview with the Acting Assistant Attorney General

On Aug. 29, 2013, the Department of Justice announced the Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks.1 Between March 30, 2015, and Jan. 27, 2016, the DOJ entered into 78 non-prosecution agreements with a total of 80 Swiss banks, collecting more than $1.3 billion in penalties, getting a trove of information regarding accounts related to U.S. taxpayers, and ensuring the cooperation of participating banks. 

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Claude M. Millman Quoted in The New York Times Article, "Harold Ickes, Mentor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Builds Lobbying Victories"

Claude Millman was quoted in an article that addressed the government procurement implications of union wage-related grants for New York City government contractors in an article in the New York Times called "Harold Ickes, Mentor to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Builds Lobbying Victories," on March 20, 2016.‎

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